Greinke will have effect on D-backs draft

BY Chris Gabel • June 9, 2016

PHOENIX -- The Diamondbacks do not have a first-round pick in this year's MLB Draft; they forfeited it when they signed Zack Greinke in the offseason.

The least Greinke could do then, between throwing gems of late, is offer a take on players the D-backs could possibly select then next three days, right?

"I'm very disappointed in Zack," said D-backs Director of Scouting Deric Ladnier, who drafted Greinke in 2002 while with the Royals. "I haven't received any text, calls or otherwise that he cares at all about what I'm doing this time of year."

Greinke has a fascination with the draft and scouting and projecting amateur players. He sat in draft-preparation meets with the Royals, Brewers and Dodgers when he was with those organizations.

"It's always interesting," Greinke said Wednesday morning. "People always get into the basketball draft and football draft, and I do too, but baseball is similar to that for me. I think it's interesting how people's bodies develop and skills develop, the progression."

But a new baby this year cut into Greinke's scouting time. He said he's only seen video of a small handful of the players expected to go in the first two rounds on Thursday.

"I'll give him a pass," Ladnier, who invited Greinke into the Royals draft room years ago, said.

Greinke and Ladnier took in one game together not far from the right-hander's offseason home in south Florida before spring training. They, along with Greinke's father, were there to look at a pair of high school pitchers.

Greinke called scouting amateur players a hobby -- "The guys who do it for a living get real detailed information" -- but he developed quite a reputation among scouts and scouting directors. That isn't to say he's nailed all his projections.

"The main mistakes I made were early, writing guys off," Greinke said. "I wrote off Prince Fielder because he is so big and (Dustin) Pedroia because he's so small. I don't do that anymore because you can't make a decision like that. Those guys are such good baseball players, so you have to see past that."

It is what Ladnier and his throng of scouts have been doing the past couple weeks in their war room at Salt River Fields. The D-backs' first selection is No. 39, a completive balance lottery pick between the first and second rounds.

It is a very different feeling than a year ago, when the D-backs had the No. 1 overall pick and took Vanderbilt shortstop Dansby Swanson.

"It is a very deep draft," Ladnier said, "more so than I've been a part of in the past. We're still going to get a premium-talented guy."

Without a first-round pick, Ladnier said the organization could take a "calculated risk" on a player with "greater upside" later in the draft and that more high school players likely will be selected after the D-backs went college-heavy last year.

"We're going to take the best-available guys," Ladnier said.

Rounds 3-10 are on Friday and Rounds 11-40 are Saturday.

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