Top 32 Prospects: Arizona Diamondbacks by Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel May 28, 2019 Below is an analysis of the prospects in the farm system of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Scouting reports are compiled with information provided by industry sources as well as from our own (both Eric Longenhagen’s and Kiley McDaniel’s) observations. For more information on the 20-80 scouting scale by which all of our prospect content is governed you can click here. For further explanation of the merits and drawbacks of Future Value, read this. All of the numbered prospects here also appear on The Board, a new feature at the site that offers sortable scouting information for every organization. That can be found here. Top Prospects Team Lists 2019 2018 ALBALCHWHOUBOSCLELAANYYDETOAKTBRKCRSEATORMINTEX NLATLCHCARIMIACINCOLNYMMILLADPHIPITSDPWSNSTLSFG ALBALCHWHOUBOSCLELAANYYDETOAKTBRKCRSEATORMINTEX NLATLCHCARIMIACINCOLNYMMILLADPHIPITSDPWSNSTLSFG Diamondbacks Top Prospects Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV 1 Jazz Chisholm 21.3 AA SS 2022 55 2 Daulton Varsho 22.9 AA C 2021 50 3 Jon Duplantier 24.9 MLB RHP 2019 50 4 Taylor Widener 24.6 AAA RHP 2019 50 5 Kristian Robinson 18.5 R CF 2023 50 6 Geraldo Perdomo 19.6 A SS 2022 45+ 7 Alek Thomas 19.1 A CF 2022 45 8 Alvin Guzman 17.6 R CF 2024 45 9 Liover Peguero 18.4 R SS 2024 40+ 10 Matt Tabor 20.9 A RHP 2022 40+ 11 Blaze Alexander 20.0 A SS 2022 40+ 12 Jake McCarthy 21.8 A+ CF 2021 40+ 13 Domingo Leyba 23.7 AAA 2B 2019 40 14 Andy Young 25.0 AA 2B 2020 40 15 Wilderd Patino 17.9 R CF 2023 40 16 Luis Frias 21.0 A- RHP 2022 40 17 Josh Green 23.7 A+ RHP 2021 40 18 Taylor Clarke 26.0 MLB RHP 2019 40 19 Yoan Lopez 26.4 MLB RHP 2019 40 20 Drew Ellis 23.5 AA 3B 2021 40 21 Pavin Smith 23.3 AA 1B 2020 40 22 Eduardo Diaz 21.9 A CF 2022 40 23 Emilio Vargas 22.8 AA RHP 2020 40 24 Kevin Ginkel 25.2 AAA RHP 2019 40 25 Jhosmer Alvarez 17.9 R RHP 2023 35+ 26 Matt Mercer 22.7 A+ RHP 2022 35+ 27 Jackson Goddard 22.5 A RHP 2022 35+ 28 Jorge Barrosa 18.3 R CF 2023 35+ 29 Matt Peacock 25.3 AA RHP 2020 35+ 30 Ryan Weiss 22.5 A RHP 2021 35+ 31 Tyler Holton 23.0 R LHP 2022 35+ 32 Justin Lewis 23.7 A RHP 2021 35+ Reading Options Detail Level Data Only Full Position Filter All All C 1B 2B SS 3B OF LF CF RF LHP RHP 55 FV Prospects 1. Jazz Chisholm, SS Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Bahamas (ARI) Age 21.3 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr L / R FV 55 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/45 50/55 40/55 55/55 50/55 55/55 Few infielders in the minors have Jazz’s bat speed, and even fewer have his swagger and flare. Though his high-effort hacks detract from his ability to make contact, Chisholm has shocking power for someone his size. When he really cuts it loose (which is often), he rotates with a violence and explosion reminiscent of Javier Baez and, like Baez, Chisholm is a high-risk prospect whose all-or-nothing style of hitting might ultimately be his undoing. He has a one-note approach that mostly consists of him trying to ambush first-pitch fastballs. He’ll take some ugly swings when he’s cheating on a heater and instead gets something offspeed, though he has the bat control to put these balls in play if they’re near the zone. His strikeout rate (29% for his career) in undoubtedly a red flag, but because Chisholm is such a clean fit at shortstop (plus range, actions, and arm), he has some wiggle room on the offensive side, and shortstops with this kind of pop don’t exactly grow on trees. There’s star ceiling here, but also volcanic instability. 50 FV Prospects 2. Daulton Varsho, C Video Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from Wisconsin-Milwaukee (ARI) Age 22.9 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr L / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 35/55 50/50 40/45 55/55 40/45 45/45 The list of catchers with speed comparable to Varsho’s is pretty short. J.T. Realmuto and Jorge Alfaro are two current examples, but Varsho reaches a top speed faster than either of them, and is an actual threat to steal bases. He’s also a doubles machine with natural feel for gap-to-gap contact, and if soft liners trickle between outfielders, Varsho can turn those into hustle doubles. He remains a below-average receiver and often has trouble firmly squeezing balls in his glove, at times struggling to block breaking stuff in the dirt. Because Varsho is an above-average athlete, most scouts think these aspects of catching will become viable in time and that Varsho may just be behind in this regard due to his cold weather, small school background. His fringe arm strength plays up on scouts’ stopwatches because he’s very quick out of his crouch, so Dbacks games won’t turn into track meets with him behind the plate. He has a good chance to be an offensive-minded, everyday catcher. 