(photo courtesy: Fox Sports)
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. –
Over the years, the Arizona Diamondbacks have had some unbelievable talent in their farm system. Players like Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, Chris Owings (all from the same draft), as well as Jake Lamb and Brandon Drury are currently on the big league roster. Adam Eaton, Trevor Bauer, Jarrod Parker, Dansby Swanson and Tyler Skaggs were some of the top prospects that were dealt over the years.
While the Diamondbacks plan to address their major and minor league roster this offseason, their farm system is “weak” according to MLB.com draft and prospect expert Jonathan Mayo. Whether it be trading off top prospects like Swanson and Aaron Blair for Shelby Miller or having players like Lamb and Drury graduate to the big league level, Mayo says the top of the system is thin.
Currently, the Diamondbacks’ top five prospects, according to MLB.com, are:
- Socrates Brito, OF – Diamondback fans saw glimpses of what Brito can do while with the big league club. During his time in the minors, Brito hit .285 with seven home runs and 43 RBI.
- Anthony Banda, LHP – Banda was a 2011 selection by the Diamondbacks, but he did not sign. When the D-Backs sent Gerardo Parra to the Brewers, Banda was included in the deal. Banda has been impressive in his first year with the club, posting 2.88 ERA between Mobile and Reno. Banda looked especially impressive in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, throwing 73.2 innings and striking out 68.
- Alex Young, LHP – A 2015 second-round selection out of TCU. There are still questions whether he will be a starter or a reliever.
- Taylor Clarke, RHP – Clarke was a third-round selection right after Alex Young in the 2015 draft. Clarke started his pro career as a reliever, and the Diamondbacks are currently working on getting his innings up to a starter level workload.
- Anfernee Grier, OF – A 2016 Lottery A selection. The former Auburn outfielder’s biggest asset is his speed and accurate arm.
Mayo also identifies some intriguing prospects further down in the system that could prove to be value, specifically a few catchers who are above average hitters like Andy Yerzy and Ryan January. Developing those players could help provide depth at the big league roster or valuable assets to trade to help improve the farm system depth.