Arizona Diamondbacks 2018 Top 50 Prospects

Arizona Diamondbacks Top 50 Prospects for 2018

Last spring Arizona had maybe the worst minor league system in baseball. A year later, things are looking brighter. The 2017 draft was highly regarded. Many prospects already in the system performed well, highlighted by the domination of Jon Duplantier. Other prospects like Marcus Wilson and Andy Yerzy, developed their tools into results. And some players like Eduardo Diaz, and Eddie Hernandez popped onto the radar with their success and became prospects. The system is still not stellar, but it’s on the upswing, and there are plenty of players to be excited about. The major league squad went 93-69 in 2017 and with the starting staff returning for 2018 there’s reason to think they can make another run. Their upper level MLB-ready bats are strictly role player types, but the lower levels have some potentially fast moving advanced bats, as well as a few younger, exciting, high upside players. We’ll know a lot more after this year when the lower level bats either prove themselves or get exposed in full season ball. There’s also a handful of lower level high upside arms to be optimistic about.

Prospects1500 Tiers:
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster





 

Tier 1:
None

Tier 2:

1.  Jon Duplantier, RHP
Age on Opening Day: 23
Highest 2017 Level: A+
Duplantier broke out and crushed it from start to finish in 2017. He posted a 1.39 ERA, the 2nd lowest ERA in the minors from a SP in the last 25 years. He cruised thru 2 levels of A ball to finish with 165 K, 42 BB, and only 91 hits in 136 innings. Just as importantly, he made every scheduled start after having injury problems in his past. He changed his mechanics in the preseason and it paid dividends. He’s big and athletic. He has potentially four above average pitches, and currently leans on his heavy fastball to get a ton of ground balls. The control is a minor concern, but he’s cerebral on the mound, a true craftsman, and I think he’ll figure it out. He’s not a sleeper anymore. His 2017 campaign took him from an injury riddled possible bullpen arm, to a legit #3 starter projection. And personally I think the ceiling is higher, almost put him in tier 1.

2. Pavin Smith, 1B
Age on Opening Day: 22
Highest 2017 Level: A-
Smith famously hit more home runs (13) than he struck out (12) his senior year at Virginia. He couldn’t match the feat in his pro debut striking out only 24 times and hitting……zero home runs. Well, he did hit one in the playoffs. There lies the debate on Pavin Smith. He has a great approach, and profiles to potentially hit .300+ with an OBP around .400. That’s a high floor. But where’s the power? Is it coming? I’m optimistic he will grow into it and learn to pick spots to turn on balls. 110 MLB hitters hit 20+ home runs last year. I think Pavin should eventually be one. Either way, the ratios make Smith a valuable asset in today’s fantasy environment, even better if he can find that power.

3. Marcus Wilson, OF
Age on Opening Day: 21
Highest 2017 Level: A
Wilson took some time to develop but it came together in 2017 emerging as a potential 5 tool prospect. He hit .295/.383/.446 with 9 HR and 15 steals at Kane County. He walked at a 12% clip, greatly improved his power numbers, and lowered his K%. There’s room for more power too as he gets bigger. He also showed off his speed on the basepaths and played a solid CF. Like so many of Arizona’s hitting prospects he’ll have to show he can handle  higher levels before establishing what might be expected at the major league level. Everything is trending in the right direction for Wilson, and he stands above in a system crowded at the lower levels.

4. Daulton Varsho, C
Age on Opening Day: 21
Highest 2017 Level: A-
Varsho had arguably one of the better pro debuts of anyone in the 2017 draft. The Wisconsin native hit .311/.368./.534 with 7 HR, 7 SB, and 14K%. Scouts knock his arm, but I think his other catching skills make up for it. The bat is why he’s an exciting prospect. He makes great contact, uses all fields, has power, speed, and a high baseball IQ. I’m all in on Varsho. I think he stays at catcher and could be a 20-20 threat in the peak of his career.

