Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
The Diamondbacks added the cream of the crop to its rotation when Greinke signed for the most per year anyone has every signed for. Then they went and got their hands on one of the highest ceiling pitchers out there in Shelby Miller. They will also be returning Patrick Corbin.
At the bottom, there’s some #4 and #5 types in Chase Anderson, Robbie Ray, Rubby De La Rosa, and Zack Godley (still the best name in baseball). What the Diamondbacks have that the Giants don’t are prospects who are close to the Majors (or already in the Majors part-time), who could turn out to be middle-or-higher rotation starters. Chief of the prospect staff is Archie Bradley.
Bradley did not pitch well last season, that’s a fact. That doesn’t mean he is doomed to forever have control issues and an ERA around 5.00. He is still the top prospect in the Diamondbacks’ farm system, and MLB: The Show still thinks he has an overall potential of 97 (little tidbit for you gaming nerds). Bradley was taken early in the 2011 draft, which has shown to have very good pitchers, but most have trouble early in their careers. That is the draft where Dylan Bundy, Danny Hultzen, Trevor Bauer, Taylor Jungmann, Jose Fernandez, Sonny Gray, Matt Barnes, Alex Meyer, Taylor Guerrieri, Gerrit Cole, and Robert Stephenson went in the first round. Aside from Cole, Gray, and Fernandez, the rest have shown both high ceilings and low floors coupled with massive inconsistency. Point is, as bad as Bradley was last year, he was still on par with most of his cohorts.
Here’s the thing about the Diamondbacks: they may have sold Aaron Blair and Touki Touissaint to the Braves, but they still have Yoan Lopez, Braden Shipley, Alex Young, Wei-Chieh Huang, and Cody Reed hanging around. To compare with the Giants, who have a few good ones also, the main difference is that the Diamondbacks’ prospects will have a chance to prove their mettle in the Majors when the time comes, whereas the Giants are going to be stuck keeping guys, and their potentially high ceilings, in the Minors.
Also, imagine if Daniel Hudson actually gets the chance to start again (long shot) and his returns to 75% of the guy he once was (not that long of a shot). He’ll be a huge pile of delicious, fat-laden gravy on top.
The Diamondbacks figure to have a rotation that starts off looking like this: Greinke, Miller, Corbin, De La Rosa, and Ray. It could end looking like this: Greinke, Miller, Corbin, Bradley, and Shipley.
Maybe I am a bit of a homer, but I like the prospects for the Diamondbacks more than that of the Giants. I see the Giants with a set 1 thru 5, and the Diamondbacks by season’s end with the potential of two #1’s, a #2, and two #3’s. That potential is why the Diamondbacks have the best rotation in the NL West.