SS prospect Munoz on a tear, top pitching prospects struggle

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: No starts. Listed on DL

Season: 5 starts (1-4), 24.1 innings, 26 hits, 14 runs (all earned), 12 walks, 23 Ks, 5.18 ERA

*Notes: Bradley as noted last week has been placed on the Disabled List. It was announced that Bradley has a mild flexor strain in his right elbow. Bradley is scheduled to start a throwing program after 2 weeks of rest. Bradley’s 2014 has been rough to say the least. His ERA has skyrocketed compared to last season at this team where it was under 1, his walks are up, his strikeouts are way down and he hasn’t been able to get out of the fifth inning in three straight outings before heading to the DL.

 

2. Braden Shipley, RHP, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)

Last week: 2 starts (0-1), 11 innings, 6 hits, 4 runs (all earned), 4 walks, 8 Ks, 6.55 ERA

Season: 4 starts (1-2), 22.1 innings, 22 hits, 11 runs (9 earned). 5 walks, 18 Ks, 3.63 ERA

*Notes: Shipley bursted onto the scene over the last two weeks after starting the season on the DL but last week came back down to earth a little bit. His walks were up and his K’s were down. Still both starts could be considered quality and having a pitcher put you in position to win every time you take the hill is exactly what you want out of your top pitching prospects.

 

3. Aaron Blair, RHP, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)

Last week: 1 start (0-1), 4 innings, 8 hits, 8 runs (7 earned), 4 walks, 1 K, 15.75 ERA

Season: 6 starts (1-2), 35.2 innings, 25 hits, 19 runs (16 earned), 14 walks, 44 Ks, 4.04 ERA

*Notes: Coming off a fantastic week last week, Blair got absolutely shelled this week to put it bluntly. Opponents hit .444 off of him in his last start along with a 1:4 K:BB ratio. That is coming off a start prior of a seven inning, one hit shutout performance. Until last week, Blair had not allowed more than two earned runs since his first start of the year (which was five earned runs). He has proven to be a reliable starter with a few hick-ups here and there.

 

4. Stryker Trahan, OF, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)

Last 10 games: .128 AVG, 5 hits, 2 runs, 1 double, 1 RBI, 5 walks, 12 Ks, .227 OBP

Season: 27 games, .187 AVG, 20 hits, 12 runs, 6 doubles, 1 triple, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 8 walks, 36 Ks, 2 Stolen Bases, .239 OBP

*Notes: It’s pretty easy to see what Trahan needs to do to be successful at the plate and that is patience. While that patience showed last week, it was no where to be found this week. His is in the midst of a two for 25 slump in the last week consisting of 10 strikeouts and just one walk, no extra base hits and no RBI. After a good week last week getting his average up to .220, it’s back below the Mendoza Line after last week.

 

5. Jose Martinez, RHP, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)

Last week/Season: 1 start (1-0), 5 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 3 Walks, 3 Ks, 3.60 ERA

*Notes: Martinez made his first start of 2014 last week and it was a solid one at that. His control will be the big thing that people will keep an eye on this season. He had three to go with three strikeouts in his first start this year. In his 10 starts in 2013 he gave up more walks (25) then hits (20) to go with 30 strikeouts showing with his nasty stuff, he can get almost anyone out as long as he doesn’t beat himself. Opposing hitters hit just .154 off him last season in Hillsboro.

 

6. Jake Lamb, 3B, Mobile BayBears (AA)

Last 10 games: .316 AVG, 12 hits, 6 runs, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 4 walks, 11 Ks, .422 OBP

Season: 24 games, .238 AVG, 25 hits, 13 runs, 8 doubles, 1 triple, 4 HR, 20 RBI, 9 walks, 33 Ks, .325 OBP

*Notes: Up and down week for Lamb who is still seeing his numbers climb after getting off to a slow start. He has three multi-hit games in the last week but also has two four-strikeout performances. Bottom line, he is an all or nothing type of hitter but the all’s happen much more often and those days are very special to watch.

 

7. Brandon Drury, 3B, Visalia Rawhide (A+)

Last 10 games: .243 AVG, 9 hits, 4 runs, 2 doubles, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 6 walks, 7 Ks, .349 OBP

Season: 31 games, .297 AVG, 38 hits, 23 runs, 10 doubles, 8 HR, 29 RBI, 12 walks, 23 Ks, 3 Stolen Bases, .359 OBP

*Notes: Everyone is raving about the increasingly fantastic play of Brandon Drury. So much so that he was named the organization’s Minor League Player-of-the-Month for April. This was a player on no one’s radar going into the start of last season and now, could be considered one of the faces of the franchise at third base for the Diamondbacks in the future. After three straight hitless games, he went all last week with at least one hit in every game and has seen his slugging percentage jump up to a .563 clip on the season.

