Prospects Step Up for Reno Playoff Push, 1st Round Pitchers Get Drilled

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.

First and foremost, congratulations to the Reno Aces for winning the Northern Division of the PCL in exciting fashion! Check out the play that sealed the win:

1. Archie Bradley, RHP, Mobile BayBears (AA), ETA: 2014

Last week (Mobile):  1 start (Loss), 0.1 innings, 1 hit, 5 runs (all earned), 5 walks, 0 Ks, 450.00 ERA

Season (Mobile): 12 starts (2-3), 54.2 innings, 45 hits, 27 runs (25 earned), 36 walks, 46 Ks, 4.12 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 allowed five runs and five walks in 0.1 of an inning before being pulled. He threw just one strike in his first 11 pitches of the game. In a year that has been somewhat disappointing for the top prospect in the system. This is as bad as it has been. And there really isn’t much more to say. All D-backs fans should look forward to a very productive and successful Arizona Fall League coming up for Bradley.

2. Braden Shipley, RHP, Mobile BayBears (AA), ETA: 2015

Last week: 1 start (Loss), 5 innings, 3 hits, 3 runs (all earned), 4 walks, 6 Ks, 5.40 ERA

Season (Mobile): 4 starts (1-2), 20 innings, 14 hits, 8 runs (all earned), 10 walks, 18 Ks, 3.60 ERA

Season (Visalia): 10 starts (2-4), 60.1 innings, 57 hits, 32 runs (27 earned), 21 walks, 69 Ks, 4.03 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 gave up a few more walks in his last start than we have been accustomed too but still limited the damage and made up for it with the most strikeouts he has had in an outing with Mobile since being called up. He is slated to make one more start for the 2014 season on this week on Thursday and then it will remain to be seen if he will be brought up to Reno to pitch with them during the playoffs or even get called up to the big leagues to get a look at that level before season’s end. He has certainly done well enough this season to be given a shot for either. I missed this last week but two weeks ago, Shipley got it done with his bat as he hit his first career home run. Check it out:.

3. Touki Toussaint, SP, Missoula Osprey (Rookie Pioneer League), ETA: 2018

Last Week: 1 start, 0.2 innings, 3 hits, 5 runs (all earned), 1 walk, 1 K, 135.0 ERA

Season (Missoula): 4 starts (1-1), 10 innings, 18 hits, 17 runs (all earned), 5 walks, 12 Ks, 15.30 ERA

Season (AZL-Dbacks): 9 appearances, 7 starts (2-2), 22.2 innings, 24 hits, 21 runs (17 earned), 15 walks, 24 Ks, 6.75 ERA

*Notes: Toussaint got rocked again and this time failed to get out of the first inning. He surrendered three home runs in that first inning and allowed an opponents batting average of .305. His adjustment from the Arizona Rookie League to the Pioneer League has not been a smooth one as he has a 15.30 ERA in his four starts with the Osprey. It is not an easy adjustment for a player to go from high school to the road with a minor league team, but at least he is getting these tough games out of the way now, dealing with the adversity and will look to bounce back in his first full year in the pro’s next year.

4. Aaron Blair, RHP, Mobile BayBears (AA), ETA: 2015

Last week (Mobile): 1 start, 5 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 6 walks, 8 Ks, 0.00 ERA

Season (Mobile): 8 starts (4-1), 46.1 innings, 30 hits, 11 runs (10 earned), 16 walks, 46 Ks, 1.94 ERA

Season (Visalia): 13 starts (4-2), 72.1 innings, 70 hits, 37 runs (35 earned), 21 walks, 81 Ks, 4.35 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: Six walks is by far the most he has surrendered in a game but if you can find a way to work through them without giving up any runs, you are doing something right. If anything, all of those walks, he just made it more difficult on himself. But eight Ks on top of it and now an ERA of 1.94 though six starts for Mobile is fantastic. Like Shipley, he is slated to make one more start before the season is over for Mobile and then we will see if they will continue to let him pitch with Reno in the playoffs or a shot up with the big league club now that rosters have expanded. Blair has been steady from start to finish this year and has led the organization in Ks throughout. He will be making a play for the Diamondbacks starting rotation next spring regardless of whether or not he has a shot.