3. Jon Duplantier, RHP Video Drafted: 3rd Round, 2016 from Rice (ARI) Age 24.9 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/60 55/60 50/50 45/55 50/55 91-96 / 97 Duplantier had been injury free since college (when he dealt with shoulder problems), until 2018, when he had hamstring issues in the spring, and biceps tendinitis later in the summer. The lost innings resulted in an Arizona Fall League stint, during which Duplantier was arguably the best non-Whitley pitching prospect who was a lock to start. Despite the biceps issue, his velocity was fine in the fall. Duplantier sits 93-96 and makes heavy use of three good secondary pitches. The horizontal action on his slider only plays away from righties, but the curveball and changeup will help mitigate some of those issues, as well as the platoon issues that may arise from Duplantier’s lower arm slot. 4. Taylor Widener, RHP Video Drafted: 12th Round, 2016 from South Carolina (NYY) Age 24.6 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops 60/60 50/55 50/55 50/55 50/55 90-94 / 96 He doesn’t throw especially hard but the baseball appears to explode out of Widener’s hand, and it often gets on hitters much quicker than they’re expecting. Acquired in that massive, three-team, Steven Souza deal, Widener is a curvaceous 6-foot righty with several above-average pitches and average command. Much of the industry thought he was a reliever coming out of college, but the Yankees and Dbacks bought in on Widener as a starter, and they appear to have been correct. 5. Kristian Robinson, CF Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Bahamas (ARI) Age 18.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/50 55/70 30/60 60/55 40/50 60/60 The 2018 extended spring rehab group at Salt River Fields often included Jake Lamb and Steven Souza. Robinson, still 17 at the time, was just as big as both of them and about as fast as Souza, who is a 60 runner underway. Robinson is a Bahamian man-child, built like an SEC wide receiver and about as fast once he really gets going. He performed fairly well in his first pro season and was pushed to the Pioneer League late in the summer. He has some swing and miss issues, and his bat path needs some work to get to all the power that’s coming, but the foundation for a combination of contact and power is present. It’s unlikely that Robinson stays in center field forever, and he may even need to move to right while he’s still in the minors, but the power that comes with all that good weight could approach the top of the scale. He’s a high risk, high upside teenage power-hitting prospect. 45+ FV Prospects 6. Geraldo Perdomo, SS Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (ARI) Age 19.6 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 184 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/55 45/50 20/40 60/55 45/55 55/55 Perdomo is among the most advanced switch-hitting teenagers on the planet, possessing innate feel for contact from both sides of the plate despite what can sometimes be an awkward-looking swing. As of list publication, he has a plus-plus walk rate over about 150 pro plate appearances, enough to be confident that he has value-adding feel for the strike zone. Not only that, but he is a potential 55 or 60 glove at short. Already procedurally advanced, Perdomo will likely get quicker and more explosive as his body matures, but his frame is not so large that he projects to third base; he’s a high-probability middle infielder. The quality of Perdomo’s contact may eventually result in power output beyond his raw grade; he’ll be a star if that happens. If not, a defensive asset at short with a plus bat and excellent ball/strike recognition is still an everyday player. 