PHOENIX – With their first selection on day two of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, the D-backs drafted shortstop Jose Munoz in the second round (pick No. 90 overall) from Los Altos High School in Northern California.
The San Diego State commit was tabbed as the 86th best prospect by ESPN.com.
At 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, Munoz hit .419 this season with a slugging percentage of .814.
“He’s an infielder with some offensive potential,” Baseball America’s Jim Callis said on MLB.com. “He has all average to solid tools.”
The 90th pick has a slot value of $540,000.
For the D-backs, the 18-year-old Munoz was the second high school player they took in as many picks after they drafted catcher Stryker Trahan in the first round.
Round 3, 120 overall: RHP Jake Barrett, Arizona State
A local product who was also drafted in the third round coming out of Desert Ridge High School by the Blue Jays, Barrett is hard throwing junior reliever for ASU.
Ranked by MLB.com as the 55th best overall prospect in the draft, the 21-year-old’s fastball peaks in the upper 90′s and his 6-foot-4, 220 pound frame draws body comparisons to the likes of Heath Bell and Jonathan Broxton.
Barrett began his ASU career as a set-up man as a freshman but transitioned to a starting role as a sophomore. The righty started 14 games for the Sun Devils, going 7-4 with a 4.14 ERA. He struck out 72 batters in 76 innings that year but a shoulder injury caused him to miss the final portion of the season.
In 2012 as a junior, Barrett moved back to the bullpen as the Sun Devils’ closer. His size, maximum effort delivery and often spotty command suited him well for the relieving role. He recorded 11 saves and made 31 appearances with a low 1.62 ERA.
“There’s a surprise he went behind some of the other guys,” Callis said. “He’s another college arm that could be in the Majors soon.”
The 120th pick has a slot value of $392,900
Round 4, 153 overall: CF Chuck Taylor, Mansfield Timberview High School (TX)
Taylor, a 5-foot-9, 185 pound outfielder, was the third high school position player the D-backs selected through their first four picks.
A UT-Arlington commit to play baseball, Taylor also was the quarterback for his school’s football team for three seasons.
The 18-year-old threw for 1,998 yards and 16 touchdowns this year while also rushing for 1,972 yards and 23 touchdowns in leading his squad to the state semifinals.
The 153rd pick has a slot value of$285,800.
Round 5, 183 overall: C Ronnie Freeman, Kennesaw State (GA)
The 21-year-old joins first round pick Trahan as the D-backs’ second catcher choice of the draft.
As a freshman at Keennesaw State, Freeman hit a team-high .365 and was a 2010 Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American. A season later, Freeman set the Kennesaw State record for the longest hitting streak at 42. He also played for the USA Collegiate National Team that same year.
As a junior in 2012, Freeman enjoyed continued success, batting .348 with 54 RBIs, six homers and 13 doubles. His power hitting status makes him a valuable prospect behind home plate.
Round 6, 213 overall: 3B Jacob Lamb, Washington
Coming out of high school ranked by Baseball America as the top prep prospect in Washington, Lamb was originally drafted by the Pirates in the 38th round of the 2009 Major League draft.
As a freshman for the Huskies in Seattle, Lamb started 54 games for the school and was named to the Freshman All-America team by Collegiate Baseball after batting .363 in Pac-10 play.
In 2011, he led Washington in in at bats, games, hits, triples, homers and RBIs. This season as a junior, the 21-year-old batted .343 in conference games and earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors.
Round 7, 243 overall: SS Andrew Velazquez, Fordham Prep School (NY)
After Munoz in the second round, Velazquez was the second high school shortstop the D-backs selected.
The 17-year-old, standing 5-foot-10 and weighing 170 pounds, is committed to play at Virginia Tech next season.
On May 12 in a regular season prep game, the switch-hitter put together a three home run day in a unique fashion. He hit one out of the park from the right side, one out of the park from the left side and a third one that stayed inside the park.
Also this year, he has written bimonthly diary blog for NYPost.com detailing his senior campaign.
Round 8, 273 overall: CF Evan Marzilli, South Carolina
A key contributor to South Carolina’s back-to-back College World Series titles in 2010 and 2011, Marzilli is still playing with the Gamecocks as they try to capture their third straight NCAA crown.
As a freshman in 2010, the 21-year-old was named to the College World Series All-Tournament Team after hitting .370 (10-for-27) with seven runs scored and a .514 on-base percentage in Omaha. The following season, Marzilli, who is six feet tall and weights 185 pounds, hit .291 for South Carolina with 31 RBIs and 39 runs scored.
