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, 4 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, 4 walks, 3 Ks, 0.00 ERA
Season (Mobile): 10 starts (2-2), 49.1 innings, 40 hits, 19 runs (all earned), 28 walks, 40 Ks, 3.47 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: The walks continue to be the problem with Archie as he threw four shutout innings in his last start but lasted only four innings in large part to the four walks he issued in that span. He gave up four hits as well. Two weeks ago, he threw seven strong with just one walk and six strikeouts. It was just the second time in 10 starts with Mobile this season where he surrendered just one walk in an outing. It is this problem with command in control to why his strikeouts are way down this season and also why he is still yet to get the call up to the big leagues. The D-Backs are in no rush, and it will be interesting to see if they call him up when the rosters expand next month.
2. Braden Shipley, RHP, Mobile BayBears (AA), ETA: 2015
Last week: No starts. No injury listed. Last pitched on 8/12
Season (Mobile): 2 starts (0-1), 10 innings, 8 hits, 4 runs (all earned), 5 walks, 10 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 has not made a start in the last week and has made two since getting the call up to Mobile at the beginning of August. The first start for Braden with the BayBears was a drag because he gave up five hits, four walks and threw 101 pitches in six innings of work. He only pitched four innings in his second start. throwing 74 pitches. Shipley is a strikeout pitcher which will mean his pitch count will get up there from time to time, but he has really had to work so far at this new level of play.
3. Touki Toussaint, SP, Missoula Osprey (Rookie Pioneer League), ETA: 2018
Last Week: 1 start, 5 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 1 walk, 3 Ks, 6.75 ERA
Season (Missoula): 2 starts (1-1), 7.2 innings, 10 hits, 9 runs (all earned), 3 walks, 7 Ks, 10.57 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: The ERA is going to be inflated because Touki is at the point in his development where he is just not going to pitch a ton of innings in an appearance. They will continue to bring him along slowly in the Rookie Pioneer League however, last week was his longest start since joining the organization going five strong. And they were very strong as he just walked one and allowed five hits over the five innings. The two runs he gave up were two solo blasts but other than those, the production looked good in his longest start. It was a nice bounce back from getting lit up in his first start with the Osprey.
4. Aaron Blair, RHP, Mobile BayBears (AA), ETA: 2015
Last week (Mobile): 2 starts (1-0), 12 innings, 5 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 10 Ks, 0.00 ERA
Season (Mobile): 6 starts (4-1), 35.1 innings, 24 hits, 9 runs (9 earned), 9 walks, 35 Ks, 2.04 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 just continues to be an absolute stud. He has had a great season leading the organization in strikeouts and being among the leaders in most other categories and it seems like every time he is presented with a new challenge or adversity, he bounces back even better. In his third start with Mobile, he had arguably his worst start of the season allowing six earned runs in 4.2 innings pitched back on July 31st. Since, he has a 0.53 ERA in 17 innings pitched over three starts and a 13:5 K:BB ratio in the process. He may shock some people and compete for a spot in the rotation for the big league club next season if he keeps trending like this.
5. Jake Lamb, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB), ETA: 2014
Last 10 games (D-Backs): .176 AVG, 6 hits, 3 runs, 1 double, 2 RBI, 2 walks, 14 Ks, .208 OBP
Season (D-Backs): 11 games, .184 AVG, 7 hits, 3 runs, 1 double, 3 RBI, 2 walks, 15 Ks, .220 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’s first stint at the big league level has been somewhat of a struggle so far but Kirk Gibson and the D-Backs are having him work through it. You can tell he could be pressing because he is striking out much more often and getting on-base far less than from what we have seen at the minor league level this season. Lamb got off to a slow start this season in Double-A but once he got it figured out, the rest is history. Hopefully for him that becomes the case at the Big League level.
6. Brandon Drury, 3B, Mobile BayBears (AA), ETA: 2016
Last 10 games (Mobile): .375 AVG, 15 hits, 6 runs, 1 double, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 walks, 7 Ks, .403 OBP
Season (Mobile): 17 games, .355 AVG, 22 hits, 10 runs, 4 doubles, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 3 walks, 10 Ks. .397 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 has continued his ways at the double-A level hitting well for average, getting on base and driving in runs. There isn’t much more to say that hasn’t already been said about this young man other than the fact that like Aaron Blair, Drury continues to produce no matter the challenge he faces. This last month, he had the duty of stepping in for Jake Lamb who was killing it for the BayBears at the hot corner this season. They lose Lamb but with Drury, they haven’t skipped a beat.
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. However he has been sidelined since the first week in August and hasn’t seen game action. O’Brien is that much needed catching prospect the the Diamondbacks coveted during the trade deadline and could be the eventual replacement for Miguel Montero if the organization decides to deal him if things don’t turn around at the big league level in the next year or two.