45 FV Prospects 7. Alek Thomas, CF Video Drafted: 2nd Round, 2018 from Mount Carmel HS (IL) (ARI) Age 19.1 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr L / L FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/55 40/45 20/40 60/60 50/55 40/40 Pre-draft questions about Thomas focused on his physicality, or lack thereof, despite his long track record of hitting against elite competition at amateur showcase events around the country. He’s well-conditioned, but short, built narrowly, and likely to max out with a frame similar to Brett Gardner’s. And Thomas projects to have a similar skillset. It’s rare that a high school hitter from Chicago is this polished, especially one as young as Thomas, who was barely 18 on draft day. He runs well enough to project in center field (though his reads from the corners are much better right now and he might just be a plus corner glove, also like Gardner), which makes the unenthusiastic, frame-based power projection less concerning. There’s some tweener fourth outfielder risk here because of the lack of power projection and potential move off of center field, but it’s reasonable to hope some combination of contact, on base ability, and defense make up for that and enable Thomas to be a regular. 8. Alvin Guzman, CF Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (ARI) Age 17.6 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/50 45/55 20/50 60/60 40/55 70/70 Signed for $1.85 million last July, Guzman has yet to set foot on a baseball field in the U.S., but he’s already one of the most exciting players in this system. He has a rare combination of speed, frame, and swing foundation, a triumvirate that gives Guzman a chance to be a five-tool star, something most prospects simply don’t have a chance to become. He has a loose, whippy swing that he doesn’t always control, and had among the best straightline speed in the 2018 July 2 class. The footspeed makes Guzman a rangy outfield defender and likely to stay in center. His hands have enough life in the box that he might do offensive damage, too. We have no data on important aspects of Guzman’s ultimate profile, making him as risky a prospect as he is skilled. He may not come stateside until this fall for instructional league, unless he so convincingly dominates the DSL that Arizona is compelled to promote him. 40+ FV Prospects 9. Liover Peguero, SS Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (ARI) Age 18.4 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/50 45/50 20/40 60/60 45/55 55/55 Teams with Extended Spring coverage in Arizona were split as to which of the two Dbacks shortstop prospects they preferred until Geraldo Perdomo separated himself with his summer performance. Some teams were early Peguero advocates, citing his age, superior athleticism, and a build comparable to a young Jean Segura’s. Like most of Arizona’s teenage shortstop prospects, Peguero earned a late-summer promotion with early-season performance, slashing .309/.356/.457 in the DSL. His swing is shorter than a mid-inning station identification and he takes good at-bats for someone his age, so there’s big ceiling on the hit tool if his timing at the plate improves. He’s also a rangy defender with a plus arm and at least average hands. He can go into the hole, backhand a ball, plant, and hose runners. The frame isn’t favorable for power projection, but Peguero’s hands are so quick that he might be able to pull and lift enough balls to actually produce some homers. His swing is not currently geared for that type of contact, though. Regardless, the bat and defensive ability is promising, as is the frame and athletic ability. He has everyday shortstop upside. 10. Matt Tabor, RHP Video Drafted: 3rd Round, 2017 from Milton Academy HS (MA) (ARI) Age 20.9 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 45/50 50/55 50/60 35/50 91-94 / 95 Tabor’s velocity seems to have plateaued after it exploded as his wiry frame filled out later in high school. He’s sitting in the low-90s, with a breaking ball and changeup that each flash above average. He’s athletic, his arm slot creates rise on his fastball and bat-missing, vertical action on his breaking stuff, and Tabor has unusually good feel for his changeup, especially for a northeast prep arm. It looks like he’s going to move along developmentally with the advanced teenagers from last year’s rookie-ball group. He’s the best long-term pitching prospect in this system, and has a chance to be a No. 4 starter if the velo finds another gear, more likely a No. 4/5 if it does not. 11. Blaze