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Diamondbacks Farm System Review: Infielders

You came back! Welcome to the thoughts of a rando D-Backs fan! 

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

We are going to start with infielders! There are 9 names below, most Arizona fans are likely familiar with a few, and readers of AZSnakePit are probably familiar with most in a cursory way at minimum. There’s quite a spread in this list, and not only because Lawlar tops it. Behind him, you have some solid potential before getting to some eventual likely MLB cameos and/or MiLB professionals.

Before we start, I need to say that all my predictions are based on Mike Hazen still being GM in 2025. I am a believer in his methods and I hope Kendrick shows more patience in his twilight years than he has in the past.

I don’t have much else to use as a preface, so let’s get into the meat!

Adrian Del Castillo (22) – C

  • AVERAGE .265
  • OBP .367
  • OPS .789
  • Ks 29
  • BBs 11
  • HOME RUNS 1
  • Top 100 Lists: N/A

Bio/2021 Recap: Del Castillo was drafted in 2021 during Comp Round B (67). He’d been a potential first rounder earlier on, but had a rough 2021 and slipped. He played in Low A after the draft and had a bit of rough go. Until catching defense becomes irrelevant though, that’s a perfectly fine debut batting line for him.

What does 2022 have in store? Despite being a college bat, the team will likely take things slowly with him. I say 2022 will be mostly in Low A with a possible High A end of season promotion. This is because I think they’ll want his confidence to increase after a bad amateur end as well as a horrendous history developing catchers. PLAYING IN 2022: No chance at the majors.

What role played in 2024/2025? Arizona catchers are hard to peg for years down the line. And I’ll be honest, catching isn’t my forte when it comes to baseball. So I’m just going to be optimistic and short. I think Del Castillo rediscovers his bat. PREDICTION: Del Castillo is beginning his MLB career as Kelly’s primary backup with the chance to make Kelly the backup by 2026.

AJ Vukovich (20) – 1B

  • AVERAGE .272
  • OBP .320
  • OPS .766
  • Ks 105
  • BBs 22
  • HOME RUNS 13
  • Top 100 Lists: N/A

Bio/2021 Recap: Vukovich is one of those prospects the DBacks aggressively challenged in 2021, finishing the year in High A ball. Quite the feat for a guy making his professional debut.

What does 2022 have in store? A start in High A is likely and a AA debut around August would seem realistic if his season goes well. As highlighted a few months ago in a SnakePit article, his bat could really take off in the upper minors with home parks being hitter friendly. PLAYING IN 2022: Upper levels of the minors with an emphasis on AA.

What role played in 2024/2025? I’ve liked Vukovich since the team made him the only hitter taken in the 2020 draft, but he’s my first trade bait option here. Before I knew who De Los Santos was (a couple weeks ago) and before I really started looking into Vukovich’s 2021, I would’ve said he’s our 3B of the future in ‘24/25. But while drafted as 3B, he’s now listed as a 1B. I have nothing against him in this regard, we’re certainly going to need a body there as well, I just lean against it being him. I don’t really have a reason why. PREDICTION: Traded for a necessary piece sometime between 2023-2025, either for a contending team that needs immediate help or a long-term piece to help mentor the youth.

Buddy Kennedy (23) – 3B

  • AVERAGE .290
  • OBP .384
  • OPS.907
  • Ks 98
  • BBs 51
  • HOME RUNS 22
  • Top 100 Lists: N/A

Bio/2021 Recap: 2021 saw a 23-year-old Kennedy play in AA have a pretty ok stat line. He also got the opportunity to play in the Arizona Fall League.

What does 2022 have in store? I think the team will be forced to be aggressive with him and he’ll start the year in Reno. I’m sure his stats will be inflated there. And I’m fairly confident he’ll get every opportunity to replace Ellis as the next DBacks’ 3B, if only because his defense is better (god I hope it can’t be worse). I just don’t think he’s really good enough to play on a contending MLB team. PLAYING IN 2022: MLB – exhausts prospect status.

What role played in 2024/2025? By 2024/2025, I think Kennedy’s best bet is to be the guy getting pushed out by some other prospect/MLB player. PREDICTION: Kennedy becomes a backup player for 3B (2B too if he can add some versatility, but I’m not hopeful) and is eventually trade bait or DFA’d.

