Four Top 20 Prospects to Play in AZ Fall League, September Call-Up Candidates

Arizona Sports News online

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, Mobile BayBears (AA), ETA: 2014

Last week (Mobile):  1 start, 5 innings, 4 hits, 3 runs (1 earned), 3 walks, 6 Ks, 1.80 ERA

Season (Mobile): 11 starts (2-2), 54.1 innings, 44 hits, 22 runs (20 earned), 31 walks, 46 Ks, 3.31 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 slowly but surely is putting together a very good month of August. He has a 2.21 ERA in 20 innings pitched with an opponents batting average of .234. It has been an up and down season for Bradley in a year that many believed he may break through into the big leagues. While that remains to be seen before the rosters expand in September, he looks like he has found himself in someone of a groove over his last four starts. Regardless of where of what level he is pitching at to end this season, he will get more work in participating in the Arizona Fall League once this season is over. A good note on Bradley is in a combined 82.2 innings pitched at all levels this season, he has allowed just two home runs.

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

Last week: 1 start (Win), 5 innings, 3 hits, 1 run (earned), 1 walk, 2 Ks, 1.80 ERA

Season (Mobile): 3 starts (1-1), 15 innings, 11 hits, 5 runs (all earned), 6 walks, 12 Ks, 3.00 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 after skipping a week on the mound last week returned and had a very good appearance. Out of 65 pitches, 44 were for a strike and he walked just one batter over five innings. Since getting the call up to Mobile, in three starts he sports a 1.13 WHIP and an opponents batting average of just .204. One has to start to wonder if the Diamondbacks will give him a look when the rosters expand next month as he is a college pitcher so he is more mature than than many at his level at this point and his numbers all year have been very good..

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

Last Week: 1 start (Loss), 1.2 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs (all earned), 1 walk, 4 Ks, 22.50 ERA

Season (Missoula): 3 starts (1-1), 9.1 innings, 15 hits, 12 runs (all earned), 4 walks, 11 Ks, 11.57 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 in his one and only start last week which forced him to exit the game in the second inning. He has only given up four walks in his three starts combined since moving up to Missoula so that is a positive sign, but the professional bats are spraying the field with hits on the former high school pitcher out of Florida. Teams are hitting .366 off of him in those three starts and has a 2.04 WHIP. Life on the road at the big league level is quite the adjustment for someone Toussaint’s age, but it is how he responds to the adversity which will be the most telling of him during his development..

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

Last week (Mobile): 1 start, 6 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 1 walk, 4 Ks, 3.00 ERA

Season (Mobile): 7 starts (4-1), 41.1 innings, 28 hits, 11 runs (10 earned), 10 walks, 39 Ks, 2.18 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: Blair’s domination of the Southern League continues as he had another solid outing allowing two runs in six innings of work in his last start. He has allowed a total of three earned runs in 23 innings of work in August and his seen opponents hit under .200 off of him in his last three starts. Like Shipley, Blair is also a former college player and is further along than most other pitchers who have had his workload in the minor leagues. For that reason plus seeing the success he has had in 2014, he could be someone that gets a look at the big league level before season’s end.

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

Last 10 games (D-Backs): .229 AVG, 8 hits, 6 runs, 1 double, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 walks, 13 Ks, .333 OBP

Season (D-Backs): 14 games, .224 AVG, 11 hits, 7 runs, 1 double, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 walks, 17 Ks, .264 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 was given a little time to sit and went three days without appearing in a a game and since, has a hit in three consecutive games (four hits total) including his first Major League home run. One thing that you can point toward with why Lamb has struggled so far in his first shot at the bigs is his increased strikeout rate and his lack of walks. It is showing that his patience at the plate and eye for the ball at this level is not all there yet. But hopefully Lamb could build off this little run his is on and put together some nice games at the plate before the finish line. In case you missed it, below is Lamb’s first big league home run. The reaction from his teammates was very funny.

