Arizona Diamondbacks’ Top Prospects: 11-20
By Thomas Lynch
Last week, we took a look at the top ten prospects of the Arizona Diamondbacks. If you would like to review that list, click here. Now we will examine prospects numbers 11 through 20. Once again, we will take a combination of Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, mlb.com SB Nation’s Minor League Ball and our own opinions. Although we have seen next to nothing of these players, we will rely on these publications to give us some insight on what these future D’backs are doing on the farm.
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Without further adieu, here are the next tier level prospects of the D’backs:
11-Jake Barrett-The hard-throwing right-hander was taken in the third round of the 2012 Draft. Barrett, 23, split 2014 between Double A Mobile and Triple A Reno. He saved a total of 28 games and struck out 47 batters in 55 1/3 innings. However, he also walked 27 last season. His fastball has reached 98 and he also possesses a good slider. He will most likely open the 2015 as the closer at Reno with the possibility of being the first call-up should a bullpen arm goes down.
12-Mitch Haniger-The 24-year old outfielder was acquired from the Brewers in the trade that sent Gerardo Parra to Milwaukee. He was taken with the 38th overall pick in the 2012 Draft. Haniger has some pop in his bat with 222 extra-base hits in 267 at-bats in Double A Last year. Although his strikeouts are a little high (51 in 2014), Haniger sports a solid Minor League career on-base percentage of .345. He has split his time between left and center field.
13-Jimmie Sherfy-Here is another power-armed right-hander in the Arizona system. Sherfy has accumulated 97 strikeouts in 66 1/3 Minor League innings. Walks have been a problem; in 2014 Sherfy issued 23 free passes in 49 innings. The 23-year old Oregon native excelled in Arizona Fall League play allowing a single earned run in 9 2/3 innings pitched. Expect Sherfy to begin 2015 with Double A Mobile, possibly as its closer.
14-Kaleb Fleck-The conga line of hard-throwing relievers continues with the right-handed Fleck. He’s a little older (26) and his build (6-foot-2, 190 pounds) does not suggest that he can bring the heat. Fleck had a tremendous 2014 season at Double A Mobile going 7-3 with a 2.56 ERA and 17 saves in 56 games. In 63 1/3 innings, Fleck allowed 55 hits and 28 walks while striking out 79. He was unscored upon in 6 of 8 Arizona Fall League games, registering 12 strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings. Fleck and Barrett should be a lethal combination at Triple A Reno in 2015.
15-Sergio Alcantara-The D’backs signed the slight (5-foot-10, 150 pounds) shortstop as a 16-year old from the Dominican Republic in 2012. Despite his age, Alcantara has more than held his own with the bat, owning a .376 on-base percentage with the Rookie League D’backs and Missoula of the Pioneer League. He doesn’t project to be much high-batting average guy but it is clear that he has a good understanding of the strike zone. Alcantara’s strength is his defense with good range and a strong arm. He is the nephew of former Major League shortstop Anderson Hernandez.
16-Yoan Lopez-Arizona dipped into the Cuban market once again, this time signing the 22-year old right-hander. Lopez threw a total of 49 innings last year, compiling a 3.12 ERA with 28 strikeouts and 11 walks in 49 innings for Isla De La Juventud. He is 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds with a mid-90’s fastball. The D’backs haven’t said yet where Lopez will pitch in 2015 but he will be invited to Spring Training.
17-Jefferson Mejia-The 20-year old right-hander was acquired in the deal that sent Miguel Montero to the Chicago Cubs. Mejia stands 6-foot-7 but is a lanky 195 pounds. He’s only pitched in 20 Minor League games, five of them starts. He as pitched 49 innings, allowing 36 hits and 20 walks while striking out 51. His fastball ranges in the low to mid-90’s with a curve and a change-up both a work in progress. Mejia could stand to gain another 15-20 pounds and become an intimidating presence on the mound. He will begin 2015 at lower Class A Minor League squad.
18-Socrates Brito-He has been in the Diamondbacks’ organization since 2010 after being signed at age 17 from the Dominican Republic. It has been a gradual climb for Brito but he had a breakout 2014 for High Class A Visalia. He hit 10 home runs with 62 RBI’s and 38 stolen bases in 518 at-bats. Brito scored 82 runs and batted .293 with an on-base percentage .339 and slugged .429. He starred in the playoffs with 14 hits in 45 at-bats with 21 total bases as the Rawhide fell short in the California League Championship Series. Brito was added to the 40-man roster in the Fall, proving that the organization sees something in the 21-year old.
19-Matt Railey-The 19-year old outfielder was taken by the team in the third round of the 2014 Draft. In 45 at-bats at Missoula of the Pioneer League, Railey delivered a total of eight extra-base hits with a .327 on-base percentage while slugging .556. He is more of a line-drive hitter than a power hitter. His current position is center field but we keep reading that he may eventually end up in a corner outfield spot.
20-Jose Martinez-We debated about leaving him off this list, a result of him suffering a stress fracture in his pitching elbow last June. However, he was rocketing up the organization’s prospect list before the injury so we felt it necessary to include him. Still only 20, Martinez can bring it to the mid-to-upper 90’s despite a 6-foot-1, 160 pound frame. The right-hander also offers a solid curveball and was working on a change-up. Hopefully, we will see Martinez at some level of Minor League ball in 2015.