Insider | Short Hops | Love Letters
Their pasts are loaded with Baseball America Top Prospect-this and No. 1 draft choice-that.
Their presents are plagued with numbers lower than a bush-league bus ride, startling batting averages never before seen by most of these young studs -- .212 (shortstop Stephen Drew ), .229 (first baseman Conor Jackson), .140 (center fielder Chris Young).
|SS Stephen Drew is expected to become a star. (US Presswire)|
Snakes ready to win?
Or winners in the minors primed to become snakebit for a spell as they learn their way in the majors?
"Tough question to answer," says outfielder Carlos Quentin, Arizona's first-round pick (29th overall) in the 2003 draft. "Every team comes into the year with new parts and new pieces. ... You can't go into default and say we're young and still learning. We have the ability. (Team management) believes in us. It's early in the season to make that call, are we ready to win."
"When you see your average going down, down, down, it's all about fighting inner demons," says Jackson, Arizona's first-round pick (19th overall) in the 2003 draft.
The Diamondbacks were a trendy preseason pick in the NL West, what with all of these five-tool players and five-alarm plans.
But a season after jettisoning key veterans like Luis Gonzalez, Craig Counsell and Shawn Green, you also can ask the very legitimate question whether there are enough wise old hands remaining to lead these kids through the NL West swamps and out the other side of the 162-game jungle of a schedule.
In April, this is a team in search of an identity.
In August? September?
"If we don't think we can, we won't," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin says. "We don't have a track record at the big-league level. Do we have a lot of talent? Of course.
"But how it all plays out is yet to be seen."