On Monday afternoon, the Arizona Diamondbacks announced the team's selection of their minor league pitcher and player of the month for August. Both these players are players that are quickly rising up the ranks of the Diamondbacks prospect rankings. I wouldn't be surprised to see one of these two players break Spring Training with the Arizona Diamondbacks in March 2023. The other is likely looking at 2024 to make his MLB debut. So, who are they?
The Arizona Diamondbacks announced that star pitching prospect Brandon Pfaadt and first baseman Leandro Cedeno are their Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Month for August
Leandro Cedeno is a first baseman/outfielder that has been on a tear this year through Double-A and Triple-A. over 109 games in Amarillo, Cedeno hit .310/.374/.563/.937 with 18 doubles, 30 home runs, and 93 RBI to go with 42 walks and 112 strikeouts. He was playing against opponents that were on average 1.2 years older than him. While he just recently got promoted to Reno, he has struggled in his five games there. He has four hits with a run and two walks to six strikeouts.
It's definitely an adjustment to the far better pitching and tougher environment in Reno. That's why he likely debuts in 2024. I would expect the Diamondbacks to have him play all of 2023 at Reno with perhaps a cup of coffee in September next season. The Diamondbacks noted that Cedeno leads the Texas League in slugging, runs, bases, and OPS when he was promoted to Triple-A while setting the home run record for the Sod Poodles.
Meanwhile, I fully expect Brandon Pfaadt to make his MLB debut in March/April of 2023 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. In fact, I can't ignore the fact he might make it later this season. He's been that good this year. Brandon started the year in Double-A with the Amarillo Sod Poodles. He pitched 19 games and had a 4.70 ERA with 144 strikeouts in 105.1 innings. He allowed 113 hits and walked only 19. That's right, ONLY 19! There's no doubt that Brandon dominated despite his higher ERA. Another example of why ERA doesn't tell the whole story.
Once he got to Reno, the training wheels came completely off. He took his game to a much higher level despite being 4.3 years below the average age in Triple-A. He's only 23. With Reno, Brandon Pfaadt has pitched to a 4-0 record with a 2.52 ERA, 50 innings pitched, 33 hits, 12 walks, and 58 strikeouts. He has started all 8 games. Need I remind you that Reno is an extremely batter-friendly environment much like the rest of the Pacific Coast League. It's like playing at Coors Field for the vast majority of your games.
As the Diamondbacks pointed out in their thread above, Pfaadt is the second pitcher in Triple-A since being called up on August 2nd in strikeouts, ERA, opponent batting average, and is first in WHIP. Talk about proving yourself really fast in a tough new league.
The former fifth-round pick in 2020 has flown up the Arizona Diamondbacks prospect rankings. In fact, he's my No.4 prospect for the team. Thanks to this amazing performance, I truly can't rule out that the team doesn't promote him before the end of the season. This would set him up to make the rotation out of Spring Training. Regardless, he will definitely appear in the MLB come 2023.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are setting their future up extremely nicely after two great prospects, Brandon Pfaadt and Leandro Cedeno, won their Minor League Player/Pitcher of the Month awards for August.