Welcome to the Dbacks on Deck! 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: 2 starts (0-2), 8.1 innings, 12 hits, 7 runs (all earned), 4 walks, 12 Ks, 6.30 ERA.
Season: 4 starts (1-3), 20.1 innings, 9 hits, 9 runs (all earned), 8 walks, 20 Ks, 3.98 ERA
*Notes: Welp, just when we thought the Bradley call up day was rapidly approaching with how bad the Diamondback starting rotation, he proceeds to have his two worst starts of the season not going more than 4.1 innings. In his last two starts, batters are hit .368 and then .294 against him which is rare because he is so good at missing bats. People will forget that despite him not being up with the big league squad, he is still pitching at a level he had not reached in triple-A. There is always an adjustment period. Bradley prides himself on his competitiveness so I fully expect him to bounce back in a hurry. Better he deals with this adversity in Reno and have to overcome it there than in the bigs and have it rattle his confidence.
2. Braden Shipley, RHP, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)
Last week/Season: 1 start (1-0), 5 innings, 5 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 4 Ks, 0.00 ERA
*Notes: The former 15th overall pick of the D-Backs in this past draft made his first start of 2014 since coming off the disabled list and it was outstanding. 5 shutout innings as he is getting himself back to game speed and stamina is impressive. The organization expects him to make a big jump at the Double-A level this season and plans to stretch his innings more so than they have since he was first drafted by the team.
3. Didi Gregorius, SS, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last 10 games: .282 AVG, 11 hits, 7 runs, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 5 walks, 7 Ks, .370 OBP
Season: 19 games, .301 AVG, 22 hits, 14 runs, 5 doubles, 2 triples, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 9 walks, 12 Ks, .381 OBP
*Notes: Chris Owings is listed as the organizations number three prospect but since he is up in the bigs, I want to keep an eye on the guy that lost that spot in spring training. Gregorious has continued to impress in Reno in the first month of the season. What stands out? The fact that he is currently hitting .353 with runners on and .300 with RISP. Boy the big league squad could use number like that from some of their players in the situation these days.
4. Aaron Blair, RHP, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)
Last week: No starts
Season: 3 starts (0-1), 17.2 innings, 12 hits, 9 runs (8 earned), 5 walks, 25 Ks, 4.08 ERA
*Notes: Blair did not make a start last week but will be pitching Tuesday night. We will have more what will expect to be 2 starts this week in next week’s blog.
5. Stryker Trahan, OF, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)
Last 10 games: .214 AVG, 6 runs, 9 hits, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, 8 RBI, 1 walk, 18 Ks, 2 Stolen Bases, .227 OBP
Season: 15 games, .213 AVG, 13 hits, 10 runs, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 2 walks, 22 Ks, 2 Stolen Bases, .231 OBP
*Notes: Much better week than last for Trahan after getting off to a .154 start from the plate. He had three multi-hit games and in those, had a combined 4 RBI. The strikeouts are the biggest issues surrounding Trahan thus far in his young career. In his last 10 games, he has just one where he didn’t record at least one K. In that stretch he has an 0-for-5 with 5 Ks game under his belt. But when he is going, he has one of the most electrifying bats in the farm system.
6. Jose Martinez, RHP, Hillsboro Hops (A short)
Last week: No appearances
*Notes: Hillsboro begins their 2014 season on Friday April 13th. Martinez was originally signed by the Diamondbacks as a non-drafted free agent on June 29, 2011. His stats may not blow you away as his stats in 10 starts for Hillsboro last season included a ER over 4 and 30 Ks to 25 walks. But the organization is in love with his stuff. He can touch the high 90s with his fast ball and has an above average curve. The Dominican Republic native just turned 20 on the 14th and has tremendous upside.
