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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.




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.


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.


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.