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Arizona Diamondbacks Top 20 prospects for 2018: mid-season review

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Checking in on the Diamondbacks

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game
Yoan Lopez at the Futures Game
Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Continuing with our mid-season organization reviews, we turn our attention to the Arizona Diamondbacks farm system.

This list was originally published December 15th, 2017, and revised February 26th, 2018.

*****THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST******

THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE PRE-SEASON LIST

THESE ARE NOT NEW GRADES

1) Jon Duplantier, RHP, Grade B+: Age 24, third round pick in 2016 from Rice University; 1.84 ERA in 59 innings between Double-A and two rookie ball rehab outings, 59/21 K/BB, 43 hits; continues to breeze through minor league batting orders, owns a career 1.52 ERA; main problem remains health as he was shut down for all of June and much of July with a “tired arm”; little question about his talent but durability still a significant question.

2) Pavin Smith, 1B, Grade B: Age 22, first round pick in 2017 from University of Virginia; hitting .253/.344/.385 with 10 homers, 52 walks, 57 strikeouts in 395 at-bats in High-A; sharp batting eye stands out, solid glove as well; got off to a slow start with a .156 in April but has gradually heated up, have to love the approach but power is uncertain for his position.

3) Taylor Clarke, RHP, Grade B: Age 25, third round pick in 2015 from College of Charleston; 4.21 ERA in 135 innings in Triple-A, 112/42 K/BB; a nice season considering environment at Reno and PCL in general; number four starter projection, ready for a trial.

4) Daulton Varsho, C, Grade B/B-: Age 22, son of former major leaguer Gary Varsho, compensation round pick in 2017 from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; hitting .278/.362/.427 with eight homers, 27 walks, 62 strikeouts, 17 steals in 255 at-bats in High-A; has missed time with hamate injury; defense has been very good so far with 39% of runners caught along with low error and passed ball rates; unusually fast for a catcher, too; stocking holding at worst or ticking up a bit as defensive confidence increases.

5) Marcus Wilson, OF, Grade B-: Age 22, compensation round pick in 2014 from high school in California; hitting .226/.304/.351 with eight homers, 15 steals, 43 walks, 133 strikeouts in 424 at-bats in High-A; speed/power tools still stand out but approach hasn’t held up well against more advanced pitching despite the general friendly environment of the California League; stock down some but too much physical ability to write off completely.

6) Jasrado Chisholm, SS, Grade B-: Age 20, signed out of Bahamas in 2015; breakout season with .268/.326/.501 mark between Low-A and High-A, 21 homers, 13 steals, 35 walks, 130 strikeouts in 411 at-bats; needs more polish on defense but should stick at shortstop; approach with hitting is aggressive but hasn’t hurt him yet this year; stock up.

7) Domingo Leyba, INF, Grade B-: Age 22, missed most of 2017 with shoulder injury; back in action now and hitting .272/.341/.385 with 28 walks, 42 strikeouts in 283 at-bats in Double-A; contact hitter with some occasional sneaky pop; very steady and reliable at second base; stock holding.

8) Andy Yerzy, C, Grade B-: Age 20, compensation round pick in 2016 from high school in Canada; hitting .299/.377/.456 with seven homers, 22 walks, 57 strikeouts in 204 at-bats in Northwest League; power developing nicely with reasonable strike zone command; steady improvements on defense as well; 30% of runners caught but with better passed ball and error rates compared to last year; could break out in a big way next year.

9) Taylor Widener, RHP, Grade C+/B-: Age 23, 12th round pick in 2016 from University of South Carolina by the New York Yankees, traded to Arizona in three-way deal with Tampa Bay Rays; excellent season in Double-A, 2.69 ERA in 124 innings with 155/38 K/BB, only 87 hits; velocity gain as well as more consistent change-up and strike-throwing ability resulting in breakout; stock up.

10) Gabriel Maciel, OF, Grade C+/B-: Age 19, signed out of Brazil in 2015, traded to Minnesota Twins in Eduardo Escobar deal; hitting .284/.355/.355 in 352 at-bats in the Midwest League, 16 steals; no power yet but some may come in time, but controls zone reasonably, runs well, can handle center.

11) Eduardo Diaz, OF, Grade C+/B-: Age 21, signed out of Venezuela in 2015, hitting .225/.262/.350 in 120 at-bats in Low-A, three walks, 40 strikeouts; has been on disabled list since mid-June with undisclosed injury; having serious issues adapting to Midwest League pitching due to over-aggressive approach; stock down.

12) Matt Tabor, RHP, Grade C+/B-: Age 20, third round pick in 2017 from high school in Massachusetts; 3.31 ERA in 52 innings in Northwest League, 39/12 K/BB; no change in profile to this point, low-90s fastball that can peak higher, slider and change-up under development, throws strikes, lot to build on here.

13) Drew Ellis, 3B, Grade C+/B-: Age 22, second round pick in 2017 from University of Louisville, hitting .256/.338/.457 with 15 homers, 33 doubles, 46 walks, 89 strikeouts in 398 at-bats in High-A; more power may come, controls the zone adequately; glove at third isn’t bad but hasn’t been quite as sharp as it was in his first pro exposure back in ’17; stock holding overall.

