Sentinel High and Missoula Maverick outfielder Ben Roberts was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the seventh round of the Major League Baseball amateur draft today. The D-backs, of course, are affiliated with our own Missoula Osprey, and discovered Roberts through a local tryout.
Roberts had been projected as a possible third-round pick, and is committed to play baseball at Washington State University. If he signs with Arizona instead, one would assume he'd be assigned to start his career with the hometown Osprey.
Baseball America notes that Roberts has been hindered by playing baseball (or, not playing, as the case may be) in Montana, but says he has the potential to be a complete center fielder. "He is still somewhat raw offensively and prone to the strikeout, but the tools are there for Roberts to succeed," the magazine says of the 6-4, 205 pounder.
“Physically, he’s got all the tools your looking for," Mavs manager Brent Hathaway tells Baseball America. "He’s got great size, great speed, good pop in his bat from the left side and more than an adequate arm. Baseball is a hard game, Benny’s still learning how to play it and he’s going to have to adjust to the college level. But he’s got the tools to do something special.”