7. Jake Lamb, 3B, Mobile BayBears (AA)
Last 10 games: .206 AVG, 3 runs, 7 hits, 1 triple, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 2 walks, 11 Ks, .243 OBP
Season: 18 games, .203 AVG, 12 hits, 7 runs, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 5 walks, 20 Ks, .284 OBP
*Notes: Still not the fast start Lamb was hoping to have translate from spending much of Spring Training with the big league squad as a non-roster invitee to the Double-A level. But his numbers are on the rise. He his a grand slam last week plus had a couple of multi-hit games to get that average up above the Mendoza Line. With his talent at the plate, you would like to see him draw a few more walks or work deeper into counts, but his talent and upside when clicking is fun to watch.
8. Brandon Drury, 3B, Visalia Rawhide (A+)
Last 10 games: .293 AVG, 12 hits, 9 runs, 5 doubles, 7 RBI, 5 walks, 7 Ks, 2 Stolen Bases, .375 OBP
Season: 18 games, .286 AVG, 22 hits, 15 runs, 8 doubles, 3 HR, 16 RBI, 6 walks, 13 Ks, 3 Stolen Bases, .341 OBP
*Notes: Drury is easily one of the most exciting players to watch in the Diamondbacks system and fans better learn his name quickly if they haven’t already. He doesn’t have a home run in his last 10 games which would maybe make you think he is struggling from the plate. But that is definitely not the case as in those 10, he failed to get a hit in just 3 of them and has also turned himself into somewhat of a doubles machine. And it’s hard to find 21 year old power bats that strike out as little as he does. He might be listed as the number 8 prospect now, I see him as top 5 by seasons end.
9. Matt Stites, RHP, Mobile BayBears (AA)
Last week: 3 relief appearances (0-1), 1 save, 3.1 innings, 3 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 1 walk, 4 Ks, 0.00 ERA
Season: 7 relief appearances (0-1), 2 saves, 7.1 innings, 5 hits 3 run (all earned), 2 walk, 8 Ks, 3.68 ERA.
*Notes: In his 7 appearances, he has just 2 that have allowed runs. He has been very good so far in his first full season as a member of the Diamondbacks organization. The best part of what he does when you look at the numbers is that he rarely walks anyone. A great trait in a relief pitcher. Hitters are also just hitting .200 against him.
10. Jake Barrett, RHP, Mobile BayBears (AA)
Last week: 3 relief appearances, 0 saves, 3 innings, 2 hits, 1 run (earned), 2 walks, 2 Ks, 3.00 ERA
Season: 6 relief appearances, 2 saves, 6 innings, 4 hits, 2 run (earned), 3 walks, 5 Ks, 3.00 ERA
*Notes: The lights out closer from a year ago has shown that he is human. For most relief pitchers/closers, hit numbers presently would be considered great. But for him, the fact that he has given up any runs is rare. It’s great that you can talk about a pitcher that had given up 1 run in two different starts and mention that it’s rare for him. I expect to see former Sun Devil in a Diamondbacks uniform at some point this season.
11. Zeke Spruill, RHP, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last week: 3 relief appearances, 5.2 innings, 8 hits, 4 runs (all earned), 4 walks, 5 K, 6.92 ERA
Season: 7 relief appearances (0-1), 1 save, 10 innings, 17 hits, 8 runs (7 earned), 5 walk, 9 Ks, 6.30 ERA
*Notes: Not the start that Spruill anticipated as he is working to get himself back up to the big leagues. They have had him in a middle to long relief role in Reno thus far which spotlights his versatility to pitch in relief of as a starter, something that the organization values tremendously. But until his outings consist of no damage consistently, he is going to have trouble getting the call up again this season. Just 3 of his 7 outings have consisted of no runs allowed so far.
12. 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.
13. Andrew Chafin, LHP, Mobile BayBears (AA)
Last week: 2 starts (1-0), 13.1 innings, 7 hits, 1 run (earned), 6 walks, 11 Ks, 0.68 ERA
Season: 4 starts (1-0), 23.2 innings, 19 hits, 4 runs (2 earned), 11 walks, 19 Ks, 0.76 ERA
*Notes: Chafin might be the biggest bright spot from a pitching aspect in the Diamondbacks system. He has been absolutely lights out thus far having allowed just 2 earned runs in 23.2 innings and breaking that down even further, he’s just allowed one solo home run in the 4 starts. He pitched at multiple levels last season and if this keeps up, we will see him do the same this year too.
