Diamondbacks make some BIG 40-man roster Moves
By Jake Oliver
Arizona Diamondbacks shake up their roster ahead of the Rule-5 Draft deadline
The Rule-5 Draft deadline for roster moves occurred last night. As such, every team, including the Arizona Diamondbacks, in the MLB made roster moves to be able to add in players from the Minors that were eligible for the Rule-5 Draft. They add these players to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from being taken by other teams. For additional information on the Rule-5 Draft, click here. Look out for an upcoming article on the players they didn’t protect for the draft and the chances they will get taken!
The other day, the Diamondbacks added 3 players to their 40-Man Roster while outrighting 3 others. As the Diamondbacks tweeted out, the team added Cooper Hummel, Kristian Robinson, and Ryan Weiss to the 40-man roster. To make room for those players, they outrighted Miguel Aguilar, Kevin Ginkel, and Riley Smith to Reno. Let’s first discuss the three players the team decided to protect from the Rule-5 Draft!
Cooper Hummel is a utility player that mainly plays catcher and the outfield. The Diamondbacks acquired him in the Eduardo Escobar trade at the deadline. He’s very similar to Daulton Varsho but has a more advanced approach at the plate. Most likely, he ends up fulfilling a multitude of roles for us if he makes the ball club out of Spring Training. He’s only 26, a switch hitter (big need for the Dbacks), and highly likely to debut at some point next season.
He’s very patient at the plate having drawn more walks (63) than K’s (61) last year in Triple-AAA. We know how impatient the Dbacks were at the plate last year. Some more walks would be much appreciated and he can get them. He’s a high-contact hitter as well with great gap power. He’s more a double than a homers hitter, but I prefer that. He can field really well in the outfield, which is another big need for us. Last year, he hit .311, .432, .546, with 12 HR, 21 doubles, 52 RBIs, and a great 155 WRC+. Though do factor in the fact that hitters at Reno hit about 20% or so better than at other fields, and his numbers still look good, but not amazing. I’ll admit, when we acquired him, I was confused and unhappy. Now, I’m a believer and think he’s set up for a solid year.
Perhaps the most recognizable name to be added to the roster, and one that isn’t the least bit surprising is Kristian Robinson. He’s the team’s former #1 prospect who now ranks just among the top-5 despite not playing for the last two years. He’s had a large setback to his career as during the early stages of the Pandemic in 2020, he suffered a mental health crisis. Kristian abandoned his car along the highway and eventually punched a cop. He was arrested for felony assault on a cop but plea’ed out to probation and community service. Upon the finish of his community service, his felony would be dropped to a misdemeanor.
Unfortunately, he had issues with his visa which limited his coming back to America from the Bahamas. He finally got back and has finished his community service. Now the problem lies with the courts and getting his felony knocked down to misdemeanor so that Kristian can get approved by the federal government for a work visa. You can’t get approved if you have a felony. His lawyers are hopeful that this will happen by the end of the year.
As for the Diamondbacks, well they have stood by the 20-year old’s side since the beginning. They’ve done their best to help him and are excited he will be back next year. Despite missing 2 years of development, he’s still only 20 and can easily make up a lot of ground. Now that he’s on the 40-man roster, the Diamondbacks will have 3 years or so of options years that they can send him to the Minors. Although he’s currently on the restricted list, which means he doesn’t count towards the 40-man roster. Until he’s removed from that, he will not be a factor in baseball.
The kid has 5-tool talent and is undeniably one of the best prospects in the game if it weren’t for this legal issue. Hopefully, he can resume his career soon, and that we’ll see him on the field for the Dbacks sooner than later.
The Diamondbacks only protected one other player and his name is Ryan Weiss. While it’s not the name I was expecting, I was expecting either Matt Tabor or Keegan Curtis, I’m not too surprised by Ryan being protected. Ryan’s a former 4th round pick out of the 2018 draft. In 2021, he played across two levels, Double-AA and Triple-AAA.
He was ranked #30 on our prospect list for MLB. I think he has more potential than being #30. Weiss has a great arm and knows how to strike out hitters. His control is a bit lacking at times, but it’s fixable. He isn’t wild, just more inaccurate. That can be helped as he has dropped his walk rate year to year. Pitching metrics like FIP love Weiss and think he has great potential.
Last year, he went 6-3 in 34 games and 78.1 innings. Over those games, he struck out 88 batters, had 38 walks, 10.11 K/9, 3.56 BB/9, and held a 4.60 ERA. Those aren’t bad numbers at all, especially when you consider that he pitched a bunch in the hitter-friendly ballpark that is in Reno. Triple-AAA is notorious for inflating pitchers’ stats despite how well they actually pitch.
Ryan should debut in 2022 at some point as the 23-year-old doesn’t have much left to prove. Truthfully, I believe he belongs in the bullpen as a late-inning arm which Arizona is severely lacking. It’ll be nice to have a younger pitcher take the reins and see what he can do. Hopefully, that’s sooner than later. Regardless, he’s a solid young pitcher to have for the future.
While I think the Diamondbacks should’ve protected at least 1-2 more players, mainly pitchers, I’m thankful we protected who we did. Robinson is a cornerstone-type player and Hummel and Weiss should provide the team valuable playing time in the next season. As for Ginkel, it’s likely the team can keep him in the minors as he rehabs an elbow injury. Aguilar struggled in the minors and majors with over a 5.00 ERA in both leagues. Riley Smith is a swingman pitcher who is the type to be sent up and down multiple times. I’m sure this isn’t the last we have seen of Mr. Smith.
Be sure to be on the lookout for the article on what players might be snagged in the Rule 5 Draft!
May the Force be with You…