Top 47 Prospects: Arizona Diamondbacks

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
Rk Name Age Highest Level Position ETA FV
1 Kristian Robinson 18.9 A CF 2022 55
2 Daulton Varsho 23.4 AA C 2021 50
3 Alek Thomas 19.6 A+ CF 2022 50
4 Geraldo Perdomo 20.1 A+ SS 2021 50
5 Liover Peguero 18.9 A- SS 2022 50
6 Corbin Carroll 19.2 A- CF 2023 50
7 Corbin Martin 23.9 MLB RHP 2021 45+
8 J.B. Bukauskas 23.1 AA RHP 2020 45+
9 Blake Walston 18.4 A- LHP 2024 45+
10 Brennan Malone 19.2 A- RHP 2024 45+
11 Wilderd Patino 18.3 R CF 2023 45+
12 Jon Duplantier 25.4 MLB RHP 2020 45
13 Matt Tabor 21.3 A RHP 2022 45
14 Levi Kelly 20.5 A RHP 2022 40+
15 Drey Jameson 22.3 A- RHP 2022 40+
16 Luis Frias 21.5 A RHP 2021 40+
17 Andy Young 25.5 AAA 2B 2020 40+
18 Seth Beer 23.2 AA 1B 2021 40+
19 Justin Martinez 18.3 R RHP 2023 40+
20 Blaze Alexander 20.4 A SS 2023 40+
21 Tommy Henry 22.3 A- LHP 2023 40
22 Dominic Fletcher 22.2 A RF 2023 40
23 Jeferson Espinal 17.4 R CF 2025 40
24 Josh Green 24.2 AA RHP 2021 40
25 Taylor Widener 25.1 AAA RHP 2020 40
26 Ryne Nelson 21.8 A- RHP 2021 40
27 Pavin Smith 23.8 AA 1B 2021 40
28 Domingo Leyba 24.2 MLB 2B 2020 40
29 Jorge Barrosa 18.8 A- CF 2022 40
30 Buddy Kennedy 21.1 A 3B 2022 40
31 Alvin Guzman 18.1 R CF 2024 40
32 Jhosmer Alvarez 18.4 R RHP 2022 40
33 Drew Ellis 24.0 AA 3B 2021 40
34 Neyfy Castillo 18.7 R 1B 2022 40
35 Glenallen Hill Jr. 19.1 R 2B 2024 35+
36 Kevin Ginkel 25.7 MLB RHP 2020 35+
37 Junior Mieses 20.1 R RHP 2022 35+
38 Matt Peacock 25.7 AA RHP 2020 35+
39 Matt Mercer 23.2 A+ RHP 2022 35+
40 Conor Grammes 22.3 A- RHP 2023 35+
41 Eduardo Herrera 19.9 A- RHP 2023 35+
42 Jake McCarthy 22.3 A+ LF 2021 35+
43 Bobby Ay 22.5 R RHP 2023 35+
44 West Tunnell 26.0 AA RHP 2020 35+
45 Eduardo Diaz 22.3 A+ CF 2022 35+
46 Avery Short 18.7 A- LHP 2023 35+
47 Edinson Soto 23.2 R RHP 2022 35+
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55 FV Prospects

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Bahamas (ARI)
Age 18.9 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 55
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/50 60/70 45/60 60/55 45/50 60/60

Robinson’s physical composition and athleticism drove club interest and netted him the fourth largest bonus in the 2017 international free agent class. Even as a 17-year-old on Arizona’s backfields, he stood apart physically from rehabbing big leaguers several years his senior, and instantly attracted evaluators’ attention, like the gravitational pull of a very dense star. And star is apt because that’s the kind of projection Robinson’s tools allow for. Big, fast, and prone to generating thunderous contact, he’s more physically alike to young SEC pass catchers than most of the baseball-playing universe. But the background — a giant, Bahamian man-child without the showcase track record of most of his Dominican peers — meant the industry knew even less about how Robinson would handle pro pitching than it did the average J2 prospect. After some initial inconsistencies, Robinson has not only quelled those concerns but also surpassed expectations, and in 2019 he clubbed his way from the Northwest League to full-season ball as an 18-year-old.

Robinson’s bat path lacks the lift necessary to produce in-game power on par with his raw, but the foundation of his swing is sound, with nothing too complicated despite Robinson’s size. He’s already hitting 50% of his balls in play with an exit velo of 95 mph or more, which is up in Joey Gallo/Nelson Cruz territory, it’s just often low-lying contact. Robinson’s fast enough to continue being developed in center field, but there’s a good chance he ends up on a big league roster with a superior defender who kicks him to right. His ceiling, that of a 35 homer force who can play a passable center, hasn’t changed since he first began appearing on the electronic pages of FanGraphs; his progress is just evidence that such a future is becoming more likely.

50 FV Prospects

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from Wisconsin-Milwaukee (ARI)
Age 23.4 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr L / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/55 50/50 40/45 60/60 40/45 45/45

Varsho presents us, and other evaluators with anticipatory tendencies, with a bit of a conundrum. While we expect that future changes to the way balls and strikes are called (i.e. an electronic strike zones) will make it so below-average receivers like Varsho can catch quite comfortably, it’s also going to raise the offensive bar at the position in a way that alters how we think about catchers generally. Once framing became quantifiable, the average wRC+ at catcher went from about 93 down into the mid-80s. If that skill becomes moot, catcher offense will certainly rise.

