Dbacks on Deck: Intro to Zach Borenstein, Lamb and Blair get organization awards

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 (Mobile): 2 starts, 8.2 innings, 8 hits, 1 run (earned), 5 walks, 3 Ks, 1.09 ERA

Season (Mobile): 5 starts (0-0), 24.1 innings, 26 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 9 walks, 4 Ks, 1.42 ERA

Season (Reno): 5 starts (1-4), 24.1 innings, 26 hits, 14 runs (all earned), 12 walks, 23 Ks, 5.18 ERA

Season (AZL): 1 start, 4 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 1 walk, 6 Ks, 4.50 ERA

*Notes: Bradley continues his rehab in Mobile and there are some are flags with his outings despite his stellar 1.42 ERA after three starts. He has nine walks to four strikeouts and has had to pitch himself out of a lot of trouble. His command seems to be off which was a similar problem he had in Reno to start the year before the injury. Especially when you compare his numbers to last year where he had a 163:69 K:BB ratio between Visalia and Mobile. Expect the jump back up to Reno in the near future but they will be taking a close on on that command in the process.

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

Last week: 2 starts (0-2), 11.1 innings, 10 hits, 7 runs (all earned), 4 walks, 14 Ks, 5.67 ERA

Season (Visalia): 7 starts (1-4), 40.1 innings, 38 hits, 25 runs (23 earned), 16 walks, 48 Ks, 5.13 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: Visalia continues to be a struggle for Shipley has he has now lost three starts in a row giving up a combined 15 earned runs in the process. His most recent however was as good a start he has had since being called up as he pitched into the 7th giving up just four hits and eight strikeouts. When the K’s are going, Shipley gets going on the mound and hopefully this last start can gain some positive momentum moving forward.

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

Last week (Visalia): 2 starts, 9.2 innings, 11 hits, 11 runs (9 earned), 4 walks, 8 K, 8.80 ERA

Season (Visalia): 12 starts (3-2), 67 innings, 64 hits, 34 runs (32 earned), 19 walks, 76 Ks, 4.30 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 named the Diamondbacks Organization’s Pitcher of the month for the month of June as he went 3-0 with a 3.06 ERA with 39 strikeouts to just six walks. But the start to July hasn’t been as pretty. In his first two starts of the month, opponents Blair around for the most runs he has given up in starts since getting the call up to Visalia. And in the worst of the two where he gave up five earned runs, he failed to pitch through five innings for the first time with the Rawhide and gave up the second most walks (three) that he has with the team as well. The strikeouts though continue to pile up as he remains the organization’s leader in that category by a landslide for his work in Visalia as well as South Bend.

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

Last 10 games: .154 AVG, 6 hits, 7 runs, 1 double, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 2 walks, 21 Ks, .214 OBP

Season: 79 games, .194 AVG, 50 hits, 40 runs, 14 doubles, 1 triple, 13 HR, 49 RBI, 25 walks, 119 Ks, 3 Stolen Bases, .260 OBP

*Notes: I can’t remember the last time Trahan has hit over .200 for a ten game stretch, if at all. He has been all or nothing this season and this last week was almost a microcosm of just that. He had four hits all week and three of them were home runs. The only hit that wasn’t a home run, was a double. In the same span, he had just one walk and 12 Ks in the same span. You can see the potential in his bat with the great power. But he needs to learn to become more of a complete hitter if he wants to elevate his game.

5. Jake Lamb, 3B, Mobile BayBears (AA)

Last 10 games: .353 AVG, 12 hits, 7 runs, 3 doubles, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 7 walks, 12 Ks, .442 OBP

Season: 86 games, .314 AVG, 98 hits, 53 runs, 30 doubles, 5 triples, 13 HR, 68 RBI, 36 walks, 82 Ks, .389 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. Lamb added to his fantastic resume in 2014 as he was named the Diamondbacks Organization’s player of the month after a June that saw him hit .368 with 19 extra base hits and 27 RBI. He has picked up right where he left off so far in July with eight hits in his first 26 at-bats with two home runs and five RBI. The product our of Washington is putting up MVP numbers in the Southern League this season.

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

Last 10 games: .179 AVG, 7 hits, 2 runs, 1 double, 3 RBI, 4 walks, 7 Ks, .273 OBP

Season: 86 games, .287 AVG, 99 hits, 54 runs, 29 doubles, 1 triple, 13 HR, 55 RBI, 32 walks, 62 Ks, 3 Stolen Bases, .355 OBP

*Notes: For the first time all season, we see a ten game stretch with Drury where he hits below .200. He has still hit safely in six of those games however only one of those were games with more than one hit. What you love about Drury is that even when he may not be getting hits with as much regularity as we are accustomed too with him, he still finds ways to get on base. He was walked four times in the last week and his on-base percentage is almost 100 points higher than his average which is not easy to do.