 

8. Matt Stites, RHP, Mobile BayBears (AA)

Last week: 2 relief appearances, 1 save, 1.2 innings, 2 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 1 walk, 0 Ks, 15.00 ERA

Season: 12 relief appearances (0-1), 3 saves, 12 innings, 10 hits 5 runs (all earned), 3 walks, 8 Ks, 3.75 ERA.

*Notes: Stites pitched just twice last week and they were on back to back days. It is the second time he has done that this season. The first time, he got through it with no damage from a run stand point but allowed two his in the second part of the back-to-back. This time around, the first outing again was flawless but the two hits he gave up in the second appearance of the back-to-back led to two runs. Bottom line, he has shown to struggle a bit when pitching on consecutive nights which is a concern for someone who has closer potential in the big leagues. You want to think you can throw your closer just about any time there is a save opportunity with an occasional night off. Battling through that will be something to keep an eye on moving forward.

 

9. Jake Barrett, RHP, Mobile BayBears (AA)

Last week: 1 relief appearance, 1 inning, 1 hit, 0 runs, 0 walks, 1 K, 0.00 ERA

Season: 9 relief appearances, 3 saves, 9 innings, 6 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 3 walks, 7 Ks, 2.00 ERA

*Notes: Easy week for Barrett as his names was called upon just once in a non-save situation. He got through it with relative ease giving up just one hit and striking out one. He has upped his consecutive scoreless inning streak to four with just three hits allowed  in the process. If someone could find out the last time Barrett gave up more than one earned run in an outing, you earn a gold star from me. He has been as reliable as they come, not just in the Diamondbacks organization, but in all the minor leagues.

 

10. Zeke Spruill, RHP, Reno Aces (AAA)

Last week: 1 start, 4.2 innings, 4 hits, 4 runs (all earned), 1 walk, 4 K, 7.71 ERA

Season: 2 starts, 7 relief appearances (0-1), 1 save, 18 innings, 24 hits, 12 runs (11 earned), 7 walks, 17 Ks, 5.50 ERA

*Notes: Spruill got the opportunity to make his second start of the season after his first seven appearances of 2014 came from the bullpen. He struggled out of the pen and after one scoreless start, he got rocked in his lone start last week. One big positive for Spruill through the first month or so of the season was that he had not yet been effected by the long ball. That was until last week when he gave up three home runs in his last start alone, the only three he has given up all year. The organization loves his versatility being able to start or throw out of the pen, but finding some sort of stability could go  long way in seeing his performance on the mound begin to improve.

 

11. Sergio Alcantara, SS, AZL D-Backs (Rookie League)

Last week: The Arizona Rookie League does not begin until June 20th

*Notes: Sergio was born in 1996. Let that soak in a little bit. He signed with the Diamondbacks out of the Dominican Republic at the age of 16. The organization likes his discipline at the plate as he walked more than he struck out last season in the Rookie League. The strength in his game at this point is defensively.

 

12. Andrew Chafin, LHP, Mobile BayBears (AA)

Last week: 1 start (no decision), 7 innings, 6 hits, 1 run (earned), 2 walks, 6 Ks, 1.29 ERA

Season: 6 starts (2-0), 36.2 innings, 29 hits, 7 runs (5 earned), 14 walks, 28 Ks, 1.23 ERA

*Notes: Chafin continues to be stellar. He matched his season high in his last start in innings pitched (seven) and strikeouts (6) in a no decision. Opposing hitters are batting just .220 off him this season. He barely cracked the top 20 prospects going into the 2013 season and now has the opportunity to crack the top 10 with the way he has pitched thus far. He has been the the most consistent starter in the farm system this season.

 

13. Felipe Perez, RHP, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)

Last week: No appearances

*Notes: Perez is currently listed as active but is yet to make an appearance in 2014 thus far. I will get to the bottom of this. According to Diamondback Director, Player Development Mike Bell, “Felipe is healthy now and we are taking things slow in building him up. His shoulder was a little sore at the end of Spring Training and we backed off of him as a precautionary measure.” Perez has electric stuff. He threw two complete games last season, one of which was achieved in under 100 pitches. The organization loves his ability on the mound.

 

14. Jimmie Sherfy, RHP, Visalia Rawhide (A+)

Last week: 2 relief appearances, 2 innings, 2 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), 2 walks, 1 K, 4.50 ERA

Season: 11 relief appearances (2-0), 6 saves, 11 innings, 6 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 5 walks, 23 Ks, 3.27 ERA

*Notes: Sherfy has now given up at least one run in three of his last four appearances. The last one was the most hectic of the season for him as he gave up two hits and two walks in the inning pitched. He was lights out to start the year throwing six shutout innings out of the gates. Hitters in A-Advanced are starting to figure him out now so how he adjusts to the adversity from here on out will be a good indicator if his confidence to be a back of the bullpen type of presence.

