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), ETA: 2014
Last week (Mobile): 2 starts (1-0), 10.1 innings, 8 hits, 4 runs (all earned), 6 walks, 9 Ks, 3.56 ER
Season (Mobile): 8 starts (2-1), 38.1 innings, 30 hits, 16 runs (all earned), 23 walks, 31 Ks, 3.76 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 got him self back on track last week coming off a week where he had his worst start as a member of the Diamondbacks organization. The glaring problem continues to be however is the number of walks he continues to give up. In five of his eight starts in Mobile since coming off the DL, he has allowed three walks or more sporting a 31:23 K:BB ration in those eight starts. It is still in question whether he is called up this season to the big league level because of his control. As far as I am concerned, there is no rush.
2. Braden Shipley, RHP, Mobile BayBears (AA), ETA: 2015
Last week (Visalia): 1 start (Win), 7 innings, 5 hits, 1 run (earned), 1 walk, 9 Ks, 1.29 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 was one of the many players we will mention this week that received a call-up this week. After allowing just six earned runs in his last four starts that saw him throw 26.1 innings, the organization decided it was time to bump their former number one pick up for the second time this season. Shipley will make his first start with Mobile this week.
3. Touki Toussaint, SP, Missoula Osprey (Rookie Pioneer League), ETA: 2018
Last Week: 1 start, 3 innings, 1 hit, 3 runs (all earned), 3 walks, 2 Ks, 9.00 ERA
Season (AZL-Dbacks): 7 appearances, 5 starts (0-1), 15 innings, 14 hits, 12 runs (8 earned), 12 walks, 17 Ks, 4.80 ERA
*Notes: The next player to receive a call up is Toussaint who will spend the rest of 2014 in Missoula. His adjustment to pro baseball has begun with some struggles. That was seen in his last start where he only gave up one hit, but really beat himself with the walks. He has 12 total walks in his first seven appearances as a pro and hasn’t thrown more than three innings in an outing which is to me expected for the young player. Control development is the biggest adjustment for a young pitcher and that will be the biggest area of growth for him in order to become the elite starter the Diamondbacks drafted.
4. Aaron Blair, RHP, Mobile BayBears (AA), ETA: 2015
Last week (Mobile): 1 start (loss), 4.2 innings, 6 hits, 7 run (6 earned), 3 walks, 6 Ks, 11.57 ERA
Season (Mobile): 3 starts (2-1), 18.1 innings, 14 hits, 8 run (7 earned), 4 walks, 22 Ks, 3.44 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 brought back to earth last week. Every pitcher and player have to go through some highs and lows once they get called up and Blair for the first time since being called up to Mobile, experienced the lows. He was lights out through his first two starts but his last start consisted of him walking three batters and giving up two home runs. Batters were able to get to Blair but he also didn’t help himself with all the walks. The strikeouts though continue to be the most impressive aspect of his game. He leads the organization in K’s this season and so far in AA, has a 22:4 K:BB ratio.
5. Jake Lamb, 3B, Reno Aces (AAA), ETA: 2015
Last week (Reno): 4 games, .533 AVG, 8 hits, 3 runs, 3 doubles, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 walk, 4 Ks, 1 stolen base, .563 OBP
Last week (Mobile): 2 games, 3 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, 1 K
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 is the third player who received the call up in the last week and man was it well deserved. He has been nothing short of spectacular and crushed pitchers in Double-A. He picked up right where he left off in his first four games with the Reno Aces in Triple-A as well. Four extra-base hits including one home run in those four games while hitting a stupid .533. I have a lot of trouble believing that he won’t be called up to the bigs before the season over now that Martin Prado is gone. They should give him a look and the opportunity so he could take that starting role at third and run with it on Opening Day 2015.
6. Brandon Drury, 3B, Mobile BayBears (AA), ETA: 2016
Last week (Mobile): 4 games, .308 AVG, 4 hits, 3 runs, 1 double, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 0 walks, 2 Ks, .357 OBP
Last week (Visalia): 3 games, 4 hits, 4 runs, 1 double, 1 RBI, 0 walks, 2 Ks.
