Ahmed, Spruill and Drury: Meet the new D-backs, Part 2

In addition to the centerpiece parts of Prado and Delgado in the Upton trade, the Diamondbacks acquired three additional prospects in SS Nick Ahmed, SP Zeke Spruill, and 3B Brandon Drury. Here's an initial summary on each of these prospects and where they might rank on my Top 60 List of prospects.

On the surface I don't think either of these three guys represents a future Major League star. Can any of them actually make it to the Majors? I'll give that a great big maybe. But to be clear, none of them will make our current Top 10 and it's entirely possible none of them amount to anything. But they're not completely without hope to have some future impact. Here's my report on each.

SS Nick Ahmed, 22
2nd Round Pick in the 2011 Draft
2012 Slash - .269/.337/.391/.728
Ahmed is a good-sized SS with room to fill out at 6-3, 205. He's now spent two full seasons in the minors, one in rookie ball and the other at High A. He posted mid-.700 OPS seasons in both with a hint of power and some very good speed numbers. He stole 40 bases in 130 games last year. Scouting reports grade him as average defensively with a good arm but good enough to stay at SS if need be. If he can't hold up defensively and has to move to 2B or 3B his power numbers will absolutely have to increase. Rumors have him being flipped to Detroit, but if that doesn't pan out he'll likely be repeating at the High A level in Visalia (due to the presence of Gregorius and Owings) where he'll surely get a chance to post some better power numbers. Ahmed has some ability with the bat but he'll be 23 in a couple of months and his time is now to show whether he can go all the way. Currently he seems a hair short of having either enough bat or enough defense to overtake current Dbacks SS prospects Didi Gregorius and Chris Owings. Due to the depth of the Dbacks minor league system Ahmed will get slotted somewhere around 16-20 on my next Top 60 list.
JB's Dbacks Prospect Ranking - 16
2013 Projection - High A Visalia
Ceiling - Major League

SP Zeke Spruill, 23
2nd Round Pick in the 2008 Draft
2012 Line - 161 IP, 3.67 ERA, 106 K, 46 BB
Spruill has made a steady rise through the Braves minor league system since being a fairly high draft pick in 2008. While he has posted yeoman-like stats throughout his career he really hasn't done anything electric that warrants serious consideration for a Major League job anytime soon. I've read some scouting reports that project him as a 4-5 starter with a ceiling of a 3. They mostly point to his decent control and reliable sinker for those positive projections. I don't see it though and I'd say his ceiling is a 4-5 in a shaky rotation, not a contender's. He has posted respectable K/BB ratios in his ascent but they were barely above 2.0 in AA last year, which is good but not great. I can't say he should be written off or anything but there are so many prospects in our system ahead of him that I can't see how he would ever get past them all and onto our roster. He's long and lanky with an easy delivery according to one scouting report and he's a respectable pitcher by any measure, just not quite good enough for me to rank him very high on my prospect list.
JB's Dbacks Prospect Ranking - 20
2013 Projection - AAA Reno
Ceiling - Major League

3B Brandon Drury, 20
13th Round Pick in the 2010 Draft
2012 Slash - .229/.270/.333/.603
Since being drafted out of high school in 2010 Drury has sandwiched two really poor seasons around one really good season. He started out in rookie ball in 2010 and seemed overwhelmed with a .539 OPS. The following year he had an outstanding season at the next higher level of rookie ball with an .891 OPS. In 2012 he was promoted to full-season Low A and struggled mightily again. So which Drury are we acquiring? Your guess is good as mine. He has some skills and I've read scouting reports that really like him so we'll see if he can get it together. The power ability is in there somewhere and the glove looks good enough. The best thing going for him is his age as he won't turn 21 until mid-summer, so he still has time. But another season like last year might spell the end of his run. It's a hugely important season for him coming up. Two out of three poor seasons doesn't get me too excited though. I'm taking a wait-and-see attitude.
JB's Dbacks Prospect Ranking - 35
2013 Projection - Low A South Bend
Ceiling - AA

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