Alexander, SS Drafted: 11th Round, 2018 from IMG Academy HS (FL) (ARI) Age 20.0 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 20/40 50/55 20/45 45/40 45/50 80/80 Alexander fell out of the top 10 rounds of last year’s draft due to questions about his signability, hit tool, and age relative to his peers. He was almost 19 on draft day, which, combined with the strikeout issues, moved him way down the boards of teams who care about those variables, especially together. He ended up signing for a very reasonable $500,000, then hit .362 against AZL pitching and was eventually promoted to the Pioneer League. He’s an advanced defender with an 80 arm (the teams most bearish on his bat in high school wanted to see him on the mound) and above-average raw power, which Alexander’s pre-daft proponents insisted he’d get to despite the strikeouts. We don’t know much about the plate discipline aspect of the profile yet. The low end of the spectrum makes the offensive skillset read like Tim Beckham’s, but Alexander projects as a better defender. 12. Jake McCarthy, CF Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2018 from Virginia (ARI) Age 21.8 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40+ Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/50 50/50 25/40 60/60 45/50 40/40 McCarthy’s older brother Joe was a hyped prospect who slid on draft day due to a down spring stemming from a back issue. Jake also missed most of his draft spring, but with a broken wrist. He returned not long before the draft and did not look very good, and teams had mixed opinions about him on draft day. Some thought he just needed more time to get back to full strength and speed, while others were scared off by their post-injury looks, which were so bad that multiple scouts told us they thought he may have been better off sitting out rather than giving teams a bad look just before the draft. At his best, McCarthy shows at least average raw power, plus speed, some feel to hit, and is a center field fit. His swing is naturally geared for opposite field contact, which will likely cap his power output unless he undergoes a swing change. That will be less necessary if McCarthy stays in center field. Season-long failure to hit in the Cal League will leave us with more questions about McCarthy than we had entering the year, especially if his early-season struggles with strikeouts persist. 40 FV Prospects 13. Domingo Leyba, 2B Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2012 from Dominican Republic (DET) Age 23.7 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 50/55 40/40 30/35 45/45 45/50 50/50 There are lots of different ways to frame arguments about Leyba. On the one hand, he’s a switch-hitting middle infielder who has made lots of contact — Leyba is a .285 career hitter — over six pro seasons. On the other, he has been hurt a lot — shoulder surgery, most recently — and may be painted into too small a defensive corner to be rosterable if he doesn’t hit enough to be a regular. It’s important to be mindful of prospect fatigue creeping in here, as Leyba really broke out during the summer of 2014 when as a teenager, he hit a combined .323 in the Penn and Midwest Leagues. He was sent to Arizona as part of the three-way, Didi Gregorius-headlined trade that offseason, had a bad 2015 in the Cal League, bounced back in 2016, and has basically been hurt since. Because of Leyba’s size and lack of power, he has to keep making high-end rates of contact to profile as an everyday player. If he lacks sufficient arm strength for shortstop coming out of the shoulder surgery, it puts even more pressure on the hit tool, because a bench role is less feasible for someone without defensive versatility. 14. Andy Young, 2B Video Drafted: 37th Round, 2016 from Indiana State (STL) Age 25.0 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 40/50 55/55 45/55 40/40 40/45 50/50 Middle infielders with power are rare and yet Young, who is exactly that, somehow lasted until the 37th round of his draft and signed for just $3,000. This is the Cardinals’ archetypical draftee — a power-first prospect with questionable mobility. Collect enough of these and, through a combination of luck and good player development, some of them will turn into passable defenders and become solid big leaguers or tradable assets like Young, who was sent to Arizona in the Paul Goldschmidt