Welcome to the Dbacks on Deck Blog!
We know what the Arizona Diamondbacks look like presently, but it is hard to keep up with the future because they don’t play here locally. However, most Minor League games are televised and can be viewed using the MiLB.TV package, including all Diamondback affiliates. Whether you can follow the teams or not, I will keep you up to date on what you need to know. Every week we take a look at the Diamondback’s farm system and a closer look at the top 20 prospects here in 2014 and their production throughout the season.
1. Archie Bradley, RHP, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last week: 1 start (1-0), 5 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 3 Ks, 0.00 ERA,
*Notes: Great first start for Bradley after scuffling in his last two spring training starts with the big league squad. The way the Diamondbacks rotation has looked, it will be intriguing to see if they call him early to stop the bleeding.
2. Braden Shipley, RHP, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)
Last week: No appearances
*Notes: Yet to make a start so far with South Bend. The organization is expecting a big year from him. He is beginning in the Instructional League but expect to begin his first full season for the organization in a couple of weeks.
3. Didi Gregorius, SS, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last week: 5 games, .294 AVG, 5 hits, 4 runs, 1 double, 1 triple, 1 RBI, 4 walks, 2 Ks, .429 OBP
*Notes: Chris Owings is actually the one that MLB.com has listed as the team’s #3 prospect but since he is up with the big league squad, I thought it made sense to keep tabs on the player that lost the spring training shortstop battle. Didi is getting on base and making things happen offensively which was really the battle he lost to Owings during the spring. No one question’s his ability to field and the team has actually played him some at second as well to be a little more versatile in the future.
4. Aaron Blair, RHP, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)
Last week: 1 start (0-1), 6 innings, 6 hits, 5 runs (all earned), 0 walks, 10 Ks, 7.50 ERA
*Notes: His velocity got up to as high as 95 this spring. His power arm has the ability to blow past hitters as seen with his 10 strikeouts in his first start. But he was still hit around a little and took a loss.
5. Stryker Trahan, OF, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)
Last week: 4 games, .267 AVG, 4 runs, 4 hits, 1 double, 1 home run, 4 RBI, 1 walk, 2 Ks, .294 OBP
*Notes: Trahan had a great spring moving from catcher to the outfield which is a great sign for the organization because his bat has far exceed the level of his defense behind the plate. The former first round pick expects to put up big numbers this season.
6. Jose Martinez, RHP, Hillsboro Hops (A Short)
Last week: No appearances
*Notes: Hillsboro begins their 2014 season on Friday April 13th. Martinez was said to be unheralded as an amateur but that has clearly changed since he joined the D-Backs organization. He’s got a fastball that reaches the upper 90s and above average secondary pitches.
7. Jake Lamb, 3B, Mobile BayBears (AA)
Last week: 5 games, .118 AVG, 2 runs, 2 hits, 1 double, 1 home run, 2 RBI, 1 walk, 7 Ks, .167 OBP
*Notes: Slow starts out of the gates for Lamb who is coming off a fantastic season when he was able to stay on the field. He battled a hamstring and hamate last season that kept him sidelined quite a bit. But when he was on the field, he was great offensively.
8. Brandon Drury, 3B, Visalia Rawhide (A+)
Last week: 5 games, .286 AVG, 4 runs, 6 hits, 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 6 RBI, 0 walks, 3 Ks, .286 OBP
*Notes: With guys like Lamb and Drury in the organization, the depth at third is as good as any team in the majors. Drury is coming off a year where he lead the minors in home runs and displayed incredible power. His great play carried over through the spring. Drury was a key piece in the D-Backs trade with the Braves which involved Justin Upton.
9. Matt Stites, RHP, Mobile BayBears (AA)
Last week: 2 relief appearances, 2 innings, 1 hit, 1 run (earned), 1 walk, 2 Ks, 4.50 ERA
*Notes: Stites along with Joe Thatcher came to the D-Backs via the Ian Kennedy trade last season. He did not pitch with the organization after he was dealt to the team because he had an appendectomy which ended his 2013 season. The organization believes he could be a very reliable bullpen arm for them in the future.
10. Jake Barrett, RHP, Mobile BayBears (AA)
Last week: 2 relief appearances, 2 saves, 2 innings, 2 hits, 1 run (earned), 0 walks, 2 Ks, 4.50 ERA
*Notes: The former Sun Devil was Mr. Automatic in the closer role for Visalia last season and has been labeled the closer of the future after what he accomplished. So far in 2014 he is 2 for 2 in save situations despite giving up one run in his last outing. He has the kind of stuff that see him jump to triple-A or even the big leagues this season depending on how he performs.
