Diamondbacks Non-Roster Invitees: A 2014 viewer's guide, part one

Hannah Foslien

27 players outside the Diamondbacks 40-man roster will report to Salt River Fields in a couple of weeks. In this series, we'll be learning a bit about them, starting today with some of the pitchers.

Jake Barrett

Let's get easily the most important thing about Barrett out of the way first. He went to ASU. Actually, he's a true Arizona product, having been born in Mesa, though almost wasn't a D-back: the Blue Jays picked him in the 2009 draft, out of high-school. However, he turned them down, and three years later, his hometown team came calling in the third round. He started 2013 in Visalia, but was promoted to Double-A Mobile, and was even better there, allowing one earned run over 24.2 innings, with a K:BB ratio of 22:3. He's a fastball/slider guy, but in the Arizona Fall League was working on a change-up as well. Could potentially help the bullpen as soon as this season.

Mike Bolsinger

One-ups Barrett, in that we were the third team to draft him, following the Indians and A's, choosing Bolsinger in the 15th round, back in 2010. The starter earned a promotion from Mobile to Reno at the start of June, and has some (perhaps understandable, given the environment) struggles, with a 4.72 ERA in 17 starts for the Aces. He said, "It’s a lot different from Double-A for sure. You just have to learn how to pitch out here in this league. You’re going to face better hitters. Obviously the altitude is a lot different out here, so you have to learn to keep the ball down. You can’t get away with stuff you did at lower levels."

Archie Bradley

Sorry, dunno who this guy is, there's no information about him anywhere, and he hasn't done anything of note. Must be some scrub with a courtesy invite to spring-training, with no chance of making the rost... Sorry, couldn't keep a straight face there any longer. If you don't know Bradley, you need to be paying more attention. A likely big story this spring, from Kevin Towers' comments, he'll get every chance to start 2014 in our rotation. "We're not going to sit there and worry about the free agency clock and try to save a year of arbitration. We want to go out and win ball games and if Archie Bradley is one of our best five, he'll start the season come Opening Day."

R.J. Hively

A promising relief arm, Hively has put up a 1.79 ERA over his two seasons in the minors with 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings, though he is still likely some way off the show, having ended 2013 in High-A Visalia. Before that, he had closed out South Bend's first-half championship, leading the league at that point, with 18 saves. Another double draftee - seems to be a theme this year - Hively made the wise decision not to join the Yankees in 2010. The RJ stands for "Richard James," in case you were wondering. One of his favorite movies appears to be Green Street Hooligans, so if we want to start a Diamondbacks "firm," I'm sure he'd be down for that. :)

Daniel Hudson

Another obscurity plucked from the ranks of faceless pitching prospects. I got nuttin'. What? I tried that already? Oh, well. Obviously, new father-to-be Hudson will have a relatively easy time of this spring, since he's still rehabbing from his second Tommy John surgery. His presence on this list is more a bureaucratic nicety: he was non-tendered by Arizona earlier this off-season, and the contract on which they agreed didn't require a 40-man roster spot. The benefit for the D-backs is, this effectively stops Hudson's service clock at 3.117 years until he's added back to the roster, rather than it continuing to run, as it did when he was simply on the DL.

Willy Paredes

Outside of a couple of emergency starts for the Aces (over which it's probably kinder to draw a veil!), Paredes had a good year, with a 1.93 ERA out of the Visalia bullpen, then an even 1.00 over 36 innings as a reliever at Double-A Mobile. There isn't much about him online (no, really this time!), but I did find this video of a local interview with Paredes in December, while he was playing in the DR. Wheeling Mrs. SnakePit in to translate, much of it was the usual sports cliches (I wonder if they give prospects tuition in that kind of stuff?), but he said he had learned a lot this winter from playing alongside more experienced pitchers. Seems like a nice kid.

Adam Russell

There's a reason his Twitter profile asks, "What city is this again?", for Russell has bounced around a lot of late. Since July 2009, he has been with seven different organizations, starting with the White Sox, then going through the Padres, Rays, Braves, Angels and Orioles on his way to Salt River with the D-backs. [As the Tweet below shows, he's already arrived] Has a fair amount of major-league experience, having appeared in 85 games, most recently for Tampa Bay in July 2011. You'll be able to spot Russell quite easily, since B-R.com lists him at 6'8". If he plays for us, he'll be the fourth Arizona player who is that tall, the others being Johnson, Rauch and Mickolio.

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