A reader asked for an updated take on Arizona Diamondbacks rookie Brandon Drury, Drury does not officially have a spot on the 25-man roster just yet, but even if he begins the season in Triple-A he has a good chance to spend substantial time in the majors this year.
First, here's the pre-season comment on Drury from the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book.
Brandon Drury, 3B-2B, Arizona Diamondbacks
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-2 WT: 190 DOB: August 21, 1992
2012: Grade B-; 2013: Grade C; 2014: Grade B-; 2015: Grade B+
Known facts: Brandon Drury has a short line drive swing, makes contact readily, and has a decent eye despite a low walk rate. He has plenty of doubles power but is not much of a home run threat at this point, nor will he steal many bases. Drury is a very good defender at third base and held his own when given innings at second base last year, but lacks the range to play shortstop. The unknown: how much home run power will he develop? He’s certainly strong enough to hit homers but his swing doesn’t translate that strength into over-the-fence power consistently. That may or may not remain true as he gets older, and power development will determine if he becomes a long-term regular or "merely" a valuable role player. I tend to optimism here but that’s instinctive, not objective. Grade B.
Drury was extremely effective this spring, hitting .369/.408/.692 with four homers in 65 at-bats. I don't know if the spring power surge is a permanent thing or just a reflection of the oddness of spring training, but it is certainly clear that Drury has nothing left to prove in the minors given what he did at Reno last year (.331/.384/.458) combined with his performance this March. If he doesn't make the team it is due to roster issues, not lack of talent or performance on his part.
As noted, even if he goes back to Reno he'll be back in Arizona as soon as they need a bat. My basic opinion has not changed from the pre-season: he should hit for average, get on base at a good clip, and provide plenty of doubles. My instinct is that Drury will develop more home run power in time and the hot spring certainly does nothing to dissuade me from that instinct.
But I emphasize the word instinct here. Dan Farnsworth at Fangraphs understands swing mechanics better than I do and he is more skeptical about Drury's home run potential.
Overall, we can expect good batting averages, solid OBPs, and at least doubles power from Drury along with solid defense. The homers may or may not come. I think they will eventually, but I can't prove it.