Dbacks On Deck: Farm System to Provide Relief?

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 continue to work his way back into shape after being sidelined for a few weeks. About a week ago he mentioned that he had a “pain free” flat ground throwing session and later in the week, threw a bullpen session. All good news on the rehab front.

2. Braden Shipley, RHP, Visalia Rawhide (A+)

Last week: 1 start, 6 innings, 4 runs (all earned), 2 walks, 7 Ks, 6.00 ERA

Season (Visalia): 1 start, 6 innings, 4 runs (all earned), 2 walks, 7 Ks, 6.00 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 has followed fellow first round pick from 2013, Aaron Blair, from South Bend to being called up to Visalia after very productive starts to the 2014 season. Shipley’s first start for the Rawhide was decent but definitely got introduced to a higher lever of play in a hurry. Through eight starts for South Bend, he have up only one home run. In his first start for Visalia, he gave up two home runs. But his solid strikeout to walk ratio has carried over thus far which is one of best best attributes.


3. Aaron Blair, RHP, Visalia Rawhide (A+)

Last week (Visalia): 1 start, 5.2 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 2 walks, 7 K, 3.18 ERA

Season (Visalia): 5 starts (0-2), 25 innings, 23 hits, 12 runs (all earned), 9 walks, 29 Ks, 4.32 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: After getting knocked around a little bit a few weeks ago when first getting the call up to Visalia from South Bend, Blair looks to have settled in and has gotten back to what made him so successful for the SilverHawks for the start of 2014. For one, he has not allowed a home run in his last two starts after allowing four in his first three with the Rawhide. He through seven strong innings in his first start since the call up but is year to get through six innings since. But his success on the mound has been increasingly better which means the strikeouts will look to improve and he will go later into innings.


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

Last 10 games: .167 AVG, 6 hits, 4 runs, 1 double, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 6 walks, 12 Ks, .318 OBP

Season: 51 games, .193 AVG, 38 hits, 26 runs, 9 doubles, 1 triple, 6 HR, 31 RBI, 17 walks, 69 Ks, 3 Stolen Bases, .262 OBP

*Notes: While you look at Trahan’s numbers over the last ten days and they don’t signal much into the direction of improvement to his season numbers. But it’s quite the contrary as the last two weeks, his walks are up, his strikeouts are down, his on-base percentage is up over 20 points and he is displaying better power. He has hit safely in six of his last ten games. If he can continue to get on base and get into more of a groove, the rest of the chips may begin to fall into place.


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 Wednesday 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: .410 AVG, 16 hits, 7 runs, 8 doubles, 2 triples, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 6 walks, 9 Ks, .478 OBP

Season: 55 games, .307 AVG, 62 hits, 31 runs, 11 doubles, 3 triples, 7 HR, 12 RBI, 14 walks, 49 Ks, .385 OBP

*Notes: After an incredible May hitting .321 with 12 extra base hits, 18 RBI and a .337 on-base percentage, Lamb has carried his white hot ways into June as he had a five hit, three double, one triple, three RBI and three runs scored performance on the first of the month. He has hit safely in seven of his first 11 at-bats in June with a stupid good .636 clip consisting of four doubles and two triples. He has a whopping 10 doubles and 12 RBI in the last two weeks as well as seven walks to 10 strikeouts in that time frame. Simply put, this guy is a fantastic baseball player. It took him a little bit to get used to the Double-A level but now that he has, watch out!


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

Last 10 games: .317 AVG, 13 hits, 11 runs, 4 doubles, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 3 walks, 7 Ks, .364 OBP

Season: 57 games, .284 AVG, 66 hits, 40 runs, 20 doubles, 13 HR, 45 RBI, 19 walks, 44 Ks, 3 Stolen Bases, .345 OBP

*Notes: Like Lamb, Drury has been blazing hot as well. He got through a little slump (by his standards) through the middle of May but closed out the month and began a new one the way he began the season. The home runs are back has he has hit four in the last 10 games plus has four multi-hit games in that span. What I love most about Drury is the fact that for being a power hitter, be rarely strikes out. A quality that is pretty rare for that type of hitter.


8. Matt Stites, RHP, Reno Aces (AAA)

Last week (Reno): 3 relief appearances, 3 saves, 2.1 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, 2 walks, 1 K, 0.00 ERA

Season (Reno): 11 relief appearances, 8 saves, 10.1 innings, 5 hits, 2 run (both unearned), 5 walks, 10 Ks, 0.00 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: Stites continues to be lights in the ninth for the Aces, stretching his streak of unearned runs to 11 straight appearances since being called up. Opposing hitters are hitting .129 against him four of his last ten appearances have not consisted of a base runner. The numbers tell you all you need to know. He is making a case to be called up again, this time to the big league squad in the very near future.


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

Last week: 1 relief appearance, 1 save, 1.1 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 0 Ks, 0.00 ERA

Season: 19 relief appearances (0-1), 9 saves, 19.2 innings, 16 hits, 4 runs (4 earned), 8 walks, 19 Ks, 1.93 ERA

*Notes: Barrett has upped his consecutive scoreless streak to his last eight outings only allowing six hits in that span, walking five and striking out ten tallying a total of six saves in the process. This is the Barrett we know and came to love in 2013. As mentioned with the great possibility of Stites getting called up to the bigs from Reno in the not-so-distant future, Barrett could make the jump up to Triple-A in his place.


