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Diamondbacks Prospects: Stock Up, Stock Down Part 2

Prospects who have improved or regressed in the second third of the minor league season.

Stock Up

OF Gabriel Maciel: Maciel is an 18-year-old switch hitting outfielder who the Dbacks signed last year and had a solid showing in the AZ League. Now he’s turning heads in the Pioneer League. He’s walking more than he’s striking out and is using his speed to turn singles into doubles to boost his ISO numbers from a microscopic .020 to .149. He’s currently boasting a .388/.449/.537 slashline, although boosted by a .417 BABIP that’s sure to come down at least a bit. However, given the age and strong offensive numbers in the Pioneer League, I think he’ll get some looks from prospect publications following the season. His offensive profile is very similar to Ender Inciarte.

LHP Jared Miller: Miller was on the stock down in the first segment, which I believe was a bit harsh due to a bad April and one ugly Spring outing. He has since rediscovered his dominant form that he showcased in the Fall League, pitching to a 1.53 ERA and a 42/9 K/BB in 29 13 innings since the calendar flipped to May. That corrected his numbers to match what he posted in AA last year and earned him a promotion to AAA Reno where he struck out 5 of 8 hitters in 2 scoreless innings. Depending on how Jorge De La Rosa pitches in July, Miller could be knocking on the door for playing time in September when the rosters expand. Unless he stumbles in AAA or gets injured, he’s deserved a look at the MLB level given his track record the last 2 years after converting to a reliever.

INF Dawel Lugo: Lugo has been able to repeat his AA numbers, posting a .283/.329/.433 slash in 347 PA. Lugo is only 22 and is on the 40-man roster, so he will see some time in the majors come September. His glove best profiles at 3B, but unless the team trades Jake Lamb, he’s not going to get an opportunity to play there in a Dbacks uniform. Lugo is a below average runner, so corner outfield may also be a dicey proposition as well. He’s been walking a lot more recently, so that’s definitely good news for a hitter whose reputation is a free swinger that puts the ball in play a lot.

Stock Down

LHP Josh Taylor: Taylor hasn’t had much consistency, some games he’ll look untouchable and others he can’t find the zone with a GPS. Taylor has a really good fastball with his secondaries lagging behind. Taylor is already 24 and hasn’t proven he can stick as a starter in the long term. I do think he’s a future bullpen arm because of his plus fastball and average breaking ball. However, in a system that has left-handed relievers with more upside than him, he’s going to get lost in the shuffle if he can’t make it as a starter.

LHP Alex Young: Young hasn’t had a lot of strong outings, whether or not he’s able to prevent runs. He’s posting a career low in strikeout rate while also a career worst in walk rate, which leads to a lot of traffic on the bases and very few ways to get around that since he’s not a ground ball pitcher and doesn’t miss enough bats. I still see him more useful as a bullpen arm than as a starter with only 2 above average pitches (fastball, slider) and age starting to become an issue. As a left-handed specialist or 1-inning guy, I think he could be very useful.

RHP Brad Keller: Keller doesn’t have amazing stuff, but he maximizes what he has fairly well. After a run of mediocre starts in June, he’s done well in 3 of his last 4 starts. However, the body of work itself is not very impressive, but given his age there is still plenty of potential improvement down the line for command and sequencing. The AA level has led to a career worsts in swinging strike, ground ball, and walk rate in full season ball.