8. Marcus Wilson, OF, AZL D-Backs (Arizona Rookie League), ETA: 2018
Last 10 games: .182 AVG, 6 hits, 3 runs, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 walks, 9 Ks, 2 stolen bases .272 OBP
Season (AZL): 32 games, .215 AVG, 23 hits, 14 runs, 1 double, 1 triple, 1 HR, 16 RBI, 15 walks, 32 Ks, 4 stolen bases, .317 OBP
*Notes:Wilson showed off his power potential for the first time as he went yard in a game last week. Power isn’t his strength but a huge added plus if he can develop it. He has the makings of being an elite hitter with his ability to get on base and make things happen. They are bringing on this youngster slowly as he was not sent out to Missoula like a few of his fellow members of the 2014 draft class, but that is not a reflection of his play.
9. Nick Ahmed, SS, Reno Aces (AAA), ETA: 2014
Last 10 games (Reno): .280 AVG, 14 hits, 6 runs, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 7 RBI, 0 walks, 6 Ks, 2 stolen bases, .280 OBP
Season (Reno): 91 games, .315 AVG, 112 hits, 46 runs, 23 doubles, 4 triples, 2 HR, 43 RBI, 32 walks, 49 Ks, 12 stolen bases, .375 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 got his shot at the big league level but was sent back down because he just didn’t have the opportunity to play everyday, especially when Cliff Pennington was activated off the DL. He showed signs in the field and in the batters box of being the player that the organization hopes he will become eventually as an everyday shortstop but he also showed his youth and inexperience at time. Since being back in Reno, he has picked up where he left off finding the outfield gaps and making plays with his speed on the base paths. I would be shocked if he didn’t get the call right back up with the Diamondbacks before season’s end even if and when Chris Owings comes off the DL.
10. Mitch Haniger, OF, Mobile BayBears (AA), ETA: 2015
Last week (AZL D-Backs): 3 games, .100 AVG, 1 hit, 2 runs, 1 walk, 4 Ks, .182 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: Haniger took the field as a member of the Diamondbacks organization for the first time this week working through a rehab assignment in the Arizona Rookie League. The key piece in the Gerardo Parra deal is known for having a cannon for an arm as a corner outfielder and has good pop in his bat. Hitting for a solid average will be the key for him to continue to improve from the plate.
11. Jake Barrett, RHP, Reno Aces (AAA), ETA: 2014
Last Week (Reno): 2 relief appearances, 2 saves, 1.2 innings, 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 2 Ks, 0.00 ERA
Season (Reno): 23 relief appearances, 14 saves, 22.1 innings, 18 hits, 11 runs (all earned), 12 walks, 20 Ks, 4.43 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 was back to his lights out self after blowing a save two weeks ago. He is now 12 of 14 in save opportunities with Reno and really those two blown saves are the reason his ERA is what it is. His first save last week, it took him just four pitches to get two outs and earn the save. All four of the pitches were for strikes. When he is on, he is as efficient and as dominant as they come.
12. Andrew Velazquez, SS, South Bend SilverHawks (A), ETA: 2017
Last 10 games: .366 AVG, 15 hits, 7 runs, 1 double, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 walks, 10 Ks, 4 stolen bases, .512 OBP
Season (South Bend): 121 games, .291 AVG, 144 hits, 82 runs, 16 doubles, 14 triples, 8 HR, 51 RBI, 58 walks, 122 Ks, 47 stolen bases, .371 OBP
*Notes: After a slow end of July for Velasquez, August has looked more like the player that has been one of the organizations top breakout players in 2014. He has 22 hits in 74 at bats a little more than halfway through the month to this point and more than one home run in a month for the first time since May. He is an impact player and when the hits come in flurries, he is dynamic in the field.
13. Sergio Alcantara, SS, Missoula Osprey (Rookie Pioneer League), ETA: 2018
Last 10 games: .265 AVG, 9 hits, 8 runs, 1 double, 1 RBI, 11 walks, 10 Ks, 1 stolen base, .588 OBP
Season: 57 games, .239 AVG, 52 hits, 37 runs, 7 doubles, 1 HR, 17 RBI, 41 walks, 55 Ks, 7 stolen bases, .360 OBP
*Notes: Alcantara continues to show an incredible ability to get on base. 11 walks in 10 games for a guy that isn’t intentionally walked ever is absolutely incredible. He looks like a pure middle infield leadoff hitter which quite frankly, the Diamondbacks have really never had in their history. The note on him prior to the season was that his glove was leaps and bounds ahead of his bat in terms of his development. It looks like that bat of his is making some nice strides in Missoula this season.