Varsho’s case is unique, as is his skillset for the position. He’s a plus runner who might steal 30 bases at peak, a contact-oriented, gap-to-gap hitter with catalytic qualities found in old school one and two-hole hitters. How much of that spark erodes if Varsho is asked to take a beating behind the dish one hundred times a summer? Probably some, and when paired with his defensive shortcomings — he has a fringe arm, trouble catching balls cleanly, especially toward the bottom of the zone, and at times struggles to block breaking stuff in the dirt — there are suddenly several reasons to limit his catching reps and deploy him in left field, or perhaps try to hide him at second base. Varsho seems motivated to catch and he’s both quite athletic and highly competitive, two things that often help prospects carve paths to unlikely big league outcomes. So while we think it’s becoming less likely that he will be an everyday catcher, we’re still in on his offensive ability, makeup, and rare collection of skills, and remain intrigued by the proposition (and growing likelihood) that he’ll be a dynamic, multi-positional player who catches once in a while.

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2018 from Mount Carmel HS (IL) (ARI)
Age 19.6 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr L / L FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/60 50/50 40/50 60/60 50/55 40/40

All of the left-handed hitters at the 2019 Futures Game had some help from the wind blowing out toward Progressive Field’s right field bleachers, but even with that aid, Thomas’ batting practice in Cleveland was surprising. He was about a year removed from falling to the 2018 draft’s second round in part because his stature didn’t allow for traditional, frame-based power projection, but he’s very strong for his size (Thomas’ dad is the White Sox strength and conditioning coach) and already has average raw at age 19. He’s well-conditioned, but short, built narrowly, and likely to max out with a frame (and skill set) similar to Brett Gardner‘s.

He lets balls travel deep into the hitting zone and sprays hard contact all over the field — about half of his extra-base hits were stuck to the opposite field last year, many of them doubles sliced into the left field corner. An unchanged approach to contact would likely result in limited over-the-fence power, but Thomas is fleet of foot and either projects in center field or, due to arm strength, as a plus-plus left fielder, which takes some pressure off the offense. There’s some tweener/fourth outfielder risk here but Thomas now has a four-year track record of hitting against pitching that is often older than he is, beginning with his performance on the showcase circuit as an underclassman and ending with an aggressive promotion to Hi-A toward the end of 2019. It’s pretty amazing that an undersized, young-for-the-class hitter from a cold-weather location has moved this quickly without a hiccup, and we’re inclined to believe Thomas will keep hitting and eventually become an everyday big leaguer.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (ARI)
Age 20.1 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 184 Bat / Thr S / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/55 45/50 30/45 55/55 45/55 55/55

At the lowest levels of the minors, it’s hard to tell if a ball/strike recognition prodigy is real or not because the opposing pitchers are often just incompetent strike-throwers. Perdomo’s 2019 exposure to full-season pitching put to rest concerns that we were previously overrating his diagnostic abilities, as he continued to grind out tough at-bats against sentient pitching, and walk at a 14.5% clip at Low-A Kane County before his August promotion to Hi-A. So confident is Perdomo in his notion of the strike zone that, after taking a looking strike three during Fall League, he flipped off the TrackMan unit calling balls at Salt River Fields.

That skill combined with Perdomo’s bat-to-ball ability from the left side (his right-handed swing is bad) and his elegant shortstop defense, gave him a promising foundation of skills as a teenager on the backfields. Then, the juice started to come. Perdomo’s exit velos climbed throughout 2019. He averaged about 80 mph off the bat at Low-A, then about 82 mph after his promotion to Hi-A, and finally averaged 87 mph during a limited Fall League sample. His body has become more mature, and his left-handed swing has become more explosive and now features an overhead, helicopter finish similar to Miguel Andújar‘s. There’s still some room for improvement as it relates to the lower half usage in the swing, and it’s possible Perdomo scraps hitting right-handed altogether at some point. The skills/instincts foundation here is solid enough to project Perdomo as a low-end regular, and the burgeoning physical ability means he’s begun to look like quite a bit more than that.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (ARI)
Age 18.9 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr R / R FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/60 45/50 35/40 60/55 45/55 55/55

Aside from the semi-frequent body comps we issue to give readers a better idea of what a player looks like physically, we tend to shy away from making overall comparisons between prospects and current or former big leaguers unless it’s very apt. We have one here in Liover Peguero, who is a Jean Segura starter kit. His sloped shoulders, short torso, and the high, thick butt and thighs map to a slightly taller version of Segura. More significantly, like Segura, Peguero is remarkably short back to the baseball; his barrel enters the hitting zone in the blink of an eye, giving him an extra beat to decide whether or not to swing. It also makes it hard for pitchers to beat him with velocity, since he’s rarely late on anything and has quick enough hands to get on top of pitches near the top of the strike zone. He’s also remarkably strong in the hands and wrists for a teenager and is already producing average exit velos above the big league average, though Peguero cuts down at the ball and is currently groundball prone. His swing may get longer as his attack angle changes.

Perhaps the place where the Segura and Peguero Venn Diagram does not overlap is on the defensive end of things. Peguero is a plus athlete with above-average hands and arm strength, which could make him an above-average defender at short in time. If his lower half thickens and Peguero slows down, he’ll look more like Segura does now on defense.

Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from Lakeside HS (WA) (ARI)
Age 19.2 Height 5′ 10″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr L / L FV 50
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/60 45/50 30/50 70/70 50/60 55/55

Carroll was electric during his showcase summer, displaying consistent, high-quality, all-fields contact and, at times, surprising power. From a skills and present baseball acumen standpoint, he was perhaps the most polished high schooler in the whole class, but his sleight, narrow build slid him back behind more traditional-looking athletes, like Bobby Witt and CJ Abrams. Though he doesn’t seem inclined to turn on pitches and lift them with power, Carroll loudly squashed concerns about lacking physicality by hitting lasers all summer, first in the AZL, then later in the Northwest League. In addition to having plus pure speed, which will enable him to stay in center field and perhaps be an impact defender there, Carroll is also a sly, instinctive baserunner who presses action. The two unknown variables at this point are a) how Carroll’s lilliputian frame withstands the rigors of a long, full season and b) if the Diamondbacks will try to tweak his swing or approach to produce more power, since his measurable exit velos indicate he has a chance to hit for some.

45+ FV Prospects

7. Corbin Martin, RHP
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from Texas A&M (HOU)
Age 23.9 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 200 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 55/55 55/55 50/55 45/50 93-95 / 98

TrackMan-focused teams were all on Martin the summer after his sophomore year, as he was showing three data-friendly plus pitches and starter traits while he closed games on Cape Cod. Due to a deep veteran staff at Texas A&M and his own inconsistency, Martin only really pitched for part of one season as a starter while he was in college. A lot of teams thought he was just going to be a reliever. The Astros popped him in the second round of the 2017 draft, hoping to tease out the traits they saw on the Cape, and in the two years he was in the org, they did it. Martin was a top 100 prospect before his elbow blew out late last June.

Healthy Martin sits in the mid-90s, mixes in a hard, upper-80s slider, has an above-average power changeup, a more vertically-oriented curveball, and average command. He made too many mistakes during his short big league look in Houston last year and gave up a bunch of dingers, but we think he’ll get his pitch execution issues ironed out and attack hitters the way most Houston arms do: fastballs at the top of the zone, sliders off the plate to the glove side, and changeups and curveballs down. Martin was part of Arizona’s return for Zack Greinke. We’ve diluted his FV a bit because we worry the timing of his surgery will mean he misses most of 2020, though Martin is a premium athlete and animalistic competitor, and people in his current and former org expect him to crush his rehab and be back as soon as possible. If his stuff comes back, we’ll 50 him again.

Drafted: 1st Round, 2017 from North Carolina (HOU)
Age 23.1 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 196 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 60/70 60/60 35/40 93-96 / 98

Bukauskas took time off from pitching and got in the weight room as a high school underclassman, and emerged the following spring with four or five more ticks on his fastball. He then reclassified and was suddenly on track to graduate and be draft eligible a year early, meaning every decision-making amateur evaluator in the country had to get in quickly to see a pitcher who had all this new velocity but with whom scouts had very little history. Then Bukauskas asked not to be drafted (he was, but late, and didn’t sign) so he could go to North Carolina. After a middling freshman year, he was dominant as a sophomore and in the early part of his junior year before his stuff was depressed during North Carolina’s postseason games. That dip inflamed perviously held concerns that durability issues resulting from his size and a violent delivery might push Bukauskas to the bullpen.

A 2018 car accident, which caused a slipped disk in his thoracic spine, limited Bukauskas to about 60 innings in 2018, which left questions about his ability to start unanswered. He was electric when he returned, though, and became increasingly dominant towards the end of the summer before his stuff was seen by the entire industry in the Arizona Fall League. He flashed 70-grade changeups and sliders on occasion, bumped 98, and has added a cutter, which it appears he has since scrapped. He was wild in 2019 and it’s becoming more likely that he winds up in the bullpen, though we think he could be positively dominant in that role.

Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from New Hanover HS (NC) (ARI)
Age 18.4 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr L / L FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/55 55/65 45/55 40/55 88-92 / 93

Walston popped up pretty late, at a point in March when multiple clubs were sending in heat week after week to get some history. Some teams were out when they got multiple outings where he was mostly 84-89, while others are still hot on his trail. We saw him late when he was opening 90-93, cruising 88-91, and reaching back for 93 when he needed it. Walston was young for the class, ultra projectable, an above average athlete, and throws two versions of his curveball with the harder slurve flashing 65- or 70-grade when it’s on, while the slow one is a consistent 60. There’s feel for a changeup and command, and his fastball has life that enables it to compete for swings and misses in the zone even though it isn’t all that hard. Yet. He was up to 94 for Eric in the AZL after he signed. It will depend on how Walston develops physically, and how those gains counterbalance the coming full-season workload, but he has a chance to end up with three plus pitches and impact command. He’s as risky as any teenage pitching prospect, perhaps riskier when you consider those velocity fluctuations. One scout’s upward trajectory is another’s recency bias.

Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from IMG Academy HS (FL) (ARI)
Age 19.2 Height 6′ 5″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/60 50/55 50/55 40/50 40/50 92-96 / 99

Malone was on the scouting radar for awhile, standing out in North Carolina for his clean, quick arm speed and above-average breaking ball. For his draft year, he transferred to IMG Academy in Florida and took another step forward, reminiscent of how Touki Toussaint added feel elements to his profile in his draft year. Malone switched to a more controllable version of his breaker, a 55-grade slider that flashes 60 for some scouts and that he can dot anywhere. Malone hit 99 mph in his last outing of the spring in front of a lot of heat and sits in the mid-90s for full outings. His curveball and changeup are both about average, giving him a mid-rotation starter look, with the usual injury caveats for a power prep righty.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (ARI)
Age 18.3 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/45 45/55 30/50 60/60 45/55 60/60

Patino had originally agreed to a deal with Texas, but it was voided due to an elbow injury and he eventually landed with Arizona. Toolsy, physical, and built like Trevor Story, Patino has an exciting combination of speed and power, as well as promising ball/strike recognition. What he lacks 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.