5. Anthony Banda, LHP
Age on Opening Day: 24
Highest 2017 Level: MLB
I see Banda as player with a high floor and a long career in the majors. He has upper echelon velocity for a lefthander. His change and curve flash plus but are inconsistent. His command is streaky and at worst can really get off the rails. He’s effectively the #6 starter on Arizona this season, being the first guy to get a start in case of an injury. If that doesn’t open up, a bullpen role in an option too. His name is being mentioned in trade rumors, that would mean a faster road to a secure starting pitcher gig. Right now Banda’s control worries me and he gives up too many fly balls. However, there’s a realistic chance to improve his command and secondary pitches to become a true fantasy asset.

Tier 3:

6. Jasrado “Jazz” Chisholm, SS
Age on Opening Day: 20
Highest 2017 Level: A
Chisholm underwhelmed in 109 AB in A ball last season before missing a lot of time after undergoing meniscus tear surgery. But it hasn’t dinged his prospect status. I think his arm, range, and hands keep him at SS. The bat is the wildcard. He takes big hacks, and needs to improve pitch recognition. He’s also has upside to dream on. His raw power is real. He makes hard contact and has pop in his quick swing. I’ve seen him described as cocky, confident and mature. Jazz has as high a ceiling as any DBack bat and I look forward to seeing him healthy and getting some at bats.

7. Jhoan Duran, RHP
Age on Opening Day: 20
Highest 2017 Level: A-
Duran signed in 2015, started getting buzz in 2016 and it grew in 2017. He’s got an athletic 6’5″ 190 lb frame with room to add muscle. He has a smooth delivery and already easily is in the mid 90’s.  Scouts think he’ll be able to throw 100 mph someday. Needs to develop a third pitch, so there is some reliever risk here, but he’s still young, and I think he will stay a starter. I expect a breakout in full season Kane County this year. Probably the highest upside arm in the system.

8. Andy Yerzy, C
Age on Opening Day: 19
Highest 2017 Level: Rookie
The Canadian was viewed as a project drafted 52nd overall in 2016. He struggled mightily in his debut. In 2017 the defensive struggles continued but the bat came alive. He slashed .298/.365/.524 with his BB% and K% both trending in the right direction. Yerzy already displays a good eye at the plate, in game power, and his hit tool is better than expected. Before we get too excited, he had drastic home/road splits, and needs to get more loft in his swing. Also, a move off catcher is a good possibility, maybe inevitable, but I think the bat plays anywhere. He has a big frame with room to add more strength, and an elite work ethic. I hope to see him at Kane County this year. Bonus points if you can name two big left handed high school Canadian bats drafted as catchers to go on to stellar careers.

9. Drew Ellis, 3B
Age on Opening Day: 22
Highest 2017 Level: A-
Ellis was drafted last year 44th overall. He provides an advanced college bat with plus on base skills and present game power. He struck out a bit and had a low BA in his debut, but nothing to worry about too much. The K issues might plague him but his bat should be pretty solid. If everything goes perfect for him you’re looking at a middle of the lineup hitter with 30+HR and a great OBP. Worst case scenario is a .240 hitter who strikes out too much. We’ll see how full season ball goes but he definitely has potential and could rise up the system.

10. Domingo Leyba,  MI
Age on Opening Day: 22
Highest 2017 Level: AA
Leyba needed shoulder surgery and he logged just 58 AB losing a year of development in 2017. In 2016 he hit .301/.374/.436 at AA. He makes consistent hard contact and is a well rounded player. Leyba is the rare Diamondback hitting prospect with upside not in the lower levels. His power is limited but there is major league regular potential here. His proximity to the majors, and relative youth helps him in my rankings.

11. Eduardo Diaz, OF
Age on Opening Day: 20
Highest 2017 Level: Rookie
Arizona mined this diamond back in 2015, signing Diaz out of Venezuela for just $10,000. Diaz did well in the Pioneer League hitting .312/.357/.510 with 11 steals, 11 walks, 30 xBH, 47 K in 247 AB. Diaz has a plus arm, plus speed, power potential, and a quick aggressive bat in his tool shed. I think his power/speed combo gives him more upside than his fellow lower level Diamondbacks. Needs to get tested at higher levels but I like his chances and I’m excited to watch him. Probably available in a lot of dynasty leagues, he’s worth a pick.

