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 took the mound for some game action for the first time since late April when diagnosed with a mile flexor sprain in his throwing elbow.
Up early getting work in! Felt good to throw in an actual game yesterday! Went 3 innings pain free! #BTB
— Archie Bradley (@ArchieBradley7) June 17, 2014
Bradley in total would throw three innings giving up three hits and one run. He reportedly was clocked at 93 MPH in the start and will make one more start in rookie ball before being assigned to a minor league club Whether or not that is back in Reno remains to be seen. He first few starts at the triple-A level were somewhat of a struggle before going down with the injury. But positive news all around for the top prospect.
2. Braden Shipley, RHP, Visalia Rawhide (A+)
Last week: 1 start (0-1), 6.2 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs (all earned), 2 walks, 9 Ks, 4.05 ERA
Season (Visalia): 3 starts (0-1), 18.2 innings, 16 hits, 10 runs (8 earned), 8 walks, 24 Ks, 3.86 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 continue to be very productive since getting the call up to Visalia from South Bend. He has thrown at least six innings in his first three starts and on the three, his four earned runs given up in his first outing has been the most he has given up. The stat that stands out to me the most in those three starts is his 24:8 K:BB ratio and opponents are hitting just .235 against him. Batters hit .263 off of him in eight starts for South Bend. Shipley continues to trend in the right direction while adjusting to higher levels of play.
3. Aaron Blair, RHP, Visalia Rawhide (A+)
Last week (Visalia): 1 start (1-0), 7 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 1 walks, 9 K, 2.57 ERA
Season (Visalia): 8 starts (1-2), 44.1 innings, 45 hits, 21 runs (all earned), 13 walks, 52 Ks, 4.26 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 had his best start since being called up to Visalia just over a month ago and was able to earn his first win with the Rawhide in the process. He matches his best in innings pitched at seven, gave up just two runs and struck out nine. We mention K:BB ratio with Shipley, well Blair has been among the best in the system in that statistical category. His 52:13 K:BB ratio is absolutely stellar.
4. Stryker Trahan, OF, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)
Last 10 games: .190 AVG, 8 hits, 5 runs, 3 doubles, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 2 walks, 17 Ks, .227 OBP
Season: 63 games, .198 AVG, 49 hits, 31 runs, 12 doubles, 1 triple, 8 HR, 38 RBI, 19 walks, 89 Ks, 3 Stolen Bases, .259 OBP
*Notes: Trahan’s strikeouts and lack of walks continue to be a problem for him to get that average back above .200 but we are seeing the power and extra base hits begin to come a little more frequently. Five of his eight hits in the last ten games have gone for extra bases and he is driving in more runs in the process. His eight home runs and 38 RBI are actually solid for playing in 63 games. Just imagine what those numbers would look like if that average was .298 and not .198.
5. Jose Martinez, RHP, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)
Last week: No Starts, currently listed on 7-Day DL.
Season: 2 starts (1-1), 6 innings, 8 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 4 Walks, 3 Ks, 6.00 ERA
*Notes: Martinez is back on the DL after having just two starts with South Bend since coming off the DL. According to D-Backs Director of Player Development, Mike Bell, he sustained a stress fracture in his right elbow. He had surgery on two weeks ago and expected to make a full recovery by the start of 2015 Spring Training. A tough blow for Martinez whose 2014 season looks to have ended before it really began having just appeared in two games this season after starting 2014 on the DL. No Tommy John Surgery here but another one of those elbow injuries this year in baseball that has a young and promising player sidelined.
6. Jake Lamb, 3B, Mobile BayBears (AA)
Last 10 games: .364 AVG, 12 hits, 8 runs, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 4 walks, 10 Ks, .421 OBP
Season: 67 games, .325 AVG, 79 hits, 42 runs, 25 doubles, 4 triples, 11 HR, 56 RBI, 26 walks, 59 Ks, .399 OBP
*Notes: Lamb’s numbers declined for his standards from last week. Instead of hitting almost .500 for the week, he almost hit .400. How dare he! There is not much more to say about Lamb that hasn’t already been said. He is the third baseman of the future for this organization and I would not be surprised if he finished this season on the big league roster. He participated in the big league camp during spring training as a non-roster invitee. The question is whether not it will be before the rosters expand in september.
7. Brandon Drury, 3B, Visalia Rawhide (A+)
Last 10 games: .250 AVG, 9 hits, 5 runs, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 4 RBI, 7 walks, 6 Ks, .386 OBP
Season: 67 games, .280 AVG, 75 hits, 45 runs, 23 doubles, 1 triple, 13 HR, 49 RBI, 26 walks, 50 Ks, 3 Stolen Bases, .351 OBP
*Notes: Drury is enjoying the California League All-Star break this week. He is a starter in the game at third base and participant in the home run derby. What a year it has been for Drury. He didn’t even crack the top 20 prospects until late last season and has now worked has way to being one of the elite, not just in the Diamondbacks organization, but in all the Majors. For a middle of the order-type batter, Drury’s minimal strikeouts and frequent walks are what sets him apart. Not to mention what he does with the bat in his hands.