Amateur scouts who picked up pro coverage the summer after the draft were in awe of Patino, who was the age of most of the players they had just spent a week discussing in the draft room but more physically gifted than all but a select few of them. A max-effort player with a fairly mature build, Patino may skip over short-season ball next year and head right to the Midwest League to be among athletes with more comparable physical ability, though that may mean he gets fewer reps in center because of Corbin Carroll’s presence there.

45 FV Prospects

Drafted: 3rd Round, 2016 from Rice (ARI)
Age 25.4 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 55/60 50/50 45/55 50/55 91-94 / 96

Duplantier had been injury-free since college (where 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 one of the better pitching prospects in the league. Despite the biceps issue, his velocity was fine in the fall, when he sat 93-96 and showed three good, clearly demarcated secondary pitches. Then 2019 came. Dup’s stuff was not as crisp during the spring, and he was shuttled back and forth between Triple-A and the big leagues several times; he had a shoulder issue in the middle of the summer and his stuff was down again later in the year. There’s a chance his stuff bounces back and he pitches like the 50 FV we thought he’d be last year, and there’s a chance those two-ish healthy years sandwiched by all the injuries are, in fact, the outliers.

13. Matt Tabor, RHP
Drafted: 3rd Round, 2017 from Milton Academy HS (MA) (ARI)
Age 21.3 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 45
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/50 50/55 55/60 35/50 90-93 / 94

We love how athletic Tabor is and how quickly each of his secondaries became good considering his Northeastern prep school background, but while some of our sources are inclined to continue projecting on his velocity because his build is still young-looking, we think two straight years of 90-93 (Tabor’s velo popped late in high school) makes it more likely the fastball settles here. He’s athletic, his arm slot creates rise on his fastball and bat-missing, vertical action on his breaking stuff, and Tabor has good changeup. We have him projected as a No. 4/5 starter.

40+ FV Prospects

14. Levi Kelly, RHP
Drafted: 8th Round, 2018 from IMG Academy HS (FL) (ARI)
Age 20.5 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Splitter Command Sits/Tops
45/50 60/70 45/55 35/45 90-94 / 96

Even though we saw him up to 96, we were not big fans of Kelly while he was in high school because he had a softer, maxed out frame and a stiff, violent delivery we believed would limit him to a relief role if his arm didn’t fall off first. Now, he has arguably the best physique in this system at a svelte 205, and was so dominant during minor league spring training that the org was compelled to send him to full season ball even though he was initially slated to hang back in Extended until short season leagues began after the draft. And Kelly delivered, striking out 126 hitters in 100 Low-A innings.

Often, a pitcher who remakes their physique will be rewarded with a jump in velocity. This is not the case with Kelly, who we still have averaging about 92 with his heater. What Kelly does have, is one of the better sliders in the minors, with a shape and bite similar to Brad Lidge’s diving bastard of a slider. Sometimes it comes out of Kelly’s hand high and arcs into the strike zone like a curveball; hitters still can’t touch it. Sometimes it backs up on Kelly and has changeup movement; doesn’t matter. When executed, it’s a big league out pitch right now. Kelly needs to refine his fastball command because it isn’t hard enough to live in the zone, and needs to live at the top of it. We think he’ll have to nibble with the heater and end up working too inefficiently to start, but we think he’ll be an excellent, multi-inning reliever.

15. Drey Jameson, RHP
Drafted: 1st Round, 2019 from Ball State (ARI)
Age 22.3 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/65 50/55 55/60 50/60 35/40 93-96 / 98

In front of a huge contingent of scouts, Jameson carved up Stanford in his first start of the 2019 season and was immediately on the map as a draft-eligible sophomore. His high-maintenance delivery is hard to repeat, but it also makes things awkward for hitters, who don’t typically see this kind of arm slot/release point. And from that release point emerges nasty stuff. Jameson will touch 98, manipulates the shape of two good breaking balls, and flashes an occasional plus changeup. The delivery may make it hard for him to start, and Jameson has a skinny, atypical frame. Some teams think he ends up in relief, but it may be in a multi-inning or high-leverage role, and he’s held velo deep into games as a starter so he may have a shot to stick.

16. Luis Frias, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (ARI)
Age 21.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Splitter Command Sits/Tops
60/65 45/50 45/50 50/55 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 was much better in 2019. All four pitches give hitters a vastly different look. Frias’ mid-90s fastball has tailing action and his curveball has vertical depth and eats up hitters who are cheating on velo, while the split has late bottom when it’s on, and the slider has horizontal, cutting action. The movement profile of his 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 or late-inning reliever.

17. Andy Young, 2B
Drafted: 37th Round, 2016 from Indiana State (STL)
Age 25.5 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/50 55/55 45/55 40/40 40/40 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 those 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.

This is our odds-on favorite to take up Wilmer Flores‘ mantle as the heavy-footed middle infield masher the D-backs turn to when they need runs late in games, or who they replace with a better defender when they need to prevent runs late. 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. Since being traded, he has seen time at shortstop, third base, and second; he projects as a 40 defender at all three spots.

