MLB.com just re-ranked their list of Top 100 Prospects and there is some good news for the Arizona Diamondbacks. They have four players in the top 50 and their overall ranking is now #3, up two spots since the beginning of the season. Two of those players, pitchers Trevor Bauer at #6 and Tyler Skaggs at #10 have already seen Major League action. Pitcher Archie Bradley ranked #19 and infielder Matt Davidson at #48 probably will get the call next September. You can read Steve Gilbert’s column regarding the ranking of the D-Back Minor League system by clicking here.
Jul. 3, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Diamondbacks pitcher Trevor Bauer throws against the Padres. Bauer is ranked as the #4 prospect by mlb.com. Image Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Playing in the same division as the Dodgers and Giants means that maintaining a top-notch farm system is a must for the Diamondbacks. Because of market size and current payroll constraints, Arizona may never land a marquee free agent. Prospects will be relied on more heavily on the Big League level than those who come up through a bigger payroll organization. Also, prospects will have to be used as trade bait in order to acquire a star player who may be in the final year of his contract. That worked out well for the Brewers in 2011 when they traded for Zack Greinke knowing full well he probably would not re-sign with the team after the season. The deal propelled them all the way to the National League Championship Series. With their wealth of young starting pitching, the D-Backs certainly have the resources to make a similar deal for a big bat. Another thumper in the middle of the order would make their offense much more dangerous in 2013. Would management make such a bold move? Or would they be more content to make a smaller transaction, not part with one of their better young arms and fill other holes from within?
The margin for error for the Arizona Diamondbacks is a small one. If the foundation of the Minor League system starts to crumble, then the results at the Major League level will be a disaster. It is important that Kevin Towers and his staff give the scouts in the organization every resource possible in evaluating talent. Their picks must be wise and Management has to be judicious in parting with young talent when evaluating trades. Towers is entering his third year as General Manager. At the very least he needs to keep the organizational ranking at #3 with an eye on the top spot.
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