Season: 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: Lamb up to Reno means Drury is called up to take his place. That makes him the fourth player to get called up in the last week out of the top six prospects. Many fans in Mobile might be sad to see Lamb go but that feeling won’t last long as Drury has been equally as special this season as Lamb. He is a unique talent as he hits for great power but is not the makeup of your modern day power hitter at a corner infield spot because of his ability hit well for average and not strikeout often. BayBears faithful have already had the chance to see just that in his first four games hitting two home runs and a double in 13 at-bats. The best part of this is Lamb and Drury, though playing for the same organization, are going to push each other. Lamb has to look over his shoulder knowing another great player is behind him looking to take his spot, and Drury knows he is going to have to continue his stellar play if he wants to one day take Lamb’s spot. What a great problem for the Diamondbacks to have.
7. Peter O’Brien, C, Mobile BayBears (AA), ETA: 2015
Last week (Mobile): 3 games, .333 AVG, 4 hits, 1 runs, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 walk, 5 Ks, .385 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: Martin Prado gone, welcome in the Yankees prospect Peter O’Brien. He has immediately been sent to Mobile where in just three games, has already displayed the power we heard all about on the day the trade was made. He hit an incredible 33 home runs in 102 games which is among the most total for minor leaguers this season. His power has been progressively better each and every season and definitely his best asset. The Diamondbacks have lacked the star power at catcher though the system, especially when the decision was made this past offseason to move Stryker Trahan to the outfield. When the day comes that Miguel Montero is no longer behind the plate, this could be his eventual replacement,
8. Marcus Wilson, OF, AZL D-Backs (Arizona Rookie League), ETA: 2018
Last 10 games: .182 AVG, 6 hits, 2 runs, 3 RBI, 3 walks, 11 Ks, 2 stolen bases .250 OBP
Season (AZL): 28 games, .215 AVG, 20 hits, 13 runs, 1 double, 1 triple, 14 RBI, 15 walks, 28 Ks, 4 stolen bases, .330 OBP
*Notes: Nick Ahmed is still considered the number eight prospect in the organization but as Chris Owings continues to deal with Shoulder problems, Ahmed has had a long stint up with the big league club. So we move up recent second round pick Marcus Wilson up a spot to number eight. While Wilson’s bat hasn’t come alive as of yet since joining the organizations, his speed has been on display. He has four stolen bases in five attempts over 28 games. If he was on base a little more, that number might be considerably higher. His 15 walks in those 28 games is also a stat that jumps off the page.
9. Mitch Haniger, OF, Mobile BayBears (AA), ETA: 2015
Last week (Mobile): Officially listed on the Disabled List
Season (Brewers Org): 67 games, 62 hits, 41 runs, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 10 HR, 34 RBI, 19 walks, 41 Ks, 4 stolen bases, .316 OBP
*Notes: Haniger was the key piece in the Gerardo Parra deal and to be honest, this is a much better prospect than what I envisioned the D-Backs could get in return for Parra. Haniger has reported to Mobile but has been placed on the DL with a leg injury which is only supposed to have him out a couple weeks. The 6-2 outfielder is said to have a cannon for an arm, has a great eye at the plate and some pop in his bat that can only get better.
10. Jake Barrett, RHP, Reno Aces (AAA), ETA: 2014
Last Week (Reno): 4 relief appearances, 4 saves, 4 innings, 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 3 Ks, 0.00 ERA
Season (Reno): 18 relief appearances, 9 saves, 17.2 innings, 14 hits, 8 runs (all earned), 10 walks, 13 Ks, 4.08 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: Well it didn’t take long for Jake Barrett to settle in with Reno. After a very shaky start to his time in Triple-A, Barrett this past week has looked as good as he’s looked all season. Since being called up in June to Reno, he has been one of the most used relievers in the system and has once again become one of the most dominant. He had perfect innings last week which all earned saves. He hasn’t allowed a hit in his last five appearances and a run in his last seven. He keeps this up and could be poised for a September call up.
