The Best Diamondbacks Draft Picks
In this article you will find the best Diamondbacks draft picks of all time, by WAR and MLB awards. The top three hitters and pitchers they have ever drafted.
|2009||8||246||Paul Goldschmidt||Arizona Diamondbacks||1B||Texas State University||5||2||2||34.8|
|2005||1||1||Justin Upton||Arizona Diamondbacks||SS||Great Bridge (Chesapeake,VA)||4||2||32.4|
|2009||1||17||A.J. Pollock||Arizona Diamondbacks||CF||University of Notre Dame||1||1||18.2|
The Diamondbacks franchise only started in 1998, but it is impressive how quickly Paul Goldschmidt climbed the ranks as the best hitter of all the Diamondbacks draft picks. An eighth round pick out of Texas State in 2009, “Goldy” never appeared on a top-100 prospect list before being promoted to the Major Leagues. He has proven himself as one of the best hitters in the league, and a mainstay at first base for the Diamondbacks over his seven years, making five All-Star appearances, winning two Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards each, and finishing second in the MVP race twice. Goldschmidt is the rare first basemen who can not only bash home runs, but can play great defense and steal bases as well. He has gone on to lead all first basemen in stolen bases five of his seven years in the league. Expect Goldschmidt to be a force in this league for years to come.
7 years into his career and Goldy is already the best #DBacks hitting draft pick ever. Click To Tweet
Justin Upton was the first pick of the vaunted 2005 draft, and has gone on to prove himself as such a selection over his first 11 years in the league. Upton was called up the Diamondbacks at 19-years of age, in 2007, and has never looked back. He established himself as a consistent threat with the bat his second year in the league, and has gone on to hit 25 or more homers for seven of his 11 seasons. Making four All-Star appearances and winning two Silver Sluggers, it’s a wonder how he has bounced around to five different teams over his career. While there is usually immense pressure placed on the first pick of the draft, Upton has handled it well, and can be considered one of the best first picks in the history of the draft.
A.J. Pollock, the Diamondbacks first round pick in the 2009 draft, was somewhat of a late bloomer, not making it to the Major Leagues until he was 24-years old. He didn’t really establish himself as a force in the league until 2015, at the age of 27, when he showed why he was drafted in the first round by blasting 20 homers, stealing 39 bases, attending the All-Star game, and winning a Gold Glove award. Unfortunately, Pollock’s 2016 season was derailed by injury, and he hasn’t seen sustained success.
|2006||1||11||Max Scherzer||Arizona Diamondbacks||P||University of Missouri||2||4||45.6|
|2000||8||249||Brandon Webb||Arizona Diamondbacks||P||University of Kentucky||1||3||31.4|
|1996||5||155||Brad Penny||Arizona Diamondbacks||P||Broken Arrow (Broken Arrow,OK)||2||19.2|
Max Scherzer is not only the best of all Diamondbacks draft picks, according to WAR, but he is also one of the best pitchers in all of Major League Baseball. Scherzer was taken by the Diamondbacks 11th overall in the 2006 draft, and was in the Majors with the D’Backs by 2008. While he was able to dominate the Minor Leagues, he was still perfecting his craft during his only full-season with the team in 2009, finishing with a 4.12 ERA and striking out more than a batter per inning. The Diamondbacks ended up trading Scherzer to the Tigers after the 2009 season for two average big league starters, Ian Kennedy and Edwin Jackson. It took a few more seasons in Detroit for Scherzer to come into his own, but from 2013 on Scherzer has been a legit ace. He has made five straight All-Star teams, finished in the top-five in the Cy Young race every year, winning two. Scherzer has thrown two no-hitters during his career, and has also tied the single-game strikeout record, K’ing 20 Detroit Tigers on May 11, 2016. Since 2013, he is second, to Clayton Kershaw, in starting pitching WAR.
#NeverForget The #DBacks traded Max Scherzer for Ian Kennedy and Edwin Jackson. Click To Tweet
Where to start with Brandon Webb? Drafted in the eighth round in 2000, Webb had a great career for the Diamondbacks that was unfortunately cut short by shoulder issues. Paired with a nasty sinker, that was considered one of the best in the league, Webb became a three-time All-Star, and pitched to a 3.27 ERA over his seven-year career with the Diamondbacks. In 2006 he became the second pitcher in franchise history to win a Cy Young award, Randy Johnson being the other. Webb finished in second in the Cy Young race the following two years, and was establishing himself as one of the best pitchers in baseball before shoulder bursitis derailed his 2009 season. Unfortunately that would be his last in the league, and out of all Diamondbacks draft picks, this one had to hurt the worst, as fans saw a great pitcher’s career over by the age of 30.
Although he was the Diamondbacks 5th round pick in the 1996 draft, Brad Penny never played a game with the Major League team. Penny was rated as the Diamondbacks Class A Minor League Player of the Year in 1998, but was traded to the Marlins in 1999, for relief pitcher Matt Mantei. Brad Penny would go on to have his best years in the Majors while pitching for the Dodgers, in 2006 and 2007, going to the All-Star game both years and finishing third in the Cy Young race, in 2007. He finished with a career ERA of 4.29 and WAR of 19.2, making him the third best of all starting pitching Diamondbacks draft picks, according to WAR.