14. 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. But he 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: 3 relief appearances (1-0), 1 save, 3 innings, 2 hits, 2 runs (earned), 1 walk, 6 Ks, 6.00 ERA
Season: 8 relief appearances (2-0), 5 saves, 8 innings, 3 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 3 walks, 18 Ks, 2.25 ERA
*Notes: Visalia no longer has Jake Barrett as their closer but are by no means having trouble filling that void with Sherfy closing up shop in the ninth. Finally showed signs of being human as he gave up his first runs of the season in his last appearance consisting of his first home run given up of the season. Before that outing however, he pitched 7 scoreless innings to start the year consisting of just one hit and 2 walks. His numbers tell you everything you need to know.
16. Daniel Gibson, LHP, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)
Last week: 2 relief appearances, 1 save, 2 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 2 Ks, 0.00 ERA
Season: 7 relief appearances (0-2), 3 saves, 6.2 innings, 12 hits, 5 runs (all earned), 5 walks, 9 Ks, 6.75 ERA.
*Notes: Gibson’s ERA is high just because of two bad outings. If you take those out, he has allowed 0 runs, 5 hits and 3 walks in 5 innings pitched. Hick-ups happen every so often as a reliever and it’s how you bounce back from them which is the most important thing. He responded from his first bad outing with 3 consecutive scoreless outings and responded from his second with 2 consecutive scoreless. From an outsiders point of view, his mental resolve looks to be one of his best traits.
17. 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. 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: Has not appeared in a game since April 14th.
Season: .342 AVG, 13 hits, 8 runs, 1 double. 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 10 Ks, .375 OBP
*Notes: Munoz has not appeared in a game in over a week which is unfortunate because he was riding a 7 game hit streak before. The organization loves the maturity they saw with him over the course of last season and it looks like he continues to develop and improve immensely as we are off in 2014.
19. Nick Ahmed, SS, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last 10 games: .294 AVG, 10 hits, 2 runs, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 walks, 6 Ks, 1 SB, .342 OBP
Season: 17 games, .264 AVG, 14 hits, 5 runs, 1 double, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 6 walks, 8 Ks, 2 SB, .333 OBP
*Notes: Ahmed’s 14 hits and 18 total bases in 17 games look fantastic. Ahmed is normally a playmaker on the base paths but for some bizarre reason, he has just 2 stolen bases and 5 runs scored so far this season. That is coming off of a 2013 season where he had 26 stolen bases and 58 runs and a 2012 season in the Atlanta organization where he had 40 stolen bases and 84 runs scored. Im sure those numbers will even out eventually but thats just one small negative to what has been a very good start to the season. Ahmed is the type of talent that will put pressure on Chris Owings and Didi Gregorious to perform well in a hurry.
20. Kevin Munson, RHP, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last week: 3 relief appearances, 3.2 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 3 walks, 4 Ks, 0.00 ERA
Season: 7 relief appearances, 6.1 innings, 6 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 4 walk, 8 Ks, 2.84 ERA
*Notes: Munson finally got knocked around a little bit in one start last week but despite that, he added another outing that included no hits given up. That is now the care for 4 of his 7 outings. He has been as durable and reliable as they come in relief not just this season, but in years past as well. Which is why he has snuck into the top 20 prospects this season.
Top 20 prospect outstanding performer last week: Andrew Chafin, LHP, Mobile BayBears
Diamondbacks full minor league statistical hitting leaders:
-Hits: Mike Jacobs, Reno, 1B – 26 hits
-Home runs: Nick Evans, Reno, 1B – 5
-Runs batted in: Rudy Flores, Visalia, 1B – 18
Diamondbacks full minor league statistical pitching leaders:
-Wins: 5 tied with 2 wins
-Strikeouts: Andrew Barbosa, Visalia, LHP – 28
-Earned Run Average: Andrew Chafin, Mobile, LHP – 0.76