clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Arizona Diamondbacks 2019 Non-Roster Invitees: Position Players C

The final batch of non-roster invitees includes the most expensive position player on the 2019 Diamondbacks.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Andrew Aplin

Aplin is a somewhat-local, having spent some time as a kid in Phoenix, before his family returned to California, his state of birth. But he was back in Arizona as a student, after turning down the Yankees when they drafted him out of high school. Andrew went to ASU, and went to Omaha fir the Sun Devils for the 2010 College World Series, the last time Arizona State reached the last dance. and was a fifth-round pick by the Astros in the 2012 draft. After making quick work of the lower levels in their system, and being added to the 40-man roster in 2015, he stalled out in Triple-A. They dealt him to the Mariners in May 2017, but Seattle let him go last year, and he signed with the D-backs in November.

The 27-year-old hit .247 between AA and AAA last year, but had decent discipline, getting his OBP up to .343, with a K:BB of 56:40. That has been a trend for Aplin over his career, his ratio is 464:411. His defensive reputation has been very good as well. But there has been a sharp fall in expectations for someone about whom The Crawfish Boxes wrote as follows in 2016: “A high-floor major league center fielder who could be a competent lead-off man on a second-division ball club or an un-embarrassing fourth outfielder for a playoff contender. That’s his floor.” Three years later, he’s maybe... eighth or ninth on our outfield depth chart?

Rob Refsnyder

Despite the name, Refsnyder is Korean: he was born in Seoul and adopted at the age of five months by Californian parents. So if he makes the roster, he’d become the second-ever Korean-born player to appear for the Diamondbacks [no prize for naming the first!] Like Aplin. he went to college in Arizona, but was a Wildcat, winning the College World Series in 2012, where he was named Most Outstanding Player (an honor also awarded to Phil Nevin, Jackie Bradley and Dansby Swanson). He also met his wife, Monica, at the U of A. By the time of the CWS, he was already a fifth-round pick by the Yankees, and made his major-league debut for them in 2015.

But he was never able to command a regular position in the Bronx, and was traded to the Blue Jays in July 2017, then selected off waivers by the Indians that winter, sold to the Rays in March, and finally became a free-agent in November. Overall, he has appeared in 167 major-league games, though as with Kelby Tomlinson, Refsnyder has had an OBP higher than his SLG, each of the last three seasons. He does offer some positional flexibility, having started at first, second, left and right. However,

Matt Szczur

I hope he doesn’t make the roster, simply because it’s going to take me the entire season to learn how to spell his name. He was a two-sport collegiate, being named MVP in the 2009 NCAA Division I Football Championship Game for the Villanova Wildcats. He was drafted by the Cubs in the fifth-round of the 2010 draft, and committed to baseball at the end of that season. He made is debut for the Cubs in August 2014, and was their Silvino Bracho the next year, being called up seven times. In 2016, he appeared in 107 games, but mostly off the bench, with just 29 starts in the field. He was DFA’d in May 2017, traded to the Padres, and after two seasons there became a free-agent.

A three-time Minor League All-Star, he was part of Team US for the 2011 Futures Game at Chase Field. There, he played alongside Nolan Arenado, Manny Machado, Bryce Harper and some Goldschmidt guy, about whom I know nothing... Scszur has not quite lived up to the level of those team-mates, shall we say. Over his five years and 363 games in the majors, he has batted only .231, with a devilish .666 OPS. However, in his defense, that’s weighed down by the difficult job of coming off the bench: his career OPS as a starter is 93 points better than as a sub. But if he’s playing for the D-backs at all, it’s going to be in a similar role.

Yasmany Tomás

Oh, we saved the best for last, didn’t we? Tomas earned $13.5 million last year, without seeing a single major-league at-bat. Even when the rosters expanded in September, he wasn’t called upon. Tomas had been removed from the 40-man roster at the start of the season, despite the loss of similarly right-handed outfielder Steven Souza to injury. Yasmany instead appeared in 106 games for Reno, but even there, his numbers were mediocre: a .745 OPS which came in at fifty-eight points below team average. It put him just six points above Rey Fuentes and twelve above Junior Querecuto, neither of whom are exactly known for their slugging.

Is there any hope for Tomas, who’ll get $15.5 million this year, and is due to earn $17 million in 2020? Well, the D-backs do have a vacancy at first-base... This would minimize the issues of Tomas’s defense, which has been found wanting just about everywhere he has been tried and played. That was why he was sent down, Torey Lovullo saying, “He needs to go work on his defense.” At this point, however, there seems little question the D-backs would need to eat the vast bulk of the $32.5 million remaining on his contract - regardless of whether or not Tomas plays, and if it’s Arizona or elsewhere. Just remember, Yasmany: hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.