deal. Though he does most of his damage on pitches on the inner half, Young has enough barrel control to spoil pitches away from him until he gets something he can square up. When Young connects, he does so with power. Buff and square-shouldered, Young’s physicality is a driving component of his power but it’s also why he’s somewhat limited defensively. Young has seen time at shortstop, third base, and left field as a pro but was mostly kept at second base in 2018. He should be a passable defender there, but his lack of defensive versatility could be a barrier to a call-up unless he hits enough to be an everyday player. He’s a realistic internal candidate to play the kind of role Wilmer Flores is currently playing on Arizona’s active roster. 15. Wilderd Patino, CF Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (ARI) Age 17.9 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 25/50 55/60 25/45 60/60 45/55 60/60 Toolsy and physical, Patino has an exciting combination of speed and power, as well as promising ball/strike recognition. What he appears to lack at this point is barrel control and a bat path that enables the power. Those are important components and may not be easy to fix, especially the bat control issue. But Patino’s ball/strike and breaking ball recognition could help mitigate those issues, and his ceiling (a high OBP center fielder with power) is lofty if they’re overcome. A max-effort player with a fairly mature build, Patino seems poised to have a strong statistical summer against AZL pitching and defenses, perhaps enough that he’ll see some Northwest League time late in the year. 16. Luis Frias, RHP Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (ARI) Age 21.0 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Splitter Command Sits/Tops 60/60 45/50 45/50 40/50 40/45 93-97 / 99 At times, Frias looks like a stiff, velo-only bullpen prospect. At others, he’s competing in or near the zone with four pitches, including a splitter that got much better over the winter. All four pitches give hitters a vastly different look. Frias’ mid-90s fastball has tailing action, his curveball has vertical depth and eats up hitters who are cheating on velo, the split has late bottom when it’s on, and the slider has horizontal, cutting action. The movement profile of Frias’ fastball may not be the best for missing bats, but it’s likely to be an impact pitch because of the velocity. He could end up with three average secondaries (there’s a chance the split becomes better than that) and enough strikes to start, making him a potential No. 4/5 starter. 17. Josh Green, RHP Video Drafted: 14th Round, 2018 from Southeastern Louisiana (ARI) Age 23.7 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/50 50/55 45/50 45/55 45/50 91-94 / 96 Green was a 14th round senior sign last year and like most senior signs, had 45/50 stuff in college. He was 90-94 with two average breaking balls and had little college experience because he didn’t move into the rotation until his senior season. This spring, however, Green’s stuff was up. He was 92-95, touching 96, and flashing plus secondary stuff including a good changeup. The Dbacks may have found something here, though there’s no way to be sure if the velo uptick will hold water or not. He has No. 4 starter stuff if it does, and some scouts with Dbacks coverage this spring prefered Green to several more high-profile arms in the system. He’s currently on the IL with biceps tendinitis. 18. Taylor Clarke, RHP Drafted: 3rd Round, 2015 from Charleston (ARI) Age 26.0 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Curveball Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops 50/50 50/50 50/50 50/50 50/55 91-94 / 95 Clarke has a four-pitch mix that plays in part because of big extension. He has feel for locating his cutter (glove side) and change (arm side) better than he does for his other pitches, but his fastball sneaks up on hitters because of the extension, so Clarke has command margin for error in the strike zone. He’s a low-variance fifth starter prospect who should see significant big league time this season. 