 

15. Daniel Gibson, LHP, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)

Last week: 3 relief appearances, 2.1 innings, 0 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 2 Ks, 0.00 ERA

Season: 13 relief appearances (2-2), 3 saves, 12 innings, 12 hits, 5 runs (all earned), 6 walks, 17 Ks, 3.75 ERA.

*Notes: Not only has Gibson not given up a run in his last six appearances, he also hasn’t given up a hit. In fact, he has only allowed one baserunner in that time frame with one walk in his last outing. In his second relief appearance of the season, he got rocked for four hits and three runs in a third of an inning. Since, he has not given up a run, just two hits and two walks. He has been absolutely lights out.

 

16. Justin Williams, OF, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)

Last week: Yet to appear in a game so far in 2014

*Notes: Williams is expected to begin the year with South Bend but is yet to make an appearance so far in 2014. He is not injured but has just been participating in extended spring training games according to D-Backs Director, Player Development Mike Bell. 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 playmaking left handed bat in the farm system.

 

17. Joe Munoz, SS, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)

Last 10 games: .297 AVG, 11 hits, 7 runs, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 6 walks, 10 Ks, .395 OBP

Season: 24 games, .310 AVG, 27 hits, 15 runs, 5 doubles, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 10 walks, 24 Ks, .381 OBP

*Notes: Hows this for a stat line, on May 4th, Munoz went four for six with four doubles, four runs scored and an RBI. He is riding a nine for 28 streak going into this week and in that time frame, struck out just five times. Munoz is a very under the radar prospect at shortstop and is really starting to flash some attributes for why he is a top 20 prospect. He missed a week with a concussion two weeks back, since he has been unconscious from the plate in South Bend.

 

18. Nick Ahmed, SS, Reno Aces (AAA)

Last 10 games: .147 AVG, 5 hits, 3 runs, 3 RBI, 3 walks, 6 Ks, .237 OBP

Season: 29 games, .234 AVG, 22 hits, 9 runs, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 10 walks, 14 Ks, 3 SB, .311 OBP

*Notes: Ahmed had a tough week last week with just three hits and one RBI. The most concerning thing in my eyes with Ahmed this season has been his inability to steal bases and really even attempt to steal bases for that matter. Ahmed is a playmaking shortstop and from what we saw with him last season, he is an absolute lightning rod with what he can do on the base paths and manufacturing runs with his legs. He has just three stolen bases on the year on just four tries. He had 26 stolen bases last season in Mobile and 40 in the Atlanta organization back in 2012. It will be good to see him get back to that aggressiveness.

 

19. Kevin Munson, RHP, Reno Aces (AAA)

Last week: 3 relief appearances (1-0), 2.2 innings, 4 hits, 3 runs (all earned), 0 walks, 4 K, 12.27 ERA

Season: 12 relief appearances (1-0), 10.1 innings, 13 hits, 5 runs (all earned), 4 walks, 13 Ks, 4.35 ERA

*Notes: Munson had a scoreless streak in five consecutive appearances before finally showing that he is human again in one of his appearances last week. In the two outings this season where Munson has given up a run, he had given up three hits. He has shown to battle through trouble giving up hits this year but when that number eclipses three, it all comes unravelled. The biggest bright spot with Munson is that he never beats himself by giving up walks. In fact the two appearances where he has given up runs, he had no walks. He has just four walks in 10.1 innings out of the pen this year.

 

19. Evan Marshall, RHP, Reno Aces (AAA)

Last Week: 3 relief appearances, 1 save, 3.2 innings, 3 hits, 1 run (earned), 1 walk, 6 Ks, 2.81 ERA

Season: 14 relief appearances, 1 save, 16.2 innings, 10 hits, 1 run (earned), 5 walks, 19 Ks, 0.54 ERA

*Notes: Marshall’s fantastic start to the 2014 has landed him the opportunity to join the Diamondbacks with reliever J.J. Putz landing on the DL. He had not given up an run all season until his last time out and has a 19:5 K:BB ratio in 16.2 innings pitched. Marshall is coming off of a 2013 season where he had his ups and his downs in his first season with Reno allowing 28 earned runs in 58 innings pitched. Plus had 30 walks to 59 strikeouts. It sure looks like he has honed in his control and is read for the next step which will include his major league debut at some point this road trip for the Diamondbacks.

 

Top 20 prospect outstanding performer last week: Joe Munoz, SS, South Bend Silver Hawks

 

Diamondbacks full minor league statistical hitting leaders:

-Hits: Mike Jacobs – 44 hits

-Home runs: Nick Evans, Reno, 1B –  9

-Runs batted in: David Peralta, Mobile, OF – 32

 

Diamondbacks full minor league statistical pitching leaders:

-Wins: Chase Anderson, RHP, Mobile and Randy Wolf, RHP, Reno – 4 wins

-Strikeouts: Aaron Blair, South Bend, RHP – 44

-Earned Run Average: Chase Anderson, Mobile, RHP – 0.69