7. Jake Barrett, RHP, Reno Aces (AAA)

Last Week (Reno): 3 relief appearances, 1 save, 2.2 innings, 4 hits, 5 runs (all earned), 4 walks, 1 K, 20.45 ERA

Season (Reno): 8 relief appearances, 2 saves, 7.2 innings, 9 hits, 7 runs (all earned), 6 walks, 5 Ks, 8.22 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: Matt Stites was previously listed as the number seven prospect but looks to have made a home for himself at the big league level. Moving up to seven is Jake Barrett who has been one of the organizations top closers for the last two seasons. However, Barrett’s time in Reno so far since getting called up in mid-June has been very inconsistent which is odd for him. At all came to a head for him last week has he gave up five earned runs last week, four of them in his most recent outing. He is a strikeout pitcher too so seeing his ratio in the last week of one K to four walks is very odd. It is back to the drawing board for the former Sun Devil at this new level of play.

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

Last week: No starts, listed on the DL with right elbow injury

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: It’s been a tough season for Spruill. He has had a few very good starts on the year but for the most part, the season has been full of struggles both as a starter and out of the bullpen. I do not know the severity of the injury but the time off to get his head back and gain some confidence.

9. Sergio Alcantara, SS, Missoula Osprey (Rookie Pioneer League)

Last 10 games: .257, 9 hits, 4 runs, 1 double, 3 RBI, 8 walks, 9 Ks, 1 stolen base, .395 OBP

Season: 21 games, .268 AVG, 22 hits, 9 runs, 3 doubles, 8 RBI, 16 walks, 20 Ks, 4 stolen bases, .394 OBP

*Notes: Alcantara showing why he could be an elite lead-off hitter at the shortstop position. He had eight walks and five strikeouts in the last week and has a .295 on-base percentage despite hitting .257 in the last 10 games. Alcantara is known for his great fielding but if he can continue to hit and get on base like this, he will rise to be one of the top ten five prospects in the organizations in no time.

10. Andrew Chafin, LHP, Reno Aces (AAA)

Last week: 1 start (0-1), 5.1 innings, 8 hits, 6 runs (all earned), 3 walks, 6 Ks, 10.13 ERA

Season (Reno): 9 starts (2-3), 48 innings, 65 hits, 38 runs (33 earned), 11 walks, 38 Ks, 6.19 ERA

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

*Notes: It had looked like Chafin had gotten it together two weeks ago throwing eight shutout innings for his second win in Reno. But he went back to his triple-A struggling ways on Independence Day last week with six earned runs given up in the starts. Chafin had nine starts in Mobile before getting called up to Reno and has now reach nine starts with the Aces. When you compare the numbers with the equal starts, it doesn’t look like the work of the same pitcher with the amount of runs and hits given up. Chafin is going through some growing pains at this level.

11. Zach Borenstein, OF. Mobile BayBears (AA)

Last week: 4 games, .267 AVG, 4 hits, 3 runs, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 3 Ks, 1 stolen base, .294 OBP

Season (w/Angles org): 78 games, .262 AVG, 79 hits, 34 runs, 17 doubles, 2 triples, 7 HR, 50 RBI, 24 walks, 86 Ks, 6 stolen bases, .342 OBP

*Notes: We welcome Borenstein to the Dbacks on Deck Blog and the Diamondbacks organization as he was acquired in the recent trade with the Angels that sent Joe Thatcher and Tony Campana to LA. Borenstein has had a great year thus par starting in the Double-A Texas League and Salt Lake City of the Pacific Coast League. In 2013, he was named the Angels’ Minor League Player of the Year after leading the California League in batting, home runs and slugging percentage. He did all that despite a hip flexor strain that kept him out for some time. He was originally drafted by the Angels in 2011 in the 23rd round out of Eastern Illinois. His bat is his strength and he could prove to be the always coveted left handed power bat in the D-Backs system.

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, 2 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 1 Ks, 0.00 ERA

Season (Mobile): 21 relief appearances (1-0), 1 save, 21 innings, 21 hits, 13 runs (all earned), 13 walks, 25 Ks, 5.57 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: Finally, Sherfy has been able to string some scoreless outings together and as a matter of fact, he is on his best run since getting the call up to Mobile with four straight scoreless innings. He was very productive at the beginning of the year as the closer for Visalia and at some point will be in line to take over that role for Mobile as long as he continues to be consistent.

14. Daniel Gibson, LHP, Visalia Rawhide (A+)

Last Week (Visalia): 1 appearance (0-1), 0+ innings, 4 hits, 3 runs (all earned), 0 walks, 0 Ks, INF ERA

Last week (South Bend): 3 relief appearances, 3 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 2 Ks, 0.00 ERA

Season: 37 relief appearances (3-2), 3 saves, 33.1 innings, 25 hits, 8 runs (all earned), 14 walks, 43 Ks, 2.16 ERA.

*Notes: Gibson got the call up from South Bend to Visalia after an incredible run he has been on at the single-A level. But his first outing in relief at the A Advanced level was a rough one. He gave up three runs on four hits without recording an out in a losing effort. If you can remember back far enough, Gibson got knocked around a bit at the start of the season in April with the Silver Hawks but man did he ever turn it around. I have full confidence he will be able to do the same with Visalia.