11. Andrew Velazquez, SS, South Bend SilverHawks (A), ETA: 2017
Last 10 games: .220 AVG, 9 hits, 7 runs, 1 double, 4 RBI, 7 walks, 9 Ks, .347 OBP
Season (South Bend): 107 games, .283 AVG, 124 hits, 73 runs, 15 doubles, 14 triples, 6 HR, 45 RBI, 53 walks, 107 Ks, 40 stolen bases, .366 OBP
*Notes: I mentioned last week that Velazquez’s breakout 2014 season plus him setting a minor league record for most consecutive games getting on base has him among the top 20 prospects. Despite all the great accomplishments, the end of July into August has been somewhat of a struggle for the shortstop. He is hitting just .220 in his last ten games and has not stolen a base. His ability to get on-base and then steal bases from there is his best asset on offense.
12. Sergio Alcantara, SS, Missoula Osprey (Rookie Pioneer League), ETA: 2018
Last 10 games: .268 AVG, 11 hits, 12 runs, 2 double, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 walks, 8 Ks, .326 OBP
Season: 44 games, .236 AVG, 41 hits, 25 runs, 5 doubles, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 26 walks, 42 Ks, 4 stolen bases, .337 OBP
*Notes: Alcantara’s average continues to climb. Just a few weeks ago he was in the low .200s but now has it almost up to .240. The extra base hits are beginning to come with more regularity. He has three in his last ten games including his first home run of the season. Sergio is said to have the best potential glove at shortstop in the entire system. It sure seems like his bat is starting to come along nicely as well.
13. Justin Williams, OF, South Bend Silver Hawks (AA), ETA: 2017
Last week (South Bend): 1 game, 1 hit, 1 run, 1 triple, 1 RBI, 0 walks, 1 K, .250 OBP
Last week (Missoula): 5 games, 5 hits, 2 runs, 1 triple, 2 RBI, 1 walk, 4 Ks,
Season: 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: ”Do not be surprised to see him get the call back up to South Bend or maybe even Visalia in the very near future.” Thats what I said to close my notes on Williams last week and sure enough, Williams is the fifth player to be called up this week. He absolutely demolished the Rookie Pioneer League hitting over .400 at one point. He hasn’t shown the pop that he could be capable of one day but man, can he make some things happen offensively. He showed South Bend that in his first game with them roping an RBI triple.
14. Stryker Trahan, OF, Hillsboro Hops (A Short), ETA: 2017
Last week (Hillsboro): 6 games, .261 AVG, 6 hits, 5 runs, 4 doubles, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 walks, 3 Ks, .370 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: All this talk of players who were promoted in the last week. There was one however that was demoted. That was former first round pick Stryker Trahan. It was a good move by the organization because Trahan really needed a change of scenery. He was playing every day in the outfield for South Bend and overall the season has been one long slump. He was hitting below .200 and striking out a ton. Sure he would show some signs of turning it around displaying the big power we know he was capable of, but those games were few and far between. So far, the most looks to be beneficial to Hillsboro as he has hit the ground running with a new sense of motivation I am sure. He had six hits in his first six games with a home run and four doubles. That’s more what we like to see. Hopefully this could be a move where he can get his confidence back and get back to moving up the system as a key future piece with this organization.
15. Jimmie Sherfy, RHP, Mobile BayBears (AA), ETA: 2015
Last week: 2 relief appearances (1-1), 1.2 innings, 1 hit, 1 run (earned), 0 walks, 2 Ks, 7.50 ERA
Season (Mobile): 28 relief appearances (3-1), 1 save, 27.2 innings, 24 hits, 14 runs (all earned), 14 walks, 32 Ks, 4.55 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 took the loss in one of his two appearances in the last week but over all, the body of work was good. He hasn’t walked a better in 3.2 consecutive innings (four total appearances) and he finished a month of July where batters hit just .138 off of him. July was without question his most productive month of the year and looks to be closing 2014 strong.
16. Matt Railey, OF, Missoula Osprey (Rookie League), ETA: 2018
Last 10 games: Did not appear in a game last week
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 did not appear in a game in the last week. He seems to be dealing with an undisclosed injury at this time but has not been placed on the disabled list. Railey had been on fire before sitting the last week out with seven extra-base hits in his first 13 games as a pro.