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

Last week: 1 start (0-1), 4 innings, 7 hits, 8 runs (all earned), 2 walks, 4 Ks, 18.00 ERA

Season (Reno): 6 starts, 7 relief appearances (2-2), 1 save, 38.1 innings, 45 hits, 30 runs (26 earned), 11 walks, 31 Ks, 6.10 ERA
Season (Diamondbacks): 1 start (0-1), 5.1 innings, 10 hits, 3 runs (all earned), 2 walks, 3 Ks, 5.06 ERA

*Notes: Spruil was great over his last couple of starts heading into his first appearance in the big’s this season just two weeks ago in New York. That start didn’t exactly go smoothly and then after being sent back to Reno afterward, his first start for the Aces was even worse. It continues to be a rough year for Zeke who has shown signs of why he is viewed as a top 20 prospect in the organization. But overall, this season has been a head scratching one.


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, Reno Aces (AAA)

Last week: 2 starts (0-1), 8.2 innings, 13 hits, 10 runs (5 earned), 6 walks, 5 Ks, 5.49 ERA

Season (Reno): 3 starts (1-1), 15.2 innings, 21 hits, 13 runs (8 earned), 6 walks, 9 Ks, 4.60 ERA

Season (Mobile): 9 starts (4-1), 55 innings, 49 hits, 14 runs (12 earned), 19 walks, 41 Ks, 1.96 ERA

*Notes: Chafin’s masterful start to the 2014 season in Mobile got him the opportunity to get the call up to Reno two weeks ago. His first start was solid going seven strong allowing three earned runs, walking no one and striking out four. But in the two last week, he faced as much adversity as he’s had all season at either level. Not getting out of the fifth for either start and throwing quite a few more walks than we are used too and opponents are hitting .318 off of him. He is just showing he is actually human based on how he started the year. I have confidence that he will make adjustments to this new level of play and get back into the swing of things.


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. 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: 3 relief appearances, 3 innings, 3 hits, 3 runs (all earned), 0 walks, 3 Ks, 9.00 ERA

Season (Mobile): 10 relief appearances (1-0), 1 save, 10 innings, 8 hits, 8 runs (all earned), 8 walks, 12 Ks, 7.20 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 has now thrown about the same amount of inning in Mobile as he did in Visalia to start 2014. The results have not been good since the call up. In one less inning pitched in Mobile, he has given up five more hits, four more earned runs, three more walks, 11 less strikeouts and opponents are hitting over 130 points higher. Like with Andrew Chafin, there is an adjustment period for a lot of players once they get called up to a new level. For Sherfy, finding his walks are down over the last couple off weeks so that means he is throwing more strikes. It just means now that those strikes need to find less contact as was the case in Visalia.


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

Last week: 3 relief appearances (1-0), 2.1 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 3 Ks, 0.00 ERA

Season: 24 relief appearances (3-2), 3 saves, 22.1 innings, 17 hits, 5 runs (all earned), 11 walks, 29 Ks, 2.01 ERA.

*Notes: Gibson had a masterful May not allowing a single run the entire month while allowing just four hits, walking six and striking out 12. He has been fantastic in relief for South Bend and had a stretch of 5.2 consecutive innings pitched without allowing a hit and walked just two batters. Two of those appearances consisted of him striking out the side. Just another late reliever that is having an incredible season in the D-backs organization.


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

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

*Notes: Williams has not appeared in a minor league game yet this season but is not injured. He continues to  participate 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 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: .310 AVG, 13 hits, 8 runs, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 5 RBI, 3 walks, 8 Ks, 2 stolen bases, .370 OBP

Season: 54 games, .301 AVG, 55 hits, 26 runs, 10 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR, 21 RBI, 23 walks, 28 Ks, 7 SB, .386 OBP

*Notes: What a month of May it was for the stud shortstop. Ahmed hit .347 with eight doubles, scored 17 runs and had just one less walk (14) than he did strikeouts (15). He raised his average up above .300 for the first time since coming over to the Diamondbacks in the winter of 2013 as a part of the Justin Upton trade. This is one of the most athletic players in the organization who has an incredible amount of upside. It is exciting to see him develop from the struggles he face last year to the success he is having today.


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

Last week: 2 relief appearances, 3 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 4 Ks, 0.00 ERA

Season: 22 relief appearances (1-1), 21.2 innings, 23 hits, 9 runs (8 earned), 6 walks, 23 Ks, 3.32 ERA

*Notes: The only reason Munson’s ERA isn’t in the ones or below is because he has had a few rough outings where he allowed three plus runs. One of those was back on May 16th when he allowed four. Since then, he has not allowed a run over 6.1 innings pitched giving up just four hits and not walking a single batter and striking out five. This current stretch that Munson has been on is how he has pitched just about every time out. He has shown he is susceptible to the big inning but when he has his A game, he is automatic.


20. Evan Marshall, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB)

Last Week: 3 relief appearances, 4 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 0 walks, 4 Ks, 4.50 ERA

Season (D-Backs): 11 relief appearances, 12.2 innings, 10 hits, 4 runs (2 earned), 0 walks, 5 Ks, 1.42 ERA

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

*Notes: Marshall surrendered his first runs since being called up last week but despite that, looks like he is being utilized enough and pitching well enough so that he could have a permanent home at the big league level. As was the case while he was in Reno, he has great control as seen by his minimal walks. That is one of the best traits a reliever can have. He is also proving his worth by pitching more than just one inning on multiple occasions. That is especially valuable seeing the struggles that the starters for the Diamondbacks have had for the most part this season.


Top 20 prospect outstanding performer last week: Jake Lamb, 3B, Mobile BayBears


Diamondbacks full minor league statistical hitting leaders:

-Hits: Mike Jacobs, 1B, Reno Aces – 77 hits

-Home runs: Brandon Drury, 3B, Visalia Rawhide –  13

-Runs batted in: Mike Jacobs – 49


Diamondbacks full minor league statistical pitching leaders:

-Strikeouts: Aaron Blair, Visalia and South Bend, RHP – 73

-Earned Run Average: Andrew Chafin, LHP, Mobile and Reno – 2.55

-WHIP: Aaron Blair – 1.17

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