8. Matt Stites, RHP, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last week (Reno): 4 relief appearances, 3 saves, 3.1 innings, 4 hits, 1 run (earned), 0 walks, 1 K, 2.90 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: Three saves in four appearances this week and all the damage only happened in one of them. He gave up three hits and a run but still managed to get the save on the 14th, in his other three, he gave up just one hit combined and no runs. A recent report stated that scouts have clocked his fastball between 95 and 98 MPH since his call up to Reno. This guy is on the fast track to the majors which could happen sooner rather than later if some of the Diamondback bullpen arms, like Brad Ziegler, are involved in trades before the MLB trade deadline.
9. Jake Barrett, RHP, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last week (Mobile): 3 relief appearances, 2 saves, 3.1 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, 3 walks, 3 Ks, 0.00 ERA
Last Week (Reno): 1 relief appearance, 1 inning, 1 hit, 0 runs, 1 walk, 1 K, 0.00 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 on Monday to be sent up to Reno to get his first crack at Triple-A. Barrett started last year in Visalia as their closer and finished as thr closer for Mobile which he continued up until last week. In his time with Mobile, he had a 1.41 ERA in 51 innings pitched, collecting 26 saves. He has been one of the most dominating relievers in the system and we now will see how he continues to grow as he begins play at a new level of competition. I imagine his role will be in a set-up capacity for Matt Stites for now, but as mentioned, Stites could get the call up to the bigs in the near future which could have Barrett back into the closer role in which he has thrived.
10. Zeke Spruill, RHP, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last week: 2 starts (0-1), 11 innings, 12 hits, 8 runs (all earned), 2 walks, 7 Ks, 2.08 ERA
Season (Reno): 9 starts, 7 relief appearances (3-3), 1 save, 55.1 innings, 62 hits, 40 runs (36 earned), 15 walks, 45 Ks, 5.86 ERA
Season (Diamondbacks): 1 start (0-1), 5.1 innings, 10 hits, 3 runs (all earned), 2 walks, 3 Ks, 5.06 ERA
*Notes: It’s been all about consistency for Spruill. Coming off two very productive starts, his last outing was another rough one, allowing seven runs on eight hits in just four innings pitched. Opponents hit .400 off of him in the four innings and he got lit up for two home runs. Spruill could be the next one up to make a start for the Diamondbacks in the coming week with Bronson Arroyo landing on the DL and them recalling a position player. Kirk Gibson said the day of the roster move that they had four days to make the decision. Spruill his been that spot start guy in the past but his rough start in New York at the big league level last month and his inconsistency in the minors is making the decision on him getting the call much more difficult.
11. Sergio Alcantara, SS, AZL D-Backs (Rookie League)
Last week: The Arizona Rookie League does not begin until June 20th
*Notes: The Arizona Rookie League begins next week and the Alcantara will be spotlighted at short. He signed with the Diamondbacks out of the Dominican Republic at the age of 16 and based on intangibles that he has being a switch hitter that hits great for contact plus being a great defender with a cannon for an arm according to scouts, the organization is eager to see him hit the field. I too am very eager to monitor him as well.
12. Andrew Chafin, LHP, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last week: 1 start, 6 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs (all earned), 3 walks, 4 Ks, 4.50 ERA
Season (Reno): 5 starts (1-1), 26.1 innings, 37 hits, 22 runs (17 earned), 11 walks, 17 Ks, 5.81 ERA
Season (Mobile): 9 starts (4-1), 55 innings, 49 hits, 14 runs (12 earned), 19 walks, 41 Ks, 1.96 ERA
*Notes: Good quality start from Chafin this past week. After three consecutive starts not being able to pitch through five innings, he goes six strong in his last one giving up just five hits and three runs. The walks still seem to be the issue for him since his call up to Reno. In nine starts with Mobile, he had 19 walks and in five for Reno, he has 11. Adjusting to a new level of play is always an adjustment. Chafin’s numbers just weren’t human at the Double-A level so see him struggle is odd to see.
13. 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.
14. Jimmie Sherfy, RHP, Mobile BayBears (AA)
Last week: 2 relief appearances, 2 innings, 1 hit, 2 runs (both earned), 1 walk, 2 Ks, 9.00 ERA
Season (Mobile): 13 relief appearances (1-0), 1 save, 13 innings, 13 hits, 10 runs (all earned), 9 walks, 18 Ks, 6.92 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: Sherfy had a weird trend going since the middle of May where he was alternating appearances where he gave up a run and then getting through a outing scoreless. He finally broke that trend at the beginning of last week putting out a second consecutive scoreless outing after finishing with one the week before. But to close out the week, he started the trend again allowing two runs in an inning pitched. Now with Barrett getting the call up to Reno, Sherfy should be in line to be the closer for Mobile. He had that position in Visalia before getting the call up. But seeing how inconsistent he has been since getting called up to Mobile, that role may nit be handed right to him.