So far in 2012, Marzilli is batting .288 with a team-high 12 stolen bases in the pitching-dominated Southeastern Conference.
Round 9, 303 overall: RHP Jeff Gibbs, Maine-Orono
A Toronto native, Gibbs won a Canadian national title with his youth team before heading to the states for college ball.
The 21-year-old’s first two collegiate campaigns were outstanding, as he started a combined 28 games, winning 13 of the them and having season ERA’s of 3.94 as a freshman and 3.42 as a sophomore.
This year as a junior, however, things did not go well for the 6-foot-4, 215 pound righty. Although serving as a team captain, Gibbs had an ERA of 8.40 over 60 innings and 10 starts.
Round 10, 333 overall: OF Daniel Poma, Hofstra (NY)
Poma put together one of the best seasons in the nation this year as a senior, batting .430 with 102 hits, 79 runs, 32 doubles, seven home runs, 48 RBIs and 29 steals.
His efforts earned him a place on Collegiate Baseball’s First Team All-American squad. He is also a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award, which is college baseball’s version of the Heisman Award.
At 23 years old, Poma is the oldest player the D-backs selected so far in the 2012 draft. The right-handed hitter stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 210 pounds.
Round 11, 363 overall: RHP Ben Eckels, Davis Senior HS (CA)
Eckels had a stellar senior season for his San Francisco area school, finishing 7-2 with a 2.36 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 50 1/3 innings.
The 18-year-old finished his prep career on a high note with a complete game shutout performance. He isn’t committed to a college but has drawn interest from the likes of Fresno State, Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton.
Round 12, 393 overall: CF Keith Alex Glenn, Arizona Christian
Originally drafted in the 37th round by the Marlins in 2009 out of high school, Glenn began his collegiate career by playing two seasons at Southern California.
He started 40 times and played in 77 games for the Trojans, totaling 24 hits in 126 career at-bats (.190) with five home runs, 17 runs scored and 18 RBIs.
In 50 games with Arizona Christian this year, the 20-year-old batted .351 with 36 RBIs and 23 stolen bases.
Round 13, 423 overall: C Phildrick Llewellyn, Trinity Christian Academy (FL)
Born and raised in the Caribbean island Curacao, Llewellyn’s parents offered to send him to America before high school to further his baseball career. After four terrific prep seasons, the 17-year-old is committed to play at Florida International next season.
The 6-foor-1, 205 pound switch hitter was the third catcher the D-backs selected in the 2012 draft.
Round 14, 453 overall: RHP Derrick Stultz, South Florida
Finishing his senior high school season with a 1.76 ERA, Stultz was drafted as a prep player in 2007 in the 38th round by the Red Sox.
After two successful collegiate seasons as a freshman and sophomore, the 23-year-old missed the entire 2010 and 2011 seasons due to shoulder surgery.
This year as a redshirt senior, the 6-foot-3, 190 pound starter led the Big East conference with nine wins. In his final start of his career, he shutout Connecticut in the Big East tournament. Stultz finished 2012 with a 3.29 ERA over 87.2 innings.
Round 15, 483 overall: Michael Blake Forslund, Liberty (VA)
Forslund was drafted just a year ago by the Red Sox in 17th round but opted to return to school.
In 20 appearances out of the bullpen this season, the 22-year-old boasted a 3.74 ERA with 34 strikeouts over 32 2/3 innings.
At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, Forslund pitches with a big presence on the mound.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com
I took a walk around Marlins Park with D-backs PR guru Casey Wilcox (had to pry him away from his laptop for it) and took some more photos.
Here you go…
Here are some photos from Marlins Park…
A couple of quick leftover notes from Sunday’s D-backs/Rockies game before I dash off to the airport to catch my flight out of this frozen tundra…
– I asked Kirk Gibson if the reason he stuck with Bryan Shaw in the ninth was because J.J. Putz was unavailable.
“It’s a long season,” Gibson replied. “You make your choice. I used four guys in one inning there. I just made the decision there to go with Bryan. He was up and he was warm. We’ve got a new series starting tomorrow. Kind of rested the other guys. We felt like he was a good guy to get it done quickly for us. J.J. and David [Hernandez], they’ve had a heavy workload early. Bryan Shaw, we had a good feel about it. At the same time, giving him a little late-inning experience. He’s fearless. You feel very confident with him in there.”
I can’t say for sure, but I believe it wasn’t just that Putz had pitched Saturday, but also because he had gotten up to get warm several times in the last few days.
Regardless, Shaw enjoyed the opportunity.