14. Justin Williams, OF, South Bend Silver Hawks (AA), ETA: 2017
Last 10 games: ,243 AVG, 9 hits, 7 runs, 1 triple, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 4 walks, 11 K, .378 OBP
Season (South Bend): 16 games, .246 AVG, 14 hits, 9 runs, 2 triples, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 4 walks, 14 Ks, .338 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 may not be hitting for as high of an average as he was off the bat in Missoula but he is still doing the things that those in the organization love about him. He is getting on base via the hit or the walk, he is driving in runs and he is making plays with his legs as seen with his two triples in 16 games. South Bend has had him hitting in the number five spot and seeing 13 RBI in 16 games from that spot is very productive protection for the clean up hitter. The note that jumps off the page in 16 games with the Silver Hawks? He is hitting .500 in 16 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
15. Stryker Trahan, OF, Hillsboro Hops (A Short), ETA: 2017
Last 10 games: .256 AVG, 11 hits, 6 runs, 1 double, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 3 walks, 10 Ks, 1 stolen base, .325 OBP
Season (Hillsboro): 18 games, .260 AVG, 19 hits, 11 runs, 6 doubles, 1 triple, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 7 walks, 14 Ks, 1 Stolen Base, .333 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 has been a resounding success so far. With the Silver Hawks, Stryker just couldn’t find any sort of consistency and I think it really hampered his confidence. It’s been a clean slate for him with the Hops. He is hitting .260 compared to sub .200 and he is drawing walks at an incredible rate to what he was doing prior. He already in 18 games has seven walks. He had just 30 walks in in 95 games in South Bend. This is a great sign for the once top-10 prospect that he is staring to regain form in what has been a frustrating year for the most part.
16. Jimmie Sherfy, RHP, Mobile BayBears (AA), ETA: 2015
Last week: 3 relief appearances, 3.1 innings, 4 hits, 3 runs (all earned), 1 walk, 5 Ks, 8.43 ERA
Season (Mobile): 34 relief appearances (3-1), 1 save, 34 innings, 32 hits, 19 runs (all earned), 16 walks, 40 Ks, 5.03 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 scoreless streak of 10 consecutive outings to close out July but August hasn’t fared quite as well. This month he has already allowed six earned runs in seven relief appearances. Two of which have been outings surrendering more than one run. Consistency has been the issue with Sherfy over the course of his time with Mobile since he was called up earlier this season. It will take that consistency to get him back into that closer-type role that we saw from him with Visalia at the beginning of the year..
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.
18. Cody Reed, LHP, Missoula Osprey (Rookie League), ETA: 2018
Last week (Missoula): 2 starts (0-1), 6 innings, 2 hits, 3 runs (all earned), 2 walks, 8 Ks, 4.50 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 was called up to Missoula after a great first stint at the pro level in the Arizona Rookie League. His high volume of strikeouts and minimal walks shows off great stuff and excellent control for a young kid just out of high school. He continues to be capped at three innings at the most pitching and actually surrendered his first home run as a pro in his last start. He went 11 appearances as a pro before giving up that first big fly. At both levels combined, batters are hitting a whopping .186 off of him thus far..
19. Zach Borenstein, OF, Reno Aces (AAA), ETA: 2015
Last 10 games: .286 AVG, 10 hits, 5 runs, 3 doubles, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 2 walks, 13 Ks, .342 OBP
Season (Reno): 16 games, .310 AVG, 18 hits, 11 runs, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 7 walks, 21 Ks, .379 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 has been known coming up through the ranks as being a versatile hitter. He can can hit for power, hit for average and hit those gaps with the great numbers seen with the number of doubles he has hit as well. He is so versitle that Reno can’t seem to figure out where to place him in the lineup. So far he has batted second, fourth, sixth, seventh and ninth in just 16 games. He has spent the most time in the six-hole being there for six of the 16 games. He is hitting .333 in 24 at-bats from that spot.
20. Daniel Palka, 1B, South Bend Silver Hawks (A), ETA: 2016
Last 10 games: .167 AVG, 6 hits, 5 runs, 1 double, 3 RBI, 5 walks, 10 Ks, 1 stolen base, .333 OBP
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 only appeared in two games in the last week and has not appeared in a game since 8/14. He was struggling before being out due to injury going through a stretch where he was six for his last 36 over a ten game span. Palka on the season though has been among the organizations leaders in home runs and RBI which landed him amongst the top-20 prospects..
Top 20 prospect outstanding performer last week: Aaron Blair, RHP, Mobile BayBears
Diamondbacks full minor league statistical hitting leaders:
-Hits: Brandon Drury (Mobile/Visalia) – 151
-Home runs: Rudy Flores (Visalia) – 24
-Runs batted in: Brandon Drury (Mobile/Visalia) – 90
Diamondbacks full minor league statistical pitching leaders:
-Strikeouts: Aaron Blair (Mobile/Visalia/South Bend) – 160
-Earned Run Average: Yefrey Ramirez (Missoula/AZL D-Backs) – 3.18
-WHIP: Yefrey Ramirez (Missoula/AZL D-Backs) – 1.04