Saturday, July 16, 2011

Arizona Diamondbacks Mid-Season Top 15 Prospects

This is my Top 15 prospects for the Arizona Diamondbacks here at the halfway point. This list WILL include 2011 draft picks that I think will sign. Stats are as of July 15, 2011.

1. Trevor Bauer, RHP - 13-2, 1.25 ERA, 136.2 IP, 73 H, 36 BB, 203 K (College)

The 2011 Golden Spikes award winner as the top collegiate player put up some gaudy stats this spring and shouldn't need too much work in the minors. I don't think he will be as instantaneously successful as Tim Lincecum was in the majors but the comparisons are fair. He should lead what looks to be a very talented pitching staff in a couple years for Arizona.

2. Jarrod Parker, RHP - 8-6, 4.22 ERA, 81 IP, 69 H, 40 BB, 69 K (AA)

Ignore the high walk totals. Some struggles should be expected after Tommy John surgery and Parker had a rough month of April. Yet he still has some of the most electrifying stuff in the minors and has dominated so far in July. At his best him and Bauer are interchangeable at the top spot on this list and D'Backs fans should expect Parker in Arizona at some point next year.

3. Tyler Skaggs, LHP - 5-6, 3.44 ERA, 104.2 IP, 89 H, 36 BB, 131 K (A+/AA)

I contemplated putting Skaggs at #2 as he has been absolutely filthy this year leading to a start at Chase Field in the Futures Game. His curveball is a true plus pitch and coupled with his aggressive presence and good command have propelled Skaggs to AA in his second full season. If he keeps this up he could join Parker in the Arizona rotation in 2012.

4. Archie Bradley, RHP - 12-1, 0.29 ERA, 71.1 IP, 33 H, 11 BB, 137 K (HS)

Big, athletic high school pitchers who throw in the high 90's and have a hammer curve are a rare commodity and the Diamondbacks are fortunate Bradley lasted to them. Now it is just a matter of getting the stud on the field, though it will take several millions of dollars to sway the righty from playing baseball and football for Oklahoma. As good a #4 prospects as is in any system in baseball.

5. Andrew Chafin, LHP - 9-1, 2.02 ERA, 89 IP, 59 H, 23 BB, 105 K (College)

Arizona's third pick in the 2011 Draft has had a phenomenal year after missing all of 2010 with Tommy John surgery. He has the potential to be a frontline starter with a fastball that tops out in the mid 90's and a strong slider. The supplemental pick is currently pitching in the Cape Cod League.

6. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B - 322 AB, .307/.430/.627, 27 HR, 82 RBI, 67 BB, 78 K, 7 SB 3 CS (AA)

Scouts have doubted Goldschmidt's ability ever since he was drafted in the 8th round out of Texas State. I still believe he will be a below-average defensive first baseman. But he has been one of the top hitters in the minors the past two years and was rewarded with a start in the Futures Game. Until he stops hitting you can't argue that Paul Goldschmidt isn't one of the best 1B prospects in baseball.

7. Matthew Davidson, 3B - 360 AB, .281/.347/.447, 10 HR, 70 RBI, 33 BB, 96 K, 0 SB 1 CS (A+)

The supplemental round pick in 2009 has been having a solid year and leads Visalia with 70 RBI. The low walk and high strikeout total are a little discouraging but Davidson is progressing nicely and is still ahead of fellow 2009 first-rounder Bobby Borchering on the 3B depth chart.

8. David Holmberg, LHP - 9-3, 2.58 ERA, 101.1 IP, 83 H, 19 BB, 99 K (A/A+)

Acquired from the White Sox for Edwin Jackson, the 19-year old is putting together a phenomenal year earning a promotion to Visalia. Not a hard thrower by any means, he has superb command and control and he does a good job of keeping hitters off balance with his secondary pitches.

9. Bobby Borchering, 3B - 355 AB, .265/.320/.465, 16 HR, 63 RBI, 27 BB, 108 K, 2 SB 1 CS (A+)

The switch-hitting 2009 first-rounder hasn't quite lived up to expectations although he is starting to show what kind of power he has in Visalia. As with Davidson the walk/strikeout ratio is frightening as is his defensive ability.

10. Anthony Meo, RHP - 10-3, 2.16 ERA, 108.1 IP, 91 H, 31 BB, 115 K (College)

The physical right-hander from Coastal Carolina has a power fastball/slider combo that baffled college hitters. With a below-average change-up I think Meo would be better off working out of the bullpen where he could be a shutdown closer.

11. A.J. Pollock, OF - 381 AB, .307/.358/.438, 5 HR, 54 RBI, 30 BB, 69 K, 22 SB 5 CS (AA)

He doesn't have a single outstanding tool but he does everything well and has been consistently good for Mobile. At the very least is a fourth outfielder but could be more if he continues to get the most out of his abilities.

12. Adam Eaton, OF - 298 AB, .329/.448/.487, 7 HR, 51 RBI, 46 BB, 53 K, 25 SB 10 CS (A+/AA)

A similar player to Pollock, Eaton has done nothing but succeed as a pro by being better than the sum of his parts. He just continues to hit and has showed good pop and above-average speed, earning a promotion to Mobile.

13. Patrick Corbin, LHP - 7-5, 3.87, 107 IP, 104 H, 21 BB, 97 K (AA)

The 21-year old lefty has shown advanced command of three solid pitches this year in a successful season at Mobile. He is fulfilling his potential as a #3 or 4 starter.

14. Chris Owings, SS - 336 AB, .253/.285/.393, 7 HR, 31 RBI, 11 BB, 87 K, 7 SB 4 CS (A+)

Owings has had an up and down season at Visalia showing above-average pop for a shortstop but with a terrible OBP and striking out too much. It remains to be seen whether he can be an above-average ML shortstop or just a middling minor leaguer.

15. Colin Cowgill, OF - 350 AB, .354/.430/.557, 12 HR, 59 RBI, 46 BB, 54 K, 26 SB 3 CS (AAA)

Tough to crack a ML outfield that has Justin Upton and Chris Young in it but Cowgill is making it hard for Arizona to ignore him. In the same mold as Pollock and Eaton, he is putting together his second consecutive successful year and should make at least a solid fourth outfielder.


Matt Jensen, 2B - 8 AB, .375/.444/.375, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 SB 0 CS (RK)

Although he struggled this spring with Cal Poly, Jensen was highly regarded out of high school and could turn into a strong offensive-minded 2B if he fulfills his potential.

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