“I’ve closed in college, I closed in the Minors last year,” Shaw said. “It’s where I like to be. I like being in that role late innings, whatever, game on the line. I just love being in that spot.”
– We had asked Gibson about not running as much prior to the game and he said that teams were playing closer attention to them on the bases after the success they had last year.
Sunday they stole four bases in the first five innings off rookie Drew Pomeranz.
“If there’s something available, then you take it,” Gibson said. “We felt there was. He was a young kid and we pushed the envelope there and the guys did a good job of that. I think he got a little unraveled there from time to time. But they hung in there. In this park, in many games, it’s never over until it’s over. Fortunately for us we got the job done today.”
A few leftovers from D-backs manager Kirk Gibson’s pregame meeting with us as well as links and some photos from today…
– Gibson was pleased with the way his pitchers executed their pitches in the Giants series.
“One thing we did pretty good last series was when we had to make pitches we executed them overall when we needed to so it’s easier to defend,” Gibson said.
– Gibson also liked the way the D-backs kept the Giants running game in check. The Giants added some speed to their lineup this offseason with the idea of being more aggressive on the bases.
“We were able to keep for the most part keep those guys where they weren’t just running at will,” Gibson said.
– The D-backs have not had a chance yet to fully evaluate Josh Collmenter’s rough start from Sunday. They were off Monday and spent Tuesday preparing for the series with Padres.
“I’m sure we’ll have some conversation about it and try to get him on the right track and make sure he’s able to duplicate his pitches where he wants to throw them,” Gibson said.
– PETCO Park is relatively new to Jason Kubel, who only has three games of experience here after playing his entire career in the American League with the Twins.
“It’s going to be different for him to get around to different stadiums and different staffs,” Gibson said. “This is a new team and how we do things. It is different so he’ll catch on quickly and use the information to his benefit very shortly.”
– In case you missed this, Stephen Drew told a touching story about one of his first baseball gloves.
– Here are some photos:
Some random thoughts as I sit in the Chase Field press box early Saturday morning…
– Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum comments about his team wanting to make a statement in this opening game/series struck me as being a little strange.
Yeah, I get that the D-backs won the division last year and clinched it against the Giants and every win counts especially in this division. Still, last year the Giants won seven of the first nine games played between these two teams and the D-backs then won seven of the next nine.
I wouldn’t put too much stock into what happens in this series. There will be 159 games after at.
– It could be that the D-backs are in Lincecum’s head a little bit. Until the last few starts he had dominated the D-backs. They seem to have a really good approach against him though. I don’t know that he made a ton of mistakes yesterday, but the ones he did make the D-backs hammered.
Chris Young made a good point yesterday that the D-backs have the same core group of guys going up against Lincecum and they’ve now got 50-60 career at-bats against him.
– Here are some links to coverage from yesterday in case you missed anything…
Wanted to let everyone know about a fundraising event that Brad Ziegler has Saturday.
Ziegler will be joined by Craig Breslow, Trevor Cahill, Tyler Skaggs and Patrick Corbin on Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon (AZ time) at Hot Corner Sports Cards at the corner of Power Road and Main in Mesa.
For $20 you can get one autograph from each of the five players with the money going to benefit “Pastime for Patriots” a foundation he and his wife started to support members of the United States military and their families.
A portion of the proceeds from merchandise sold at the shop during that time will be donated to the foundation as well.
Sandwiches will be sold for $6 with $3 of that going to the foundation.
To make sure that everyone gets an autograph, if there are more requests than they can accommodate in the two-hour time period there will be a way for people to submit items they want signed and Ziegler will make sure they get taken care of.
– The D-backs dropped a pair of split-squad games.
They lost, 8-0, to the Padres in a day game at Salt River Fields.
They lost, 7-4, to the Rockies in a night game at Salt River Fields.
WHAT WE LEARNED:
This is worth watching as the regular season gets underway. Teams clearly believe that the best way to get Upton out is to pitch him inside. The problem is when pitchers try to go in and don’t have good enough control and end up hitting him.
The guy was plunked 19 times last year and it got pretty ridiculous after a while. It’s not that all of the HBP’s were intentional, but after a while enough is enough. I think you’ll see the D-backs pitchers take care of it much earlier this season.
– On a related note, it will interesting to see if this adds any fuel to the D-backs-Padres rivalry. Remember, these two teams didn’t really like each other much in Arizona’s infancy as an organization. That’s cooled quite a bit, but with Josh Byrnes and A.J. Hinch now with the Padres organization and the little dustup on Wednesday…well maybe that will change.
OK, so we knew that already, but still…
Have to say watching Corbin on the mound while Bauer was throwing a simulated game in the bullpen was somewhat surreal.
