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.
|33||Glenallen Hill Jr.||19.4||R||2B||2024||35+|
Other Prospects of Note
Grouped by type and listed in order of preference within each category.
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…
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.
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.
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.