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

Last 10 games (Mobile): .333 AVG, 13 hits, 3 runs, 2 doubles, 3 RBI, 4 walks, 6 Ks, .435 OBP

Season (Mobile): 23 games, .329 AVG, 28 hits, 11 runs, 6 doubles, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 7 walks, 14 Ks. .385 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 is the second of four Diamondbacks top 20 prospects that will be playing in the Arizona Fall League after the conclusion of this season. It has been a second straight remarkable year for him which has seen him as a throw-in piece in the Justin Upton deal turned into a one of the top prospects in the organization. He has continued to be him at every level he has played at which is hitting great for average, loads of extra-base hits and minimal strikeouts for a player who hits for his kind of power. He is in the top five in many organizational hitting categories is showing no signs of slowing down.

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 this week that O’Brien will be joining Drury as the third of four top 20 prospects of the Diamondbacks to be joining the Arizona Fall League.

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

Last 10 games: .188 AVG, 6 hits, 3 runs, 1 double, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 walks, 12 Ks, 2 stolen bases .281 OBP

Season (AZL): 36 games, .208 AVG, 25 hits, 15 runs, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR, 18 RBI, 16 walks, 39 Ks, 4 stolen bases, .307 OBP

*Notes:Wilson’s adjustment to pro ball continues to be a bit of a grind as his struggles continue and his average continues to call closer to the Mendoza Line. He is currently riding a two for 17 stretch over the last five games and has just one walk to nine strikeouts in that stretch. He has batted in five different spots in the lineup and the one that has seen him have the most success is eighth where he is hitting .417 in 12 at-bats. He has spent most of his games played hitting in the ninth spot and has been tried in the leadoff spot the next most.

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

Last 10 games (Reno):  .333 AVG, 14 hits, 6 runs, 3 doubles, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 walks, 4 Ks, 1 stolen base, .380 OBP

Season (Reno): 97 games, .320 AVG, 121 hits, 51 runs, 25 doubles, 4 triples, 3 HR, 44 RBI, 34 walks, 52 Ks, 12 stolen bases, .380 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 looks to have really gotten his groove back with Reno since being sent down from the Big Leagues and is making a push to be sent back up. He displayed some nice power for him in the last week hitting two doubles and his first home run in over a month. He has made it clear that he can be an elite hitter in the Pacific Coast League. I am very curious to see how the Diamondbacks will handle the log jam they have at shortstop with Ahmed, Gregorious and Owings and if all three will be with the club by next spring training.

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

Last Week (Mobile):  4 games, .417 AVG, 5 hits, 3 runs, 2 doubles, 1 walk, 2 Ks, .500 OBP

Season (AZL D-Backs):  4 games, .200 AVG, 3 hits, 4 runs, 1 double, 1 HR, 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: What a week it was last week for Haniger. He played one more rehab assignment game in the Arizona Rookie League where he hit a double and a home run in the game and then played four more games last week with Mobile for the first time since being brought over in the trade sending Gerardo Parra to the Brewers. In those four games he made his presences felt very quick with five hits, including two doubles, in his first 12 at-bats. Talk about first impressions!

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

Last Week (Reno): 3 relief appearances, 1 save, 2.2 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, 0 walks, 1 K, 0.00 ERA

Season (Reno): 26 relief appearances, 13 saves, 25 innings, 19 hits, 11 runs (all earned), 12 walks, 21 Ks, 3.96 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 continues to be lights out in his closer role for Reno and has upped his consecutive scoreless streak to five games (4.1 innings). With the way Matt Stites and Evan Marshall have looked for the Diamondbacks and how Barrett has looked in Reno and in Mobile this season, the Diamondbacks have the chances to have an outstanding young bullpen in place next season. I think it would be smart of the organization to give Barrett his first taste of the big leagues this season so he can be better prepared for next year,

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

Last 10 games: .395 AVG, 15 hits, 8 runs, 1 double, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 walks, 7 Ks, 5 stolen bases, .500 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 has been on a tear in August hitting .319 in 91 at-bats with five extra-base hits and 10 stolen bases. This guy is a lightning rod and yet another very promising shortstop in the organization. One sat that jumps off the page for me is his 220 total bases in 127 games. That is just insane and one of the main reasons for why he went from not ranked in the top 20 to start the season to number 12 now. That is a bigger in-season jump than what Drury made last season.

