D-backs see McCann in first-round pick Trahan
PHOENIX -- The Diamondbacks are counting on Stryker Trahan having a longer run than his namesake.
Trahan, whom the D-backs selected in the first round of the 2012 draft Monday, was named after the Burt Reynolds TV character B.l. Stryker, a carefree private eye who lived on a boat in south Florida. That showed aired for one season.
The D-backs expect more from the 26th overall pick, and they believe Trahan has the bat, the athleticism and the makeup to have a long career. A catcher, Trahan hit .407 with six home runs, 30 RBIs and 22 stolen bases at Lafayette (La.) Acadiana High. The D-backs ranked him as the second catcher on their board, behind only Mike Zunino, the third player taken overall.
"The offensive profile for behind the dish is certainly a tough commodity to find. We feel he has a chance to be an impactful offensive player," D-backs scouting director Ray Montgomery said.
Trahan certainly fills an organizational need. The D-backs recently signed catcher Miguel Montero to a five-year, $60 million contract extension, but there is little depth behind him. Doing their due diligence before signing Montero last week, general manager Kevin Towers found little he liked (or could get) in the free agent, trade or international catching markets.
"So the only way you are going to get it is to be able to take it in the in draft, and we felt Trahan was one of the top two catchers in the country," Towers said.
Trahan has signed a national letter of intent to attended Mississippi, but the D-backs believe they will be able to sign him based on conversations with the Trahan camp.
He was a two-sport athlete at Acadania High, playing quarterback and linebacker, and the D-backs believe that is an indication of his mental toughness.
"When you cross over sports, you get a sense of what a guy is able to do. He was a leader on the football field. You put that combined with his overall athletic package behind the plate, the bat being the key ..." Montgomery said.
Some scouts told Baseball America that they believe Trahan profiles best as a corner outfielder, but the D-backs plan to keep him behind the plate.
"The fact that he is athletic enough (he) could play another position, whether it be left field, I think it speaks to his athleticism," Montgomery said.
"First of all, he's strong. Physically he's mature. He's not your typical high school player where you are going to have to battle the physical aspect of it. He is a strong, powerfully compact, built kid. I think that helps. The swing itself is pretty pure. It has a chance to be above-average for sure. I think there is power to come."
Other observers believe he compares favorably to Braves All-Star catcher Brian McCann.
"You look at his body type-- he's big, strong and physical," Towers said. "He has loft to his swing like McCann does. We'd be elated if he becomes McCann."