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 (Rookie AZ League): 1 start, 4 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 1 walk, 6 Ks, 4.50 ERA
Season (Reno): 5 starts (1-4), 24.1 innings, 26 hits, 14 runs (all earned), 12 walks, 23 Ks, 5.18 ERA
*Notes: Bradley took the field for some live game action for the first time since April and fared pretty well. He faced the Cubs Rookie League squad which has multiple top-20 prospects on it so it was a challenge for Bradley in his return. But he still managed to strikeout 6 in four innings. Above all, he was pain free and will make his next start with Mobile, where he had incredible success in 2013, before returning to Reno.
2. Braden Shipley, RHP, Visalia Rawhide (A+)
Last week: 1 start (1-0), 7 innings, 5 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 10 Ks, 0.00 ERA
Season (Visalia): 4 starts (1-1), 25.2 innings, 21 hits, 10 runs (8 earned), 10 walks, 34 Ks, 2.81 ERA
Season (South Bend): 8 starts (4-2), 45.2 innings, 46 hits, 22 runs (19 earned), 11 walks, 41 Ks, 3.74 ERA
*Notes: Shipley had his best start in Visalia and maybe even the season in his lone appearance last week. Seven shutout innings with 10 strikeouts was fantastic with batters hitting .217 off of him in the game. All four of Shipley’s starts with Visalia have been quality as he has gone at least six in all of them. It’s a great sign of progression for the Diamondback’s 2013 number one pick. Shipley is the lone player from the Diamondbacks organization to be selected for the MLB Futures game during the All-Star break in Minnesota in a few weeks.
3. Aaron Blair, RHP, Visalia Rawhide (A+)
Last week (Visalia): 1 start (1-0), 7 innings, 3 hits, 1 runs (earned), 1 walks, 9 K, 1.29 ERA
Season (Visalia): 9 starts (2-2), 51.1 innings, 48 hits, 22 runs (all earned), 14 walks, 61 Ks, 3.86 ERA
Season (South Bend): 6 starts (1-2), 35.2 innings, 25 hits, 19 runs (16 earned), 14 walks, 44 Ks, 4.04 ERA
*Notes: Blair was lights out on day before Shipley making the two quite the one-two punch developing in Visalia. For the second consecutive start and just the third time in nine starts, Blair went seven strong innings. June has been great for Blair as he has a 32:5 K:BB ratio and had not allowed a home run. Blair has five strikeouts or more in seven of his first nine starts with the Rawhide and leads the entire Diamondbacks farm system in that category.
4. Stryker Trahan, OF, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)
Last 10 games: .190 AVG, 8 hits, 4 runs, 3 doubles, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 walks, 17 Ks, .227 OBP
Season: 68 games, .198 AVG, 53 hits, 33 runs, 13 doubles, 1 triple, 9 HR, 39 RBI, 21 walks, 98 Ks, 3 Stolen Bases, .260 OBP
*Notes: Trahan’s 2014 continues to be a struggle. He can’t string enough solid games together to get himself above .200 and stay there. In his last ten games, he has gone just one game without striking out. Through 67 games, he has already almost reached the century mark in strikeouts and just has 52 hits and 21 walks in that span. April is the only month yet where he has hit above .200 but barely as he hit .202. The organization decided to move Trahan from catcher to the outfield because his bat had long surpassed his development behind the plate. Now he needs to get things together in an area of the game that is seen as his strength.
5. Jake Lamb, 3B, Mobile BayBears (AA)
Last 10 games: .294 AVG, 10 hits, 7 runs, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 5 walks, 9 Ks, .366 OBP
Season: 72 games, .312 AVG, 82 hits, 45 runs, 25 doubles, 5 triples, 11 HR, 59 RBI, 27 walks, 65 Ks, .383 OBP
*Notes: Jose Martinez was listed as the number five prospect but seeing as his 2014 season is done because of an elbow injury, Lamb moves up to the number five spot. Has played like a top five prospect all season. He has an RBI in seven of his last ten games and at least one hit in eight of them. His batting average for June is .375 with 16 extra base hits. The best part has been the fact that Lamb has remained healthy. He was injured on and off for most of 2013. We are seeing what we all had hoped to see if Lamb could be out there each and every day injury free. Now knock on wood.