19. Yoan Lopez, RHP Video Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Cuba (ARI) Age 26.4 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops 70/70 60/60 45/45 93-97 / 99 Lopez seems to have moved past a tumultuous first few chapters of his Dbacks tenure and settled into a seventh and eighth inning role. He blows upper-90s heat past hitters at the top of the zone and above it, and he generates flaccid swings at his slider when working away from righties. Once developed as a starter, the return of a third pitch might enable Lopez to be an elite reliever down the line, if he doesn’t already have high-leverage stuff. He’s under team control until 2025 and has unusually high trade value for a single-inning reliever, especially for teams unconcerned about his early issues. 20. Drew Ellis, 3B Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from Louisville (ARI) Age 23.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/45 60/60 30/55 40/30 40/45 50/50 Ellis has a very quiet, easy swing but somehow still generates plus power. He has middling pitch recognition, which sometimes causes him to mistime pitches. This manifests as lots of awkward or checked swings, but he doesn’t typically flail and whiff, and Ellis is strong enough that the contact has a chance to be meaningful even if he didn’t take a great cut. It’s a fair, power-over-hit corner profile that takes a hit if Ellis should ever need to move to first base. So far he’s been playable, but not impactful, at third. 21. Pavin Smith, 1B Video Drafted: 1st Round, 2017 from Virginia (ARI) Age 23.3 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 40/50 55/55 35/40 40/40 40/45 45/45 Smith struck out just 12 times as a college junior and had 25 more walks than strikeouts during his entire UVA tenure. Pre-draft questions about his ability to hit for power in games have proven to be pertinent. But Smith hits and he walks, so a relevant swing change, even one that sacrifices some contact, could lead to a breakout here. After some early-season statistical indicators that one might be occurring, Smith’s groundball rate has regressed to the mean. He’s a speculative low-end regular at first base. 22. Eduardo Diaz, CF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (ARI) Age 21.9 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw 30/40 50/55 30/50 55/55 40/50 60/60 After a strong 2017, Diaz spent 2018 injured (twice) and unproductive. His physical tools remain the same; Diaz runs and throws well, and has above-average bat speed and power. While some of his 2018 swoon was a result of injury and the offensive environment in the Midwest League, some of his issues were also swing-related. He has to take big, long, full-armed hacks to generate that bat speed, and so he lacks elegant feel for the barrel. He’s playing both outfield corners now, not center. It makes the hit tool problems more of a concern, but ultimately, this is a college-aged hitter with tools that come off the board fairly early on day two. 23. Emilio Vargas, RHP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2014 from Dominican Republic (ARI) Age 22.8 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 50/55 50/55 40/50 40/50 89-94 / 95 Vargas’ delivery has a cadence that hitters seem able to time, but it’s graceful, athletic, and repeatable. He has burgeoning control of No. 4/5 starter stuff, led by a two-plane breaking ball that Vargas can locate in the zone and beneath consistently. He’s well built, throws pretty hard, and has performed up through Double-A, and he’s now on the 40-man. There’s a chance he sees his first big league time this season. 24. Kevin Ginkel, RHP Drafted: 22th Round, 2016 from Arizona (ARI) Age 25.2 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40 Tool Grades (Present/Future) Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops 60/60 55/55 55/55 40/40 93-96 / 97 Ginkel’s velocity has exploded since college, and he now sits 93-96 with tough angle. He also has two good secondaries, a change and slider that both have late, downward movement. He’s a likely long-term bullpen piece. 35+ FV Prospects 25. Jhosmer Alvarez, RHP Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (ARI) Age 17.9 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 155 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Alvarez signed for $65,000 in 2017. Newly 18 and still fairly projectable, Alvarez has already touched 95 and is flashing a plus split. He has below-average breaking ball spin but sometimes creates good shape and depth on it. He’ll be measured against recently-drafted high school arms in this year’s AZL, and there are some pitchability and breaking ball questions that need answering, but the velo and splitter are promising. 