MLB Pipeline released its updated Top 100 Prospects and team-by-team Top 30 Prospects lists. The Arizona Diamondbacks have stocked talent on the farm, and MLB Pipeline ranked the best prospects in the system.
Of the 30 prospects, 16 were pitchers and 14 were position players. Below is a list of the rankings with their age and position.
- Kristian Robinson- Age: 19 Position: Outfielder
- Alek Thomas- Age: 20 Position: Outfielder
- Daulton Varsho- Age: 24 Position: Catcher
- Geraldo Perdomo- Age: 20 Position: Shortstop
- Corbin Carroll- Age: 19 Position: Outfielder
- Blake Walston- Age: 19 Position: Pitcher
- Corbin Martin- Age: 24 Position: Pitcher
- Bryce Jarvis- Age: 22 Position: Pitcher
- Luis Frias- Age: 22 Position: Pitcher
- Levi Kelly- Age: 21 Position: Pitcher
- J.B. Bukauskas- Age: 23 Position: Pitcher
- Wilderd Patino- Age: 19 Position: Outfielder
- Slade Cecconi- Age: 21 Position: Pitcher
- Seth Beer- Age: 21 Position: First Baseman/Outfielder
- Jon Duplantier- Age: 26 Position: Pitcher
- Blaze Alexander- Age: 21 Position: Shortstop/Second Baseman
- Andy Young- Age: 26 Position: Infielder
- Josh Green- Age: 24 Position: Pitcher
- Drey Jameson- Age: 22 Position: Pitcher
- Liam Norris- Age: 18 Position: Pitcher
- Matt Tabor- Age: 22 Position: Pitcher
- Tommy Henry- Age: 23 Position: Pitcher
- Dominic Fletcher- Age: 22 Position: Outfielder
- Ryne Nelson- Age: 22 Position: Pitcher
- Justin Martinez- Age: 19 Position: Pitcher
- Jeferson Espinal- Age: 18 Position: Outfielder
- Pavin Smith- Age: 24 Position: First Baseman/Outfielder
- Tristin English- Age: 23 Position: Third Baseman/Outfielder
- A.J. Vukovich- Age: 19 Position: Third Baseman
- Conor Grammes- Age: 23 Position: Pitcher
Arizona’s system is filled with outfield and pitching depth across the board. Five prospects rank inside the Top 100 with Kristian Robinson (No. 47 overall), Alek Thomas (No. 53 Overall), Daulton Varsho (No. 82 overall), Geraldo Perdomo (No. 91 overall) and Corbin Carroll (No. 99 overall).
There are few things I took note of when jotting down this list. I have no issues whatsoever with Robinson being ranked No. 1 overall. I wrote about his sky-high potential in my first story for AZ Snakepit.
I personally would have Carroll as a Top-3 prospect for the D-backs ahead of Thomas. Some may call that a hot take, but I like Carroll’s hit tool, speed and arm a bit more. Thomas has more power at the moment, but Carroll’s profile as a contact-oriented center fielder with elite speed puts him a few spots higher on my personal board.
Perdomo keeps adding more size and raw power each year to his 6-foot-2 frame. If he progresses through the minors like he has been, he’ll be a plug-and-play shortstop for years to come.
The first five prospects are all position players before a slew of pitchers make their way onto the list.
Blake Walston has shot up the system since Arizona selected him No. 26 overall out of New Hanover High School last year. Walston is a 6-foot-5 lefty with a mid-90s fastball and two effective off-speed pitches in a curveball and slider. Expect to see him crack MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 in the near future.
I was surprised to see 2020 first-round pick Bryce Jarvis so high on the list at No. 8 overall. I would rank Levi Kelly over Jarvis and Corbin Martin as the first right-hander in Arizona’s system. Kelly showcased his velocity-packed fastball and slider during the intrasquad scrimmages this year. He also posted a 2.15 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in Single-A Kane County last season, which is quite impressive for someone his age.
It will be interesting to see Jarvis pitch next season if Minor League Baseball returns. The same goes for Martin, who is coming off Tommy John surgery. Martin may make his first D-backs appearance this season.
Expectations for Seth Beer and J.B. Bukauskas are high to make the most of Arizona’s investment in the Zack Greinke trade. Beer has the power to make an immediate impact at the plate, but his defensive fit is still a question. Bukauskas has the repertoire, but struggled with his control and command over the past two seasons.
Wilderd Patino, a 19-year-old Venezualan outfielder, is an under-the-radar prospect. He opened some eyes in the Arizona Fall League last year and has a 60-graded run along with 55-graded power.
As I progressed further down the list, a trio of “older” prospects caught my eye in Jon Duplantier, Andy Young and Pavin Smith. Duplantier and Young made their Triple-A Reno debuts last season. Young is currently making the most of his big league opportunity, while injuries have halted Duplantier’s development at times.
Smith was highly touted for his smooth left-handed swing coming out of Virginia, a prominent reason why the D-backs picked him No. 7 overall in the 2017 MLB Draft. He hasn’t shown much power at the plate with just 12 homers in 123 games with Double-A Jackson last year. His defensive limitations to first base or a corner outfield spot may limit his potential, as well.
A couple of names to keep an eye on are right-handed pitcher Josh Green and third baseman A.J. Vukovich. Green is coming off a stellar 2019 campaign with Double-A Jackson. The 24-year-old had an 11-5 record and 2.71 ERA over 126.1 innings and 22 starts with High-A Visalia and Double-A Jackson.
Vukovich joins Jarvis, right-hander Slade Cecconi and prep left-hander Liam Norris as four of Arizona’s 2020 draft picks in MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 list. Vukovich was selected No. 119 overall in the fourth round out of East Troy High School, signing for an above-slot value of $1.25 million.
At the plate, Vukovich has a low leg kick to generate some pop in his right-handed swing. He struggles to make consistent contact, but his power and quick bat were graded as solid tools in the draft.
Overall, MLB Pipeline displayed the depth and talent of the D-backs farm system. Arizona has a bright future ahead if many of its prospects reach their ceiling.