6. Brandon Drury, 3B, Visalia Rawhide (A+)
Last 10 games: .342 AVG, 13 hits, 7 runs, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 3 RBI, 5 walks, 7 Ks, .419 OBP
Season: 73 games, .288 AVG, 84 hits, 50 runs, 25 doubles, 1 triple, 13 HR, 51 RBI, 28 walks, 53 Ks, 3 Stolen Bases, .357 OBP
*Notes: Drury has picked up right where he left off from the All-Star Game. Since the All-Star break last week, he has seven hits in his first five games back. It’s hard to bring up anything negative when talking about Drury as he has been one of the most special players in the system for the last year and a half. However, he is just hitting .220 with runners in scoring position on the season. Definitely an area he would like to see improvement.
7. Matt Stites, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB)
Last week (Dbacks): 4 relief appearances, 4 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, 3 walks, 2 Ks, 0.00 ERA
Season (Reno): 17 relief appearances, 12 saves, 16 innings, 13 hits, 6 runs (4 earned), 6 walks, 15 Ks, 2.25 ERA
Season (Mobile): 12 relief appearances (0-1), 3 saves, 12 innings, 10 hits 5 runs (all earned), 3 walks, 8 Ks, 3.75 ERA.
*Notes: We knew it wouldn’t be long before Stites finally got the call up to the bigs and Thursday, it happened. Stites had been fantastic this season in the minors which began in Double-A Mobile as the closer, then the closer for Reno before getting called up again. The Diamondbacks optioned J.J. Putz last week as well so that young relievers like Stites could get more reps out of the pen and boy did they ever put him to work last weekend after calling him up. He has already pitched in four games since last thursday.
8. Jake Barrett, RHP, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last Week (Reno): 2 relief appearances, 2 innings, 1 hit, 1 run (earned), 1 walk, 1 K, 4.50 ERA
Season (Reno): 3 relief appearances, 3 innings, 2 hits, 1 run (earned), 2 walks, 2 Ks, 3.00 ERA
Season (Mobile): 25 relief appearances (1-2), 12 saves, 26.1 innings, 25 hits, 7 runs (all earned), 12 walks, 24 Ks, 2.39 ERA
*Notes: Barrett got the call last Monday to be sent up to Reno to get his first crack at Triple-A. Just days later, the closer in Reno, Matt Stites, was called up to the bigs. Which means Barrett could already be in line to take over as closer for the Aces. He has not had that opportunity yet, but he is in a great position to take on a big role for a triple-A team and try to prove himself to the Big league squad that he could have some value to be called up when the roster expands in September.
9. Zeke Spruill, RHP, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last week: 1 start (0-1), 2 innings, 8 hits, 7 runs (all earned), 1 walk, 0 Ks, 31.50 ERA
Season (Reno): 10 starts, 7 relief appearances (3-4), 1 save, 57.1 innings, 70 hits, 47 runs (43 earned), 16 walks, 45 Ks, 6.75 ERA
Season (Diamondbacks): 1 start (0-1), 5.1 innings, 10 hits, 3 runs (all earned), 2 walks, 3 Ks, 5.06 ERA
*Notes: Spruill in his last two starts he has gone six innings and has given up 16 hits, 14 runs (all earned), three walks and one strikeout. Those numbers pretty much speak for themselves. It’s the fifth time in his last ten starts where he has thrown just four innings or less in a start.
