- Full name Brandon S. Drury
- Born 08/21/1992 in Grants Pass, OR
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 230 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Grants Pass
- Debut 09/01/2015
Drafted in the 13th round (404th overall) by the Atlanta Braves in 2010.
View Draft ReportThe best high school position player in Oregon is Drury, a baseball rat who has a strong, athletic 6-foot-2 build. He keeps his hands back at the plate, shows bat speed and gets good backspin on balls. While he was a high school shortstop, he has below-average speed and will have to move to third base or the outfield as a pro. He has also committed to Oregon State, but scouts believe he is more motivated to play professionally.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Drury made it to the big leagues in his third season in the organization after being acquired in the January 2013 trade that sent Justin Upton to the Braves. He headed back to Double-A Mobile after a strong spring but got off to a slow start before earning a midseason promotion to Triple-A Reno and making his big league debut in September. Primarily a third baseman before 2015, Drury split time at both the hot corner and second base. He's a solid defender at third but lacks the quick feet to give him much range at second. Scouts believe he's good enough to handle the keystone in the big leagues. Regardless of where he winds up on the field, his bat will carry him. Drury has a short stroke and good bat-head awareness, with doubles power right now but the potential for 20 homers down the road. One scout chalked his early struggles up to overactive feet in the batter's box, which deprived Drury of a good hitting base. While he is a well below-average runner, he has the ability to slow down the game. With Jake Lamb and Chris Owings ahead of him on the big league depth chart, Drury may wind up back at Reno for more seasoning--but he's nearly ready.
Drury was the youngest among the five players acquired in the January 2013 blockbuster trade that sent outfielder Justin Upton to the Braves, but he may wind up providing Arizona's best return from the deal. The Oregon native was coming off a down 2012 season with the Braves' low Class A affiliate but has boosted his stock with two strong seasons in the Diamondbacks organization. Drury ranked third in the high Class A California League in doubles (35) in 2014 despite being promoted to Double-A Mobile in late July. He generates above-average power with his strength and good bat speed, and supporters believe he has the ingredients to be great hitter. He has a short, compact swing but struggles with good offspeed pitches. Drury is a well below-average runner, but his first-step quickness, good hands and strong, accurate arm project to make him at least an average defender at third base. He got some reps at second base during the Arizona Fall League and may have the tools and work ethic to become an average defender at the keystone. Added to the Diamondbacks' 40-man roster in November, Drury will return to Mobile for more seasoning in 2015, with a move to Triple-A Reno not far off. With Jake Lamb ahead of him on the third-base depth chart, Drury might meet the least resistance at second base.
Drury came off a subpar 2012 season in his first try at low Class A when the Braves included him in the seven-player trade that sent Justin Upton to Atlanta. He repeated the level in his first season as a Diamondback and was a much different ballplayer, leading the Midwest League in doubles (51), games (134) and extra-base hits (70) while also improving significantly on defense. When Drury was with the Braves, many scouts expected him to have to move off the hot corner, but he now looks to be a solid-average defender with good hands and an above-average arm that allows him to play deep. He has an excellent frame and good athleticism for the position. As a hitter, Drury showed average power, good plate discipline and a swing with leverage last season, and scouts believe he hasn't yet tapped into his full power potential. He stood taller in his stance, which helped him get extended more consistently. He's a well below-average runner. Drury will have to keep hitting because the Diamondbacks have depth at third base with Matt Davidson ahead of him on the prospect list and Jake Lamb ahead of him developmentally. Drury's next big test will be an assignment to the high Class A California League, where his bat should play even better in more hitter-friendly environments.
Drury blossomed at the plate in 2011, when he led the Appalachian League with 92 hits and narrowly missed winning the batting title with a .347 average. His quick, short stroke generated good backspin and he made consistent contact despite lacking patience at the plate. More advanced pitchers exploited his aggressiveness in 2012, particularly during the first half of the season. He started to figure things out after the all-star break, when he batted .279/.323/.407, but he's still going to have to tone down his approach. Drury gives away too many at-bats by chasing pitches, and he needs to wait for offerings he can drive if he's going to develop more than gap power. There's more pressure on his bat now that he's spending more time at first base. A shortstop in high school, Drury initially moved to third base as a pro. But his speed, range, arm strength and throwing accuracy are all below-average, and he saw more action at first base last year due to the presence of Kyle Kubitza at Rome. Drury will repeat low Class A to start the 2013 season, in hopes he can refine his approach at the plate.
Oregon's top high school position player in the 2010 draft, Drury signed for $85,000 as a 13th-rounder but hit just .198/.248/.292 in his pro debut. He looked like a different hitter in 2011, leading the Appalachian League with 92 hits and falling .0003 shy of the batting title. Drury employs a compact stroke while keeping his hands back and generating above-average bat speed. He excels at making contact--almost to a fault because he walked just six times in 63 games in 2011--and does a nice job of using the entire field. He gets good carry on his hits because of the backspin he generates, and his doubles could turn into homers as he adds more strength and experience. A shortstop in high school, Drury has made a smooth adjustment to third base. He displays average range with solid arm strength and good instincts at the hot corner. The only thing he doesn't do well is run, as he possesses below-average speed. His work ethic and makeup are considered major assets. Edward Salcedo is his competition to be Atlanta's third baseman of the future, and Drury may eventually win out because he's the better defender. He'll get his first taste of full-season ball at Rome in 2012.
