PHOENIX — Diamondbacks first-round draft choice Stryker Trahan knows how to make an impression.
A few hours after agreeing to a $1.7 million signing bonus, Trahan hit three home runs while taking batting practice at Chase Field. One long fly landed in the swimming pool beyond the fence in right-center and drew cheers from D-backs players stretching in the outfield grass.
“That was pretty funny hearing all those guys cheer for me, but I want to hit a couple more. I was a little anxious, yes sir. I was a lot anxious,” said Trahan, 18, three weeks removed from graduation ceremonies at Lafayette (La.) Acadiana High.
“I’m really excited to get started.”
Manager Kirk Gibson, general manager Kevin Towers, scouting director Ray Montgomery and area scout Rusty Pendergrass were on the field for the batting practice, and Gibson spent time with Trahan and his parents, Chad and Donna, and his sister, Stormi. Gibson spoke to Trahan between rounds behind the batting cage.
“He just told me to relax and joked about how nervous I was right now,” Trahan said.
“It’s a dream come true being in the stadium right now.”
Trahan — pronounced Tra-HON — will report to the D-backs’ training facility at Salt River Fields on Sunday and is to spend the season in the rookie Arizona League, which begins in two weeks.
“The biggest thing for Stryker now is to just go out and get reps, particularly behind the plate. Catching better velocity, catching guys who know how to pitch,” Montgomery said. “Offensively, he is obviously advanced. Defensively, we want to give him as much time as we can to let him get comfortable.”
The D-backs drafted Trahan as a catcher and will keep him at catcher, although some scouts told Baseball America he might develop into a corner outfielder.
Catching is part of the family heritage; it’s a position he seems to have been born into.
“I feel it’s my duty to catch, based on my family. I love it back there,” Trahan said.
Trahan’s father also was a catcher at Acadiana High, and he and Stryker played for the same high school coach. His mother was an all-state softball catcher at the same school.
“He got it all from his mom,” Chad Trahan said.
“A dream come true,” said Donna, a cancer survivor.
The D-backs also agreed to terms with 30 other draftees Saturday and have now locked up their first six picks. Among those signed Saturday were
second-round pick Jose Munoz, an infielder from Los Altos High School in
Hacienda Heights, Calif., and third-round pick Jake Barrett, a
hard-throwing reliever from Arizona State.
There are nine
draftees who have not yet agreed to terms, including Kirk Gibson’s son,
Cameron, whom Gibson has said still plans to attend college at Michigan
State, and final-round pick Zane Hemond, grandson of longtime D-backs
executive Roland Hemond.