Pitchers that are impressing at each level
- Diamondbacks prospects: Blake Walston has been impressive with the Reno Aces (AAA)
- Diamondbacks prospects: Luke Albright has been impressive with the Amarillo Sod Poodles (AA)
- Diamondbacks prospects: Joe Elbis has been impressive with the Hillsboro Hops (High-A)
- Diamondbacks prospects: Yoscar Pimentel has been impressive with the Visalia Rawhide (Low-A)
For a major league staff that ranks 25th in team ERA (4.66), the Diamondbacks need all the pitching help they can get from their farm system.
Unfortunately, the D-backs only have 1 pitcher in their top 10 ranked prospects but that doesn’t mean they don’t have pitching talent in the minors.
Moving forward (2024) it is expected that Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly, and Brandon Pfaadt will hold down the front 3 spots in the rotation. After that, however, your guess is as good as mine.
Let’s look at 4 pitchers who have been impressive as of late at every minor-league level. If their play continues, you might see them late this season or early next…
Diamondbacks prospects: Blake Walston has been impressive with the Reno Aces (AAA)
Out of the 4 that I will mention, Walston has the most legitimate shot to be a factor for Arizona.
Walston is ranked 27th in the Diamondbacks farm system; Arizona drafted the left-handed starter in the first round of the 2019 draft.
Walston enjoyed a solid opening to his season going 5-2 with a 3.41 ERA in his first 10 starts. He struggled the next couple of months but has bounced back nicely as of late.
In his last 3 starts, Walston is 2-0 with a 1.47 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. As you can see, he has been dominating opposing hitters in the dog days of summer.
There is one major problem with Walston however. He is walking more hitters than he is striking out (5.58 BB/9 - 5.51 K/9). At the big league level, you won't last long if that is the case. But hey, he is only 22, he still has time to turn things around.
Adding a reliable lefty to the rotation would pay huge dividends to this ball club.
Diamondbacks prospects: Luke Albright has been impressive with the Amarillo Sod Poodles (AA)
To be completely honest, Amarillo has had some cloudy days when it comes to pitching this season. Not really a bright light in the room.
But for the sake of this subject, I choose Luke Albright. I choose Alrbight for one reason and one reason only, this kid racks up strikeouts.
In exactly 100 innings pitched this season, Albright has recorded 126 punch-outs. That’s a K/9 rate of 11.34. Averaging over a strikeout per inning.
Like Walston, Albright is young and has a lot of developing to do. But when you are able to fool hitters at the rate he does, it is a very encouraging sign that he could blossom into something special.
For now, we won’t talk about the ERA (5.85) or the base-on-balls issue (5.58 BB/9)...
Diamondbacks prospects: Joe Elbis has been impressive with the Hillsboro Hops (High-A)
This 20-year-old righty has been impressive all season long.
In 20 starts, Elbis has posted a 3.03 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. He averages 7.77 strikeouts per 9 and his batting average against is .216.
In his last 5 starts (29.2 IP), Elbis is 1-0 with an ERA of 0.62. Wow! Talk about boosting your resume! This kid is talented no doubt. If he’s doing this at 20 I can’t imagine what 23 or 24 will look like.
Like so many young and inexperienced pitchers, however, Elbis struggles with command. On the season, he is walking over 4 batters per 9 innings. If he can gain more confidence with all of his pitches, Elbis could be a very scary starter for Arizona.
Diamondbacks prospects: Yoscar Pimentel has been impressive with the Visalia Rawhide (Low-A)
Another young gun (21 years old) in this loaded Diamondbacks farm system.
Pimentel has had a rough season overall, but he has looked good as of late. In his last 4 starts (21 IP), he is 2-1 with an ERA of 1.29. As reliable as reliable gets.
Pimentel is striking out close to 8 batters per 9 but struggles when it comes to giving up the free pass. He seems to be gaining control however as in his last 15.2 innings, he has only allowed 2 walks.