10. Sergio Alcantara, SS, Missoula Osprey (Rookie Pioneer League)
Last week: 8 games, .300, 9 hits, 4 runs, 1 double, 2 RBI, 7 walks, 8 Ks, 2 stolen bases, .432 OBP
*Notes: Alcantara takes the field for the first time in 2014 for Missoula and burts out of the gates. He tallied ten total bases in the eight games consisting nine hits, seven walks and two stolen bases in three attempts. Talk about making things happen. Sergio is known as an elite defender at the shortstop position but if his bat looks like this going forward, he is going to race through the Dbacks farm system.
11. Andrew Chafin, LHP, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last week: 2 starts (0-1), 8.1 innings, 15 hits, 10 runs (all earned), 7 walks, 6 Ks, 11.11 ERA
Season (Reno): 7 starts (1-2), 34.2 innings, 52 hits, 32 runs (27 earned), 18 walks, 23 Ks, 7.01 ERA
Season (Mobile): 9 starts (4-1), 55 innings, 49 hits, 14 runs (12 earned), 19 walks, 41 Ks, 1.96 ERA
*Notes: Rough, rough week for Chafin and his struggles at the Triple-A level continue. He has allowed four earned runs or more four of his seven starts since being called up and he has now almost equalled the amount of walks to the walks he had in double-A but in two less starts. Chafin was off to an incredible start in 2014 sporting the best ERA in the farm system before he got called up. His ERA in five starts in June is an even 9.00.
12. Felipe Perez, RHP, Hillsboro Hops (A short)
Last week: No appearances
*Notes: Perez is currently listed as active but is yet to make an appearance in 2014 thus far. According to Diamondback Director, Player Development Mike Bell, “He is throwing in Extended Spring Training and we are still building him up.” Perez experienced some shoulder soreness at the end of Spring Training so they are taking every precaution possible. 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.
13. Jimmie Sherfy, RHP, Mobile BayBears (AA)
Last week: 3 relief appearances, 3 innings, 1 hit, 1 run (earned), 1 walk, 4 Ks, 3.00 ERA
Season (Mobile): 16 relief appearances (1-0), 1 save, 16 innings, 16 hits, 11 runs (all earned), 10 walks, 22 Ks, 6.19 ERA
Season (Visalia): 11 relief appearances (2-0), 6 saves, 11 innings, 6 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 5 walks, 23 Ks, 3.27 ERA
*Notes: The odd trend that we have talked about with Sherfy for over a month continues. Since late may, he has almost alternated appearances of giving up a run and not. Minus consecutive outings on June 9th and 13th, he has not gone more than one appearance in a row without allowing a run. That trend continued this week. Since Jake Barrett got called up to Reno, Sherfy was in line to possibly take over as the closer for Mobile but his inconsistency is preventing him from being able to do that in the short term.
14. Daniel Gibson, LHP, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)
Last week: 3 relief appearances, 3 innings, 3 hits, 1 run (earned), 1 walk, 5 Ks, 3.00 ERA
Season: 32 relief appearances (3-2), 3 saves, 30.1 innings, 22 hits, 6 runs (all earned), 14 walks, 40 Ks, 1.78 ERA.
*Notes: I hope I didn’t jinx the guy but for the first time since mid-April, Gibson allowed a run in a game. His scoreless streak went through May and most of June. His lack of runs allowed is not the only stat that stands out for him. He has a 40:14 K:BB ratio and has allowed 22 hits in 30 innings. Gibson was not phased by the run ge gave up in the appearance that followed. He threw a perfect inning just three days later to end his week last week.
15. Justin Williams, OF, Missoula Osprey (Pioneer Rookie League)
Season (Missoula): 9 games, .286 AVG, 10 hits, 5 runs, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 4 walks, 9 Ks, 1 stolen base, .359 OBP
*Notes: Williams had spent all of 2014 thus far playing in extended spring training games. Finally he got his 2014 season under way with Missoula in the Pioneer Rookie League and he is off to a good start. He broke out with a monster firs game of the season with a three hit, two RBI game. But since he has been productive with hits in five of the next eight games, two of which were multi-hit games. Williams is a play making outfielder in their system that they so desperately need. I have a lot of trouble believing that he will still be playing rookie ball by the end of the summer.
