Diamondback Minor Leaguers in Review: AZL Dbacks Infielders

Up next on the docket for Minor League Coverage is a review of each of the affiliate's players. We'll work from the bottom up by team and position and discuss how each player did, where they might be projected for next year, and a few thoughts on their development in general.

The AZL Dbacks did not have a very good season as a team, but they had a couple of players on their roster worthy of discussion. The latest trend by the team is to send many of their top high school draft picks to the AZL Dbacks, perhaps to have them closer to better instruction rather than sending them to the wilderness confines of Missoula and Yakima. This year they sent their 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th, 11th, 12th, and 13th round picks to the AZL. On the infield front there are some interesting prospects we'll be reviewing including 1st-rounder Stryker Trahan and 2nd-rounder Jose Munoz. 7th-rounder Andrew Velazquez started in the AZL but he was promoted to Missoula so he'll be covered there. Outside of Trahan and Munoz, others who at least deserve a little attention include 2B William Castillo and C Phildrick Llewellyn.

C Stryker Trahan, 18, .281/.422/.473
Plus Stat: .422 OBP Neg Stat: 24% CS%
Acquired: 2012 Draft - 1st Round
Trahan was the club's 1st round pick addressing the lack of catching in the organization. Known for his athleticism he's being worked at catcher exclusively with the caveat he can move to corner OF if he can't make it there. The bulk of his focus this year was learning the catcher position as he struggled mightily there at first piling up passed balls and not throwing out many runners. But he made significant strides as the season progressed and he was doing much better in that regard by the end of the season. He'll stay at catcher for now. On the hitting front Trahan has amazing plate discipline with a BB/K rate of almost 1.0 and an astounding 40 walks in 211 PAs. Those are elite numbers for a power hitter which bodes well for Trahan's future against more advanced pitching. Of his 47 hits, 19 went for extra bases including 5 home runs. He'll hit for sure most of the way up because of his plate discipline and even if he doesn't stick at catcher he looks capable of supplying the kind of offense required of a corner outfielder. He could hit at a higher level right now but they'll probably move him up slowly to give his defense time to catch up with his offense.
2013 Projected Level: Rookie Missoula
Ceiling: Major League

SS Jose Munoz, 18, .260/.326/.341
Plus Stat: .347 August BA Neg Stat: 25 Errors in 45 Games
Acquired: 2012 Draft - 2nd Round

Munoz was a bit of a surprise pick in the 2nd round with most projections pegging him in the 3rd - 5th round. But the Dbacks like him due mainly to his solid build and fluid baseball actions. He's 6-3, 195, which is like Tulowitzki or Ripken size for a SS. He did not start his professional career very well hitting below .200 with lots of strikeouts and errors. But he made some good progress down the stretch hitting .347 in August and cutting down on the errors. He didn't show much slugging ability but that should improve in time. Due to his strong finish he'll maintain his position on the team prospect lists for now.
2013 Projected Level: Rookie Missoula
Ceiling: Major League

2B William Castillo, 19, .303/.373/.362
Plus Stat: 14 SB Neg Stat: 7 XB hits
Acquired: 2010 Venezuelan Free Agent

Castillo is a glove first middle infielder with a little speed, a good glove and good contact skills. He has no power at all. He makes up for it by rarely striking out doing so just 23 times in 167 PAs. He struggled mightily last year at the same level but made sure he could keep going forward with a good overall campaign this year, which really wasn't going to happen until Velazquez was injured and ultimately promoted to Missoula. Castillo has little chance of going all the way but could become usable depth at the middle levels.
2013 Projected Level: Short Season A Yakima
Ceiling: AAA

C/1B Phildrick Llewellyn, 18, .240/.336/.650
Plus Stat: 13% BB Rate Neg Stat: 30% K Rate
Acquired: 2012 Draft - 13th Round

Llewellyn didn't really get a fair shake this year as he was a reasonably thought-of high school catcher who didn't have a place to play. Trahan was on his team so he couldn't play there, and Michael Perez was in Missoula so he couldn't play there. As a result he only got to catch 8 games and played some 1B. He didn't hit much but he didn't crater either. If they don't draft a young catcher next year he'll probably stay in the AZL and become the full-time catcher to see what he can do. He gets an incomplete grade for this year and still has some potential.
2013 Projected Level: AZL Rookie
Ceiling: Unknown

OF Justin Bianco, 20, .231/.302/.352
Plus Stat: 12 SB in 52 Games Neg Stat: 33% K Rate
Acquired: 2011 Draft - 3rd Round

The club had very high hopes for Bianco when he was drafted in the 3rd round in 2011 but he is struggling to hit at the lowest levels. He hit .206 with a .572 OPS last year in Missoula and was doing the same this year when he was sent down to the AZL. He did better there and at least saved his career temporarily but he's on thin ice. They're probably not ready to give up on him totally but he's going to have to do some pretty good work next year to get back in the team's good graces. His destination probably rests more on who has an opening for a good glove, no hit center fielder.
2013 Projected Level: Short Season A Yakima
Ceiling: Low A

3B Ryan Fuller, 22, .252/.356/.364
Plus Stat: .336 OBP Neg Stat: 12 Errors in 31 Games
Acquired: 2012 Undrafted FA

Signed as an undrafted FA who played for UConn, Fuller stepped in and manned 3B for much of the season, doing a credible job and hitting okay. But for a college-age hitter it was nothing to get excited about. Fuller doesn't have much future in baseball unless he suddenly breaks out, but he will more likely just hang on for a few years at the lower levels before calling it quits.
2013 Projected Level: Short Season A Yakima
Ceiling: High A

SS/2B John Leonard, 20, .175/.253/.196
Plus Stat: .81 BB/K Neg Stat: .200 OBP
Acquired: 2011 Draft - 9th Round
The team had some hopes for Lenoard when he was drafted in the 9th round in 2011 out of high school, but he hasn't hit a lick and his fielding hasn't exactly been stellar either. He started the year in Missoula but couldn't hold that job and was sent back to the AZL, where he did even worse. He's on his last legs in the organization and is in danger of being released. He might get one more shot in Missoula as a back-up middle infielder, depending on what newcomers come out of next year's draft.
2013 Projected Level: Rookie Missoula
Ceiling: Low A

C Anderson Bolivar, 19, .247/.291/.356
Plus Stat: 14 RBI in 20 Games Neg Stat: .291 OBP
Acquired: 2010 Venezuelan Free Agent

Spent two years in DSL. No real future, strictly a low-level system catcher who can probably help with the Latino pitchers.
2013 Projected Level: AZL Rookie
Ceiling: Low A

1B, Jake Williams, 21, .209/.311/.261
Plus Stat: 16 RBI in 34 Games Neg Stat: 33% K Rate
Acquired: 2011 Draft - 49th Round

Williams is basically a local kid they gave a chance and he hasn't really done anything with it. He's low-level roster filler and ended the year in Visalia filling in after Jonathan Griffin got promoted to Mobile.
2013 Projected Level: Release
Ceiling: Already there

1B, Miles Walding, 23, .188/.273/.246
Plus Stat: None Neg Stat: .246 SLG
Acquired: 2012 Undrafted Free Agent

Signed late in the summer to fill in some at bats here and there at 1B. No future.
2013 Projected Level: Release
Ceiling: Already there

C Bubu Garcia and C B.J. Lopez are bottom rung catchers there mostly to work with pitchers on the side.

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