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Arizona Diamondbacks Top 20 2012 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

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June 24, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Wade Miley (36) throws during the seventh inning against the Chicago Cubs at Chase Field. The Diamondbacks beat the Cubs 5-1.  Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE
June 24, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Wade Miley (36) throws during the seventh inning against the Chicago Cubs at Chase Field. The Diamondbacks beat the Cubs 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Arizona Diamondbacks Top 20 2012 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

Continuing with our reviews of the Top 20 pre-season prospect lists, we return to the National League with the Arizona Diamondback. Remember, this is a pre-season list. It is not a new list.

This list was originally published January 17, 2012.

The next team on the list is the Miami Marlins to finish up. After that, my next big project is a revision of the Top 120 list, to include 2012 draftees.

1) Trevor Bauer, RHP, Grade A: 11-1, 2.16 with a 125/53 K/BB in 104 innings between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno, just 87 hits allowed. In the majors, 1-2, 6.06 with a 17/13 K/BB in 16 innings. I think he will make the necessary adjustments for major league success.

2) Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Grade A-: 2.38 ERA with 112/35 K/BB in 117 innings between Mobile and Reno, 102 hits. Can't find anything to complain about here.

3) Archie Bradley, RHP, Grade A-: 10-5, 3.86 ERA with a 120/72 K/BB in 114 innings for Low-A South Bend, 69 hits, 1.77 GO/AO. His control wobbles at times but the K/IP and H/IP back up scouting reports of outstanding stuff.

4) Andrew Chafin, LHP, Grade B: 5.49 ERA with a 120/53 K/BB in 95 innings for High-A Visalia, 92 hits, 2.12 GO/AO. Another guy with excellent dominance stats but too many walks.

5) Patrick Corbin, LHP, Grade B-: Borderline B. 2.84 ERA with 80/23 K/BB in 79 innings for Mobile and Reno, 3.53 ERA with 42/18 K/BB in 51 major league innings, 48 hits. Major league performance isn't a fluke.

6) A.J. Pollock, OF, Grade B-: .338/.383/.431 with 25 walks, 45 strikeouts, 18 steals in 343 at-bats for Reno, hit .245/.288/.340 in 53 major league at-bats. He has some skills but it remains an open question on if he'll show enough power to start regularly.

7) Matt Davidson, 3B-1B, Grade B-: .265/.371/.480 with 20 homers, 58 walks, 104 strikeouts in 408 at-bats for Mobile. Impressive power, draws walks, has reduced his strikeout rate although it is still high. Don't expect batting average but he's coming along well overall.

8) Bryan Shaw, RHP, Grade B-: 4.26 ERA with 29/15 K/BB in 38 major league innings, 41 hits, 1.82 GO/AO. I think he can and will do better than this.

9) Adam Eaton, OF, Grade B-: .382/.457/.549 with 46 walks, 60 strikeouts, 34 steals in 421 at-bats for Reno. He doesn't have anything left to prove here.

10) David Holmberg, LHP, Grade B-: 2.99 ERA, 86/14 K/BB in 78 innings for Visalia, 3.68 ERA with a 51/17 K/BB in 71 innings, 81 hits for Mobile. Some Double-A adjustment issues but has held his own overall, still just 21.

11) Anthony Meo, RHP, Grade B-: 3.43 ERA with 123/57 K/BB in 115 innings for Visalia, 107 hits. Still uncertain if he starts or relieves in the majors but no reason to change his role right now, he's done well.

12) Bobby Borchering, OF-1B-3B, Grade C+: Traded to Houston Astros. Hitting .251/.317/.483 with 23 homers, 36 walks, and 134 strikeouts in 414 at-bats between High-A and Double-A. Power continues to stand out, but strikes out a lot and is often impatient.

13) Wade Miley, LHP, Grade C+: 12-7, 2.85 ERA with a 97/25 K/BB in 133 innings in the majors, 119 hits. I liked him pre-season but this was a lot more than I expected; he's been one of the top pitchers in the National League.

14) Ryan Wheeler, 3B-1B-OF, Grade C+: .351/.388/.572 with 26 walks, 67 strikeouts, 15 homers in 362 at-bats for Reno. 4-for-20 with a double in the majors. Nothing special with the glove but left-handed hitters with pop who can play multiple positions adequately find roster spots.

15) Chris Owings, SS, Grade C+: .324/.362/.544 with 13 walks, 63 strikeouts in 241 at-bats for Visalia, .263/.291/.379 with seven walks, 44 strikeouts in 198 at-bats for Mobile. It's testimony to his raw talent that he can be dangerous even with such poor plate discipline. Defense has been very good.

16) Marc Krauss, OF-1B, Grade C+: Traded to Astros. .291/.421/.539 with 81 walks, 97 strikeouts, 20 homers in 382 at-bats between Double-A and Triple-A. Power/patience combination has worked despite some questions about his bat speed and defense.

17) Charles Brewer, RHP, Grade C+: 5.18 ERA with 99/29 K/BB in 123 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, 161 hits, 23 homers. Throws strikes, but has been hit hard. He's not going to help any time soon, but if I was a major league GM, I'd try to acquire this guy while his stock is low.

18) David Nick, 2B , Grade C+: .258/.306/.357 with 24 walks, 73 strikeouts in 387 at-bats for Mobile. Reliable though not spectacular defense. Draws praise for outstanding makeup. Double-A hitting hasn't been good, stock down some.

19) Kyle Winkler, RHP, Grade C+: 5.91 ERA with 26/17 K/BB in 32 innings for Visalia, 40 hits. Nothing impressive here, one of the few real disappointments in the system.

20) Yonata Ortega, RHP, Grade C+: 7.74 ERA with 43/34 K/BB in 43 innings for Mobile, 51 hits. I thought he was a relief sleeper but he's in a coma.

21) Evan Marshall, RHP, Grade C+: 2.68 ERA with 22/12 K/BB in 40 innings, 43 hits, 16 saves for Mobile. Could fit into bullpen sometime next year.

The following comments are not intended to be a complete overview of the system, but are rather impressionistic.

Note the lack of injuries among the top pitching prospects. They are doing something right here.
Among players not on the pre-season list, Alfredo Marte has tapped into his power more effectively, and strike-thrower Chase Anderson has done what I thought Charles Brewer would do.

In the 2012 draft, high school catcher Stryker Trahan has the coolest name ever. He also has a promising power bat but is extraordinarily raw on defense (14 PB, 10 errors in 28 games in rookie ball), although I think he has the tools to improve if he can find a way to heal from his war experience at Macho Grande (description of that harrowing mission begins in the following clip at 1:13).

Overall, this is still a very strong system.