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2015 Dbacks Top 60 Prospects: Year End

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I finally got around to completing my year-end Top 60 Prospects List and it won't take long to see there are a LOT of changes from the last time I did these. We had former Top 20 guys fall completely off the list. We had guys come out of nowhere and vault into the Top 10. We had some graduations, some trades, some acquisitions and of course the 2015 draft class.

What hasn't changed is my number one overall prospect is still Aaron Blair. Blair has done nothing to earn a demotion from the lofty spot and is simply as ready for a major league gig as you can be. I expect him to compete for a rotation spot next spring.

Jumping into the number 2 spot is number one overall draft pick Dansby Swanson. Swanson showed off his talent in helping to lead Hillsboro to a Northwest League title and is probably headed to Visalia next year, where a good performance might earn him a ticket to Mobile before season's end. That would have him knocking on the door of the majors as early as 2017.

Number 3 goes to Braden Shipley who had a so-so first half then really came on in the second half with a string of strong performances. It's not a major stretch to think he could find himself in the rotation sometime in 2016 as well.

Number 4 is a total newcomer to the list in second baseman Jamie Westbrook. He's not a big guy at 5-9, 170, but he's a year younger than Swanson at just 20 and blew the doors off the California League with a combination of power, speed and defense from a middle infield spot.

Another middle infield hotshot jumped up to number 7 in shortstop Isan Diaz who was the Pioneer League MVP at the age of 19. The list contains as many as 25 players who actually have some major league potential including youngsters like Brad Keller, Matt Railey, Marcus Wilson and Austin Byler. The 2015 draft class also landed several pitching prospects to the list who could jump up quickly with strong 2016 campaigns such as Alex Young, Taylor Clarke and Ryan Burr.

Some of the names who fell from grace and didn't even make it into the Top 60 includes Stryker Trahan, Alex Glenn, Michael Perez and Blake Perry. And there are others who had precipitous falls and are in danger of falling off as well including Jimmie Sherfy, Jake Barrett, Matt McPhearson and Will Locante.

The strength of the list is in the number of middle infield prospects who are showing extraordinary talent with four in the Top 10. Eight starting pitching prospects landed in the Top 20 though it's debatable if any of them rate as number one starters. Overall the minor league ranks look very healthy with a nice mix at all the positions without any glaring holes like we might have seen in the past.

Rank Prospect Pos 2015 Level Age Comments
1 Aaron Blair RHP Reno 23 Ready and waiting
2 Dansby Swanson SS Hillsboro 21 Should move fast
3 Braden Shipley RHP Mobile 23 Emerged in second half
4 Jamie Westbrook 2B Visalia 20 Exploded onto the scene
5 Brandon Drury 2B/3B Reno 22 Power waned so some concern
6 Yoan Lopez RHP Mobile 22 Didn't exactly flash
7 Isan Diaz SS Missoula 19 League MVP with monster season
8 Cody Reed LHP Hillsboro 19 Ready for next step
9 Socrates Brito OF Mobile 23 Ready for 4th OF job?
10 Marcus Wilson OF Missoula 19 Still figuring things out
11 Brad Keller RHP Kane County 20 Very nice foundation season
12 Matt Railey OF Missoula 20 Needs to stay healthy
13 Alex Young LHP Hillsboro 22 Next year will tell
14 Silvino Bracho RHP Mobile 22 Just keeps performing
15 Taylor Clarke RHP Hillsboro 22 Should move to rotation in '16
16 Austin Byler OF Missoula 22 Dude can flat out hit
17 Oscar Hernandez C Dbacks 21 Hard to tell with MLB bench time
18 Zack Godley RHP Mobile 24 Flashed potential in short debut
19 Daniel Palka 1B Visalia 23 Good power, so-so contact
20 Jose Martinez RHP Kane County 21 Recovery season in bullpen
21 Jose Herrera C AZL 18 Ready for next step
22 Anthony Banda LHP Visalia 22 Showing some potential
23 Ryan Burr RHP Kane County 21 Plenty good in debut
24 Peter O'Brien C Reno 25 Destined for AL?
25 Dawel Lugo SS Kane County 20 Potential to move up
26 Zac Curtis LHP Kane County 23 Dominant but needs bigger test
27 Sergio Alcantara SS Missoula 19 Bat still trailing glove
28 Wei-Chieh Huang RHP Kane County 21 Fine season, needs more innings
29 Jeferson Mejia RHP Hillsboro 21 Not a great season
30 Joey Kriehbiel RHP Visalia 22 Still something to like here
31 Luke Lowery C Missoula 21 Fine rookie season
32 Domingo Leyba 2B Visalia 20 Not seeing it yet
33 Jack Reinheimer SS Mobile 23 Good glove, okay bat
34 Gabby Guerrero OF Mobile 21 Just not doing enough
35 Zach Borenstein OF Mobile 25 Can hit, but aging out?
36 Carlos Hernandez RHP Hillsboro 21 Very nice season
37 Daniel Gibson LHP Mobile 23 Future loogy can't be written off
38 Keith Hessler LHP Reno 25 Hanging around because he's lefty
39 Jake Barrett RHP Reno 24 Reno took its toll
40 Evan Marzilli OF Mobile 24 Just not enough stick
41 Joe Munoz 3B Kane County 21 Not done yet but close
42 Grant Heyman OF Kane County 21 Time to take a step forward
43 Kevin Cron 1B Visalia 22 Showed off real power
44 Brent Jones RHP Kane County 22 Flattened out
45 Matt McPhearson OF Missoula 20 Can't steal first
46 Jason Morozowski OF Missoula 21 Worth another look
47 Chuck Taylor OF Visalia 22 Still needs a breakout
48 Dominic Leone RHP Mobile 23 Just seems okay
49 Jimmie Sherfy RHP Mobile 23 Seems to have hit his ceiling
50 Trevor Mitsui 1B Hillsboro 23 Needs to do more
51 Bo Takahashi RHP Missoula 18 Okay in tough pitching league
52 Colin Bray OF Kane County 22 Now healthy and showed some skills
53 Sean Jamieson SS Mobile 26 Just keeps producing but aging out
54 Breckin Williams RHP Hillsboro 22 Next year will tell more
55 Mitch Haniger OF Mobile 23 Got squeezed out of Mobile
56 Jared Miller RHP Kane County 22 Room for growth
57 Henry Castillo 2B/3B Kane County 20 Holding his own
58 Will Locante LHP Mobile 25 Chance slipping away
59 Ben Eckels RHP Hillsboro 21 Injury wiped out season
60 Mason McCullough RHP Visalia 22 Big arm needs harnessing