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Diamondbacks in the Arizona Fall League

The Diamondbacks are sending seven players to the Arizona Fall League this year, where they'll play, as noted yesterday, on the Salt River Rafters. Here are some details on the Arizona prospects taking part.

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Mark Nolan
Archie Bradley:

Bradley got the start in yesterday's opening game, a 7-4 loss for Salt River. His line wasn't impressive - two innings of work, four hits and a walk, with one strikeout and three runs allowed. But two of the runs were unearned due to a trio of errors in the first. Bradley has a disappointing season, with a 4.45 ERA across three levels, after a sub-two ERA in 2013, and needs to get his K:BB ratio moving in the right direction. He did miss two months with an elbow injury, and that may have played a part in his struggles, but he likely has to prove himself again as a result, if he wants to compete for a rotation job in 2015.

Enrique Burgos

Just completed his seventh year in our farm system, without getting above high-A - however, he started as a 17-year-old out of the Dominican, so was still fractionally below average age for that level. He impressed as Visalia's closer, saving 29 games and striking out 83 in only 54.2 innings, the best K-rate of any prospect with 50 innings of work. He's a really hard-thrower, described by Kevin Towers as "just a power, power arm," who hit 102 mph on the radar-gun. Possibly a little too early to be calling him our future closer, but a promotion to Mobile next season seems very likely for Burgos.

Brandon Drury

Part of what we got back from Atlanta in the Upton trade, Drury may turn out down the road to be the deal's best result for Arizona. Between Visala and Mobile, he his .299 with 23 home-runs plus an .872 OPS - and he only turned 22 in August. The third-baseman appears to be hot on the heels of Jake Lamb who, at the same age, had a better OPS (.969), but was playing at a lower level (Missoula/Visalia). Called "the best Diamondbacks position player prospect yet to reach the major leagues" in August,  he was also getting reps at second-base, but started at third on Tuesday for the Rafters, going 0-for-4 with a walk.

Kaleb Fleck

Fleck has largely flown inder the radar so far, in part because he wasn't an early-round draft pick. In fact, he wasn't a draft pick at all, but was signed by the Diamondbacks as a free agent in 2011. He pitched for Double-A Mobile this season out of the bullpen, giving them 17 saves, a 2.56 ERA and a K:BB ratio of 79:28 in 63.1 innings of work. His coach at Visalia in 2013, Gil Heredia, said of Fleck, "His velocity ranges from 90-95 mph. That's pretty good. His velocity is a luxury for him. He still needs to learn to use his secondary pitches, like his curve ball and slider. If he gets his secondary pitches to become a lot crisper and sharper, he has the potential to be a big strikeout pitcher.''

Evan Marzilli

Marzilli also started for Salt River, batting ninth and playing right-field; he went hitless in four at-bats with a strikeout. He was an 8th round pick by Arizona in 2012, and split this season between Visalia and Mobile. In 133 games combined, he batted only .246, but showed good plate discipline, 61 walks boosting his on-base percentage to a decent .341. It's Marzilli's fielding which is perhaps more notable, being named the best defensive outfielder in the California League by Baseball America in August, and he is also still relatively young for Double-A, at age 23. Seems likely to be with Reno in 2015, going by their roster page!

Peter O'Brien

There seems little question concerning O'Brien's ability at the plate, and he showed that in his AFL debut last night, going 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and a home-run. That adds on to the 34 home-runs he hit during the regular minor-league season - only a handful of prospects across all baseball, had more. He could use more patience - he walked 21 times in 427 PAs - but the real question is whether he can stick behind the plate, with legitimate questions about O'Brien's defense. The Yankees, from whom we received him for Martin Prado, tried shifting the prospect to third-base, and even in the outfield; it looks likely Arizona will give him every chance to stick at catcher.

Jimmie Sherfy

A 10th-round in June 2013, Sherfy has made quick progress through the farm system, progressing from rookie ball through to Double-A Mobile in little more than a year. The numbers at his last stop weren't perhaps quite what the reliever wanted, with a 4.97 ERA in 38 innings there, but the peripherals were better, with a 45 K's. Known as Wild Thing in his University of Oregon days, he still needs to improve his control, with 23 walks and five hit batters over 49 innings in total. My cursory Googling turned up one odd nugget: he apparently has very long digits, one source writing. "The guy has fingers like E.T. I’m shocked his fingertip doesn’t light up when he grips the baseball."