The Diamondbacks have a terrific minor league system filled with promising talents that will soon reach the MLB. This is the best wave of prospects the Dbacks have had in their history. It's only getting better too with the pitchers of the systems impressing mightily this year. In fact, this year, MLB Pipeline ranked the Diamondbacks prospect system 4th overall in all of baseball. That's a testament to GM Mike Hazen's excellent drafting and trading. These rankings will be shared in groups of 5 so I can cover each prospect with a decent bit of information and give them the time they deserve.
The Diamondbacks' farm system will only get better following July's draft as the team picks 2nd overall. I wouldn't be surprised if over 30 of the top 40 prospects for the team reach the MLB at some point for the Dbacks or another team. Before I digress, even more, let's start with #40. Some players such as Seth Beer, Jose Herrera, and others that are on the MLB squad right aren't included since it's expected they will lose prospect status very soon.
#40 Wildred Patino, OF, Single-A Visalia Rawhide
Patino was the #25 international free agent in 2017 when the Dbacks signed him. He ended up needing elbow surgery soon after the deal, but the Diamondbacks stuck with him. Patino impressed a ton in 2019 when he hit .319/.378/.447 with 5 doubles, 5 triples, an HR, and 25 RBI while showcasing his speed with 14 SB over 40 games. His speed is the best part of his game. Missing out on the 2020 season set Wildred back an entire year. In 2021, he only played in 38 games due to a calf injury. Basically, he lost out on two crucial development years which is why he's only in Single-A.
Despite missing those two years, Wildred is still only 20 years old. He is still growing into his size as he's 6'1 but only 175 pounds. There's no doubt that Patino has the glove and arm to stay in CF, but might be moved to a corner spot due to organization needs. His bat has plenty of pop although he must learn how to tap into that power. He will make plenty of contact with a short quick stroke that allows him to cover the plate. He can win games on his speed alone whether it's stealing bases or making spectacular catches.
This 2022 season is a crucial one for Wildred as he will finally play in an entire full season's worth of games. How he does this year will determine whether he has the chance to debut in 2024 or 25. I see Patino being a utility outfielder, one that can play all 3 spots and give you a good chance of helping win the game every day. So far this year, Wildred has hit .289/.344/.458 with 17 runs, 24 hits, 5 doubles, 3 HRs, 13 RBI, and 11 SBs in only 20 games. Great start so far.
#39 Tim Tawa, 2B/OF, High-A Hillsboro Hops
Tawa is in his first professional baseball season after being taken in the 11th round of the 2021 Draft. He was a solid outfielder for Stanford and is excelling in Hillsboro this year. As you can see in the video above, he has some solid power. If he sticks at 2nd base, he could be one of the best power hitters at 2nd in the bigs if he continues to develop. However, he has plenty of speed to stick in the outfield. The arm is a bit worrisome but it should play.
Tawa just needs to continue to refine his abilities at the plate and his glovework. The struggle won't be if he can hit, it will be if he can play defense. Tawa is patient at the plate and knows how to work counts which is a strong ability to have in the minors. It'll get you promoted much faster. This is evidenced by his only playing 36 games at Low-A before starting his first full season at High-A. The 23-year-old has 10 walks to 12 Ks so far through 19 games. Meanwhile, he's hitting .306/.398/.542 with 5 HRs, 6 RBI, and 2 doubles. I'd say that's a great start to your season. Keep it up Tim!
#38 Blake Workman, RHP, Double-AA Amarillo Sod Poodles
Blake has the potential to become a solid late innings pitcher. Over Blake's first 4 pro seasons, he has finished 38 games with a great 3.59 ERA and 186 Ks in only 145.1 innings. Blake's off to an even better start this year with Double-AA as he has 15 Ks and only 1 walk in 12.1 innings. Workman knows how to work the strike zone. He doesn't walk anyone. Over those 145.1 innings, Workman has walked 29 batters. That's good for a 1.8 BB/9 ratio. He has a strong fastball with solid off-speed pitches to keep hitters off-balance while still pumping pitches in the strike zone.
It takes a huge level of confidence in yourself to do that relentlessly and not be scared of getting smoked. The former 22nd-round pick in the 18' draft is only 24 and might be able to reach the MLB by the end of the year. At the very least, I see him competing for a spot in the 23' bullpen for the Dbacks. After all, even FIP and xFIP like Workman as they gave him around a 3.90 for his number. I'm a Blake Workman fan and I think he's just the latest Diamondbacks prospect to go unnoticed.