The minor league season starts tonight, with all of the Diamondbacks full season affiliates in action. While most of those teams contains org filler, there are some top prospects all over the different levels of the organization. Here's where they ended up.
Reno Aces (AAA): LHP Anthony Banda, RHP Jimmie Sherfy, RHP Matt Koch, INF Jack Reinheimer, INF Ildemaro Vargas
Of this group, Banda, Sherfy, Koch, and Vargas have a real chance to impact the big league club this year with their 40-man roster status. Banda fared well in Reno last year, although he needs to be able to sustain that success at least through the first half of the season. Reinheimer is emergency infield depth, but he’s likely behind Vargas on the depth chart given the latter had a strong Spring training and is a more versatile defender. Sherfy also had a strong 2016 and a good first month in Reno, but struggled in the final month of the season. If he can prove to be able to handle the bad pitching environment in Reno, he’ll be a big piece of the bullpen mix for years to come.
Jackson Generals (AA): RHP Taylor Clarke, INF Domingo Leyba, INF Dawel Lugo, LHP Yuhei Nakaushiro, LHP Alex Young, LHP Jared Miller, RHP Brad Keller, OF Victor Reyes, INF Jamie Westbrook
Most of the impact talent is here, with 6 players I think will be future MLB contributors. Clarke will be the opening day starter for Jackson and could be on a similar track to Aaron Blair 2 seasons ago. Leyba and Lugo are promising infield prospects but dont have a viable path to being MLB regulars right now. Keller is a bottom of the rotation prospect who throws strikes and gets ground ball outs. He doesn't dominate hitters or miss bats, so he'll have to rely on inducing weaker contact to survive as a starter. Miller had a dominant Fall League that earned him an invite to Spring Training. He still needs more polish in the upper minors, but could be an option at the end of the season.
Visalia Rawhide (A-Adv): INF Sergio Alcantara, RHP Justin Donatella
The Rawhide not only saw a lot of talent graduate to the next level, but also their manager, JR House. They do have a strong SS prospect in Alcantara, who is similar to Nick Ahmed as a prospect. Donatella was a surprise in 2016 as he pitched well in both Kane County and Visalia. While a fringe starter prospect, his height and downhill plane are beneficial in either a starter or relief role.
Kane County Cougars (A): OF Marcus Wilson, INF Jasrado Chisholm, OF Anfernee Grier, RHP Bo Takahashi, RHP Sam McWilliams, C Jose Herrera, INF Luis Alejandro Basabe, LHP Cody Reed
A lot of high-impact talent at this level, albeit a lot of them carrying flaws. Chisholm is arguably the best position player prospect in the system and is the Dbacks likely SS of the future. Grier was the team's top pick from last year and is a strong defender and baserunner last year in limited action. His tools are similar to former Dbacks CF Chris Young. Marcus Wilson is noted for having a strong batting eye with excellent walk rates and high OBP ability in the low minors. Pair that up with plus speed and you have a big time steal threat. At catcher, Herrera is a solid defender whose bat has been a bit slow to develop. The pitchers don't have a ton of upside, but McWilliams and Reed are still interesting.