The 2008 June Amateur Draft is over, and so begins the process of negotiation and signing these young players. 7th-round selection Miles Reagan out of Lakeside, Califonia's El Capitan high school made a quick decision to begin his professional career, although he was a bit surprised at the team with which he would eventually sign.
"It was actually totally unexpected," an excited Reagan confided. "I was kind of looking more towards the Mariners, because that's what I'd been hearing. They passed, and then Washington passed (they were the second team that was interested in me). Then when Arizona got me, I was stoked, because they were the other team I had in mind."
In Reagan, the Diamondbacks obtained a big right-hander who can throw in the 90-93 MPH range at the very tender age of 17. The youngest of the D-backs' 51 selections this year, Reagan compliments his fastball with a curveball and changeup, with the latter being his second-best pitch.
"I'm definitely a power pitcher," he said. "I have a fast arm, and I can get guys out."
17-year old pitchers who throw this hard are often considered injury risks. Reagan's size elicits confidence in his durability, however. He has worked very hard to condition himself and had been kept on a fairly strict pitch count of 90 at El Capitan. Diamondbacks scouting director Tom Allison told us that a draft prospect's workload is something that heavily factors into his decision on whether to draft a player, as well as the organization's plan for developing him.
"I think all of them are different in terms of their career development, and that is what we try and stay in tune with," Allison told us. "You certainly want to look at the abuse, and our scouts are in tune with that. When we do bring in a pitcher, we know exactly how many innings he has logged in a calendar year, and we develop a plan from there."
Last year, the Diamondbacks selected only four high-schoolers in the first 30 rounds, which spanned 32 picks. Three of those four would eventually sign, with the eight high schoolers drafted in the lower rounds each electing to attend college instead. This year, Reagan was one of four high school pitchers selected by the Diamondbacks in the first 12 rounds in a class that was considered thin on college starters. Allison compared his draft philosophy to the compilation of a home financial portfolio.
"There might be some that have extreme upside where you say, 'yeah, this has got a chance to be a Yahoo!' but there's a cost to that, and there's a time of development compared to maybe one of the Blue Chippers, that you just say, 'yeah, this is what you're gong to get. There's not a lot that has to go into development of this player.'"
"What we try and do is scan the pool throughout the country and have a lot of different types of players on our board and at our discretion to take - and our scouts do a very good job of understanding that."
In Reagan, the Diamondbacks have one of those players with high upside. The risk of him deciding to attend college has subsided. Up next is the task of turning this somewhat raw talent into a major league-ready pitcher.Send questions or comments for Keith Glab to firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you a full member of FutureBacks.com? If not, then you are missing out on the top Diamondbacks coverage we provide to our premium members, as well as full access to over 400 other Scout.com sites. Join us today!