Dbacks Top 30 Prospects: After the Gutting

Adam Eaton is one of several highly rated prospects recently sent packing - Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With all the talk going around about what was happening to our farm system, it seemed like a good time to post a new Top 20 list.

A number of the Dbacks' highly rated prospects have been shipped off in trades recently leading to a lot of internet chatter that KT is gutting our farm system. While it can't be denied that a group of names have disappeared, it wouldn't be accurate to say the system has been gutted. From my Top 100 list, in the last month the team has lost its #4, #6, #8, #25 and #41 prospects either to trades or the Rule V draft, and that doesn't count Adam Eaton. I was most distressed about losing Eaton (in spite of his rumored clubhouse 'tude'). But what's done is done so it's time to re-focus on who inhabits our list now.

Below is my latest Top 30 list and there's still plenty of talent there. It's not over-populated with what I perceive to be top shelf/future all star talent, but there's plenty of future league average or better players. We didn't lose any of my Top 3 guys in Bradley, Owings and Shipley. I don't think it's beyond reason to think that every single one of the current Top 10 has a very good chance to make it to the majors and be a league average or better player. One negative to the Top 10 is that three of them are relievers, counting Chafin as a future reliever. In any case I rate all 10 at 80 and above meaning they have real potential to be above average players in the majors.

The four position players include perhaps this year's starting shortstop in Chris Owings, our potential 2016 starting third baseman Jake Lamb, our catcher of the future Stryker Trahan, and outfielder Justin Williams who may be the best of the bunch, though he's a long way off. 2013 was rated as the second best draft in baseball by Baseball America, based on 2013 performances.

The second 10 on the list is loaded with potential. Some of those guys could bust but there's some real upside guys in there like SS Joe Munoz, our $1 million catcher signing from Venezuela Jose Herrera, slugger Daniel Palka, Brandon Drury, and recently acquired Matt Stites. I'm as excited to see how that bunch does in 2014 as I am the Top 10.

Our three PTBNLs (Brandon Jacobs, A.J. Schugel, and Todd Glaesmann) enter my list at #18, #23 and #27 respectfully. All three are guys who showed real promise in 2012 and took steps backwards in 2013. All three will need to re-capture some of that promise in 2014 or they will slide further down the list.

It will obviously be painful if Eaton, Skaggs and Davidson all turn out to be above average major leaguers and will call into serious question the team's ability to self-evaluate their near-ready prospects. One would think management has seen enough of them (and certainly more than anyone else has) to know whether they have what it takes to make it. One could argue as well that you have to give up something to get something. If Trumbo hits 40 homers and drives in 100 while Reed is saving 45 games as we drive to the pennant, it won't be as painful to see some of the youngsters hold their own. It is okay for a trade to be a win-win. There doesn't always have to be a winner.

Rank Prospect Pos 2013 Level Age* JB Rating Comments
1 Archie Bradley LHP AA 21 95 Rotation spot for 2014
2 Chris Owings SS Majors 22 88 2014 starting SS?
3 Braden Shipley RHP A 21 87 Showed he has talent
4 Jake Lamb 3B A+ 22 86 Fall League All Star
5 Jake Barrett RHP AA 22 88 Ready for bullpen spot
6 Aaron Blair RHP A 21 82 Solid start to pro career
7 Andrew Chafin LHP AA 23 81 Improved control, fewer Ks
8 Justin Williams OF A 18 80 Dude can hit
9 Stryker Trahan C Rookie 19 80 Flattened out a bit this year
10 Jimmy Sherfy RHP A 21 80 Could be on Barrett's heels
11 Joe Munoz SS Rookie 19 78 Opened some eyes in 2013
12 Daniel Palka 1B A- 21 78 Dude just mashes
13 Matt Stites RHP AA 23 76 Ready to see what the fuss is
14 Brandon Drury 3B A 21 76 Real test coming
15 Jose Herrera C DSL 16 75 Top Int'l catcher signed
16 Michael Perez C A 21 74 Couldn't handle A+
17 Daniel Gibson P A 21 74 Solid reliever, could move fast
18 Brandon Jacobs OF AA 23 73 Has some potential power
19 Nick Ahmed SS AA 23 70 Really needs to start hitting
20 Chuck Taylor OF Rookie 20 69 Really good year in Missoula
21 Jamie Westbrook SS AZL 18 69 Justifying draft position
22 Zeke Spruill RHP AAA 24 68 Behind other top prospects
23 A.J. Schugel RHP AAA 24 68 Rough AAA season
24 Ender Inciarte OF AA 22 65 Flattened out this year
25 Andrew Velasquez SS/2B A 19 65 Still holding his own for age
26 Ben Eckels RHP A- 19 64 Still has a chance
27 Todd Glaesmann OF AA 23 63 Needs to show more
28 Felipe Perez RHP Rookie 19 62 Maybe doesn't miss enough bats
29 Eury De La Rosa LHP AAA 23 62 Fringe majors reliever
30 Anthony Meo RHP A+ 23 61 Struggled all year

JB Rating System
90-100 Outstanding prospect. All-Star potential
80-89   Very good prospect. Potential feature player with above-average production
70-79   Solid prospect. Has a chance of becoming a starting ML player
60-69   Good prospect. Has a chance of making it to the majors
50-59   Average prospect. Could still make it with further development
40-49   Borderline prospect. Can’t be written off yet but odds are against

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