Vanderbilt University shortstop Dansby Swanson was chosen by the Arizona Diamondbacks as the first pick in the 2015 Major League Baseball draft, the first of three shortstops to go as the top selections.
Swanson, 22, a junior for the Commodores, was rated by both MLB.com and Baseball America as the No. 1 collegiate prospect in Monday’s draft.
Swanson hit a home run and a double Monday to lead Vanderbilt to a 4-2 win against Illinois and back into the College World Series, which the Commodores won last season with Swanson playing second base. Minutes later, he found out he had been selected as the top pick in the draft.
“This day definitely couldn’t have been scripted any better,” Swanson told reporters.
Swanson is the first college shortstop to be taken No. 1 overall in the draft since the San Diego Padres selected Brown University’s Bill Almon with the top pick in 1974.
“Major league shortstops are very difficult to find,” said Diamondbacks scouting director Deric Ladnier. “He’s got the character; he’s got the makeup; he’s a winner, all things that you want to build an organization with.”
The Houston Astros took shortstop Alex Bregman of Louisiana State with the second pick of the draft, and the Colorado Rockies chose Brendan Rodgers, a Florida high school shortstop, with the third selection.
The New York Yankees’ top pick was UCLA pitcher James Kaprielian at No. 16. The New York Mets took Florida high school outfielder Desmond Lindsay at No. 53.