26. Matt Mercer, RHP Video Drafted: 5th Round, 2018 from Oregon (ARI) Age 22.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Mercer was a max-effort 94-97 in college, had scattershot fastball command, and a plus changeup. His velo is down and neither of his two breaking balls has great movement. We think he’s a Tyler Clippard-style changeup reliever so long as the velocity returns. 27. Jackson Goddard, RHP Drafted: 3rd Round, 2018 from Kansas (ARI) Age 22.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Goddard was worked hard at Kansas, sometimes throwing around 120 pitches several starts in a row, and his velocity was down after last year’s draft. He’s a big-framed guy with average stuff that plays up due to extension and his fastball has life that competes in the strike zone. Realistically he’s a fifth or sixth starter but let’s see how the fastball plays and what happens to the velocity when Goddard is handled in a way that prioritizes development rather than winning Big 12 games. 28. Jorge Barrosa, CF Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (ARI) Age 18.3 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 155 Bat / Thr S / L FV 35+ Barrosa isn’t toolsy but he has good feel to hit from both sides of the plate and terrific defensive instincts in center field. He’s stout and not very projectable, but already looks like a potential bench out field type who can play all three spots and let you match up late in games. 29. Matt Peacock, RHP Drafted: 23th Round, 2017 from South Alabama (ARI) Age 25.3 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Peacock has a heavy, mid-90s sinker that has enabled him to generate a 78% groundball rate this year. His slider has a 2800 rpm spin rate but visual evaluations of that pitch put it closer to average. His changeup moves and tails, but is often easy to identify out of his hand due to altered release/arm speed. On some level, Peacock is a one-pitch 25-year-old, but on another he has a dominant, grounder-inducing fastball and his secondaries have some characteristics that may just need to be refined for one or both of them to be effective. 30. Ryan Weiss, RHP Drafted: 5th Round, 2018 from Wright State (ARI) Age 22.5 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Weiss is a four-pitch (maybe five — there may be both a slider and cutter) strike-thrower whose overhand, trebuchet delivery creates vertical action on most of his stuff. He may be a backend starter. 31. Tyler Holton, LHP Drafted: 9th Round, 2018 from Florida State (ARI) Age 23.0 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+ Holton blew out his elbow in his first 2018 start at Florida State and needed Tommy John. He was only throwing 87-90 before the injury but both his changeup and breaking ball were flashing plus. So long as his stuff comes back after surgery, he’ll probably carve the lower minors. There are some instances of velocity upticks coming out of Tommy John (Walker Buehler is a prominent recent example) and if Holton has one, he’ll rocket up this list. 32. Justin Lewis, RHP Drafted: 12th Round, 2018 from Kentucky (ARI) Age 23.7 Height 6′ 7″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+ Lewis got $125,000 in the 2018 12th round. He’s very tall, long, and is athletic for his size, and he has great changeup feel. He has below-average fastball velocity, but it plays up a few ticks because of extension, and Lewis doesn’t often make crushable mistakes. His slider is okay when it’s located, but the changeup is Lewis’ best swing and miss option against hitters of either handedness. He has sixth starter stuff on the surface, but there’s a chance that 6 or better command develops late (Lewis is already 23) because of Lewis’ size. If that happens, he’ll pitch in the back of a rotation. Other Prospects of Note Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category. Upper-Level Depth Types Tim Locastro, OF Kevin Cron, 1B Jamie Westbrook, LF Locastro would have been in the 40 FV tier on this list if he were still playing the infield. He’s a plus runner who can play all three outfield spots, he makes a lot of contact (career .290 pro hitter), and he gets hit by pitches in about 6% of his plate appearances, which is twice what is typical for the major’s active leaders like Shin-Soo Choo, and the recently