Darian’s story has the potential to be one of the biggest and most intriguing of the 2017 season. He was originally drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 47th round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of Park University, a little-known NAIA school in Parkville, MO. At that time, “Baseball America” tabbed him as the “Fastest Player in the 2010 MLB Draft.” Darian led the league in Stolen Bases in both 2010 and 2011, however, the Royals released him during Spring Training in 2012.
From 2012 to 2017, Darian played for several teams in various independent leagues all over the country. During the course of those five seasons in independent ball he continued to display his blazing speed. In 2012, he set the Frontier League single-season Stolen Base record with 71 in 94 games. In 2016, he set the Pacific Association single-season Stolen Base record with 99 in 78 games. And for part of 2017, he led the American Association with 33 Stolen Bases in 48 games. In June of 2017, Darian’s pursuit of getting back to affiliated ball was realized when the Washington Nationals purchased his contract and immediately assigned him to their Double-A affiliate.
There is hope that Darian’s world-class speed and defensive abilities will be enough to get him promoted to the Nationals’ big league club in September. If that happens, it could prove to be the best baseball story of 2017.