18. Seth Beer, 1B
Drafted: 1st Round, 2018 from Clemson (HOU)
Age 23.2 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr L / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/40 60/60 40/55 20/20 30/40 45/45

We have a source who indicated to us that Beer’s exit velos have been slowly declining since his freshman year at Clemson, and that jives with reports of his overall athleticism and mobility, which have also been in decline since his historic freshman season. It’s an odd athletic trend for someone who was once a decorated amateur swimmer, since swimmers are always ultra sinewy and lean. It is common for baseball players whose bodies mature early to also start to decline early, at least in our anecdotal experience, and this is true of Beer, who was on the scouting radar very early as an old-for-his-grad-year (we really need a word for this) underclassman. Instead of reclassifying and entering the 2015 draft as an 18-year-old, Beer skipped his high school senior year completely and early-enrolled at Clemson. He went on to have one of the best freshman years in college baseball history: .369/.535/.700 with 18 homers, 62 walks, and 27 strikeouts.

In the few intervening years, Beer has continued to perform, his numbers slowly trending down as he reached his draft year at Clemson, then pro ball for a year with Houston before they shipped him to Arizona as part of the Zack Greinke trade. He’s now 23 and has a .294/.388/.508 career line in the minors. He reached Double-A in his first pro season. These are all good signs, and we’re almost certain Beer will be a solid big league role player relatively soon — we just can’t speak to what his shelf life will be and don’t think his ceiling is in the Rhys Hoskins/Pete Alonso realm at all.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (ARI)
Age 18.3 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/60 45/50 40/50 30/50 92-96 / 98

There was late-Spring backfield gossip that the D-backs had a hard-throwing righty in the DSL who we might see in Arizona before the summer was through. On the day before his 18th birthday, Martinez threw an inning of AZL ball and bumped 98 on the Chase Field gun. Perhaps more surprising than the velocity, which we had been primed to see, was how well Martinez executed his breaking ball over his next couple of outings. It’s only an average tweener breaking ball right now, but he consistently located it down and away from righties, enticing them to flail at it as it disappeared in the dirt. Eric saw some average changeups, as well. His fastball control is certainly raw, and while Martinez has a strong, projectable frame, his arm action is somewhat odd, with less external rotation going on than with most elite velo guys.

The D-backs need to work on getting Martinez behind the baseball so his fastball doesn’t have cut action (it’s not enough cut to be impactful, it’s just running into barrels, as you can see on our high speed video of Martinez) and instead has ride. That should come with time. Were Martinez draft-eligible, he’d go somewhere in the second round.

Drafted: 11th Round, 2018 from IMG Academy HS (FL) (ARI)
Age 20.4 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/40 50/55 20/45 45/40 45/50 80/80

Alexander fell out of the top 10 rounds of the 2018 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. At the time he was seen as 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. Pro scouts who saw Blaze in 2019 did not quite drop a 55 on the power (which is supported by his TrackMan data) and called him “streaky,” which they perceived to be caused by lapses in focus. He had a strong statistical season, played several positions well and showed an encouraging idea of the strike zone, so we’ve held over his FV from last year despite the dip in reports on the power.

40 FV Prospects

21. Tommy Henry, LHP
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2019 from Michigan (ARI)
Age 22.3 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/50 50/55 50/55 45/55 88-92 / 93

Henry was a strong follow for the 2019 draft, sitting 87-90 in 2018, but took a big step forward in his draft year, coming out of the gate at 89-92, touching 93 mph. Later in the spring, his velo tailed off and some teams moved on, but it came back right before the draft with a strong postseason look for the National Champion Wolverines. Henry was nearly 22 on draft day, so his velo dip was more concerning, but we’re told an injury was to blame. His style of pitching, with deception, great body control, and a high arm slot, fits what progressive clubs generally, and Arizona specifically, are looking for, with vertical movement on the four-seamer and 12-6 action on his curveball, which flashes above average when his arm speed is there. His changeup also flashed above average at times and one scout we spoke with thinks there’s room for another 10-15 pounds of muscle even at age 22, giving him a No. 3/4 starter workhorse profile if things work out.

Drafted: 2nd Round, 2019 from Arkansas (ARI)
Age 22.2 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 188 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/50 55/55 40/50 45/40 50/55 55/55

Fletcher was a tweener outfielder as a SoCal high school prospect. He matriculated to Arkansas, where he slowed down a bit but grew into more power than expected. He still has a slasher-style swing and he has some strikeout issues driven by a rather indiscriminate approach, but he has a chance to be the larger half of a corner outfield platoon.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (ARI)
Age 17.4 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/50 40/50 20/45 60/60 45/60 45/45

Espinal is built like a human sports car, chiseled and square-shouldered. He runs like one, too, and may be a plus defender in center field at peak. He has crude feel for slasher-style contact right now, and the way his style and quality of contact develop will dictate what kind of role he’s capable of playing. Right now, he swings and hits like a tweener, but he’s so young that his physical abilities, which are loud, matter much more at this stage. He’s a talented, long-term developmental piece.

24. Josh Green, RHP
Drafted: 14th Round, 2018 from Southeastern Louisiana (ARI)
Age 24.2 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
50/50 50/50 45/50 45/55 45/50 92-95 / 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. Last spring, Green’s stuff was up — touching 96 with big sink (he had a 67% GB%), and flashing plus secondaries — for a while before coming back to Earth during the summer after he returned from biceps tendinitis. He projects as a sinkerballing fifth starter.

