The Diamondbacks farm system has been raided by a series of bad trades, but there are still some decent prospects remaining. Baseball America has unveiled their lists of organizational Top 10 prospects. Here is their list with my thoughts on them:
- Anthony Banda, LHP: Banda is close to his MLB debut, he’s added velocity to his fastball where it sits low 90s. Banda has the profile of a #3/4 with three above average pitches and above average control. Has a good chance to steal a rotation spot out of camp if the veteran options underwhelm or could start the year in the bullpen as he waits for an opportunity to start.
- Dawel Lugo, 3B: Lugo moved off of SS with Leyba pushing him off. Responded well in Visalia and Mobile with a strong batting line. Looked decent in the fall league as well. With 3B and SS conceivably blocked for him, 2B seems to be where he could wind up long term.
- Domingo Leyba, SS: Leyba took a huge step forward, as his plus hit tool showed up in Visalia and his game got better after a promotion to Mobile. Should debut by the end of the season. Was part of the deal that got Robbie Ray to the desert.
- Socrates Brito, OF: Brito is very interesting in terms of raw tools and how much he can hit will determine if he can be more than a 4th OF. Defensively, he can play any OF spot as well as anyone but struggled with injuries and barreling up pitches outside of his hot spot down and in.
- Jazz Chisholm, SS: Chisholm flashed nice power and the ability to draw walks in the Pioneer League, although posted a high strikeout rate. Chisholm has a good enough glove to stick at SS for now, but his timeline is 5 years away. Chisholm was the top signing in the 2015-16 international year, where the team had to deal with penalties for going over the bonus pool the previous year.
- Anfernee Grier, OF: The team’s top pick in 2016, Grier features plus speed that translates well to his defense and baserunning. The bat could use some polish in the minors, strikeouts were an issue in both college and his short stint in the minors. Grier looked gassed at the end of the year, so conditioning will be key as he takes on his first full season.
- Taylor Clarke, RHP: Clarke started the year in Kane County and Visalia and wasn’t really challenged until getting promoted to Mobile in June. Clarke did alright at that level, showing the ability to limit walks and long balls. Clarke is a command and control pitcher that projects either as a #3/4 starter or a top-end reliever in the back-end of the Dbacks bullpen.
- Brad Keller, RHP: Keller limits walks and long balls, but doesn’t miss bats. Throws an low 90s sinker and complements that with a solid change-up to get ground balls, but very low upside as a starter or reliever barring a velocity jump.
- Jon Duplantier, RHP: One of the top-rated college pitchers, the Dbacks found a nice value in the 3rd round of the draft. Concerns about how Rice runs their pitchers into the ground is why the team elected to not pitch him after signing. Features two plus pitches with a mid 90s fastball and a hammer curve, but the development of a 3rd pitch could be what makes him a top of a rotation pitcher. Should be put on the fast track unless he struggles or is challenged at a certain level.
- Curtis Taylor, RHP: Taylor’s long term fit is questionable, but the team drafted a power arm in the 4th round. Profiles as a back-end reliever or bottom of the rotation starter for now.
If you want to chat with BA’s Bill Mitchell and ask a question, click this link. The chat itself begins 1 PM EST, or 11 AM in Arizona. Here is an overview of the system and which players have the best individual tools.