This is Brandon Drury, for better or worse: After a spring-training game this week, long after most of his Diamondbacks teammates had left for home, Drury grabbed a bat and bounded toward an outdoor cage, ready to get in a few more swings.
For better because it is in Drury’s nature to work, to want to improve, to care deeply about his performance. For worse because it is that same single-mindedness that has left coaches and team officials to wonder if Drury’s obsession with being a great baseball player might be self-defeating.
There might not be a more intriguing position player on the Diamondbacks roster. Drury is coming off what, by most accounts, was an impressive rookie season. But he had such electrifying stretches that it made 2016 feel like a mere scratching of the surface.
And yet, to no one’s surprise, Drury wasn’t satisfied.
“I didn’t think it was that good of a season,” he said. “I just got hot a couple of times.”
In some ways, he is right. He hit .350 for a 25-game stretch spanning mid-April to mid-May, then was hot again for the final six weeks, when he hit .362 in his final 35 games, including launching an opposite-field homer in his final at-bat of the season on Oct. 2. He hit .208 the rest of the season, finishing with a .282 average and 16 homers.
But those around the club found his year more impressive than he did.
To read more of Nick Piecoro’s story, click here.