12. Gabriel Maciel, OF
Age on Opening Day: 19
Highest 2017 Level: Rookie
Maciel shows a better approach and more polish than you might expect from an 18 year old from Brazil.  He hit .323/.389/.438 in Pioneer League last season.  He is small and power will never be a strong suit. He’s more of a leadoff type with contact and speed and great CF defense. Maciel made big gains from 2016 to 2017  and if he keeps progressing he can challenge to be Arizona’s leadoff hitter of the future.

13. Matt Tabor,  RHP
Age on Opening Day: 19
Highest 2017 Level: Rookie
Tabor has a million dollar arm! The high school pitcher drafted 82nd overall last year signed for exactly that amount. He was a late bloomer from the cold in Massachusetts and rocketed up draft boards. He’s a prototypical high upside power arm with 3 pitch potential. He’s only 160 lbs yet throw 90-94 mph, hitting 97. In the smallest of sample sizes he walked none and struck out 9 in his pro debut. Arizona will give him a lot of time to develop, and add weight but the time to get him in dynasty leagues is now.

14. Taylor Clarke, RHP
Age on Opening Day: 24
Highest 2017 Level: AAA
While not spectacular, Clarke is solid and steady. 138 K, 52 BB, 3.35 ERA, in 145 innings across AA/AAA. He gets kudos for intangibles like mound presence, competitiveness, and durability. He’s a back end starter type and near MLB ready, but there’s not room for him in Arizona. There’s fantasy value in his high floor, and proximity to the majors, but I’d rather gamble on a younger, higher upside guy and that’s reflected in his ranking.

15.  Jared Miller, LHP
Age on Opening Day: 24
Highest 2017 Level: AAA
Miller’s career has rocketed upwards since being converted into a reliever before the 2016 season. If you include his 2016 stint in the Arizona Fall League, Millers career line as a RP looks like this: 150.1 IP, 2.45 ERA, 12.21 K/9, 3.05 BB/9, 5.44 H/9. He get both righties and lefties out, and has closer stuff. He’s often compared to another 6’7″ lefty reliever in Andrew Miller. The DBacks added him to the 40 man roster last fall, so he should compete for a role in their suddenly crowded bullpen. Speaking in dynasty terms, I think he’s the best of all of them.

16. Anfernee Grier, OF
Age on Opening Day: 22
Highest 2017 Level: A
Grier has failed to live up to being the 39th overall pick in 2016. He slugged just .331 last year with a puny .080 isolated power. Was supposed to have good raw power coming out of college, but it’s been non-existent in pro ball. The good news is he kept up a good BB rate, and showed premium speed and range in outfield. He’s got room to fill out physically and therefore a chance to find his power. With his tools, potential, and high draft status he’s going to keep getting shots.  Tumbling down the systems’ CF depth chart, I think Grier is a buy low dynasty option and a bounceback candidate.

17. Christian Walker, 1B/OF
Age on Opening Day: 27
Highest 2017 Level: MLB
Mashed .309/.382./.597 at AAA Reno. His 114 RBI led the entire minor leagues. Peripherals impressed too as he dramatically improved his K% and posted a solid BB%. He also notched a career high 47% fly ball percentage and hit 32 over the fence. He’s major league ready and could be serviceable in left field. Would be nice to see him get an extended look and try to shed his AAAA label. Realistically, to get many big league at bats in Arizona he’d need for them to suffer a rash of injuries or for them to fall out of contention. Might be tough for him to catch on there, but he at least has the skills and capabilities to get hot and stay hot.

18. Jimmie Sherfy, RHP
Age on Opening Day: 26
Highest 2017 Level: MLB
Sherfy shined in his  MLB debut in a late season call up. He pitched 10.2 IP, allowing just 7 baserunners, and not giving up a run. The Diamondbacks even gave him a spot on the postseason roster. He posted 1.8 BB/9 in 2017, half his career rate. He’s got closer stuff in a plus plus fastball and a sometimes dominant slider. Sherfy’s on the 40 man roster, and will look to compete for high leverage innings in a crowded bullpen situation in Arizona. He has the stuff to separate himself from the pack, but it’s a gamble.

