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Diamondbacks Minor League Review: Missoula Outfielders

Missoula was populated by a very solid outfield group who all contributed greatly to their run to the Pioneer League title. Whether any of them have Major League talent is another question entirely. They're all good "baseball players" but in my opinion only one has any chance to go all the way, with that being Alex Glenn. But the Dbacks minor league system will still see plenty of the others sprinkled throughout in their efforts to climb the ladder over the next several years.

Missoula always seems to produce its share of hitters that demonstrate the ability to do bigger and better things and this season was no exception. Four of the team's Top 7 batting averages came from the outfield, though minus some of the power you'd like to see from those positions. Alex Glenn in my opinion made the biggest statement in terms of showing specific skills that could translate into a Major League job down the road if all goes well. Some of the others have solid ability but each revealed a specific weakness or two that will probably hold them back at some point down the road.

OF Alex Glenn, 21, .262/.365/.889
Plus Stat: .717 SLG in Missoula Minus Stat: 27.6% K-Rate
Acquired: 2012 Draft - 12th Round
Alex Glenn was drafted out of Arizona Christian University and started out in the AZL where he played well but didn't exactly tear up the league. In any case, the team apparently saw enough from him and sent him to Missoula for the final month of the season where he really blossomed in the middle of the team's pressurized title run. The left-handed hitter posted some gaudy slugging and OPS numbers at .717 and 1.093 in 60 at bats along with 10 home runs for Missoula. He notably hit a season-saving, game-winning 3-run home run with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th in the next-to-last game of the season. Glenn has an intriguing combination of power and speed that at least says he has the tools to go all the way. The high K-rate is a little disconcerting and we'll be watching that very closely next season. But not many players have his raw tool set so we'll classify his future as wide-open for the time being until his performances start to say otherwise.
2013 Projection: High A Visalia
Ceiling: Major League

OF Evan Marzilli, 21, .332/.402/.791
Plus Stat: 15% K-Rate Minus Stat: 0 HR
Acquired: 2012 Draft - 8th Round
Marzilli signed a little later than some because he was competing in the College World Series for South Carolina, which lost in the title series to Arizona. Marzilli joined Missoula after that and was immediately plugged into the CF spot where he was a key cog at the top of the Osprey lineup. He scored 40 runs and posted a fine .403 OBP but showed no power at all with just 10 doubles and no home runs. He has good speed but not exceptional base-stealing speed. Unfortunately, his lack of power combined with only adequate speed probably limits his ceiling. He is an outstanding fielder so he will only need to develop either a little more power or even greater On Base skills to raise his ceiling to the Major League level, which he doesn't have right now and seems to be a long shot.
2013 Projection: High A Visalia
Ceiling: AAA

OF Breland Almadova, 21, .306/.370/.416
Plus Stat: 14.8% K-Rate Minus Stat: 1 HR
Acquired: 2012 Draft - 37th Round
Almadova is a near-clone of Evan Marzilli with the same lack of power, a little bit of speed and an almost identical stat line. One difference between the two is that not as much was expected of Almadova as he was taken in the 37th round whereas Marzilli was taken in the 8th. But Alamdova gave a nice account of himself and earned a step up the ladder to see if he has any more to show. His lack of power is of course a major concern thoguh he did show a little bit of functional speed with 11 stolen bases. But he's not the same quality defensive outfielder as Marzilli so he's likely going to be restricted to a corner outfield position. And corner outfielders who don't have any power don't usually go very far.
2013 Projection: Low A South Bend
Ceiling: AAA

OF Socrates Brito, 20, .312/.357/.444
Plus Stat: .444 SLG Minus Stat: 9 CS
Acquired: 2010 Dominican Free Agent
Brito is an interesting player. He's left-handed, he has good size, he can hit the occasional home run, and he can steal a base. He seems like someone who at least has an outside chance of advancing a long way. His 2010 season in the DSL was okay, and his first season in the U.S. in the AZL was hardly anything to get too excited about. But he did take advantage of his promotion to Missoula and posted an improved .802 OPS with 24 XBH and 15 stolen bases. Sometimes Latino ballplayers struggle for a year or two in the U.S. getting acclimated to being away from home. And Brito did seem to settle in this year so he is still worth watching next year to see if he's got something more in the tank. Being a likely corner outfielder he'll need to see a power spike somewhere in the near future if he's thinking beyond the upper minor league levels.
2013 Projection: Low A South Bend
Ceiling: AAA

OF Tyler Linton, 21, .238/.267/.363
Plus Stat: 4 HR Minus Stat: .100 BB/K Rate
Acquired: 2010 Draft - 14th Round
There were some relatively high hopes for Linton when he was drafted in 2010 and given a sizable signing bonus to keep him out of college. But injuries and marginal performances have nearly sapped away all hopes for Linton's future. His best bet is to hope to repeat at Missoula and try to have a breakout season that can get him back on the prospect lists. He's still on the young side so he'll be given another chance for sure. But as of now he is in extreme danger of being written off entirely as a future impact player. By the end of the season he had even lost all his playing time to the other Missoula outfielders. Linton is nearly out of time and will need a pretty hot start in 2013 to reclaim his once promising career.
2013 Projection: Rookie Missoula
Ceiling: High A