Drafted: 12th Round, 2016 from South Carolina (NYY)
Age 25.1 Height 6′ 0″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Cutter Command Sits/Tops
40/40 45/45 55/55 50/50 50/55 89-94 / 96

Widener’s stuff was down across the board last year. Less velo, less spin. That, plus Reno’s hitting environment, plus the new Triple-A baseball, meant Widener went from being the minor league strikeout leader in 2018 to getting shelled in 2019 (his ERA was 8.10). His fastball has natural cut, which is something teams try to eliminate nowadays. It’s possible his fastball movement will change in a meaningful way, but for now we have him projected as a fifth starter.

26. Ryne Nelson, RHP
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2019 from Oregon (ARI)
Age 21.8 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 55/60 45/50 40/50 35/45 93-96 / 97

Nelson had injury issues and moved back and forth from the rotation to the bullpen at Oregon. In the ‘pen, he sits upper-90s with life and angle, and his breaking stuff has nasty, vertical action. Reports we have from amateur scouts, when compared to what we have from Nelson’s pro summer, indicate the D-backs are perhaps trying to tweak Nelson’s breaking ball in some way. This is a potential late-inning arm but we wouldn’t anticipate Nelson to come along quickly considering how raw he is due to a lack of reps.

27. Pavin Smith, 1B
Drafted: 1st Round, 2017 from Virginia (ARI)
Age 23.8 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr L / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
45/55 50/50 40/45 40/40 40/40 45/45

Smith has had elite strikeout-to-walk ratios dating back to college, but lacks the raw power and lift necessary to profile as an everyday first baseman. Last year, his body and mobility improved, which made him more playable in both outfield corners, and he had a strong offensive season in the Southern League, which is tough on offense. He now projects as a high-probability corner platoon role player.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2012 from Dominican Republic (DET)
Age 24.2 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 160 Bat / Thr S / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
55/60 40/40 30/30 45/45 45/50 50/50

There’s a chance Leyba hits enough to become a César Hernández type of low-end regular, and perhaps with his ability to play a passable shortstop, he’ll be something slightly better. But his injury history is lengthy (Arizona was granted a fourth option year on him due to injury), and he has a somewhat concerning lack of power. He’ll either hit enough to play everyday or he’ll need to start playing other positions to carve out a bench role. He’ll compete with Josh Rojas and Andy Young for playing time in the spring.

29. Jorge Barrosa, CF
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (ARI)
Age 18.8 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 155 Bat / Thr S / L FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
25/60 35/40 30/40 55/55 45/60 50/50

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 outfield type who can play all three spots, and it’s possible he develops an impact hit tool and finds a way to start somehow.

30. Buddy Kennedy, 3B
Drafted: 5th Round, 2017 from Millville HS (NJ) (ARI)
Age 21.1 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/55 50/55 35/50 35/30 35/40 50/50

He’s not especially athletic and has mobility issues at third base, but Kennedy can hit. He’s tough to beat in the zone and has strength-driven doubles power, which is probably what he’ll max out with since the cement on the body appears dry. He’s got a squatty, catcherly build and some of the industry wants to see him back there. Arizona seems inclined to try at least some defensive variation here, as evidenced by Kennedy’s handful of starts at second base. We couldn’t find anyone who’s seen him play there, but we suspect he’d have a better shot at catching.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (ARI)
Age 18.1 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/40 45/55 20/50 60/60 40/55 70/70

Reports from a couple of sources who saw Guzman in the DR during the summer were concerning. They described an elite athlete with an elite frame who had no idea how to hit, both from a swing efficacy and pitch recognition standpoint. That Guzman was passed over for a late-summer promotion to the U.S. is also telling. He’s too physically gifted to come off of entirely, but his first pro summer was erratic.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Venezuela (ARI)
Age 18.4 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 155 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Splitter Command Sits/Tops
50/55 40/45 55/70 35/40 92-96 / 98

There are some yellow flags here. Alvarez didn’t pitch much during the summer due to minor injury, his build is somewhat soft, and he has a violent delivery that creates significant relief risk. He also has promising arm strength for his age, a dandy splitter (with an average spin rate under 1,000 rpm), and he creates viable shape and depth on his breaking ball, though it’s clearly behind his split. He’s likely a long-term bullpen piece, but he could have two huge out-pitches if the velo ticks up out of the bullpen.

33. Drew Ellis, 3B
Drafted: 2nd Round, 2017 from Louisville (ARI)
Age 24.0 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 220 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
35/45 60/60 45/55 40/30 40/45 50/50

Ellis has a very quiet, easy swing but somehow still generates plus power. His near-elite walk rate belies what scouts and in-office sources have indicated to be middling pitch recognition, which sometimes causes him to mis-hit crushable pitches. This manifests as lots of awkward or checked swings, but Ellis doesn’t typically flail and whiff, and he’s 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.

Signed: July 2nd Period, 2017 from Dominican Republic (ARI)
Age 18.7 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 180 Bat / Thr R / R FV 40
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/45 50/60 35/60 45/40 40/50 45/45

This is probably a right-hitting first baseman in the end, and Castillo’s frame is not as projectable as his measurables might indicate, but he’s young, already has sizable raw thump, and is quite athletic for how big he is. He’s also shown all-fields, in-game power and has surprising straight-line speed for his size. He’s clearly a tier below the Luken Baker type of high school hitter (which would be a 40+ or 45 FV type of prospect), but better than the heavy-footed mashers who beat up on their smaller peers in the lower minors.