19. Socrates Brito, OF
Age on Opening Day: 25
Highest 2017 Level: AAA
Philosophically speaking, a case could be made for Socrates to be a major leaguer. He looks the part, has good power, a strong arm, can play all three outfield positions, and has produced at every stop in the minors. But whenever he gets a shot he either struggles or gets injured.  He was to come into spring training looking for a bench role in a very thin Arizona outfield, but broke a finger in winter ball and might not be 100%. He doesn’t walk and has struggled badly versus LHP his entire career  especially in his short stints in MLB. Time’s running out on Socrates, maybe it’s the 80 grade name, maybe it’s the tool set but I can’t give up on him yet.




Tier 4:

20. Joey Rose, 3B
Age on Opening Day: 20
Highest 2017 Level: Rookie
Joey took a big step in 2017 hitting .312/.364/.547 in rookie Pioneer League after looking lost in 2016. I like his swing and his presence in the batters box. He’s another in a long list of lower level DBack bats with good tools who need to keep developing and distinguishing themselves as they move up. I liked him coming into the 2016 draft, and i’m interested to track his progress. I see him as a potential high riser if he puts up some results in Kane County.

21. Buddy Kennedy, 3B
Age on Opening Day: 19
Highest 2017 Level: 2019
Kennedy’s got some power and a quick bat. He’s short and stocky, built more like a linebacker from the 50’s than a prototypical third baseman. Held his own in his pro debut, took some walks, and showed speed and hustle hitting 8 triples. Kennedy’s grandfather is ex-Brewer Don Money. And oh ya, Buddy’s got a famous buddy in Mike Trout. They both are alumni of Millville Senior High School in New Jersey. Trout’s taken him under his wing, they work out together, and have a good bond, so that’s cool. Kennedy has a long way to go, but there’s hope for the bat. He’s a strong kid and more athletic than he looks and there’s some potential here.

22. Eddie Hernandez, 2B/3B
Age on Opening Day: 18
Highest 2017 Level: Rookie
Hernandez broke out became a prospect in 2017. He was an under the radar signing out of Venezuela in 2015. He earned a promotion stateside playing well in Dominican Summer League and continued his good play in Arizona Rookie Ball. Walks aren’t a part of his game which is fine because I like watching him swing. He’s small but strong and he’s got a little pop. He’s aggressive, high energy, and fun to watch. He’s a loooong way off and worth a pick in only the deepest of dynasty leagues, but definitely a player to keep tabs on.

23. Kristian Robinson, OF
Age on Opening Day: 17
Highest 2017 Level: none
After the success of Jazz Chisholm, Arizona went back to the Bahamas to sign Robinson for $2.55 million. He checks off the standard boxes for elite international signees. Plus body, plus athlete, plus raw power, plus plus speed. Publications had him ranked in the 10-20 range in this year’s class. He’s obviously raw, but did spend some time stateside in showcase circuits facing better competition. Robinson has Olympic bloodlines, and plus make up. He takes pride in representing the new wave of Bahamians in pro ball. There’s reason to be excited to see Robinson start his career and see if he can develop his immense raw tools into game skills.

24. Jose Almonte, RHP
Age on Opening Day: 22
Highest 2017 Level: A+
Impressed in California League with 162 K and 129 HA in 139 IP. Heard his name as a possible high Rule 5 pick, so I was pleasantly surprised he’s still with the club. Jose’s K% up ticked in 2017. He’s got a solid 3 pitch mix but his control can hurt him at times. If he can harness that I think he’s got a chance to be a mid-rotation starter in the majors with the ability to get some strikeouts. Hopefully he can stack his successes at AA Jackson in 2018.

25. Yoshihisa Hirano, RHP
Age on Opening Day: 34
Highest 2017 Level: Japanese Pacific League
May be odd to have a soon-to-be 34 year old on a prospect list, but he’s new to the league, and may play a significant role this season. Arizona GM Mike Hazen signed him to “slot somewhere in the back of the bullpen.” He’ll be in the mix for saves with Archie Bradley and Brad Boxberger. Boxberger, signed this offseason, is two years removed from being a closer and hasn’t pitched over 30 innings since. Arizona may be motivated to keep Bradley in his 8th inning role because he thrived there last season and it keeps his future price tag down. That brings us to Hirano and his 156 career saves in Japan. Arizona proved last year they value experience in the closer role sticking with Fernando Rodney despite his struggles and other viable options. Some scouts think Hirano’s splitter will play up in the states and baffle MLB hitters. Long story short, keep tabs on Arizona’s bullpen situation in spring training. I think Hirano gets saves this season. Maybe more of a single season play, but dynasty leagues can use cheap save sources too.