5. Jake Lamb, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB), ETA: 2014

Last 10 games (D-Backs): .176 AVG, 6 hits, 6 runs, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 5 walks, 18 Ks, .323 OBP

Season (D-Backs): 18 games, .194 AVG, 12 hits, 8 runs, 1 double, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 6 walks, 25 Ks, .261 OBP

Season (Reno): 5 games, .318 AVG, 9 hits, 3 runs, 4 doubles, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 walks, 4 Ks, 2 stolen bases .571 OBP

Season (Mobile): 103 games, .318 AVG, 119 hits, 60 runs, 35 doubles, 5 triples, 14 HR, 79 RBI, 50 walks, 99 Ks, .399 OBP

*Notes: Lamb slowly but surly is getting himself acclimated with the big leagues and that is a very exciting notion for Diamondbacks fans. No the consistency isn’t quite there yet but seeing him blast a clutch, go-ahead grand slam in the eighth inning of a divisional game is about as good as it gets. So we will not get into the golden sombrero he had last week and choose to relish in the good by watching that grand slam on repeat below:

6. Brandon Drury, 3B, Mobile BayBears (AA), ETA: 2016

Last 10 games (Mobile): .229 AVG, 8 hits, 1 run, 3 doubles, 5 RBI, 3 walks, 7 Ks, .314 OBP

Season (Mobile): 29 games, .295 AVG, 31 hits, 12 runs, 7 doubles, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 7 walks, 19 Ks. .345 OBP

Season (Visalia): 107 games, .300 AVG, 129 hits, 73 runs, 35 doubles, 1 triple, 19 HR, 81 RBI, 41 walks, 76 Ks, 4 Stolen Bases, .366 OBP

*Notes: Drury has his first down week since being called up to Mobile hitting closer to .100 than .300 for the first time in a ten game span. Having spent close to a month now in Double-A, it has been a lot of the same with Drury with the mulitptude of extra-base hits, RBI’s, minimal K’s and a solid on-base percentage. One thing that has dipped slightly is his power. But it is nothing to be too worried about. Check out an RBI double that Drury crushed in one of last week’s games:

7. Peter O’Brien, C, Mobile BayBears (AA), ETA: 2015

Last week (Mobile): No appearances. Has been sidelined due to injury and hasn’t played since 8/6.

Season (Mobile): 4 games, .385 AVG, 5 hits, 1 run, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 walk, 5 Ks, .429 OBP

Season (Yankees Org): 102 games, .266 AVG, 103 hits, 23 doubles, 2 triples, 33 HR, 40 RBI, 20 walks, 106 Ks, .318 OBP

*Notes: O’Brien got the Diamondbacks organization pumped after he started crushing the ball for Mobile right from the get go when joining the team but has been on the DL after just that four game tease. It was announced last week that O’Brien will be joining the Arizona Fall League.

8. Marcus Wilson, OF, AZL D-Backs (Arizona Rookie League), ETA: 2018

Last 10 games: .194 AVG, 7 hits, 2 runs, 1 triple, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 1 walk, 11 Ks, .222 OBP

Season (AZL): 39 games, .206 AVG, 27 hits, 15 runs, 2 doubles, 2 triples, 1 HR, 22 RBI, 16 walks, 40 Ks, 4 stolen bases, .297 OBP

*Notes:Wilson had been going through an 0-17 stretch until last weekend where he finally broke loose with two hits, including a triple and drove in a career high four RBI’s in the game. He isn’t playing every day and consistency has been tough to come by but if he can string a few games like this together, it could be huge for the confidence. The organization will continue to bring the youngster along slowly for the rest of this season.

9. Nick Ahmed, SS, Reno Aces (AAA), ETA: 2014

Last 10 games (Reno):  .286 AVG, 12 hits, 8 runs, 1 double, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 4 walks, 4 Ks, 2 stolen bases, .380 OBP

Season (Reno): 104 games, .312 AVG, 127 hits, 57 runs, 26 doubles, 4 triples, 4 HR, 47 RBI, 37 walks, 55 Ks, 14 stolen bases, .373 OBP

Season (D-Backs): 19 games, .228 AVG, 13 hits, 7 runs, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 walks, 7 Ks, 4 stolen bases, .254 OBP

*Notes: Ahmed has been huge for the Aces down the stretch in them locking up the division and clinching another playoff birth. In August, he had 28 hits and 17 runs scored in 103 at-bats. He had a huge clutch home run last week in their playoff push (which can be seen below) and he also hit the go ahead RBI in the tenth inning and after, turned the double play in the playoff clinching out (as seen above). I would expect the Diamondbacks to have Ahmed finish out his season with his Reno teammates in the PCL playoffs and depending on how that goes will determine if we will see him one last time at the big league level before the season ends.

10. Mitch Haniger, OF, Mobile BayBears (AA), ETA: 2015

Last 10 games (Mobile/AZL): .303 AVG, 10 hits, 7 runs, 4 doubles, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 3 walks, 8 Ks, .455 OBP

Season (Mobile):  8 games, .333 AVG, 8 hits, 5 runs, 3 doubles, 5 RBI, 3 walks, 4 Ks, .433 OBP

Season (AZL D-Backs):  4 games, .200 AVG, 3 hits, 4 runs, 1 double, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 walk, 6 Ks, .250 OBP

Season (Brewers Org): 67 games, .255 AVG, 62 hits, 41 runs, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 10 HR, 34 RBI, 19 walks, 41 Ks, 4 stolen bases, .316 OBP

*Notes: Another solid week for Haniger who has now played a little over a week in Mobile where he will close out his 2014 season. He has hit safely in seven of his last ten games including Mobile and the Arizona Rookie League and has been getting on base a ton at almost a .500 clip. Haniger will be a playmaker next spring training and could be someone that could make a push for a call up to the big leagues depending on how things go next season.

