BY: ED COLE
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Diamondbacks added another arm in the second round of the 2015 MLB Draft, selecting left-handed pitcher Alex Young with the 43rd overall pick.
In 16 games (15 starts) for the Horned Frogs, Young went 9-2 with a 2.31 ERA (23 ER in 89.2 IP) and 91 strikeouts. Young – who was named to the All-Big 12 First-Team – was rated by Baseball America as the 11th-best college pitcher and by MLB.com as the No. 18 overall pitcher heading into the draft.
Young spent the majority of his first two seasons (2013-14) in TCU’s bullpen. In 2013, Young was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American and was Second-Team All-Big 12 after going 7-4 with five saves and a 2.66 ERA (12 ER in 40.2 IP).
Diamondbacks’ scouting director Deric Ladnier says the team had to “sweat out” this selection, because left-handed pitchers coming out of good programs don’t normally last long in the draft. Fortunately for Arizona, Young did, and they got him.
“Big, strong, durable, average to slightly above average fastball, plus (a) slider, plus (a) feel for (a) changeup and command of the zone,” Ladnier said. “He is a guy we feel we can get in the system, and could quickly get through it.”
Ladnier says Young’s been on the Diamondbacks’ radar all year long. In fact, Young pitched in the Super Regional on Monday night against Texas A&M, and Arizona had personnel there checking him out. Young pitched 6.2 innings and allowed one run on six hits to go with 10 strikeouts.
“We made sure that we called the scouts, and made sure he (Young) walked off the mound with all of his limbs,” Ladnier said. “He’s fine, he’s healthy. (He) had a good night (and) we’re very pleased to get him.”
Ladnier says the team’s plan for Young is for him to be a starter, not a reliever, even though he has experience as one.
“If you wanted to maybe try to get him (Young) to the Big Leagues quicker, I guess you could, but our intention will be as a starter,” Ladnier said.