15. Daniel Gibson, LHP, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)
Last week: 2 relief appearances, 3 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 3 Ks, 0.00 ERA
Season: 29 relief appearances (3-2), 3 saves, 27.1 innings, 19 hits, 5 runs (all earned), 13 walks, 32 Ks, 1.78 ERA.
*Notes: Gibson in May pitched eleven innings, giving up four hits and no runs. In June, Gibson has pitched six innings, three hits and no runs. Dominance from the lefty and it tells you all you need to know.
16. Justin Williams, OF, Missoula Osprey (Rookie)
Last week: 1 game, .750 AVG, 3 hits, 2 runs, 1 HR, 2 RBI
*Notes: Williams had spent all of 2014 thus far playing in extended spring training games. Finally on Monday, he appeared in his first minor league game with Missoula and boy did he ever burst onto the scene. He went three for four with a home run and two RBI in his first game. He was also walked once to he tallied six total bases in the game. Williams has been a lightning rod in this organization since he was drafted in the 2nd round in 2013.. 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 2013 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 week: Currently listed on DL
Season: 30 games, .310 AVG, 35 hits, 22 runs, 5 doubles, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 12 walks, 29 Ks, .376 OBP
*Notes: The second tough break of the year for Munoz. He sustained a concussion a little under a month ago which held him out a week and now finds himself injured again. This time he will be sidelined for a much longer period of time. According to Mike Bell, Munoz ” has as a forearm strain and will be back at some point later in the season.” This comes as very unfortunate news because Munoz was crazy hot prior to the injury having hit safely in each of his last 10 games including a three-hit and four-hit game in the process. Before the season, Bell told me how much he loved the growth and maturity Munoz gained last season and we were definitely seeing that so far in 2014. But injuries will hold him back for what looks like a bulk of this season.
18. Nick Ahmed, SS, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last 10 games: .356 AVG, 16 hits, 5 runs, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 4 RBI, 2 walks, 5 Ks, 2 stolen bases, .383 OBP
Season: 67 games, .315 AVG, 76 hits, 33 runs, 14 doubles, 3 triples, 1 HR, 28 RBI, 27 walks, 36 Ks, 9 SB, .390 OBP
*Notes: The hits keep coming for Ahmed and now we are starting to see the stolen bases begin rolling in as well. Ahmed has had a spectacular June hitting .365 in the month with a .403 on-base percentage. According to reports, he seems to be a hot commodity in the eyes of other teams as the MLB trading deadline approaches. Seeing as how the D-Backs look to be more sellers than buyers, I can’t see them moving a prospect, especially one like Ahmed, at this point.
19. Kevin Munson, RHP, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last week: 1 relief appearance (1-0), 2 innings, 0 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 3 Ks, 0.00 ERA
Season: 27 relief appearances (2-2), 27 innings, 27.2 hits, 11 runs (10 earned), 11 walks, 32 Ks, 3.25 ERA
*Notes: Only one performance this week for Munson and it was productive. He made it interesting by walking two batters but still managed to strikeout the side. After a month of May where his ERA was just under five, he has bounced back in June sporting just a 2.35 ERA for the month. Munson has been reliable and with the amount of players that have been in and out of the bullpen in Reno, he has been one of the main constants which has been a good thing.
20. Jamie Westbrook, 2B, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)
Last 10 games: .171 AVG, 7 hits, 6 runs, 1 double, 1 walk, 7 Ks, .205 OBP
Season: 65 games, .249 AVG, 66 hits, 40 runs, 15 doubles, 1 triple, 4 HRs, 26 RBI, 50 Ks, 2 stolen bases, .304 OBP
*Notes: As mentioned last week, Evan Marshall is the one listed as the number 20 prospect in the system according to MLB.com but since he has cemented himself as a major piece in the Diamondbacks bullpen, I move the local product, Jamie Westbrook, into his place. Westbrook has had a very good first full season in the minor league thus far which was seen with his 19 extra base hits through the first two months of the season. But he has struggled a bit last week with just two hits in his last 19 at-bats.
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 – 85 hits
-Home runs: Brandon Drury (Visalia), Alex Glenn (Visalia) and Jon Griffin (Mobile) – 13
-Runs batted in: Mike Jacobs, Jake Lamb – 56
Diamondbacks full minor league statistical pitching leaders:
-Strikeouts: Aaron Blair, Visalia and South Bend, RHP – 96
-Earned Run Average: Spencer Arroyo, LHP, Visalia – 3.16
-WHIP: Blake Perry, RHP, South Bend – 1.20