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): 1 start (Win), 5.2 innings, 3 hits, 1 run (earned), 4 walks, 5 Ks, 1.59 ERA
Season (Mobile): 4 starts (1-0), 18.1 innings, 14 hits, 3 runs (all earned), 13 walks, 9 Ks, 1.47 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: Archie has not allowed more than one earned run in his first four starts since joining Mobile since coming off of injury. He also hasn’t allowed more than four hits in those four either with opponents hitting just .237 off of him. He’s starts however have seen him have to pitch out of trouble though because he continues to walk batters at a high rate. He has a head scratching K:BB ratio of 13:9 and already has more walks in four starts for Mobile than he did after five starts in Reno to start the season. We will see if the organization decides to bring him back to Reno or if he will just look to get that consistency with his control back in Double-A before the Diamondbacks give him a shot before the season is over.
2. Braden Shipley, RHP, Visalia Rawhide (A+)
Last week: No starts
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: Shipley was the lone Diamondbacks prospect represented in the Futures Game at the MLB All-Star Week in Minnesota. He pitched 0.2 innings coming in relief in the seventh giving up one hit but then two routine flyouts to get out of the inning for the USA team. While his season overall has been up and down, he still sports an impressive 89:27 K:BB ratio total in 2014 for South Bend and Visalia combined. Shipley had this to say to MLB.com about his season to this point, “It’s going good,” Shipley said. “Just like any season, it’s had its ups and downs. But there have been more ups than downs. It’s been great. I was just looking forward to this and then finishing off the rest of the season strong.”
3. Aaron Blair, RHP, Visalia Rawhide (A+)
Last week (Visalia): 1 start (win), 5.1 innings, 6 hits, 3 runs (all earned), 2 walks, 5 Ks, 5.06 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 was much better this week after allowing nine combined earned runs over two starts last week. But he still is not back to the dominating Blair we have gotten to know at times this season. He has already allowed more runs and issued as many walks this month in three starts as he did through five starts in June. He needs to be better pitching out of jams. In Visalia, his ERA is 1.21 with the bases empty but is 9.43 with runners on and 12.39 with runners in scoring position.
4. Stryker Trahan, OF, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)
Last 10 games: .179 AVG, 7 hits, 8 runs, 3 doubles, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 2 walks, 18 Ks, .238 OBP
Season: 85 games, .195 AVG, 65 hits, 45 runs, 17 doubles, 1 triple, 13 HR, 51 RBI, 26 walks, 129 Ks, 3 Stolen Bases, .259 OBP
*Notes: Trahan had a three hit game this week which included two doubles, a RBI and no strikeouts. Games like that have been few and far between this season for Trahan but it just proved what we all know he is capable of. Despite the fact that he is still hitting below the Mendoza line for the season, his production when he does get the hits is actually impressive as he has still managed to hit 17 doubles, 13 home runs and 51 RBI’s. His biggest problem continues to be hitting against lefties. His average is .115 in 78 at-bats against South Paws making him quite the liability in those situations.
5. Jake Lamb, 3B, Mobile BayBears (AA)
Last 10 games: .306 AVG, 11 hits, 4 runs, 5 doubles, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 7 walks, 12 Ks, .391 OBP
Season: 91 games, .317 AVG, 105 hits, 54 runs, 33 doubles, 5 triples, 13 HR, 71 RBI, 41 walks, 87 Ks, .395 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. The good times continue to role for Lamb as he is hitting a stellar .333 for the half the month of July to this point. For the season, his on-base percentage is a dazzling .395 and is hitting .366 with runners in scoring position. Lamb missed a lot of 2013 with two different injuries but really made the most of his time on the field when he wasn’t hurt. This year we are seeing what at least half a year with Lamb injury-free can look like and it is very exciting.
6. Brandon Drury, 3B, Visalia Rawhide (A+)
Last 10 games: .306 AVG, 11 hits, 4 runs, 1 double, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 4 walks, 7 Ks, .390 OBP
Season: 92 games, .292 AVG, 107 hits, 57 runs, 30 doubles, 1 triple, 16 HR, 66 RBI, 33 walks, 65 Ks, 3 Stolen Bases, .357 OBP
*Notes: After a slow week last week, Drury was back to himself knocking in 11 runs over the past week. Eight of which have come in his last four games. He went three consecutive games with a home run in that span. He has multiple RBI’s in four of his last 10 games. Also in the last week, he went over the century mark for hits on the season. Drury has been consistently good all season long.
7. Jake Barrett, RHP, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last Week (Reno): 2 relief appearances, 1 save, 2 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, 1 walk, 2 Ks, 0.00 ERA
Season (Reno): 10 relief appearances, 3 saves, 9.2 innings, 10 hits, 7 runs (all earned), 7 walks, 7 Ks, 6.52 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. Coming off maybe the worst week of his professional career allowing five earned runs over two outings, he was back to his normal self with two very efficient relief appearances, one of which earning his third save since getting called up to Reno. Part of the problem since being called up has been against lefties. He has thrown a combined 4.1 innings against south paws and has given up five runs and three walks sporting a 10.38 ERA against them.