35+ FV Prospects

Drafted: 4th Round, 2019 from Santa Cruz HS (CA) (ARI)
Age 19.1 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr S / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
20/45 45/50 30/50 70/70 30/45 45/45

A tooled-up ball of clay, Hill needs to be sculpted by player development. He is ultra-twitchy, has plus bat speed and surprising opposite-field power, and can absolutely fly, but he’s raw as a hitter and defender. They’ll try him at second base but the outfield is a long-term possibility.

36. Kevin Ginkel, RHP
Drafted: 22th Round, 2016 from Arizona (ARI)
Age 25.7 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 210 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
60/60 60/60 55/55 40/40 92-96 / 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. His slider has sharp, vertical action and he’s pretty good at locating it down and to his glove side. He’s a likely long-term bullpen piece and he’d be a 40 FV if he weren’t already 26.

37. Junior Mieses, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Dominican Republic (ARI)
Age 20.1 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 170 Bat / Thr r / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Splitter Command Sits/Tops
45/55 45/50 45/55 35/45 90-93 / 95

Mieses displays impressive flexibility and rotation in his shoulder and upper back, which helps enable his fastball to peak in the mid-90s. His delivery has some stop and start elements that can disrupt his timing and release point, which creates reliever risk, but the three-pitch mix has projection commensurate with a No. 4/5 starter.

38. Matt Peacock, RHP
Drafted: 23th Round, 2017 from South Alabama (ARI)
Age 25.7 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 225 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Changeup Command Sits/Tops
55/55 45/45 40/45 45/45 89-93 / 94

Peacock has a heavy, low-90s sinker that has enabled him to generate a 68% groundball rate in 2019. 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 one 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.

39. Matt Mercer, RHP
Drafted: 5th Round, 2018 from Oregon (ARI)
Age 23.2 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 185 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
45/55 40/40 45/45 55/55 40/40 88-93 / 96

Mercer was a max-effort 94-97 in college, had scattershot fastball command, and a plus changeup. His velo was down in 2019 (we have him peaking at 96 but average 91-92) and neither of his two breaking balls is especially sharp, though they do have vertical action. We think he’s a Tyler Clippard-style changeup reliever so long as the velocity returns.

40. Conor Grammes, RHP
Drafted: 5th Round, 2019 from Xavier (ARI)
Age 22.3 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Changeup Command Sits/Tops
65/70 55/60 40/45 20/30 94-97 / 99

Grammes was a two-way player at Xavier (he has plus raw power) and we hope the focus on pitching will enable him to eventually have usable control. You could argue he has 20 control/command right now, and despite the electric quality of his stuff, he’s a long shot to be a big leaguer. But he was up to 99 in college and would flash an occasional 70-grade slider, so if things come together, he could be a bullpen monster.

41. Eduardo Herrera, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2016 from Venezuela (ARI)
Age 19.9 Height 5′ 9″ Weight 165 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Curveball Sits/Tops
60/70 45/50 94-96 / 97

In the last year or so the D-backs have tried more former position players on the mound than most all of the orgs we monitor in Arizona, and Herrera is one such player. He signed as a catcher, then quickly moved to third, and finally to the mound in his third pro season. His fastball was 94-97 almost immediately. The D-backs sent him right to the Northwest League despite erratic command and breaking ball quality. He’s a developmental relief prospect with premium arm strength.

Drafted: 1st Round, 2018 from Virginia (ARI)
Age 22.3 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr L / L FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/50 50/50 25/40 60/60 50/55 40/40

McCarthy has gone from a player whose pre-draft physical talent may have been masked by injury to someone who appears to be injury-prone. He was running well in the Fall League but the quality of his contact was still limited despite his return from a pair of summer injuries, and we think he lacks the thump to be a real platoon option. It’s possible he has some yet-to-come physicality, which is why he’s still on the list.

43. Bobby Ay, RHP
Drafted: 9th Round, 2019 from Cal Poly SLO (ARI)
Age 22.5 Height 6′ 3″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Command Sits/Tops
40/50 50/60 40/45 40/50 90-92 / 93

The physical manifestation of a Henry Winkler catchphrase, Ay is an interesting 2019 sleeper who missed almost all of his 2018 college season due to injury, and generally threw few innings in college. He has a fast, efficient arm action and can spin a breaking ball. He might break out on a pro development program.

44. West Tunnell, RHP
(ARI)
Age 26.0 Height 6′ 1″ Weight 195 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Command Sits/Tops
60/60 50/55 35/40 93-96 / 97

Tunnell played the middle infield at Baylor and didn’t step on a mound until after the D-backs signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2016. As you might expect, he’s raw for a 25-year old, but Tunnell has only recently developed real stuff. He was topping out at 92 mph during some of his 2018 outings, but now sits 93-96 with premium spin and a ball axis that creates vertical movement. He’s older, but might get a look in the big league bullpen sometime in 2020.

45. Eduardo Diaz, CF
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2015 from Dominican Republic (ARI)
Age 22.3 Height 6′ 2″ Weight 175 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit Raw Power Game Power Run Fielding Throw
30/40 50/55 30/50 55/55 40/50 60/60

Diaz has a collection of average tools that are undercut by a haphazard approach at the plate. The power output that made him rather intriguing back in 2017 now seems like a synthetic creation of the Pioneer League hitting environment.