15. Justin Williams, OF, Missoula Osprey (Pioneer Rookie League)

Last 10 games: .302 AVG, 13 hits, 5 runs, 2 RBI, 1 walks, 13 Ks, .311 OBP

Season: 22 games, .319 AVG, 29 hits, 10 runs, 1 double, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 8 walks, 25 Ks, 1 stolen base, .370 OBP

*Notes: Williams continues to hit since the rookie league got under way. 29 hits in 22 games is quite the mark along with a stellar .370 on-base percentage and 33 total bases in that span. The stat that jumps off the page the most in the early going for Williams is in those 22 games, he is hitting .379 with runners in scoring position. That is my favorite hitting state to monitor outside of on-base percentage and for him, it’s a good one.

16. Joe Munoz, SS, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)

Last week (South Bend): 4 games, .294 AVG, 5 hits, 4 runs, 3 doubles, 1 RBI, 0 walks, 6 K, .294 OBP

Season (South Bend): 35 games, .306 AVG, 41 hits, 27 runs, 9 doubles, 5 HR, 16 RBI, 12 walks, 36 Ks, .367 OBP

Season (AZL): 4 games, 5 hits, 1 run, 2 RBI, 2 walks, 3 Ks, .368 OBP

*Notes: Munoz had a short rehab stint in the Arizona Rookie League playing four games with them before finally returning to South Bend at the end of June. After 5 games back with South Bend since finishing his rehab stint, he is picking up where he left off by getting hits left and right. He has five in the last four games, three of which are doubles. He has 65 total bases in 35 games played for South Bend this season. Now to just keep him healthy and on the field!

17. Nick Ahmed, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB)

Last Week (D-Backs): 5 games, .157 AVG 3 hits, 1 RBI, 2 K, .157 OBP

Season (D-Backs): 6 games, .182 AVG, 4 hits, 1 RBI, 2 Ks, .182 OBP

Season (Reno): 79 games, .324 AVG, 97 hits, 40 runs, 20 doubles, 3 triples, 2 HR, 36 RBI, 30 walks, 42 Ks, 10 SB, .390 OBP

*Notes: Didi Gregorious has gotten the nod for most of the starts at shortstop since Ahmed was called up and Chris Owings landed on the DL. Kirk Gibson said this week that Owings hasn’t progressed well with the soreness in his shoulder and won’t be off the DL anytime soon. This is a great opportunity for Ahmed to prove his worth at this level though his being sent back down to Reno after Owings is activated may be inevitable. With the inconsistent starts and playing time, Ahmed will need to show his ability to get on base a little better than he has. But he has shown how capable he is with his glove showing off his great range on some plays at short already.

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

Last week: 3 relief appearances, 3.1 innings, 2 hit, 2 runs (both earned), 0 walks, 4 Ks, 0.00 ERA

Season: 36 relief appearances (3-2), 1 save, 40 innings, 35 hits, 14 runs (13 earned), 14 walks, 52 Ks, 2.93 ERA

*Notes: Munson had a scoreless streak of 7.1 straight innings before finally surrendering a run in his first appearance last week. He had a fantastic June sporting a 1.62 ERA and a 28:8 K:BB ratio in 16.2 innings pitched. July has been a slower start but you still love his ability to be a strike thrower and not giving up free passes. Despite the slow start to the month, he has not walked a batter. It forced hitters to have to beat him instead of him beating himself. For the most part, he hasn’t been beaten very often.

19. Touki Toussaint, SP, AZL-Dbacks (Rookie)

Last Week: 2 starts (0-1), 2 innings, 3 hits, 4 runs (1 earned), 2 walks, 4 Ks

*Notes: Toussaint took the mound for the first time last week since being the Diamondbacks first overall selection in the 2014 draft. Pitchers at this age are brought along very slowly so despite the fact he made the starts, he pitched just one inning in both games. He will progressively pitch more as the season rolls along. What jumps off the page is the fact that he gave up a hit and a run in his first start, he still managed to strike out the side. Were looking forward to seeing the youngster out of Coral Springs, Florida develop over the next couple of months to close out the season.

20. Daniel Palka, 1B, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)

Last 10 games: .308 AVG, 11 hits, 6 runs, 1 double, 3 HRs, 7 RBI, 3 walks, 14 Ks, 1 stolen base, .409 OBP

Season: 84 games, .255 AVG, 83 hits, 45 runs, 16 doubles, 4 triples, 17 HRs, 67 RBI, 37 walks, 96 Ks, 6 stolen bases, .332 OBP

*Notes: Palka continues to be a serious threat to get a hit or at least get on base each and every time he steps to the plate. He has hit safely in eight of his last ten games with also three walks in the process keeping his on-base percentage above .400.Three of those games included a home run. He leads the entire organization in home runs with 17 on the season.

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


Diamondbacks full minor league statistical hitting leaders:

-Hits: Andrew Velazquez (South Bend) – 106

-Home runs: David Palka (South Bend) – 17

-Runs batted in: Jake Lamb (Mobile) and David Palka – 68


Diamondbacks full minor league statistical pitching leaders:

-Strikeouts: Aaron Blair (Visalia and South Bend) – 120

-Earned Run Average: Nick Baker (Hillsboro) – 2.25

-WHIP: Rodrigo Takahashi (AZL-D-Backs) – 0.83

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