11. Jake Barrett, RHP, Reno Aces (AAA), ETA: 2014

Last Week (Reno): 4 relief appearances, 3 saves, 4 innings, 3 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), 3 walks, 2 Ks, 2.25 ERA

Season (Reno): 30 relief appearances, 16 saves, 29 innings, 22 hits, 13 runs (12 earned), 15 walks, 23 Ks, 3.72 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 might be one of the hardest working me in the organization right now. He made 25 appearances in the first 2.5 months of the season with Mobile and since making his first appearance with the Aces on June 16th, he has made 30 appearances. Yes he gave up a couple runs last week but converted three saves and even added another solid non-save inning down the stretch for Reno to lock up the division and head to the playoffs. His most recent save can be seen above in the playoff clinching out for the Aces. He will continue to be an important piece as Reno makes their push through the post season. Depending on how long that lasts, he could be another player that could get a look out of the bullpen at the big league level before the season is over.

12. Andrew Velazquez, SS, South Bend SilverHawks (A), ETA: 2017

Last 10 games: .341 AVG, 14 hits, 12 runs, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 walks, 11 Ks, 3 stolen bases, .439 OBP

Season (South Bend): 127 games, .293 AVG, 151 hits, 87 runs, 17 doubles, 14 triples, 8 HR, 52 RBI, 60 walks, 126 Ks, 50 stolen bases, .371 OBP

*Notes: Velasquez continues his hot hitting ways for South Bend as the SilverHawks have three games to go before they begin their playoff action in the Midwest League. The 20 year old from the Bronx has been absolutely special in 2014. Over the last few weeks I have been listing off stats to why this has been the case. A new one to mention this week goes along the lines of him being a switch hitter. Many switch hitters are noticeable better from one side of the plate. Velasquez is steady from both sides as he has hit .317 in 123 at-bats from the left and .283 in 421 at-bats from the right. There is so much to like about what this guy is capable of.

13. Sergio Alcantara, SS, Missoula Osprey (Rookie Pioneer League), ETA: 2018

Last 10 games: .278 AVG, 10 hits, 11 runs, 3 doubles, 1 RBI, 5 walks, 6 Ks, 1 stolen base, .417 OBP

Season: 67 games, .244 AVG, 62 hits, 48 runs, 10 doubles, 1 HR, 18 RBI, 46 walks, 61 Ks, 8 stolen bases, .361 OBP

*Notes: Alcantara continues to show an incredible ability to get on base even if the hits aren’t coming as often. This last week however, he showed what games do look like when he does get on base often. He hit safely in six consecutive games last week with eight hits total, walked in four of those games and managed to score 10 runs in the process. So just to spell it out for all of you, he scored in 10 of the 12 times he reached base last week. That’s just insane!

14. Justin Williams, OF, South Bend Silver Hawks (AA), ETA: 2017

Last 10 games: .325 AVG, 13 hits, 6 runs, 5 doubles, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 2 walks, 9 Ks, .375 OBP

Season (South Bend): 28 games, .284 AVG, 29 hits, 16 runs, 6 doubles, 3 triples, 2 HRs, 23 RBI, 7 walks, 23 Ks, .348 OBP

Season (Missoula): 46 games, .486 AVG, 73 hits, 31 runs, 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 HR, 23 RBI, 17 walks, 44 Ks, 1 stolen base, .433 OBP

*Notes: If Alcantara is the lightning in Missoula, Williams is the thunder. Another great week for Williams who has played extremely will since his season began back on June 16th with Missoula. He was held out for almost half the season as he was getting healthy and it was almost as if he was let out of a cannon once he was cleared to play. You have to love his ability to hit the ball in the gaps. Five doubles in the last week is as good as it gets.

15. Stryker Trahan, OF, Hillsboro Hops (A Short), ETA: 2017

Last 10 games: .265 AVG, 9 hits, 4 runs, 1 double, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 6 walks, 7 Ks, 1 stolen base, .441 OBP

Season (Hillsboro): 30 games, .257 AVG, 29 hits, 15 runs, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 6 HR, 22 RBI, 15 walks, 23 Ks, 2 Stolen Base, .344 OBP

Season (South Bend): 95 games, .198 AVG, 73 hits, 47 runs, 21 doubles, 1 triple, 13 HR, 52 RBI, 30 walks, 146 Ks, 3 Stolen Bases, .264 OBP

*Notes: The move for Trahan to be sent down to Hillsboro continues to be a success so far. In the last ten games, he has over a .440 on-base percentage which was unheard of during his time with South Bend. While most of 2014 can be deemed a set-back, the way he is closing the season is giving both the organization as well as himself a lot more confidence.