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: .135 AVG, 5 hits, 2 runs, 1 double, 2 RBI, 8 walks, 10 Ks, .289 OBP
Season: 26 games, .225 AVG, 23 hits, 9 runs, 3 doubles, 8 RBI, 18 walks, 25 Ks, 4 stolen bases, .347 OBP
*Notes: Alcantara had a very slow week after getting off to a hot start over his first 20 games. In the last week, he had just one hit, no runs, three walks and five strikeouts. Sergio is a switch hitter but has a lot of work to do when hitting from the right side of the plate. In 17 at-bats from the right side, he is hitting .118 with eight strikeouts. The hitting will be a roller coaster with Sergio as he is better known for his fielding at this stage of his career. Anchoring down consistency in the batters box is a big part of this 18 year-old’s development.
10. Andrew Chafin, LHP, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last week: 1 start (1-0), 6 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 3 walks, 6 Ks, 3.00 ERA
Season (Reno): 10 starts (3-3), 54 innings, 70 hits, 40 runs (35 earned), 25 walks, 44 Ks, 5.83 ERA
Season (Mobile): 9 starts (4-1), 55 innings, 49 hits, 14 runs (12 earned), 19 walks, 41 Ks, 1.96 ERA
*Notes: Chafin got back on track this week throwin six strong innings giving up just two runs on five hits. He is still walking more batters than I am sure even he would prefer but he he has been very good at getting around the trouble when batters have trouble seeing his pitches. It is all about getting ahead of batters when it comes to Chafin. He has thrown a combined 15 innings when he is behind in the count and his ERA is 7.20. Three of his six home runs he has given up in Reno have been when he is behind in the count.
11. Zach Borenstein, OF. Mobile BayBears (AA)
Season (Mobile): 9 games, ..297 AVG, 11 hits, 8 runs, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 4 walks, 8 Ks, 2 stolen bases, .357 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 has now played his first full week with the BayBears since being acquired by the team in the trade that sent Joe Thatcher and Tony Campana to the Angels. He has hit the ground running with his new team with five extra-base hits (11 hits total) in his first nine games. He is without question a playmaker and is showing signs already of the 2013 version of himself which saw him hit .337 with 57 extra-base hits winning the Angel’s Minor League Player of the Year. Going into the season, outfield depth in the farm system was pretty weak but after the 2014 draft and the acquisition of Borenstein, the outfield in the farm system is looking much better.
12. Felipe Perez, RHP, AZL-Dbacks (Arizona Rookie League)
Last week: 1 start, 2 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 0 Ks, 0.00 ERA
*Notes: Perez has been throwing in Extended Spring Training games all season to this point to build his up. Finally, he made his first start of the season in a Rookie League game and was very solid in the process. Perez experienced some shoulder soreness at the end of Spring Training so they took 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: 2 relief appearances, 2 innings, 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 2 Ks, 0.00 ERA
Season (Mobile): 23 relief appearances (1-0), 1 save, 23 innings, 21 hits, 13 runs (all earned), 13 walks, 27 Ks, 5.09 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 his best week since being called up to Mobile. Two lights-out innings. After all that time of him alternating appearances of allowing a run and then not, he has now put together a scoreless streak of six straight innings and has only allowed two hits and two walks in that span. It took a little while but Sherfy is really looking more like his old dominate self like what we saw at the beginning of the year in Visalia.
14. Daniel Gibson, LHP, Visalia Rawhide (A+)
Last Week (Visalia): 3 relief appearances, 3.2 innings, 3 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 0 walks, 4 Ks, 5.60 ERA
Season (Visalia): 4 relief appearances, 3.2 innings, 7 hits, 5 runs (all earned), 0 walks, 4 Ks, 12.27 ERA
Season (South Bend): 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 lit up for three runs on four hits without recording an out in his first appearance in Visalia but regained some confidence in his first full week with the Rawhide last week. His las outing he allowed two runs on a home run. He had only given up one home run in 37 outings with South Bend. He has now matched that in just four appearances. It’s a jump up in the level of play and Gibson will need to make the necessary adjustments.
15. Justin Williams, OF, Missoula Osprey (Pioneer Rookie League)
Last 10 games: .425 AVG, 17 hits, 8 runs, 3 doubles, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 2 walks, 10 Ks, .442 OBP
Season: 28 games, .342 AVG, 39 hits, 17 runs, 4 doubles, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 10 walks, 31 Ks, 1 stolen base, .392 OBP
*Notes: Williams continues rake in his first month of play for the 2014 season. He is hit safely in each of his last ten games with a fantastic 17 hits in 40 plate appearances in that span. Williams is the playmaking, left-handed, outfield bat that the Diamondbacks organization so desperately needs and he has really come to play so far. He played three games in South Bend at the end of last season and I would not be surprised to see him make a return to the Silver Hawks very soon.