retired Chase Utley. He’s 26 and looks like an up and down or fifth outfielder. Cron, also 26, has Quad-A first base-only traits but sometimes guys like this break out when they get a big league chance (Luke Voit, Jesus Aguilar, Christian Walker). Some sustain that success; others do not. Westbrook made a relevant swing change over 2017-2018 and went from a contact-only hitter to one with some relevant pop, just not enough to play left field everyday. Catchers, Including a Speculative One Buddy Kennedy, 3B Dominic Miroglio, C Andrew Yerzy, C Jose Herrera, C Ryan January, C Kennedy is really hitting as a 20-year-old in the Midwest League. His swing is handsy and weird, and we’re pretty skeptical about the bat (especially the game power aspect) despite Kennedy’s pro track record of hitting. Athletically, he’s not a lock to stay at third base. His bat would have the best chance of profiling at catcher and he has traits (plus arm, elite makeup) that make a conversion seem feasible. Miroglio has a plus arm and is a good receiver. He may be a backup. Yerzy has big power but probably ends up at first base. Herrera has been hurt a few times during his career, and he missed 50 games in 2018 due to a drug suspension, but he has had stretches of good offensive performance before and he’s hitting now, albeit as a 22-year-old repeating the Midwest League. He’s a switch-hitting sleeper with some warts. January has a nice lefty swing and plus bat speed, but he was left back in Extended and is now 22, a sign he’s behind Herrera on the org depth chart. Young Pitching Diomede Sierra, LHP Junior Mieses, RHP Junior Garcia, LHP Mack Lemiuex, LHP Levi Kelly, RHP Sierra, who shares a birthday with Butters Stotch, is a projectable, 17-year-old, low three-quarters lefty who was sitting 88-90 as an amateur and has some sweeping slider feel. Mieses has a long way to go as a strike thrower but he’s young, athletic, and will bump 96. His slurve is also promising. Garcia and Lemieux have good breaking balls, each averaging about 2700 rpm; Garcia throws a little harder. They need a way to get righties out with the new relief usage rules coming. Kelly throws the hardest of this group, often touching 96-97, but he’s a stiff, relief-only prospect for us. Guys with Changeups Harrison Francis, RHP Bo Takahashi, RHP Joey Krehbiel, RHP Ryan Atkinson, RHP Adrian Del Moral, RHP This is self-explanatory. Francis has the best combo of youth and projection in this group. You could argue Takahashi’s best secondary is his curveball, but the change is good. He’s a strike-throwing four-pitch guy who could be a spot starting, swingman type. Krehbiel and Atkinson are changeup-centric relievers who are close to the bigs. Del Moral is a 20-year-old pitchability prospect with four pitches, and is mostly 92-93 with the heater. System Overview Aside from the contingent of upper-level pitching (Duplantier, Widener, Clarke), this system is simmering with 17-20 year olds. It’s about to be even more flush with players in that age range, as the Dbacks prepare for what will almost certainly be a huge draft class. They have eight of the first 100 picks thanks to things like the Goldschmidt trade, the Patrick Corbin and A.J. Pollock free agent departures, and an unsigned first rounder from last year’s class (Matt McLain, who had a disappointing freshman season at UCLA), and it has been all hands on deck for the front office in preparation. Even members of the pro scouting department have been out at games this spring as the org prepares for what might be the most important single day for an individual franchise on this year’s baseball calendar. Arizona has been a pleasant, competitive surprise this season despite operating in semi-rebuild mode this past winter. During that time, they acquired players who aren’t “prospects” but who project to be part of the team when it’s truly contending again. Luke Weaver and Carson Kelly will be around for the next half decade, as will versatile uber-athlete, Ketel Marte. Their depth, especially on the pitching side, is now being stress-tested by injuries. Should it soon prove fatal to their record, trades of veteran performers like Adam Jones, Jarrod Dyson, Greg Holland, and Zack Greinke could add to the system, too. This could be a top five farm by the end of the summer if some of the youngest guys (Guzman, Perdomo, Robinson, etc.) improve and perform.