17. Cody Reed, LHP, AZL D-Backs (Arizona Rookie League), ETA: 2018
Last week: 1 relief appearance, 3 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 2 Ks, 0.00 ERA
Season (AZL): 8 appearances, 7 starts (0-1), 13.2 innings, 16 hits, 7 runs (5 earned), 5 walks, 17 Ks, 2.70 ERA
*Notes: II really like what we are seeing with Reed. Showing versatility for the first time coming out of the bullpen and pitched outstanding. This after he had his worst start to date since being drafted. His walks are very minimal and is a strikeout machine as seen with his 17 Ks in 16.2 innings. Very good control and love the potential he has being a power arm to come up in this organization.
18. Zach Borenstein, OF, Reno Aces (AAA), ETA: 2015
Last week (Reno): 3 games, .364 AVG, 4 hits, 4 runs, 1 triple, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 walks, 3 Ks, .467 OBP
Last week (Mobile): 3 games, 2 hits, 2 runs, 1 triple, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 1 K
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 is the sixth player now mentioned who was called up last week. For him, it is now the fourth different team he has suited up with this season. He is familiar with the Pacific Coast League as he played 30 games their earlier this season for the Angels affiliate in Salt Lake. He hit .256 there with two home runs and 22 RBI. Borenstein is off to a good start with Reno as he has come in now their every day left fielder and has already contributed a home run, a triple and four RBI’s in three games. I can see him being a player that could fight for an outfield spot next season for the Diamondbacks during spring training as he is 24 years old as of last month.
19. Daniel Palka, 1B, South Bend Silver Hawks (A), ETA: 2016
Last 10 games: .268 AVG, 12 hits, 8 runs, 2 doubles, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 5 walks, 10 Ks, 1 stolen base, .362 OBP
Season: 109 games, .258 AVG, 109 hits, 59 runs, 23 doubles, 5 triples, 22 HRs, 79 RBI, 51 walks, 119 Ks, 9 stolen bases, .337 OBP
*Notes: Palka remains the cream of the crop in the Diamondbacks organization with his ability to hit for power. He is second in the farm system with 22 home runs, falling behind Rudy Flores of Visalia but continuing to hold off Brandon Drury in what has been a fun little inter-farm system race. Though believe it or not, July was his worst out put of home runs in a month in which he hit five. Palka is another player who suits up for South Bend who has played their way into being a top 20 prospect because of a remarkable 2014 campaign.
20. Daniel Gibson, LHP, Visalia Rawhide (A+), ETA: 2016
Last Week (Visalia): 2 relief appearances, 0.1 innings, 1 hit, 2 runs (both earned), 2 walks, 0 Ks, 180.00 ERA
Season (Visalia): 12 relief appearances (3-1), 13 innings, 15 hits, 11 runs (10 earned), 5 walks, 14 Ks, 6.92 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: Very frustrating week for Gibson. He managed to face four batters over two appearances and only recorded one out. Gibson has had moments like this throughout the year where he doesn’t just surrender a measly run, its two or three tuns in an inning where it all come apart. But those have just been sprinkled in among many, many scoreless outings for him both with South Bend and Visalia. He has proven to be very mentally strong as he always finds a way to bounce back.
Top 20 prospect outstanding performer last week: Jake Barrett, RHP, Reno Aces
Diamondbacks full minor league statistical hitting leaders:
-Hits: Brandon Drury (Mobile/Visalia) – 133
-Home runs: Rudy Flores (Visalia) – 23
-Runs batted in: Brandon Drury (Mobile/Visalia) & Jake Lamb (Reno/Mobile) – 83
Diamondbacks full minor league statistical pitching leaders:
-Strikeouts: Aaron Blair (Mobile/Visalia/South Bend) – 147
-Earned Run Average: Anfernee Benitez (AZL D-Backs) – 2.40
-WHIP: Yefrey Ramirez (Missoula/AZL D-Backs) – 0.69