16. Joe Munoz, SS, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)
Last week (South Bend): 3 games, .000 AVG, 0 hits, 0 runs, 3 doubles, 2 walks, 2 Ks, .181 OBP
Season (South Bend): 37 games, .291 AVG, 41 hits, 27 runs, 9 doubles, 5 HR, 16 RBI, 14 walks, 36 Ks, .359 OBP
Season (AZL): 4 games, 5 hits, 1 run, 2 RBI, 2 walks, 3 Ks, .368 OBP
*Notes: South Bend is bringing Munoz back into the fold slowly after returning from his second stint on the disabled list. He played in just three games last week and did not record a hit. He has appeared in just seven games over the last two weeks since returning to the Silver Hawks. When Munoz has been healthy, he has looked great. It is smart that they are proceeding with caution because he needs reps on the field. There is no need to rush him out there every day and risk another set back.
17. Nick Ahmed, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB)
Last week (D-Backs): 3 games .307 AVG, 4 hits, 2 runs, 1 RBI, 0 walks, 2 Ks, .307 OBP
Season (D-Backs): 7 games, .231 AVG, 6 hits, 2 runs, 1 RBI, 0 walks, 2 Ks, .231 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: Ahmed and Didi Gregorious continue to share the time at shortstop but Ahmed is starting to settle into the big leagues nicely with four hits in his last three games including a two hit game on Sunday in San Francisco to close out the first half of the season. As mentioned last week, Chirs Owings’ shoulder continues to move slowly giving Ahmed maybe more time up at the big league level than maybe expected. He is beginning to make the most of it getting on base despite infrequent starts. WOuld like to see him work the counts better to draw some walks and get on base so he can show off his base stealing ability.
18. Kevin Munson, RHP, Reno Aces (AAA)
Last week: 2 relief appearances, 2 innings, 2 hits, 1 run (earned), 1 walk, 3 Ks, 4.50 ERA
Season: 38 relief appearances (3-2), 1 save, 42 innings, 37 hits, 15 runs (14 earned), 15 walks, 55 Ks, 3.00 ERA
*Notes: Munson had a scoreless streak of 7.1 straight innings end last week and gave up another run in one of his two appearances last week. He has allowed three earned runs in his last five appearances. But it has been very minimal damage for the most part despite that notion. I’ve said it many times, Munson makes hitters beat him and rarely hurts himself with walking batters. He has just one walk in the month of July and a spectacular 55:15 K:BB ratio this season. He has been one of Reno’s most reliable options all year.
19. Touki Toussaint, SP, AZL-Dbacks (Rookie)
Last Week: 1 start, 2 innings, 1 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 5 Ks, 0.00 ERA
Season (AZL-Dbacks): 3 starts (0-1), 4 innings, 4 hits, 4 runs (1 earned), 4 walks, 9 Ks, 2.25 ERA
*Notes: Toussaint stretched out a start to two innings for the first time and looked great in doing so. He allowed just one hit and two walks but struck out five batters in just the two innings. He will not pitch more than three or four innings in a start for the rest of the season and the fact that we can see already very good production in just a total of four innings of play brings a smile to the Dbacks Organization’s face.
20. Daniel Palka, 1B, South Bend Silver Hawks (A)
Last 10 games: .278 AVG, 10 hits, 7 runs, 3 doubles, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 6 walks, 14 Ks, 2 stolen bases, .400 OBP
Season: 90 games, .258 AVG, 90 hits, 50 runs, 19 doubles, 4 triples, 18 HRs, 70 RBI, 40 walks, 102 Ks, 7 stolen bases, .334 OBP
*Notes: Palka remains the cream of the crop in the Diamondbacks organaztion with his ability to hit for power. He leads the farm system with 18 home runs and also has 19 doubles on the year. Yes he does strike out often which power hitters will do but he balances that out with his ability to draw walks often. Palka is paving the way for a call up very soon.
Top 20 prospect outstanding performer last week: Justin Williams, OF, Missoula
Diamondbacks full minor league statistical hitting leaders:
-Hits: Andrew Velazquez (South Bend) – 113
-Home runs: David Palka (South Bend) – 18
-Runs batted in: Jake Lamb (Mobile) – 71
Diamondbacks full minor league statistical pitching leaders:
-Strikeouts: Aaron Blair (Visalia and South Bend) – 125
-Earned Run Average: Yefrey Ramirez (AZL D-Backs) – 2.22
-WHIP: Dallas Newton (Missoula) – 0.99