Prospects in the Desert: It’s Not a Mirage by Marc Hulet July 5, 2010 There has been a lot of controversy in Arizona recently and, while I don’t necessarily agree with the direction of the big-league club, the organization boasts an exciting minor league system. The strength of the system actually comes as a result of an impressive 2009 draft haul – perhaps the best in recent memory in terms of overall depth. Let’s check in with some of the members of the ’09 class: 1st RND Bobby Borchering, 3B, Florida HS The club’s first pick has yet to truly get hot this season and is producing a triple-slash line of .248/.324/.388 in 286 overall at-bats. Borchering has actually been pretty consistent and has hit right around .250 in every month. The switch-hitter’s swing from the right side has been a little more potent this year, albeit in fewer at-bats. 1S Matt Davidson, 3B, California HS Davidson has shown a little more pop in his bat this season than his fellow hot-corner mate with a triple-slash line of .289/.374/.485 in 270 at-bats. Davidson began the year with a very aggressive approach, with just one walk in April, but he made adjustments and walked 13 times in May and 12 times in June. Unfortunately, the more patient approach has hurt his average: .354 in April, .265 in May, and .228 in June. 1S Chris Owings, SS, South Carolina HS Another aggressive hitter, Owings has just nine walks compared to 50 strikeouts. Overall, though, the approach has been successful to this point. He’s currently hitting .298/.323/.447 in 255 at-bats. Owings hit more than .300 in his debut in ’09. 1S Mike Belfiore, LHP, Boston College Belfiore had a nice debut in ’09 and he’s followed that up with a solid performance. Unfortunately, his ground-ball rate is not as good as it was in his debut and his control has slipped a bit, too, although it’s still solid. He looks like a solid No. 3 starter if he continues to develop on this path. 2. Eric Smith, RHP, University of Rhode Island Smith has been a workhorse, with 80 innings pitched so far this season. He’s given up 80 hits and 27 walks. He does a nice job of keeping the ball on the ground and has a respectable – but not flashy – strikeout rate. He looks like a potential No. 3 starter for the D-Backs. 2. Marc Krauss, OF, University of Ohio Krauss has been on the fast-track and currently has a .931 OPS in high-A ball. Overall, he’s hitting .327/.389/.541 in 303 at-bats. He shown some good pop but he also strikes out a lot (70 Ks). He’s been on fire recently and has 25 hits and seven homers in his last 10 games – good for a 1.654 OPS. 5. Ryan Wheeler, 1B, Loyola Marymount University Wheeler hit more than .350 in his debut in ’09 and he’s followed that up with a solid line of .285/.343/.409 in 330 at-bats. However, he has yet to tap into his raw power and has just six homers (but 21 doubles). After hitting .310 in April, Wheeler cooled to .234 in June. His power development will dictate his future potential. 8. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Texas State University Goldschmidt has shown massive power in the potent California League with 24 doubles and 18 homers. His overall approach, though, suggests he may face difficulties at higher levels. He’s walked 27 times with an eye-popping 90 strikeouts. Goldschmidt is also hitting just .194 with runners in scoring position. This draft class also includes a few other interesting names to monitor, including pitchers Patrick Schuster, and Scottie Allen, as well as outfielders Keon Broxton, and the injured A.J. Pollock, and infielder David Nick.