We once again find ourselves at a crossroads. Is the team we have fit for purpose, or will it require adjustments? I'm certain Mike Hazen is busy pondering this exact question. A key factor in getting ready for the trade deadline is examining what's within as well as without, so let's examine the within.
The Diamondbacks have been blessed with a bevy of high-profile prospects in recent years. Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas, and Jordan Lawlar to name just three of them, but organizational needs are fluid. They change over time. Not everyone can become an everyday player in Major League Baseball. What you want are options. One guy doesn't pan out. Definitely not ideal, but you've got someone in AA who looks to be ready soon. The Diamondbacks have plenty of options in right field, but before we get to them, I want to quickly note where I'm getting my data and what it means.
My main tool of choice is Fangraphs. I love Fangraphs so much. If you need a stat, a number, a name, anything at all? Fangraphs is typically destination one. Not only do they have everything you could ever want at the Major League level, but they have excellent coverage of the Minors as well. I'll be noting a few items for each prospect: a scouting report, an ETA, Future Value, and rankings in the Diamondbacks farm system.
I've gone through these before, so I'll keep it brief. Scouting reports on Fangraphs have five fields: hit, game power, raw power, speed, and fielding. The hit tool is all about a hitter's ability to make quality contact, game power is how their power plays in-game situations, raw power is how far the hitter can drive the ball, speed is what is said on the tin and is usually measured in home to first or 60-yard dash times, and fielding is another largely self-explanatory category. What you'll notice about some of these is that they aren't all super scientific. Some of these, particularly fielding, are very subjective and eye-test heavy. All of these are scored on a 20 to 80 scale, where 20 is horrible and 80 is elite. For a point of reference, 50 is average and typically corresponds to average players. If you're curious about what goes into a scouting report, check out this excellent article on Fangraphs.
The other component is Future Value. This is another 20 to 80 scale, but instead of focusing on one aspect, FV looks at the player in totality to arrive at its conclusions. Think of it as an accompanying "overall grade" that seeks to judge how valuable the player will be in the majors. I'll also be providing you with an ETA and any rankings they may have, as well as my personal spin on them. Lastly, it's important to note that all of these guys play all over the outfield. Their inclusion here means that's where I think they'll end up, not necessarily where they've been. Lots of these guys play Center Field regularly, and I think someone else who I'll talk about in the Center Field edition of this series will have that job locked up fairly soon. With all that said, let's dive into the wonderful world of prospects!
The top RF Prospects for the Arizona Diamondbacks are...
Scouting Report: Hit: 45, Game Power: 60, Raw Power: 70, Speed: 50, Fielding: 55, FV: 45
Fangraphs Ranking: Diamondbacks 13th best prospect.
MLB Pipeline Ranking: Diamondbacks 11th best prospect.
Venom Strikes Ranking: Diamondbacks 13th best prospect.
I'd be remiss to not mention Kristian Robinson, even though he hasn't played a minor league game since 2019 due to legal issues. If you're curious about his situation or want to keep up with it, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic has followed the story very closely and does an excellent job in his reporting, so go check out what he's written about Robinson's situation if you're curious about that.
I have a lot I could say about Kristian and the situation that has befallen him, but the long and short of it is that nearly everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. He was dealt a 2-7 off suit and had to play it. It's unfortunate and I really hope that his situation improves soon.
In terms of Baseball, Robinson is great, but his path to MLB stardom that once seemed inevitable melts away the longer he's out of action. The good news is that he was in extended spring training, but that has since ended, and he isn't playing any minor league games. He annihilated the lower levels of the minors and quickly arrived at then Single-A Kane County, where he carried a wRC+ of 111 and hit five homers in 25 games. The big area of Robinson's game that was lacking was the walk rate. He'd been decent enough in Low-A and Rookie Ball but struggled at Kane County. He's a good enough hitter that he can get away with it, but walks are never a bad thing.
Scouting Report: Hit: 45, Game Power: 45, Raw Power: 55, Speed: 30, Fielding: 45, FV: 40
Fangraphs Ranking: Diamondbacks 27th best prospect.
MLB Pipeline Ranking: Diamondbacks 29th best prospect.
Venom Strikes Ranking: Diamondbacks 18th best prospect.
Dominic Canzone is today's 80-grade name. He's played at both Reno and Amarillo this season and boy howdy, has he played. His quality of play simply demanded a promotion. In his 11 Double-A games in 2022, he had a wRC+ of 197, went 14-38, struck out just four times, and hit three home runs. With that kind of play, it's no wonder he got sent to Reno. Since then, he's cooled off significantly. His strikeout and walk rates came back to his pre-2022 rates (~20% and ~7% respectively) and his bat has quieted down significantly, with an 88 wRC+. I'm confident that the real Dominic Canzone lies somewhere in the middle, leaning more towards his Amarillo numbers because I'm too optimistic for my own good. He's getting reps in every day and appears to be trending upward. Dominic is definitely someone to watch.
Scouting Report: Hit: 60, Game Power: 30, Raw Power: 35, Speed: 55, Fielding: 45, FV: 40
Fangraphs Ranking: Diamondbacks 30th best prospect.
Venom Strikes Ranking: Diamondbacks 30th best prospect.
We start to move into "Statline Scouting" territory with Jorge Barrosa. Barrosa has played at Hillsboro and Amarillo this season and has a very similar story to Canzone: started hot at one level and cooled off at another. In Hillsboro over 10 games, he held a 129 wRC+, an 11.6% K%, and went 12-40. Pretty darn good. Since then, in Amarillo, he's been what I'd call "good enough." An 88 wRC+, six homers, and pretty reasonable strikeout and walk numbers over 49 games. He's had a difficult June, batting .224 this month, but there's plenty of baseballs to play and he's only 21, just slightly younger than Corbin Carroll.
Scouting Report: Hit: 40, Game Power: 55, Raw Power: 60, Speed: 40, Fielding: 50, FV: 40
Fangraphs Ranking: Diamondbacks 33rd best prospect.
Venom Strikes Ranking: Diamondbacks 36th best prospect.
Neyfy Castillo is a very interesting case. He feels very three true outcomes-y to me. His strikeout rate in his 22 games at Hillsboro is a whopping 32.6% and his walk rate is a minuscule 5.4%. So, what's the catch? He can just straight-up hit. So far this year, Neyfy has had a .282/.337/.424 slash line and a 120 wRC+. Very impressive indeed. He may be getting bolstered by some nice BABIP luck with his .404 figure, but he's still shown off quite a bit and will be fun to watch, especially if you love tape-measure home runs.
Scouting Report: Hit: 35, Game Power: 55, Raw Power: 60, Speed: 60, Fielding: 60, FV: 40
Fangraphs Ranking: Diamondbacks 21st best prospect.
Venom Strikes Ranking: TBD
Finally, we arrive at 20-year-old Alvin Guzman. Guzman has flat-out struggled in Single-A this season. In his 18 games this season, he's hitting below the Mendoza line with .176, has yet to hit a home run, and has struck out in 31.3% of plate appearances. Not a great start. His previous seasons aren't miles better, but I think they're closer to Guzman's true potential. Guzman has plenty of time to adjust and become a great player.
And that's all I've got! Did I miss someone? Do you disagree with me about someone? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @xwOBAplus.