26. Yoan Lopez, RHP
Age on Opening Day: 25
Highest 2017 Level: A+
It has been a long journey for Yoan Lopez. In a widely panned deal he signed out of Cuba for $8M in 2015. The pressure got to him and Yoan struggled on the field and off. He actually quit baseball on two separate occasions. However, he rose from the ashes in 2017 after making the switch to reliever. He absolutely crushed it striking out 49.7% (59 of 119) batters he faced. The reinvigorated Lopez needs to overcome injury concerns but his stock is on the rise as a high leverage, late inning reliever with an upper 90’s fastball and filthy slider.

27. Harrison Francis, RHP
Age on Opening Day: 19
Highest 2017 Level: Rookie
Harrison is much like a lot of high school arms in the draft. Physically projectable with a plus fastball in the low to mid 90’s. What has the DBacks excited are his secondary pitches. Scouts like the chances of him developing a good curve and plus change up. Put Francis in the crowded group or raw, young pitching prospects with upside. But a notch above the rest because of the secondary stuff.

28. Cody Reed, LHP
Age on Opening Day: 21
Highest 2017 Level: A+
Cody puts up dominate numbers in A ball the last two seasons (1.77 ERA 104 K in 86.1 IP). But he can’t keep it going in A+ and struggles badly. Everything i read says scouts are down on his stuff. The fastball is slow and the secondary stuff is meh. Arizona will keep him moving up the ladder and see if he can get AA hitters out in 2018.

29. Kevin Cron, 1B
Age on Opening Day: 25
Highest 2017 Level: AA
Cron repeated AA in 2017 and won both the Southern League MVP and the Diamondbacks’ Minor League Player of the Year awards. The 6’5″ 250 lb. right handed hitter has slugged 25+ homers and struck out 130+ times in three straight seasons. What changed in 2017 was the increased BB% and decreased K%. His success and improvements took him from organizational depth to a prospect to keep tabs on. Although he will have a tough road to the majors in the NL with his profile there are reasons to be optimistic, and he’ll roll the dice in AAA Reno in 2018.

30. Sam McWilliams, RHP
Age on Opening Day: 22
Highest 2017 Level: A
The 6’7″ starting pitcher repeated Kane County in 2017, honed his craft and made some tangible gains. He throws mid 90’s and has a legit sinker and slider. He keeps the ball in the yard and allowed only 2 BB/9.  For a big tall pitcher with solid stuff, he doesn’t strike out as many as you’d expect, but he has improved his K%. That limits his fantasy upside for now but he has tools, size, and pitchability so maybe the K’s coming as he develops more.

31. Ildemaro Vargas, IF
Age on Opening Day: 26
Highest 2017 Level: MLB
Vargas is a good story making it from Indy League ball in 2015 to a brief appearance in the big show in 2017. He can play anywhere on the field, rarely strikes out, and will hit for a high average. He’s a useful utility player on a contender like the Diamondbacks, but not very useful for fantasy purposes.

32. Brian Shaffer, RHP
Age on Opening Day: 21
Highest 2017 Level: A-
The 6’5″ righthander was the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year before being drafted in round 6 last year. He’s a strike thrower with a sinking 94 mph fastball, and potential for an average slider and change up. He was a control pitcher in college (1.5 BB/9) and true to form allowed only one walk in 24 IP in pro debut. He’ll be a fast moving college arm with a somewhat average arsenal that limits his upside.

33. Jack Reinheimer, MI
Age on Opening Day: 25
Highest 2017 Level: MLB
Reinheimer is a gamer. If grit, work ethic, fundamentals, intangibles, and leadership were the 5 categories of your roto league he’d be a first rounder. But, they’re not so he’s #33 on this list. He’s a solid player that had two nearly identical seasons in Reno. He makes consistent hard contact, can take a walk, has some speed, no power, and can handle 2B and SS. That adds up to a useful MLB bench player not a fantasy option except in the deepest of NL only leagues. He’ll go into camp in the mix for a DBacks bench role. I think he should make it, but will probably spend most of the year in Reno with a few spells in the majors.




