It is a fait accompli at this point that Corbin Carroll will win the National League Rookie of the Year Award. The D-backs outfielder is one of the game’s brightest young stars and has had an almost seamless transition to the big leagues.
He just became the first rookie to post a 25-50 season in AL/NL history while slashing .285/.362/.506 with 25 homers and 54 steals this year. He’s hit another two homers and swiped a pair of bases while posting a 1.389 OPS through five games this postseason.
Thus, it’s easy to forget that he wasn’t the first pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. Nor was he the second. Or third. Or even selected in the Top 10.
But the D-backs saw something special in Carroll as they scouted him. They watched him play and succeed against high-level international competition. They knew how good his hit tool was, how fast he was and that his glovework was superb.
That spring, cheap mlb jerseys the D-backs got to know him off the field, too. And it was after a family dinner one night that they locked in on him as a target for their 16th overall selection.
“I think you become convinced when you walk out of those meetings or the dinners or whatever, that that player may or may not make it to the big leagues,” said D-backs senior vice president and assistant general manager Amiel Sawdaye. “But he’s going to reach his potential based on his makeup.”
Those traits the D-backs saw in Carroll then — that he’s a problem-solver, that rare player who can be a deep thinker but not an overthinker — helped expedite his climb through the Minors as Arizona’s top-ranked prospect and had the organization believing it had a future star around which it could build.
Those indefinable, intangible traits help talent turn into skills, and talented kids turn into great ballplayers. It’s Carroll’s dedication to the game, so intense that no one could keep him away from the park even when he was hurt. It’s his love for the game, that goes back to a childhood idolization of Ichiro Suzuki. It’s the person, not the ballplayer.
And it all starts at home.