Last year, Arizona Diamondbacks scouting director Tom Allison signed his first 29 selections from the June draft, a feat unparalleled among the other 29 teams. This season, his efforts will not be as successful, although in the case of their first-round pick, the speculation is that the effort is not there.
Barret Loux, the sixth-overall selection in the draft, failed a team physical after agreeing to a $2 million signing bonus, and negotiations have since stalled. Loux, who already has an extensive injury history, was found to have issues remaining in both the shoulder and elbow of his throwing arm. If Loux remains unsigned, the D-backs will receive a compensatory selection seventh overall in next year's draft, which is said to be a stronger draft class overall. In this scenario, Arizona would have both the fourth and seventh overall selections in the 2011 draft, based on the team's current record.
In addition to setting up for a big draft next year, the non-pursuit of Loux figures to give the D-backs extra money with which to entice some of their high-round high-school picks to sign rather than honor their college commitments. Their sixth and eighth round selections are both right-handed high school pitchers that Allison will work feverishly to get into the fold today.
"Blake Perry, Tyler Green - we really like their upside," Allison told FutureBacks.com. "We've still got to get them signed, but those two guys stand out."
While southpaw Kevin Ziomek, the team's 13th-round selection, has indicated that he will not sign with the Diamondbacks, there is still some hope that 14th-rounder Ty Linton could come into the fold. Linton fell to the 14th-round due to signability concerns, but could in fact be a first-round talent.
"Our scout George Swain has a terrific relationship with him," said a hopeful Allison.
Roberto Padilla, Christopher Floethe, and Michael McGee are the three later-round draft selections most likely to be signed in the final hours.
Padilla was a southpaw taken in the 23rd-round whose fastball has been clocked as high as 91 mph and who also features an effective curveball and changeup. He was named the Junior College Pitcher of the Year for his performance at Ohlone college this season. In contrast, the right-handed Floethe, who was taken in the 29th round, missed this past season, but is nevertheless being pursued feverishly by Arizona.
"Chris Floethe out of Cal-State Fullerton is coming off Tommy John surgery and is now pitching very well in the Cape Cod League," Allison said. "He could be another guy like a Ryan Cook. Cook didn't have a very good junior year, but he went to a summer league, we watched him, and were able to come to a negotiation that worked for both sides."
McGee was a junior at Florida State this season, and wasn't taken until the 41st round. He has hit .350 with 36 homers, 151 RBI, and 18 steals in 448 at-bats over the past two seasons, but also went 4-1 with a 2.96 ERA and 13 saves as the the Gators' 2010 closer. The D-backs successfully signed three Florida State players in 2007 - Mark Hallberg, Bryan Henry, and Danny Rosen. Henry and Hallberg are at the Double- and Triple-A levels, respectively. Rosen was a 41st-round pick like McGee, but only pitched in seven games as an Arizona farmhand before moving on to other pursuits.
Discuss this story in the FutureBacks.com Subscriber-Only Message Boards.