Arizona Diamondbacks Top 20 Prospects for 2011
All grades are EXTREMELY PRELIMINARY and subject to change. Don't get too concerned about exact rankings at this point, especially once you get past the Top 10. Grade C+/C guys are pretty interchangeable depending on what you want to emphasize.
Feel free to critique the list, but use logic and reason rather than polemics to do to. The list and grades are a blending of present performance and long-term potential. Full reports on all of players can be found in the 2011 Baseball Prospect Book. We are now taking pre-orders. Order early and order often!
Arizona Diamondbacks Top 20 for 2011
1) Jarrod Parker, RHP, Grade B: My policy is to be cautious with grades following a serious injury until we see actual game performance, not just reports from instructional league. That said, Parker is still the best prospect in the system.
2) Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Grade B: I liked him a lot when the Angels drafted him, and I like him a lot now.
3) Matt Davidson, 3B, Grade B, borderline B-: Bat developed nicely this year, but glove at third is problematic. Where does he end up?
4) Chris Owings, SS, Grade B-: I don't like the low walk rate, but his other skills look good and I think he can remain at shortstop.
5) Wade Miley, LHP, Grade B-: Erratic in 2009 but better in 2010, could surprise in '11 if he maintains this progress improving his consistency.
6) Bobby Borchering, 3B, Grade B-: Fell behind Davidson with an okay-but-not-great year. Also has defensive doubts, but still quite young and could put up big numbers in Cal League.
7) Marc Krauss, OF, Grade B-: I like him more than some people, but his defense and lack of speed are legitimate issues.
8) Pat Corbin, LHP, Grade B-: Another intriguing lefty acquired from the Angels in the Haren deal. Will velocity pick up to match pitching skills?
9) Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Grade B-: California League power monster has strikeout issues that could prevent a good batting average/OBP at higher levels.
10) Charlie Brewer, RHP, Grade B-: Sleeper pitcher needs more attention, has excellent command of decent stuff, could be a huge surprise if Double-A transition is successful.
11) A.J. Pollock, OF, Grade B-: Injury mulligan for a player with across-the-board average tools and skills.
12) David Holmberg, LHP, Grade C+: Another trade acquisition lefty, could follow in footsteps of Skaggs and Corbin on this list next year.
13) J.R. Bradley, RHP, Grade C+: Projectable kid from 2010 draft.
14) Robbie Rowland, RHP, Grade C+: Projectable kid from 2010 draft.
15) Colin Cowgill, OF, Grade C+: Across-the-board skills would make him a great fourth outfielder.
16) Josh Collmenter, RHP, Grade C+: Throws strikes, changes speeds, could eat innings despite weak fastball.
17) Ryan Wheeler, 3B, Grade C+: A blah-season with the bat, did OK with the glove at third base, stick could still improve.
18) Chase Anderson, RHP, Grade C+: Another pitchability arm with good performance record that we need to see at a higher level.
19) Michael Belfiore, LHP, Grade C+: Somewhat disappointing season from '09 early pick, rebound is possible like Miley this year.
20) Adam Eaton, OF, Grade C+: Undersized 20th round pick has solid athleticism and tore up Pioneer League, but we need to see him at higher levels.
21) Kevin Munson, RHP, Grade C+: Intriguing relief arm could move quickly.
OTHERS OF NOTE: Scottie Allen, RHP; Keon Broxton, OF; Kevin Eichhorn, RHP; Tyler Green, RHP; Tyler Linton, OF; Wagner Mateo, OF; Raul Navarro, SS; Kyler Newby, RHP; David Nick, 2B; Rossmel Perez, C; Blake Perry, RHP; Wes Roemer, RHP; Bryan Shaw, RHP; Eric Smith, RHP; Matt Torra, RHP; Zach Walters, SS; Cody Wheeler, LHP; Bryan Woodall, RHP.
Arizona has an interesting group of bats, but the most impressive of them are going to slip the wrong way on the defensive spectrum: how will Davidson, Borchering, Goldschmidt, and Krauss all fit into the same major league lineup, assuming their bats develop properly?
The pitcher with the greatest upside is clearly Parker, though I am conservative on the grade until we see him in real games. If his command is back to pre-injury standards, he would move up to Grade B+, if not A-, pretty fast in 2011. Skaggs, Miley, Corbin, and Holmberg provide some left-handed balance to the mixture of pitchability (Brewer, Collmenter, Anderson) and upside (Rowland, Bradley, Perry, Green) right-handers.
Overall, there are some significant question-marks here, but the system isn't dry and could look much better a year from now pending the development of the younger prospects.