Diamondbacks: Time to Check in on the Farm
As the Diamondbacks find themselves on a roll at the Major League level, I thought I’d take a moment to bring an update on some of the top prospects in our farm system so we can keep an eye on what the organization is building for future seasons.
There have definitely been mixed results thus far in 2013 especially when discussing our pitching prospects that sit at the Triple-A Reno level that is well known for its hitter friendly atmosphere.
Arizona Diamondbacks infielderChris Owings
poses for a picture during photo day at the Diamondbacks Spring Training Facility. Image: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Now, with the continuous injuries at the D’backs top level, we have had the opportunity to see some of these prospects on the big stage much more than expected and a lot earlier in some cases as well.
A.J. Pollock (#8 prospect) was able to start the season on the opening day roster with the news that Adam Eaton, the #5 prospect in the organization, would begin the season on the disabled list.
Then, with the injuries to infielders Willie Bloomquist and Aaron Hill we have witnessed the debut of Didi Gregorius (#3 prospect) much earlier than anticipated.
Both have experienced success at the big league level with Gregorius putting up numbers that no one could have predicted (.422 AVG) and Pollock already posting 12 doubles which has him in a three way tie for the most in National League.
I’ll begin at the AAA level as these guys are expected to be the closest to joining the team if and when their services are needed.
Reno Aces (AAA): It makes the most sense to begin with LHP Tyler Skaggs since he is the #1 prospect in the organization and has a ton of expectations. However, his 2013 numbers are less than impressive with a 2-4 record, 6.89 ERA and 35 hits allowed in 31.1 innings pitched so far.
He’s lost his last two starts surrendering 11 earned runs in just 9.2 IP while walking five. The 21 year old will need to settle in soon if he expects to see time at the big league level again in 2013.
Randall Delgado was brought over in the Justin Upton trade to Atlanta and was given the opportunity to win the fifth spot in the rotation in spring training. Not only did that not happen but he has struggled mightily in Reno posting an ERA of 8.80 in his seven games started going 0-3. Delgado has really faltered with his control offering up 22 walks in 29.2 IP and seven home runs allowed.
On the positive side at AAA we have seen Zeke Spruill be promoted from AA Mobile and post a 1.42 ERA in two starts (12.2 IP). He may be the one bright spot in the Braves trade that sent Upton and Chris Johnson to Atlanta.
From an offensive stand point, infielder Chris Owings has been shredding opposing pitchers with a .355/.379/.484 slash line. He won the April player of the month and leads all of the Pacific Coast League with 55 hits. The bad part? There’s really no place for Owings at the major league level and could be nothing more than trade bait as the season progresses.
Mobile Bay Bears (AA): Archie Bradley is the #2 prospect in the organization and has already experienced a promotion from Single-A Visalia to the Bay Bears and in his two starts has allowed just one run while striking out eleven batters in eight innings. As Bradley was a 2011 first round draft pick by the Diamondbacks there’s really no rush to advance the 20 year old too fast and put him in harm’s way in Reno meaning he may finish the season without another advancement.
Infielder Nick Ahmed, another piece to the Upton trade, has also been struggling as he sits below the Mendoza line through 103 at bats with a .175 AVG, 7 RBI’s and an on base percentage at .237.
Visalia Rawhide (A): In California, Jake Barrett has been leading the way with eight saves in 12 games and a 1.50 ERA. He has held his opponents scoreless in 11 of the 12 innings he’s pitched and struck out 19 batters in his 12 innings of work. Barrett is the #16 prospect in the organization after being drafted in the third round by the Diamondbacks in 2012.
NOTES: CF Adam Eaton has been getting some at bats in Reno during his rehab assignment with minimal success (3-25, 2BB, 5SO).
*Chase Anderson, an Arizona Fall League participant in 2012, has struggled this spring to the tune of a 2-4 record and 6.28 ERA. He has been tagged for 51 hits in just 38.2 IP.
*3B Matt Davidson, a first round draft pick in 2009, #4 Dbacks prospect, and AFL player this past fall has also been a little slow out of the gate hitting .286 with 40 strikeouts in 119 at bats. In fairness, he’s posting a .344 OBP and is 7 for his last 12 with 4 extra base hits.
*Stryker Trahan, the D’backs first round pick in 2012, is hitting .281 with 11 doubles and a ridiculous .422 OBP thanks to his 40 walks in just 167 at bats in Rookie Ball. Trahan is the #11 prospect in the D’backs organization.
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