D'backs Drawn To Loux By His Conviction In Fastball





PHOENIX—The Diamondbacks found a lot to like in Texas A&M righthander Barret Loux, making it easy for them to select him with the sixth overall pick in the draft.

Much it had to do with Loux's aggressiveness . . . and organizational need.

"A lot of college guys don't pitch inside. He will pitch inside," general manager Josh Byrnes said. "A lot of guys who strike a lot of guys out in college, it is because of the breaking ball. He strikes a lot of guys out other ways."

Loux, 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, predominately used a fastball/changeup mix to go 11-2, 2.60 for the Aggies, who were engaged in an NCAA regional contest with host Miami on draft day. Three days earlier, Loux threw 129 pitches while striking out 10 in eight innings of Texas A&M's 17-3 victory against Florida International in the regional opener.

"It was an interesting draft. This week of meetings, we bounced around a lot of ideas," Byrnes said, "but it got back to a guy who we believe is a major league starter. He's a big, strong guy. Through a long week, we kept it simple."

The D'backs also believe in Loux's ability to repeat a fluid delivery, one that helped him strike out 136 in 104 innings with a fastball in the 90-94 mph range. He walked 33 and held opponents to a .197 average.

"A lot of guys, the delivery is probably one of the first things you need to fix, or be wary of. With him, it is already in place," Byrnes said. "He's pretty polished. He's had a lot of success this year. We've seen guys get (to the big leagues) quickly. Performing and adapting to the workload are the big challenges for him."

Arizona traditionally has given its high-profile pitchers, such as Loux, time to recover after a stressful amateur season, in this case one that stretched into the postseason. So the righthander would not challenge for a big league rotation spot until late in the 2011 season, at the earliest.

Loux said it was an exciting, surprising day, if only because he was selected to high. Many had him pegged to go later in the first round or in the supplemental round.

"My name went off, and I got dog-piled by everybody in the weight room," Loux said. "I was surprised. I heard the rumor that it could happen. This is one of the biggest moments of my life."

SNAKE BITES

• Righthander Josh Collmenter was 6-1, 2.75 in 10 starts while pitching at three minor league levels, most recently settling at Double-A Mobile. A 15th-round pick from Central Michigan in 2007, he had struck out 56 batters while walking just 19 over 59 innings.

• Low Class A South Bend righthander Charles Brewer had given up four earned runs in his last 40 1/3 innings to rank second in the Midwest League with a 1.61 ERA. A 12th-round pick in 2009 from UCLA, he ranked third with 67 strikeouts.