Three Arizona Diamondbacks pitching prospects to watch in 2024

Let's take a look at some Arizona Diamondbacks pitching prospects who could be in for a big 2024 season.

2021 NCAA Division I Men's Baseball Championship
2021 NCAA Division I Men's Baseball Championship / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages
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Jun 30, 2021; Omaha, Nebraska, USA;  Mississippi St. Bulldogs pitcher Landon Sims (23) and catcher
Jun 30, 2021; Omaha, Nebraska, USA; Mississippi St. Bulldogs pitcher Landon Sims (23) and catcher / Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Landon Sims

Before the Diamondbacks took Ray in the 4th round, they took right-hander Landon Sims 34th overall in the first round of the 2022 draft. Sims had an outstanding sophomore season at Mississippi State as their closing pitcher. But in 2023, he was moved to the starting rotation, and through his first three starts and 15.1 innings, Sims allowed just two earned runs, struck out 27 batters, walked two, and only one of the 11 hits he allowed left the park.

But Sims’s season was cut short after just his third start due to Tommy John's surgery. Sims returned in June of this past season, but the D-Backs were cautious with his usage. He made 13 starts but only pitched a total of 24.2 innings between the D-Backs’ Arizona Complex League affiliate and A-Ball Visalia. While Sims had a quality 25.7% strikeout rate and a respectable 1.09 HR/9, he struggled to limit free passes, coming to an 11% walk rate. Sims had just a 5.47 ERA and 5.42 FIP in the small sample size.

But it was Sims’s first innings back from Tommy John surgery, and he pitched less than one three-game series worth of innings, so don’t take his bottom-line numbers too seriously. Sims has a chance to have two plus pitches. His four-seam fastball sits mid-90s with extreme carry through the K-zone. Sims’ slider sits mid-80s with sweeping action. But there are some questions about his change-up. His change needs a little more refining, but it has some depth and fade. Sims keeps a very short arm in his wind-up, but hides the ball well.

Sims will be another year removed from surgery next year. 2024 will be his first chance to pitch at full capacity in quite a while. If Sims can play as good as his stuff looks, he could make some serious gains in prospect rankings. After all, he was a former first-round pick with impressive stuff. Surgery may have slowed him down, but now he’s back and can pitch as a full-time starting pitcher.