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Arizona Diamondbacks Pre-Season Top 20 in Review

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Arizona Diamondbacks Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

1) Carlos Quentin, OF
Hit .301/.422/.520 with 21 homers, 72 walks, 71 strikeouts in 452 at-bats for Triple-A Tucson. Also stole nine bases in ten attempts. Good power, good plate discipline, low strikeout rate for a power hitter, polished in many ways. Still a premium prospect, no question.

2) Conor Jackson, OF-1B
Hit .354/.457/.553 at Tucson, with superb 69/32 BB/K ratio in 333 at-bats. Hit just .200/.303/.306 in 40 major league games, but he will do better than that with more consistent playing time. With Quentin and Jackson, the D-Backs have an offensive core with terrific potential.

3) Jon Zeringue, OF
Hit .241/.283/.342 in 126 games for Double-A Tennessee. VERY disappointing performance, with less power and much worse strike zone judgment than anticipated. Has time to recover, but his stock has dropped significantly.

4) Sergio Santos, SS
Hit .239/.288/.367 in 132 games for Tucson. Hit 12 homers, but all of his other numbers were weaker than expected, strike zone judgment being a particular problem. Like Zeringue, his stock has dropped.

5) Josh Kroeger, OF
Hit .261/.316/.422 for Tucson, with 14 homers, 36 walks, 108 strikeouts. Kroeger has good power from the left side, but is still an unrefined hitter in many ways, and will need additional time in the minors.

6) Chris Snyder, C
Hit .202/.297/.301 in 115 games for the Diamondbacks. They gave him a fair chance, but he didn't hit. Obviously must improve his offense to retain a job.

7) Tony Ramon Pena (Adriano Rosario), RHP
Made 25 starts for Tennessee, going 7-13, 4.43, with a 95/40 K/BB in 148 innings. Ratio set is unattractive. Throws strikes, but poor H/IP rate and fly ball tendencies are markers of caution.

8) Jamie D'Antona, 3B
Hit .249/.322/.385 for Tennessee in 125 games. Like Zeringue and Santos, he went backwards offensively, though in his case his plate discipline is not the main issue. Walk rate OK, strikeout rate OK, just didn't hit with the authority expected.

9) Garrett Mock, RHP
14-7, 4.18 in 174 innings at Class A Lancaster in the California League, 160/33 K/BB ratio. Gave up 202 hits but survived in a difficult environment. K/IP and K/BB marks are good, it will be interesting to see what he does in Double-A next year.

10) Ross Ohlendorf, RHP
Went 11-10, 4.53 in 157 innings for Class A South Bend in the Midwest League, 144/48 K/BB ratio. Good command and decent K/IP mark, but ERA and H/IP were not impressive for the Midwest League. Needs to make progress in 2006.

11) Bill Murphy, LHP
5.65 ERA in 21 starts for Tucson, 87/78 K/BB in 121 innings. His command has really slipped, which is deadly in the PCL. I liked him a lot a couple of years ago, but his prospect status is fading.

12) Enrique Gonzalez, RHP
11-8, 3.46 for Tennessee, with a 146/52 K/BB in 161 innings. Looks like a very solid pitching prospect to me.

13) Chris Carter, OF-1B
Combined for 31 homers, .296 average, and .377 OBP between Lancaster and Tennessee. Carter has a legitimately strong bat, with plus power and good plate discipline, but his glove is made of neutronium.

14) Justin Wechsler, RHP
Very weak season for Tennessee, 6.14 ERA in 56 innings, 43/26 K/BB, allowed 62 hits. He has a fastball/slider combo that is good enough for him to succeed, but his command is unreliable.

15) Adam Bass, RHP
5-10 at Tennessee, but with a 3.99 ERA and a 120/40 K/BB in 158 innings. Good control, but will have to show that his stuff will hold up against better hitters.

16) Carlos Gonzales, OF
Hit .307/.371/.489 with 18 homers for South Bend. A good season, Gonzales showing that he could use his tools on the field. Stock is rising.

17) A.J. Shappi, RHP
Split season between South Bend and Lancaster, going 16-7, 3.82 in 181 innings, with 115/35 K/BB. Won a lot of games and showed good command, but faces the Double-A test in '06. K/IP is not impressive.

18) Dustin Nippert, RHP
Fully recovered from Tommy John surgery, went 8-3, 2.38 in 18 starts for Tennessee, 97/42 K/BB in 117 innings. He was one of my favorites before he got hurt, and it looks like he's recovered about 95% of what he had before. A sleeper for '06.

19) Matt Chico, LHP
Went 8-9, 4.48 combined between Lancaster and Tennessee, though numbers in Double-A were rough (5.98 ERA in 10 starts). Gave up 75 hits in 53 innings in Double-A. Will have to do better than that in '06 to retain status.

20) Jason Bulger, RHP
3.54 ERA, 55/28 K/BB in 56 innings for Tucson. Throws hard, command still erratic but he held his own.

A mixed bag for Arizona fans this year. Jackson and Quentin thrived in Triple-A. Gonzales made major progress turning his tools into skills. Nippert was healthy. But several others failed to meet expectations. The future is still bright here, but several guys have considerable work to do before being ready to help.

Note that Stephen Drew wasn't on the pre-season list since he hadn't signed yet.