Minor League Top Prospects
Drury finished 2014 with a 29-game trial at Mobile, and he returned to the SL this season, this time as a man with dual positions. The above-average defensive third baseman made a career-high 59 starts at second base between stops at Mobile and, following a late-June promotion, Triple-A Reno. The trend continued in the big leagues following a September callup. Rival managers admired Drury's presence at the plate, his bat-head awareness and line-drive stroke, agreeing that his bat will carry him to an everyday role in the majors. He makes frequent contact and will hit at least .280 in the majors. Though he has above-average raw power, Drury hit just three home runs while at Mobile, which at least one scout attributed to overactive feet in the batter's box that left him without a hitting base. He resolved the issue prior to moving up the ladder. Though some scouts project Drury to 20 home runs, he hit just five in the minors in 2015 and could find at-bats scarce at the hot corner unless he steps up his power production. He's playable at second base but lacks the quick feet common to the best defensive middle infielders.
The Braves included Drury in the package they sent to the Diamondbacks for Justin Upton in 2013. While he wasn't regarded as one of the key pieces in the deal at the time, Drury has developed into a solid prospect and made his major league debut in September. During his time in Triple-A, Drury showed the kind of hitting ability that has helped him rapidly rise through the minor leagues. He has a short, compact swing and generates good bat speed. He has good power potential, even though that manifested as doubles pop this year, even in the hitter friendly environment of Reno. He hit just two home runs and posted a .127 isolated slugging percentage in 63 games with the Aces. Drury primarily split his time between second and third base, and also started a few games at shortstop for the first time since 2010. He fits best at third base thanks to his strong arm and below-average speed, but he could become an average second baseman as well. Drury's offensive potential gives him a chance to become a regular, but he has the versatility to at least fill a utility role.
Cal League managers and scouts weren't in universal agreement on Drury, other than that he has solid power. He has the strength and bat speed to hit for extra bases, combined with a short swing that helps him hit balls hard to all fields. He finished tied for third in the league in doubles (35) despite being promoted to Double-A at the end of July, and he surpassed his previous career-high for homers on July 13, finishing with 23 at two levels. Playing in the Cal League might have messed with Drury's approach at times, but he settled in as the season progressed. However, his skeptics felt he was pitchable. He'd sit dead red at times and appeared to have trouble recognizing offspeed pitches, though he didn't strike out excessively. Some scouts worry about Drury's body type and range at third base, but he does have good hands and makes all the plays. He shows a solid arm and earns praise for his work ethic.
A part of the offseason Braves-Diamondbacks trade that sent Justin Upton to Atlanta, Drury did much better in his second chance at low Class A. He hit a meager .229/.270/.333 in 123 games at Rome in 2012. Drury has an excellent frame and good athleticism for third base. He projects to be an average defender who makes the routine play?he led MWL third basemen with a .959 fielding percentage. He plays deep because he trusts his above-average arm. Drury has a tick-above-average power thanks to a swing with some leverage, though that was somewhat masked by his home park?13 of 15 home runs came on the road. He showed a solid understanding of the strike zone and working counts. Some scouts worried about his ability to handle quality secondary stuff.
Drury fell to the 13th round of the 2010 draft, but the lure of pro ball proved too strong and he ultimately signed with the Braves for $85,000. Judging from the universal acclaim Drury received from managers and scouts, he made the right call. He led the league with 92 hits and hit safely in 25 of his final 26 games, barely losing the batting title to Bluefield's Kevin Pillar on the final day of season, .3475 to .3472. Evaluators believe Drury will continue to hit for average because he repeats a simple, quick swing, uses the whole field and turns around quality fastballs. He walked just six times in 63 games but he tempered that with one of the league's lowest strikeout rates. He could develop average power--his 23 doubles ranked second in the league--just by virtue of how often he squares up the ball. Drury played shortstop in high school despite well below-average speed. He made a successful switch to third base, where he offers average range and arm strength. Managers lauded Drury for his work ethic and makeup, which they believe enable him to get the most out of his tools.
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Defensive 3B in the California League in 2014
Background:: The top high school position player out of Oregon in the 2010 draft and an Oregon State commitment, Drury signed for $85,000 as a 13th-rounder and hit just .198/.248/.292 in his pro debut. He looked like a different hitter in 2011, leading the Rookie-level Appalachian League with 92 hits and falling .0003 shy of the batting title. Scouting Report: Drury employs a compact stroke while keeping his hands back and generating above-average bat speed. He excels at making contact--almost to a fault because he walked just six times in 63 games in 2011--and does a nice job of using the entire field. He gets good carry on his hits because of the backspin he generates, and his doubles could turn into homers as he adds strength and experience. A shortstop in high school, Drury has made a smooth adjustment to third base. He displays average range with solid arm strength and good instincts at the hot corner. The only thing he doesn't do well is run, as he possesses below-average speed. His work ethic and makeup are considered major assets. The Future: Edward Salcedo is his competition to be Atlanta's third baseman of the future, and Drury may eventually win out because he's the better defender. He will get his first taste of full-season ball at Rome in 2012.