Tier 5:

34. Ramon Hernandez, 3B
Age on Opening Day: 22
Highest 2017 Level: A
Last season Hernandez hit .294/.338/.438 at Kane County improving on the power and K% he showed in a short stint there in 2016. He’s been solid yet fairly unspectacular in his young career. He’s has some power and bat skills, but needs to learn to take walks and get better pitches. I’d need to see an uptick in power to get excited about him. It is possible he does grow into more power and possible he learns a better approach, so he is worth tracking.

35. Jose Caballero, 2B
Age on Opening Day: 21
Highest 2017 Level: Rookie
Caballero was a key producer for JuCo national champion Chipola College before being a 7th round pick in 2017. He’s a plus athlete, and a baseball rat. He sticks out for his bat and has speed as well. He got off to a good start in pro ball hitting .319/.377/.467. Hopefully keeps in going moving up the levels and gets his shot.

36. Ryan Atkinson, RHP
Age on Opening Day: 24
Highest 2017 Level: AA
Atkinson’s a great story, undrafted out of Cincinnati, played indy ball, and signed into the Arizona system in 2016. Atkinson started 26 games, cruising thru 3 levels in 2017 and played in the Arizona Fall League as well. Across 141.2 IP, he struck 167, and only gave up 101 hits. More than just a fell good story, he owns a good fastball with movement and a nasty curve. He’s rising quickly, and worth a flier in a deep dynasty league.

37. Eudy Ramos, 3B
Age on Opening Day: 22
Highest 2017 Level: A
Ramos did well in short season ball but struggled badly in A ball Kane County. He has a ton of raw power. He will repeat full season A ball to improve his hitting approach. There’s hope here, he’s been successful in the past and Kane County is the outlier so far. He’s a big, strong player and his power will be his only carrying tool so he has to learn how to get into it in games.

38. Wildred Patino, OF
Age on Opening Day: 16
Highest 2017 Level: DNP
Patino was one of the youngest players signed in the international free agent signing period this year. I saw publications ranking him in the mid 20’s. Arizona likes his projectable frame, plus plus speed, and potential plus tools across the board. I saw him labeled one of the best athletes of the class! I think 30 players had that label, but hey it’s something. He’s not a premium bat like some other signees but there’s plenty of time to develop.

39. Alex Young, LHP
Age on Opening Day: 24
Highest 2017 Level: AA
Young’s career is at a crossroads. He has never performed up to his 2nd round draft pick selection, and put up pretty boring numbers in AA Jackson in 2017: 103 K in 137 IP and 58 BB. There’s talk of moving him to the bullpen to help his stuff play up and maybe kickstart his prospect status. He has a good slider. Maybe it happens, but he’s fallen down the depth charts. A comeback candidate is about all he is these days.

40. Yan Sanchez, SS
Age on Opening Day: 21
Highest 2017 Level: A
Sanchez was having a successful pro career til he hit a road bump in the second half of 2017. His free swinging ways were exposed in his first stint in full season ball in Kane County. He’ll probably repeat the level and work to tighten up his approach. He’s got a good frame, makes good contact, and has gap power.  He plays mostly SS but can play 2B/3B/OF and stay in the lineup everyday. Early results in Kane County should reboot his career and send him back up the system.

41. Ryan January, C
Age on Opening Day: 20
Highest 2017 Level: did not play
Highest 2016 Level: Rookie
A year ago January got some buzz hitting 10 HR in 183 AB in his first pro season. Unfortunately before the 2017 season he was suspended 50 games for a positive amphetamine test. He was eligible to return August 15, but ended up not playing at all. It’s a real handicap missing a year of develop at his age, especially at catcher. I haven’t  heard anything about what Arizona plans to do with him going forward. I do know he has big potential with the bat,and legitimate tools. He’s still young, hopefully he gets another chance and no one gives up on this kid.

42. Jorge Barrosa, OF
Age on Opening Day: 16
Highest 2017 Level: none
Baseball America had Barrosa pegged as the #44 prospect in the 2017 international fee agent class.  Listed at 5’7″ he’s always going to get knocked for his size. I came across a lot of glowing reports of his game. They laud his great contact rate, plus hit tool, and his plus hand eye coordination. They say he puts up some of the best game results versus top competition, and that coaches love his motor and instincts. I start to get excited, watch some videos of him, he looks impressive! Then I find this great picture of him on Twitter signing his contract and remember how young he is, and how young all these international kids are and what a long shot they are to make it. A true lottery ticket, but they do sometimes pay off. Worth a late round pick in a super deep dynasty league.