14) Jimmie Sherfy, RHP, Grade C+/B-: Age 26, 10th round pick in 2013 from University of Oregon, 1.41 ERA with 14 saves, 50/19 K/BB in 38 innings in Triple-A, 26 hits; gave up one run in four MLB innings; very effective in Triple-A over the last two seasons, nothing left to prove there, ready for a bullpen trial.

15) Jose Almonte, RHP, Grade C+/B-: Age 22, from Dominican Republic, posted 3.55 ERA with 162/66 K/BB in 139 innings in High-A in 2017; hasn’t pitched in 2018 due to undisclosed injury.

16) Jared Miller, LHP, Grade C+/B-: Age 25, 11th round pick in 2014 from Vanderbilt, severe command trouble in Triple-A, 7.53 ERA in 43 innings with 52/65 K/BB, yes, 65 walks; that will kill you; recently sent down to Double-A and walked two in his first inning of work; stock down obviously, disappointing given the apparent progress he made in 2017.

17) Yoan Lopez, RHP, Grade C+: Age 25, signed out of Cuba in 2015 for over $8 million, blowing international budget; huge disappointment at first and retired for a while in 2016 but came back and pitched brilliantly in 2017, has maintained success in 2018, 3.23 ERA with 78/22 K/BB in 56 innings in Double-A, just 37 hits, 12 saves; still some control issues but has come a long way.

18) Cody “Alabama” Reed, LHP, Grade C+: Age 22, second round pick in 2014, hurt all year, out with sore elbow.

19) Christian Walker, 1B-OF, Grade C+: Age 27, fourth round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in 2012 from South Carolina but was blocked in that system; unfortunately he’s blocked by Paul Goldschmidt here; hitting .302/.356/.571 in Triple-A, went 5-for-24 with a homer in the majors, nothing left to prove in the minors and will continue to rip AAA until he gets a chance somewhere; seems like a good candidate for Japan.

20) Socrates Brito, OF, Grade C+: Age 25, long-time denizen of prospect lists, hitting .323/.386/.549 in Triple-A with 17 homers, 15 steals, 39 walks, 91 strikeouts in 390 at-bats; as been playing well in Triple-A for three years now with steadily improving production; went 2-for-17 in major league look which puts him at 145 career at-bats and over rookie limits so he won’t be on subsequent lists.

OTHER GRADE C+:

Ryan Atkinson, RHP; 4.92 ERA in 104 innings in Double-A, 115/57 K/BB; needs better command.

Kevin Cron, 1B; Hitting .324/.379/.594 in Triple-A, 22 homers, 30 walks, 81 strikeouts; moved to third base this year and has played reasonably well there; like Brito and Walker, he’s proven what he can do in Reno.

Ben DeLuzio, OF; Hitting .259/.340/.343 in Double-A, 23 walks, 62 strikeouts, 26 steals in 216 at-bats; lacks power, runs well, solid glove, fourth outfielder type.

Jhoan Duran, RHP; 4.20 ERA in 90 innings in Low-A, 102/32 K/BB, traded to Minnesota Twins; breakthrough candidate for 2019.

Anfernee Grier, OF; Injury season, limited to 109 at-bats between High-A and rookie ball rehab, hitting .239/.320/.413

Ramon Hernandez, 3B; Hitting .258/.293/.474 with 18 homers, 12 walks, 92 strikeouts in 380 at-bats in High-A; nice power but low walk rate and uninspired defense are problems.

Joey Krehbiel, RHP; 4.03 ERA in 51 innings in Triple-A, 61/22 K/BB, bullpen candidate.

Dominic Miroglio, C; Hitting .324/.387/.459 in 318 at-bats between High-A and Double-A, 34% of runners caught, sleeper to track.

Colin Poche, LHP; Traded to Tampa Bay Rays, 0.75 ERA in 60 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, 100/18 K/BB, 25 hits; ridiculously effective this year, ready for bullpen trial at any time.

Jack Reinheimer, INF; Hit .237/.312/.353 in Triple-A, claimed on waivers by New York Mets; still has a shot as utility infielder.

Kristian Robinson, OF; Hitting .265/.349/.400 with 10 steals, 20 walks, 49 strikeouts in 170 at-bats between Arizona Rookie League and Pioneer League; from the Bahamas, big speed and power potential.

Joey Rose, 3B; Not a good year, hitting .204/.285/.381 with 11 homers, 38 walks, 136 strikeouts in 362 at-bats between Low-A and Northwest League; has time at age 20 but significant contact issues.

Brian Shaffer, RHP; Traded to Tampa Bay Rays, 2.83 ERA in 127 innings with 116/27 K/BB between Low-A and High-A, solid pitchability arm.

Ildemaro Vargas, INF; Hitting .308/.346/.431 in Triple-A, reliable glove; at age 27 he’s just waiting for a shot like Brito, Walker, etc.

Alex Young, LHP: Reasonable in Double-A (3.91, 48/16 in 51) but hit harder in Triple-A (5.99, 56/20 in 74); control type with little margin for error.

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Thinking about 2019, expect 2018 draftees Jake McCarthy and Alek Thomas to rank very highly, along with infielders Geraldo Perdomo and Blaze Alexander with right-handers Jackson Goddard and Matt Mercer additional candidates for advanced placement.