11. Zeke Spruill, RHP, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last week: 1 relief appearance, 1 save, 1.2 innings, 0 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 1 K, 0.00 ERA
*Notes: Spruill got a shot in the bigs last season and is versatile enough to both start games and come out of the bullpen. Out of the pen is where he begins his 2014 season and is off to a good start already picking up a five out save.
12. Sergio Alcantara, SS, AZL D-Backs (Rookie League)
Last week: The Arizona Rookie League does not begin until June 20th
*Notes: The switch hitting shortstop is coming off a season in the rookie league where he hit .243 and tallied 58 total bases in 48 games.
13. Andrew Chafin, LHP, Mobile BayBears (AA)
Last week: 1 start (no decision), 5 innings, 6 hits, 3 runs (1 earned), 2 walks, 4 Ks, 1.80 ERA
*Notes: Chafin not only moved up the board having pitched well in both Visalia and Mobile last season, but also moved up the prospect rankings since last season. He was so consistent. He has bursted out of the gates in 2014 in similar fashion and could be a player that pitches at multiple levels yet again.
14. Felipe Perez, RHP, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)
Last week: No appearances
*Notes: Perez has electric stuff. It is just a matter of keeping it under control as he continues to develop. He threw two complete games last season, one of which was achieved in under 100 pitches. The organization loves his ability on the mound.
15. Jimmie Sherfy, RHP, Visalia Rawhide (A+)
Last week: 2 relief appearances (1-0), 1 save, 2 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, 2 walks, 5 Ks, 0.00 ERA
*Notes: Had a combined 1.04 ERA in relief for Hillsboro and South Bend last season and 7 saves in 17.1 innings. Just another talented bullpen arm in the Diamondbacks organization who’s not afraid to toe the rubber in the ninth.
16. Daniel Gibson, LHP, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)
Last week: 2 relief appearances (0-1), 1 save, 2.1 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 1 walk, 4 Ks, 7.71 ERA
*Notes: South Bend’s closer to start the year is having a little trouble with keeping guys off base so far. In his 2 appearances, batters are hitting .364 off him. He should settle in just fine.
17. Justin Williams, OF, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)
Last week: Yet to appear in a game so far in 2014
*Notes: Since being selected in the 2nd round of last year’s draft, Justin Williams has been a lightning rod in this organization. He was first placed in the rookie league where he hit .345 with 32 RBI in 37 games. He was then called up to Missoula where he hit .412 with 21 hits 11 games. Ultimately finished his season with South Bend. This guy can be a future star and an important play making left handed bat in the farm system.
18. Joe Munoz, SS, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)
Last week: 3 games, .083 AVG, 1 run, 1 hit, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 0 walks, 4 Ks, .083 OBP
*Notes: The D-backs have raved about how much Munoz grew and matured over the the course of last season both on and off the field and see no reason he shouldn’t do the same this year. He is off to a slow start but is an important piece for South Bend and will get plenty of AB’s to dig him out of this hole he started the season off in.
19. Nick Ahmed, SS, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last week: 5 games, .200 AVG, 3 runs, 3 hits, 1 double, 2 walks, 2 Ks, 1 SB, .333 OBP
*Notes: After being a non-roster invitee for the big league squad this spring, I got to see Ahmed work and man was I impressed. He is one of the most athletic guys on the field no matter what level of play he is at and is truly a player the D-Backs organization is very excited about. He had a rough first half of last season spending most of the season below the Mendoza line but battled back to hit .236 by season’s end. When he is on base, he makes things happen.
20. Kevin Munson, RHP, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last week: 2 relief appearances, 1 inning, 2 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 2 Ks, 0.00 ERA
*Notes: Munson has slowly but surly made his way up the ranks in the organization. He was in Mobil for the the end of 2011 through 29 games in 2013. Finally he made the jump up to triple-A and is there to stay. He has been very reliable and are hoping that remains the case in his first full year with Reno.
Top 20 prospect outstanding performer last week: Brandon Drury
Diamondbacks full minor league statistical hitting leaders:
-Hits: Rudy Flores (1B-Visalia), Mike Jacobs (1B-Reno), Raul Navarro (SS-Visalia) and David Peralta (OF-Mobile) – 7 hits
-Home runs: Brandon Drury (3B-Visalia) – 2 home runs
-Runs batted in: Brandon Drury (3B-Visalia) – 6 RBI
Diamondbacks full minor league statistical pitching leaders:
-Wins: Many tied with 1 win
-Strikeouts: Andrew Barbosa (LHP-Visalia) – 11 Ks
-Earned Run Average: Many tied with 0.00