Cooper Hummel (27) – C

  • AVERAGE .311
  • OBP .432
  • OPS .978
  • Ks 61
  • BBs 64
  • HOME RUNS 12
  • Top 100 Lists: N/A

Bio/2021 Recap: Hummel came over in the Escobar trade. He’s already in AAA, and he actually ended up with more at-bats in Reno than Nashville. However, he saw a huge boost in Reno. The optimistic way to see this is a different culture/atmosphere helped him reach a new level. The less optimistic way is to say “its Reno.” Either way, his bat seems okay for a catcher, albeit below Kelly and Varsho.

What does 2022 have in store? He should get a nice chance at MLB experience in 2022 (although cracking the Opening Day roster might prove difficult), exhausting his prospect-hood. He’ll be a second/third catcher depending on Varsho’s usage. PLAYING IN 2022: MLB – exhausts prospect status.

What role played in 2024/2025? Hummel is hard to predict. On the one hand, Kelly will be approaching free agency if he doesn’t sign an extension, and Varsho could be a fulltime outfielder by then. But Hummel is already 27 and Del Castillo plus future draftees could quickly pass him on the organizational depth chart. PREDICTION: Hummel is still a backup for a recently extended Kelly, but looking the void of non-tender/DFA’d free agency in the eye.

Deyvision De Los Santos (18) – 3B

  • AVERAGE .295
  • OBP .370
  • OPS .859
  • Ks 67
  • BBs 26
  • HOME RUNS 8
  • Top 100 Lists: N/A

Bio/2021 Recap: Signed in 2019, De Los Santos finally got meaningful playing time in the US in 2021. And he made the most of it, positioning himself to skyrocket up the most recent prospect lists of pretty much everybody. His power comes with swing and miss issues, but he’s got the potential to be a special talent if not necessarily an MVP caliber player year in and year out.

What does 2022 have in store? De Los Santos finished 2021 in Low A ball, so that’s where I predict he starts the season as well. A jump to High A seems almost guaranteed (knock on all sorts of materials to ward off injuries). And the potential for a AA debut is slim but exists; the team has been very aggressive with promotions in recent years (in the minors at least) and if De Los Santos has a true breakout season, he’s a prime candidate for that type of rise through the system. PLAYING IN 2022: Upper levels of the minors with an emphasis on AA.

What role played in 2024/2025? If the power continues to showcase in real games, I don’t see De Los Santos being a trade candidate. The team targeted Seth Beer in the Greinke trade and has a severe lack of true power as a whole. Much like Lawlar, I see De Los Santos starting his MLB career in ‘24/25, ideally in Diamondbacks’ colors. However, if the power slips or the position needs to change, he could end up a very shiny trade piece for the next Arizona contender. PREDICTION: Roaring 20s Baby Backs’ 3B of the future.

Drew Ellis (26) – 3B

  • AVERAGE .294
  • OBP .399
  • OPS 1.014
  • Ks 87
  • BBs 46
  • HOME RUNS 20
  • Top 100 Lists: N/A

Bio/2021 Recap: Ellis saw significant time in Reno (AAA) in 2021 with a good amount of MLB time as well. Reno likely inflated his numbers and the MLB was a puzzle he failed to crack. This doesn’t bode well for him overall, but it does help his 2022 case.

What does 2022 have in store? I see Ellis as the most likely starting 3B for the DBacks in 2022, assuming no additional moves before the season begins. Don’t be confused, he’s not a solution for third, he’s just the best we have on a really bad team right now. I hope he can find his MLB eye and prove he belongs there, but I’m not buying a jersey. PLAYING IN 2022: MLB – exhausts prospect status.

What role played in 2024/2025? Ellis should not be in the Diamondbacks’ organization by 2024. If he is, he’s either a veteran presence in the minors or things have gone very wrong/slowly for our top prospects. I see him as a non-tender candidate as early as next offseason. PREDICTION: Ellis is non-tendered/DFA’d and has a Chris Owings type career path, bouncing from team to team trying to find a long-term MLB home.