43. Dominic Miroglio, C
Age on Opening Day: 23
Highest 2017 Level: Rookie
Miroglio’s plus defensive skills and plus plus arm are his calling card. He’s no slouch with the bat either. He slashed .317/.384./.430 in his pro debut. He also walked 14 times compared to just 8 strikeouts in 160 plate appearances. He’ll be 23 to start next season so hopefully he gets an aggressive assignment to show what he can do. The fact Arizona’s system is bereft of strong defensive catchers should set Miroglio apart and if he proves he can hit while his defense shines he will have a future.

44. Colin Poche, LHP
Age on Opening Day: 24
Highest 2017 Level: A+
Poche missed a lot of bats in 2017. He dominated A ball to the tune of a 47.3 K%. Then posted a 36.6 K% in A+, not allowing a home run at either stop. He topped that off with 21 K in 16.1 IP in the Arizona Fall League. Not bad for a smallish left handed reliever drafted in the 14th round of the 2016 draft. He only throws 91-93 and but baffles hitters with a deceptive delivery. It’s been paying dividends so far, and we’ll see how it works as he quickly moves up the levels.

45. Ben DeLuzio, OF
Age on Opening Day: 23
Highest 2017 Level: A+
DeLuzio is a former 3rd rounder of the Marlins. He’s got nice size, defensive skills, nice speed, and a good hit tool. He’s hit over .313 at every minor league stop and owns a career .327 BA. He also has no power. Literally. Zero homers in 435 plate appearances. Arizona’s outfield depth is horrible which could work to benefit DeLuzio and give him a shot before the better prospects in the lower levels are ready. But upside here is limited to 4th or 5th outfielder in the majors.

46. Mack Lemieux, LHP
Age on Opening Day: 21
Highest 2017 Level: A
Mack graduated to full season ball in 2017 playing in Kane County. He posted a 4.69 ERA with 80 K in 101.2 IP. His arsenal consists of a  low 90’s fastball and a solid curve. He has some swing and miss stuff and had stretches where he seemed to have a handle on things. However, he needs to work on his command and consistency. Would have to make a big developmental leap to move up the DBacks organizational depth charts.

47. Tra’Mayne Holmes, OF
Age on Opening Day: 21
Highest 2017 Level: A-
Holmes struggled in his pro debut. He is very raw and inexperienced versus better competition. He is a premium athlete, a true centerfielder, and is a legit 70 runner. He’ll need experience, reps, and professional coaching to turn those tools into baseball skills. Down at this level of the list, in a poor system, I’m looking for players with a standout tool with any potential to breakout. Holmes is that type of player but strictly in only the deepest of dynasty leagues.

t48. Liover Peguero, SS, 17-years-old
Neyfy Castillo, SS, 17-years-old
Sergio Gutierrez, C, 17-years-old
This deep down the list, in this system,  the unknown is more exciting than the known. The  other prospects I considered were an uninspiring  crew of RP, back end fringe starters, or light hitting bats who’ve struggled or sputtered in their development. So instead I took a deep dive on some of last years international free agent signings. Peguero signed for $475K out of the Dominican Republic. Castillo also signed out of the DR but for $600K. Gutierrez signed out of Venezuela for $565K. Hopefully they can perform in the Dominican Summer League and come stateside and become real prospects. Gambling on those long odds pays off for some clubs every year.

About Matthew Hammerling 5 Articles
Matt Hammerling covers the Arizona Diamondbacks prospects for Prospects1500. Hailing from Southeastern Wisconsin, he plays in 20-30 fantasy baseball leagues a year including multiple dynasty leagues. Besides fantasy baseball, he enjoys tailgating, growing his beard, getting into bands 8 years after they're cool, and hanging out with his dog Monk. Follow him on Twitter at @AZdbProspector.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Thursday January 25, 2018 - Fantasy Baseball Links - FantasyRundown.com
  2. Diamondbacks Spring Training News and Notes | Prospects1500

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