Rookies on the 2011 Playoff Teams: Arizona Diamondbacks
Pitcher Josh Collmenter and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt were the big rookie contributors for Arizona in 2011, but other players made appearances too and could take larger roles in 2012.
Josh Collmenter, RHP: A 15th round pick out of Central Michigan in 2007, Collmenter was one of the biggest surprises of the 2011 season, going 10-10, 3.38 with a 100/28 K/BB in 154 innings and out-pitching many more-heralded rookies. He relies on a deceptive delivery and good command rather than plus stuff. Not everyone thinks he will have long-term success, but he definitely has a rotation spot locked down for 2012. Age 25.
Ryan Cook, RHP: A 27th round pick in 2008 from Southern Cal, Cook posted a 2.21 ERA with a 62/22 K/BB and 19 saves in 61 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, but gave up 11 hits and six runs in 7.2 major league innings. He relies on a fastball/slider mix. He isn't likely to close in the majors, but could be a competent middle reliever.
Collin Cowgill, OF: The 25-year-old Cowgill is a small guy at 5-9, 185, but there was nothing undersized about his bat in Triple-A, where he hit .354/.430/.554 with 30 steals and 51 walks in 395 at-bats for Reno. He hit .239/.300/.304 in 92 major league at-bats. A fifth-round pick in '08 from the University of Kentucky, he has the broad-base of skills that would look ideal for a fourth outfielder.
Cole Gillespie, OF: A 27-year-old originally drafted by the Brewers out of Oregon State (3rd round, 2008), Gillespie has nothing left to prove in the minors after hitting .300/.405/.479 with 81 walks and 24 steals in Triple-A. He went 2-for-6 in the majors with a home run, but it remains to be seen if he'll get a clear shot at a job next year.
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B: A masher drafted in the eighth round in 2009 from Texas State University, Goldschmidt hit .306/.435/.626 with 30 homers and 82 walks in 103 Double-A games, then hit .250/.333/.474 with eight homers, 20 walks, and 53 strikeouts in 156 major league at-bats. His power is obvious and he'll take a walk, although many scouts believe that his strikeout propensity will keep his batting average at mediocre levels. He is 24.
Wade Miley, LHP: A supplemental pick in 2008 from Southeastern Louisiana, Miley posted a 4.30 ERA with a 102/44 K/BB and a 1.72 GO/AO in 130 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. In the majors he went 4-2 in seven starts with a 25/18 K/BB in 40 innings and a 1.34 GO/AO. His fastball sits at 88-91 and he mixes in a cutter, slider, curve, and changeup. Sharper control would make him a solid fourth starter.
Jarrod Parker, RHP: Age 22, Parker made his major league debut with one start in late September, after going 11-8, 3.79 with a 112/55 K/BB in 131 innings for Double-A Mobile. Fully recovered from 2009 Tommy John surgery, he maxes out at 95-96 MPH, mixing in a slider and changeup. He still has some command wobbles, but will be in the rotation picture for 2012. The Diamondbacks see him as a future ace. He was a first round pick out of high school in Indiana in 2007.
Joe Paterson, LHP: Drafted by the Giants in the 10th round from Oregon State in 2007, Paterson was claimed by the D-backs in the Rule 5 draft last fall and spent all of 2011 in the bullpen, used in the LOOGY role. He posted a 2.91 ERA with a 28/15 K/BB in 34 innings, covering 62 games. Lefties hit just .198 against him and he can make a career in this role.
Bryan Shaw, RHP: A 24-year-old drafted in the second round out of Long Beach State in 2008, Shaw posted a 2.58 ERA with a 30/12 K/BB and 16 saves in 38 Double-A/Triple-A innings this year, then posted a 2.54 ERA with a 24/8 K/BB and a 2.29 GO/AO ratio in 28 major league innings. He has a 90-95 MPH power sinker and has taken very well to the relief role. He could close eventually.