It’s clear that Bauer feels very strongly about his routine and doing plenty of throwing. To this point there doesn’t seem to be a reason to change him. Why mess with success?
– Josh Collmenter seems to be healthy after missing that start with tightness in his right forearm.
The results weren’t necessarily what he wanted, but again right now that’s not overly important.
– J.J. Putz threw well in his one inning of work in the night game.
– The D-backs finally got some hits and scored some runs in the night game. Gibson said he thought they were a little more aggressive in that game after taking too many pitches to this point in the spring.
WHAT’S COMING UP:
The D-backs travel to Mesa to take on the Cubs on Thursday with Opening Day starter Ian Kennedy set to take the mound. Kennedy has been battling flu like symptoms for the past week and allowed four runs in his last start. Barry Enright is also expected to pitch for the D-backs.
That’s all for today.
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23 days until Opening Day vs. Giants
– Joe Saunders left the game after being struck by a line drive.
– Kirk Gibson announced starters for Wednesday’s split-squad games.
WHAT WE LEARNED:
– Saunders appears to be OK after being hit just to the side of his left shin. He will have an x-ray Tuesday just to be sure. We’ll see if he is set back by only throwing a handful of pitches rather than the 40 or so he was scheduled to throw.
– Outfielder Chris Young has looked good at the plate this spring after making a slight adjustment in his mechanics at the plate. Young is certainly playing like someone who does not want to lose playing time to Gerardo Parra in the crowded Arizona outfield.
– Trevor Bauer has earned the respect of some of the veterans for his work ethic.
One of the aspects of his unique routine that could wind up being tweaked is the crow hop throw he does at the start of his warm-ups each half inning. He jammed catcher Miguel Montero’s thumb in his last outing and Montero was not pleased.
My guess: either they tell him to stop doing it or the catcher will just step out of the way from now on and let it go to the backstop.
– Speaking of Bauer…it’s a bit of a surprise that Gibson elected to go with Patrick Corbin instead of Bauer for Wednesday’s start.
– Third-base coach Matt Williams and Gibson talked to young third baseman Matt Davidson on Monday about not taking his at-bats into the field with him. In fact, Williams offered up a challenge.
“I want you to do a game where you don’t take one pitch off,” Gibson said Williams told Davidson. “One pitch, that’s hard. Matty would know, he was that caliber of a third baseman. We want to make sure he understands that.”
– A couple of other thoughts from Monday’s game…
Encouraging to see a clean inning from Bryan Shaw.
Joe Paterson did a nice job striking out two of the three batters he faced.
Outfielder A.J. Pollock continues to impress with his heads up play. You can see why the D-backs really like him. He doesn’t get intimidated by his surroundings and seems to have a real good feel for the game. Bunted for a hit with one out and the D-backs trailing by a run in the ninth. Ball was thrown away so he immediately found himself in scoring position.
WHAT’S COMING UP:
The D-backs return to Salt River Fields on Tuesday to take on the Angels.
Trevor Cahill will make his second start of the spring and he will be followed to the mound by lefty Tyler Skaggs. The D-backs will see a familiar face on the mound as Dan Haren is scheduled to start for the Angels.
That’s all for today.
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25 days until Opening Day vs. Giants
– The D-backs fell to the Rangers, 16-3, at Salt River Fields.
WHAT WE LEARNED:
– The D-backs have not looked good so far this spring.
So far Kirk Gibson has taken what’s happened in stride, but if they continue to miss cutoff men and play sloppy baseball you can bet he’s going to have something to say about it.
– The D-backs haven’t backed off their early work.
Gibson cited all the work he’s put his team through in the mornings as a possible explanation for what’s happened so far in games. He also hinted at the fact that he could start backing off that a little bit following Thursday’s off day.
– Joe Saunders didn’t have a very good outing resultswise, but the left-hander said he felt good about his pitches.
No one should read much, if anything at all, into the first outing or two of spring for established veterans. This is a time for them to get their legs under them and tinker with pitches or any mechanical adjustments they may be making.
Farm director Mike Bell was thrilled with the amount of players who have turned out for early work thus far.
– Evan Marshall was struck in the right ribcage by a line drive Monday, but Gibson said after the game that it did not look like it was serious.
WHAT’S COMING UP:
The D-backs play host to the Indians on Wednesday at Salt River Fields.
Trevor Cahill will make his first appearance in a D-backs uniform and be followed to the mound by Tyler Skaggs.
That’s all for today. Remember…
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31 days until Opening Day vs. Giants