46. Avery Short, LHP
Drafted: 12th Round, 2019 from Southport HS (IN) (ARI)
Age 18.7 Height 5′ 11″ Weight 205 Bat / Thr R / L FV 35+

Short is a relatively unprojectable pitchability lefty with a vertical arm slot. Based on some of the other pro and amateur acquisitions the D-backs have made, some combination of this type of arm slot, the spin direction it helps create, and the approach angle of the pitch seem to be important to them. Short got a $922,500 bonus to sign instead of heading to Louisville.

47. Edinson Soto, RHP
Signed: July 2nd Period, 2018 from Dominican Republic (ARI)
Age 23.2 Height 6′ 4″ Weight 190 Bat / Thr R / R FV 35+
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Fastball Slider Curveball Sits/Tops
50/55 45/55 50/55 92-95 / 96

2019 was the first year in pro ball for the 23-year-old Soto, and we don’t know why or where he came from. MiLB.com’s player page doesn’t even have his signing date in their transaction log. This is a pretty wild 23-year-old in the DSL, but Soto’s lean, athletic build, his arm strength, and his ability to spin a breaking ball are such that he needs to be on our radar, especially considering how little he has pitched.

Other Prospects of Note

Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category.

International Signees
Franyel Baez, OF
Diomede Sierra, LHP
Jose Curpa, CF
Leodany Perez, CF

Arizona’s international department has done a better job since the club’s regime change, and they’re pretty clearly attracted to a couple buckets of players. Baez was the club’s top 2019 signee at a cool million, and he’s the most likely of the Honorable Mentions to appear on the main section of the list if he looks good during extended. He’s a switch hitter with a tall, square-shouldered, wiry frame. Each of the club’s top July 2 prospects the last several years have had this kind of build. Curpa and Perez are tiny, 70 runners (at least, Curpa shows you 80 run times now and then) with some bat-to-ball ability, an archetype seen throughout the system, not just form the international pool (Thomas, Carroll, Barrosa, Espinal if you squint at the hit tool). Sierra is a loose, semi-projectable sinkerballer who we have up to 95, sitting 87-92 with slider feel after our notes on him as an amateur had him 88-90 up to 91. He’s got a traditional, three-quarters delivery, which makes him unlike most of the other arms in the system who are…

Vertical Arm Slot Guys
Junior Garcia, LHP
Emilio Vargas, RHP
Ryan Weiss, RHP
Yaramil Hiraldo, RHP

Based on the pitchers Arizona has acquired in the draft and via trade, it’s clear this org is on the vertical movement/approach angle bandwagon. Guys with more vertical arm slots are naturally a little better at creating something approaching pure backspin on their fastballs, and they often work at a tough angle near the top of the strike zone. Zac Gallen’s not on this list, but he’s another pitcher with a fastball spin axis similar to the ones listed here. There are others in the system, too. Tyler Mark, Jose Almonte, Bo Takahashi, and Mason McCullough are some other guys who’ve been on this section of a Diamondbacks list at some point in the recent past. Garcia now has three consecutive years of missing bats at a 30% clip out of the bullpen. His arm slot wanders a little but when he’s staying north/south, it’s tough to tell his fastball and breaking ball apart. Vargas is a Triple-A depth arm with a 40 fastball based on velo and a 45 fastball based on how it plays at the top of the zone. His secondary stuff is average. Weiss is a four-pitch (maybe five — there may be both a slider and cutter) strike-thrower with a trebuchet delivery. He also projects as an up/down arm. Hiraldo sits 91-94, touches 95, and he’ll flash an occasionally good changeup.

A Carrying Tool (or Weird Trait)
Tyler Holton, LHP
Stefan Crichton, RHP
Harrison Francis, RHP
Tristin English, 3B
Justin Lewis, RHP
Francis Martinez, 1B

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. His velo was still 86-90ish when he came back, but the secondaries are good and he can really pitch. Crichton is death to right-handed hitters — his fastball has Maine Coon tail on it. He may be up and down this year but his long-term role is cloudy if specialists go away due to new relief usage rules. Francis was hurt in 2019 but had one of the best changeups in the org before he went down. English was a two-way player at Georgia Tech. He’ll be run out as a third with big arm strength (duh) and some pop. Something may click now that he’s focused solely on hitting. Lewis is built like a construction crane at a long-limbed 6-foot-7, which creates weird angle on his pitches. He also has a good change. Martinez had one of the higher average exit velocities in the minors last year but his development has come at a glacial pace, and we’re skeptical of his 2019 stat line due to the PIO hitting environment.

System Overview

A few big trades and a monster draft class and suddenly, the Diamondbacks have one of the better farm systems in all of baseball. This system is deep and exciting, in part because so many of its key players are fresh faces in pro ball. Not only does Arizona show some clear patterns among the players they’ve acquired, but the Zac Gallen/Jazz Chisholm trade from the summer gives us an obvious indication of how the club thinks about weighing risk and upside on soon-to-be-40-man’d players. This was what looked like a rebuilding club making a buyer’s deal at the deadline, two if you count the Mike Leake trade. Even if Robbie Ray gets moved for players who Arizona can keep around for a while (we’d make the Yankees and the Twins the favorites), the team’s arguably in a position to buy considering how well they played last year, while several potential impact players (Souza, Weaver, Walker) are set to return. That probably won’t be done with prospect capital until next summer, if the D-backs are sure they’re in it.

We hoped you liked reading Top 47 Prospects: Arizona Diamondbacks by Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel!

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Kevin
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Kevin

Heck yeah!

Charles Bengal Tiger
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Charles Bengal Tiger

As Emeril would say, “Bam!”