16. Joe Munoz, SS, AZL Diamondbacks (Arizona Rookie League)
Last week: 2 games, .250 AVG, 2 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 1 K, .333 OBP
Season (South Bend): 30 games, .310 AVG, 35 hits, 22 runs, 5 doubles, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 12 walks, 29 Ks, .376 OBP
*Notes: Munoz returned to the field for a rehab assignment last week with the Arizona Rookie League after missing a few weeks with a strain in his forearm. The original thought was that he would be out for a considerable amount of time but it looks like has healed up well and is already back in action. He has been outstanding in the time that he has been able to take the field. But he has been sidelined two different times already this season with this forearm injury and a concussion earlier in the year.
17. Nick Ahmed, SS, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last 10 games: .292 AVG, 14 hits, 5 runs, 4 doubles, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 4 walks, 5 Ks, 2 stolen bases, .346 OBP
Season: 75 games, .318 AVG, 89 hits, 36 runs, 17 doubles, 3 triples, 2 HR, 35 RBI, 30 walks, 41 Ks, 10 SB, .389 OBP
*Notes: Ahmed capped off his week last week with a five hit game which consisted of two doubles and a home run. I love this guy’s game. He makes things happen both in the field and at the plate. Mike Bell before the season called him one of the most athletic prospects in their system and it has really showed. Kevin Towers said a few weeks back that he is constantly receiving calls from other teams about acquiring Ahmed. I would be highly against moving him. Yes Chris Owings is ahead of him but they should be in no rush to move a prospect like him and maybe for once see a prospect like him through to the bigs.
18. Kevin Munson, RHP, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last week: 4 relief appearances (1-0), 4.2 innings, 6 hits, 1 run (earned), 2 walks, 7 Ks, 2.14 ERA
Season: 31 relief appearances (3-2), 32.1 innings, 32 hits, 12 runs (11 earned), 11 walks, 39 Ks, 3.06 ERA
*Notes: Munson continues to be Mr. Reliable for Reno and man have they needed it with struggling starters Chafin and Spruill. He does allow a single run here and there but for the most part, he gets the ob done and frequently will go more than an inning when needed. His ERA in June in 10 appearances is 2.19.
19. Daniel Palka, 1B, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)
Last 10 games: .238 AVG, 10 hits, 4 runs, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 4 HRs, 11 RBI, 3 walks, 14 Ks, .283 OBP
Season: 72 games, .249 AVG, 69 hits, 38 runs, 15 doubles, 4 triples, 13 HRs, 57 RBI, 34 walks, 79 Ks, 5 stolen bases, .329 OBP
20. Jamie Westbrook, 2B, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)
Last 10 games: .100 AVG, 4 hits, 3 runs, 1 double, 1 RBI, 0 walks, 7 Ks, .119 OBP
Season: 69 games, .241 AVG, 68 hits, 42 runs, 16 doubles, 1 triple, 4 HRs, 26 RBI, 19 walks, 52 Ks, 2 stolen bases, .294 OBP
*Notes: After an incredible start to the season, Westbrook is in the midst of his first slump of the season seeing his average drop from over 20 points in the last few weeks. He is still roping those doubles though as he has 16 in 69 games. Westbook is still incredibly young and is a strong enough willed player to dig himself out of the slumps.
Top 20 prospect outstanding performer last week: Nick Ahmed, SS, Reno Aces
Diamondbacks full minor league statistical hitting leaders:
-Hits: Mike Jacobs, 1B, Reno Aces – 90 hits
-Home runs: Alex Glenn (Visalia) and Jon Griffin (Mobile) – 14
-Runs batted in: Jake Lamb (Mobile) – 59
Diamondbacks full minor league statistical pitching leaders:
-Strikeouts: Aaron Blair, Visalia and South Bend, RHP – 105
-Earned Run Average: Carlos Hernandez, RHP, Missoula – 0.00
-WHIP: Spencer Medick, LHP, AZL Dbakcs – 0.75