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Arizona Diamondbacks Top 20 Prospects for 2010

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Top 20 Arizona Diamondbacks Prospects for 2010

All grades are EXTREMELY PRELIMINARY and subject to change. Don't get too worried about exact rankings at this point, especially once you get beyond the Top 10. Grade C+/C guys are pretty interchangeable depending on what you want to emphasize. Complete reports on these and over 1,000 other players will be in the 2010 Baseball Prospect Book, now available for pre-order, shipping on February 2nd!

1) Jarrod Parker, RHP, Grade B-: Would be a B+/A- if not for Tommy John. My policy is to reduce the grade of anyone with TJ until we actually see how they recover. While not as risky as it used to be, it isn't a routine procedure by any means and not everyone recovers properly. That said, Parker is still Arizona's best prospect.

2) Bobby Borchering, 3B, Grade B-: Chipper Jones couldn't hit in rookie ball either. That said, his strike zone judgment was disturbingly bad at Missoula and there are still questions about his defense. Loads of potential but I'm going to be cautious until we get more data.

3) Brandon Allen, 1B, Grade B-: I like the guy, but he was probably overhyped this summer. I see him more as a productive slugger than a future All-Star. This is the same grade I gave him last year.

4) A.J. Pollock, OF, Grade B-: Good speed, good glove, average power. Like Allen, I can see him being a good regular but not a star.

5) Mike Belfiore, LHP, Grade B-: Intriguing combination of strikeouts and ground balls, and I like the athleticism as a former two-way college player. If it all comes together, could be a premier prospect a year from now.

6) Marc Krauss, OF, Grade B-: Very polished hitter who destroyed college pitching then hit .304 in the Midwest League. Not very toolsy, but he could move quickly through the system.

7) Ryan Wheeler, 1B, Grade B-: Loyola Marymount product crushed the Northwest League and looked great in late Midwest League action. Limited to first base defensively, but a year from now he could rank among the elite first base prospects in the game if he keeps hitting like this.

8) Chris Owings, SS, Grade C+: Scouts like him and he has better pure tools than Krauss or Wheeler, but doubts about his plate discipline and a possible move to second base knock his stock back slightly for me.

9) Cole Gillespie, OF, Grade C+: I don't know why this guy doesn't get more respect. He does a lot of things right...draws walks, has some power, can swipe a base, good defense at either corner.

10) Collin Cowgill, OF, Grade C+: Undersized outfielder, but like Gillespie he can do lot of different things on the field. . .has some pop, can steal, gets on base.

11) Matt Davidson, 3B, Grade C+: Overmatched in the Northwest League but he was very young for the level and scouts like his power potential. Will have to see how they fit Borchering and Davidson into the same lineup; I'm not sure either one of them can play third base long-term.

12) Wade Miley, LHP, Grade C+: Better prospect than his 4.00+ ERAs indicate. Gets grounders, decent strikeout rate, could break through with some minor adjustments.

13) David Nick, 2B, Grade C+: Another promising young hitter from the '09 draft, has some speed and pop, limited to second base.

14) Leyson Septimo, LHP, Grade C: Great arm from the left side, converted outfielder still working on his command.

15) Rusty Ryal, INF, Grade C: Older prospect age at 27, but if he gets enough playing time he could be a surprise factor in 2010.

16) Kevin Mulvey, RHP, Grade C: Stock has dropped, could be an inning-eater if he makes the rotation.

17) Bryan Augenstein, RHP, Grade C: Strike-throwing inning-eater type.

18) Barry Enright, RHP, Grade C: Strike-throwing inning-eater type.

19) Wes Roemer, RHP, Grade C: Strike-throwing inning-eater type.

20) Roque Mercedes, RHP, Grade C: Bullpen arm with good stuff, can he throw strikes?

OTHERS: (All Grade C): Scottie Allen, RHP; Keon Broxton, OF (great tools but very raw); Pedro Ciriaco, SS: Josh Collmenter, RHP; Kevin Eichhorn, RHP; Paul Goldschmidt, 1B; Trevor Harden, RHP; Matt Helm, 1B; John Hester, C; Zach Kroenke, LHP; Patrick McAnaney, LHP; Reynaldo Navarro, SS; Kyler Newby, RHP; Jordan Norberto, LHP; Rossmel Perez, C; Patrick schuster, LHP; Eric Smith, RHP; Dan Stange, RHP; Cedar Valdez, RHP.

You can take most of those Grade C guys and slot them in anywhere in the 14-20 range depending on what you want to emphasize. In this list I picked guys closer to the majors.

This system is obviously thin, although it could look much better a year from now if young hitters from the 2010 draft pan out as expected.

The only definite impact pitcher is Jarrod Parker, and until we know if he recovers from Tommy John successfully, I have to cut his grade back. After him, there is a large number of very similar strike-throwing inning-eater types. . Augenstein, Enright, Roemer, Mulvey, Collmenter, Harden, McAnaney, Valdez. Someone could emerge from that group but I don't know who. There are some relief arms with potential such as Mercedes, Septimo, and Stange, but all have command problems. Lefty Mike Belfiore from the 2009 draft has the potential to emerge as one of the better lefties in the minors in '10 and could separate himself from the pack once he gets more innings in. I also think Wade Miley could be pretty good.

Things look better on the hitting side, although even here there are some questions. Brandon Allen is the closest thing to being ready, but his major league time and Arizona Fall League struggles exposed some flaws. I think he's more a solid source of power than a future All-Star. Rusty Ryal is too old to be a premium prospect, but he could end up being a surprise in the majors this year. I like Cole Gillespie a lot as a sleeper prospect even if scouts don't seem to like him much.

The '09 draft brought in a bunch of intriguing hitting talent. Bobby Borchering has the best potential of the lot and looked like an awesome hitter in high school. He was pretty lousy in the Pioneer League (though he played better in the playoffs). We need to see more from him. Owings, Davidson, Nick, and Broxton all have strong potential but they also all have questionmarks. None of them are sure things by any means, and it is possible that most of them could bust. College hitters Krauss and Wheeler don't have the same physical upsides, but both had very strong debuts and could move through the system very quickly.

Overall, they really need to hope that the 2009 draft is as good as they say it is.