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

Last 10 games: .182 AVG, 6 hits, 4 runs, 1 double, 1 RBI, 7 walks, 9 Ks, 2 stolen base, .394 OBP

Season: 60 games, .236 AVG, 54 hits, 38 runs, 7 doubles, 1 HR, 17 RBI, 42 walks, 58 Ks, 8 stolen bases, .355 OBP

*Notes: Alcantara continues to show an incredible ability to get on base even if the hits aren’t coming as often. He has more walks than hits in the last 10 games which has still allowed him to have an on-base percentage of almost .400 despite the fact that he has hit under .200 in that span. That’s quite the discrepancy but also shows how incredible a playmaker he can be offensively if his hitting could become more consistent. He has the makings of being as good a leadoff hitter the Diamondbacks have ever had if he continues to develop like this.

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

Last 10 games: .333 AVG, 12 hits, 9 runs, 2 doubles, 2 triples, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 3 walks, 9 K, .444 OBP

Season (South Bend): 21 games, .276 AVG, 21 hits, 12 runs, 2 doubles, 3 triples, 2 HRs, 17 RBI, 5 walks, 18 Ks, .345 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: Williams had a monster week last week with saw him have four extra-base hits which included his first two doubles as a member of South Bend in 22 at-bats. He is such a playmaker and a threat at the plate and all of his big plays seem to come in waves. He will have stretches where he will hit well for average but they will all be singles with minimal RBI’s. Then week’s like last week which are the exact opposite.

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

Last 10 games: .256 AVG, 11 hits, 5 runs, 1 double, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 6 walks, 10 Ks, 1 stolen base, .354 OBP

Season (Hillsboro): 23 games, .253 AVG, 23 hits, 13 runs, 6 doubles, 1 triple, 5 HR, 16 RBI, 11 walks, 18 Ks, 1 Stolen Base, .337 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. Six walks in the last 10 games is unheard of from the 2014 version of Trahan but that extra patience is not only seeing his walk numbers go up, but also his hits increase and his strikeouts decrease. He walked twice in a game last week which is just the fifth time he has walked more than once in a game all season including his time in South Bend. Patience is a virtue when it comes to the development of Trahan..

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

Last week: 2 relief appearances, 1.2 innings, 3 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 2 walks, 2 Ks, 15.00 ERA

Season (Mobile): 35 relief appearances (3-1), 1 save, 34 innings, 34 hits, 21 runs (all earned), 18 walks, 40 Ks, 5.40 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 great stretch of appearances going to close out July and into August but the last two weeks have been somewhat of a struggle for the former Oregon Duck. He has allowed a combined seven earned runs over his last seven appearances giving him an ERA of 9.00 for the month of August. Sherfy has been selected of the fourth of four top 20 Diamondbacks prospects to participate in the Arizona Fall League after this season.

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): No starts last week

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 was given a quick breather last week as he did not start a game after getting hit for three earned runs in three innings pitched for his last start. He otherwise has been very good since joining the organization and will be back on the mound in the coming days.

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

Last 10 games: .206 AVG, 7 hits, 3 runs, 1 double, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 2 walks, 11 Ks, .265 OBP

Season (Reno): 18 games, .288 AVG, 19 hits, 12 runs, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 7 walks, 21 Ks, .351 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 didn’t appear in every game last week but made the most in the games he was in. He hit a home run in three consecutive games at the end of last week and drove in six runs over those three games. The only negative that you can pinpoint with him is that though he has hit safely in six of his last 10 games, only one of those games saw him have more than one hit in it. Which is why his average has taken a dip in the last week. But his versatility to be able to hit in so many spots in the lineup and also his ability to hit for power in stretches is very promising.

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:Andrew Velazquez, SS, South Bend SilverHawks


Diamondbacks full minor league statistical hitting leaders:

-Hits: Brandon Drury (Mobile/Visalia) – 157

-Home runs: Rudy Flores (Visalia) – 26

-Runs batted in: Rudy Flores (Visalia) – 96


Diamondbacks full minor league statistical pitching leaders:

-Strikeouts: Aaron Blair (Mobile/Visalia/South Bend) – 164

-Earned Run Average: Yefrey Ramirez (Missoula/AZL D-Backs) – 3.21

-WHIP: Yefrey Ramirez (Missoula/AZL D-Backs) – 1.04

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