Geraldo Perdomo (22) – SS

  • AVERAGE .238
  • OBP .357
  • OPS .716
  • Ks 82
  • BBs 49
  • HOME RUNS 6
  • Top 100 Lists: theAthletic (63), Baseball Prospectus (97) & Baseball America (89)

Bio/2021 Recap: Poor Perdomo had a roller-coaster of a 2021. He’d created a personal goal of making the majors in 2021, and he attained it! But that first taste was a so sour it affected his AA for months. But he came back stronger from his time at the Complex and looks to fight Ahmed for the starting Short Stop position in Spring Training.

What does 2022 have in store? Barring an astonishing trade before Opening Day, I expect Perdomo starts in AAA to develop a bit better eye for advanced pitching and perhaps to boost his confidence with the bat. But early in the season I think he plays in Sedona Red and doesn’t look back. He’s not going to be an MVP caliber guy for 8 seasons in a row, but comparable to Ahmed with a better bat seems possible and likely at this point. I’ve loved Perdomo for several years and I think he’s going to prove me right! PLAYING IN 2022: MLB – Exhausts prospect status.

What role played in 2024/2025? Three to four years from now, I truly expect Perdomo is a fan-favorite Short Stop that vies for down-ballot All-Star fan votes. If Lawlar is charging in as a SS in his own right, we may be witnessing Perdomo learn 2B/3B at the MLB level on a nightly basis. He’s not going to be that feared middle of the order bat, and he’s unlikely to be a top of the order on-base machine. But in a world with a universal DH, I can easily see Perdomo as an 8/9-hole guy who gets on base quite often for the gap power at the top of the lineup to knock in. PREDICTION: Solid infielder with a reliable-enough bat for the Roaring 20s Baby Backs

Jordan Lawlar (19) – SS

  • AVERAGE .400
  • OBP .500
  • OPS 1.100
  • Ks 1
  • BBs 1
  • HOME RUNS 0
  • Top 100 Lists: theAthletic (31), Baseball Prospectus (48), Baseball America (29), Prospects1500 (38) & MLB Pipeline (13)

Bio/2021 Recap: Drafted sixth overall last July, Lawlar signed for $6million and played in 2 games at the Arizona Complex League before injuring his non-throwing shoulder. He then spent the rest of the season in Phoenix watching MLB games with scouts and Corbin Carroll while recovering.

What does 2022 have in store? Despite the injury, all reports indicate Lawlar will be ready for Spring Training and the season. Assuming that is true, Low A (A-) seems like a good place for him. There’s a good chance he starts in extended Spring because of the injury, but the team seems bullish on him and has not been shy about sending prospects to higher levels recently. PLAYING IN 2022: No shot at MLB time.

What role played in 2024/2025? Ideally by 2024-2025, Lawlar will have just made his MLB debut or be about to (damn service time considerations…). Preferably, at Short Stop, but in theory he can play anywhere (and we all know how this administration feels about THAT skillset). However, there is some legitimate risk of him being traded to augment a surprising contender if the right idea comes around. Cards on the table, I will be absolutely shocked if Lawlar succeeds at all in the minors and doesn’t play in Arizona: he’s got that special potential. PREDICTION: Roaring 20s Baby Backs’ SS of the future.

Ryan Bliss (22) – 2B

  • AVERAGE .267
  • OBP .326
  • OPS .774
  • Ks 42
  • BBs 13
  • HOME RUNS 6
  • Top 100 Lists: N/A

Bio/2021 Recap: Bliss was a college bat drafted in Round 2 of the 2021 draft (42 overall – Yay Robinson!). As a relatively advanced bat, he finished the summer at Low A.

What does 2022 have in store? He did fairly well in Low A and there’s a chance he simply starts directly in High A as a result of that and a strong Spring. Depending on the team’s aggressiveness, he could finish the year at AA, but at some point you have to be able to field a full team at every level of the system, and Bliss seems like his smaller upside might keep him from that mid-season promotion. PLAYING IN 2022: Upper levels of the minors, with an emphasis on AA.

What role played in 2024/2025? Here we get into murky waters with predictability. Bliss could be an everyday 2B at the MLB level. He could also simply be a solid back up type, which have very different values to the Diamondbacks. For one, he’s unlikely to stick at SS, especially given how low he is on our depth chart, and a 2B only backup is not a common piece kept on good MLB teams. Knowing all this, I think his two most likely outcomes are trade bait or a regular/backup on a team “working towards their next contention window.” PREDICTION: Bliss is traded mid-season as the centerpiece for a reliever or an ancillary piece for an impact player.