16. Jimmie Sherfy, RHP, Mobile BayBears (AA), ETA: 2015

Last week: 2 relief appearances, 3 innings, 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 5 Ks, 0.00 ERA

Season (Mobile): 37 relief appearances (3-1), 1 save, 38 innings, 34 hits, 21 runs (all earned), 18 walks, 45 Ks, 4.97 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: After getting roughed around a couple weeks ago, Sherfy had as productive a week as we have seen from him in quite some time. For the second time in the last two weeks, Mobile has had him throw two full innings and the results have been very positive. Both of those outings were almost identical as he didn’t allow a hit, walk or run and struck out three both times. Sherfy has closer potential even though that hasn’t been his role this season with Mobile, but showing he can pitch productively for longer amounts of time just increases his value going forward.

17. Matt Railey, OF, Missoula Osprey (Rookie League), ETA: 2018

Last 10 games: No appearances.

Season (Missoula): 13 games, .267 AVG, 12 hits, 7 runs, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 4 walks, 7 Ks, 1 stolen base, .327 OBP

*Notes: The former 89th overall pick of the Diamondbacks from the 2014 draft continues to be out due to injury and has not appeared in a game in August. His numbers over the 14 games he did play in July tell you everything you need to know for why the organization is very excited about their third round selection from the 2014 draft.

18. Cody Reed, LHP, Missoula Osprey (Rookie League), ETA: 2018

Last week (Missoula): 1 start, 3 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, 2 walks, 4 Ks, 0.00 ERA

Season (Missoula): 3 starts (0-1), 9 innings, 3 hits, 3 runs (all earned), 4 walks, 12 Ks, 3.00 ERA

Season (AZL): 10 appearances, 7 starts (0-1), 20.2 innings, 17 hits, 7 runs (5 earned), 5 walks, 26 Ks, 2.18 ERA

*Notes: Reed took a week off two weeks ago but was back at it last week and was impressive. He tossed three scoreless innings allowing just one hit. Three innings are as deep as he is going into starts at this point for Missoula. Opponents are not enjoying stepping up to the box with him as they are hitting just .103 against him in the three starts. This 2014 draft pick of the Diamondbacks has top-prospect potential.

19. Zach Borenstein, OF, Reno Aces (AAA), ETA: 2015

Last 10 games: .114 AVG, 4 hits, 3 runs, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 0 walks, 12 Ks, .114 OBP

Season (Reno): 20 games, .260 AVG, 19 hits, 12 runs, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 7 walks, 22 Ks, .321 OBP

Season (Mobile): 20 games, .250 AVG, 19 hits, 11 runs, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 10 walks, 16 Ks, 3 stolen bases, .337 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: Borenstien only played in two games last week and is seeing little playing time down the stretch while he has struggled in August from the plate and Reno was in the thick of making their push to the playoffs. Borenstein might just have hit a wall and really, who could blame him? He has played at least 20 games this season for four different teams. It has been a tremendous work load and he is a versatile enough player to play just about anywhere in the outfield and hit anywhere in the lineup that he is asked. At minimum, he will be a major bench threat in the playoffs for Reno and looks to have a big 2015 season that could see him make an appearance in the big leagues depending on how things pan out.

20. Daniel Palka, 1B, South Bend Silver Hawks (A), ETA: 2016

Last 10 games: No games played last week

Season: 118 games, .248 AVG, 113 hits, 63 runs, 23 doubles, 5 triples, 22 HRs, 82 RBI, 56 walks, 129 Ks, 9 stolen bases, .332 OBP

*Notes: Palka continues to be out with an injury and hasn’t played in a game since August 14th. Palka on the season though has been among the organizations leaders in home runs and RBI which has landed him amongst the top-20 prospects.

Top 20 prospect outstanding performer last week: Nick Ahmed, SS, Reno Aces


Diamondbacks full minor league statistical hitting leaders:

-Hits: Brandon Drury (Mobile/Visalia) – 160

-Home runs: Rudy Flores (Visalia) – 28

-Runs batted in: Rudy Flores (Visalia) – 100


Diamondbacks full minor league statistical pitching leaders:

-Strikeouts: Aaron Blair (Mobile/Visalia/South Bend) – 171

-Earned Run Average: Yefrey Ramirez (Missoula/AZL D-Backs) – 3.06

-WHIP: Yefrey Ramirez (Missoula/AZL D-Backs) – 1.02

Next Reads