Top 10 Prospects (2017): Arizona Diamondbacks: Is There Upside In A Rather Lackluster System?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Some ill-advised trades (most notably the move to acquire Shelby Miller), as well as some prospects failing to reach expectations (like Archie Bradley) has left the Arizona Diamondbacks’ farm system in shambles.  There’s a new regime that will be tasked with rebuilding from the ground up, but they are inheriting what could be the worst farm system in the game in regards to high-end impact talent.  Is there anyone that possesses upside?  It’s hard to find, but let’s take a look:

 

1) Anthony Banda – Left-Handed Pitcher
Grade – B
ETA – 2017

Banda split time between Double and Triple-A last season, showing upside at both levels:

  • Double-A (76.1 IP) – 2.12 ERA. 1.28 WHIP, 9.90 K/9, 3.30 BB/9, 1.09 GO/AO
  • Triple-A (73.2 IP) – 3.67 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 8.31 K/9, 3.30 BB/9, 1.16 GO/AO

Those are solid numbers, outside of the Triple-A WHIP, and was a continuation of his strong 2015 campaign at High-A (9.02 K/9, 2.31 BB/9, 1.10 GO/AO).  That said reports are that the “stuff” is nothing more than average, and maybe the drop in his strikeout rate upon reaching Triple-A is a sign of that.  A continued regression upon reaching the Majors isn’t impossible, and even with his groundball rate it’s possible that he is plagued by home run issues in Arizona.

 

2) Jasrado Chisholm – Shortstop
Grade – B-
ETA – 2019/2020

It’s possible that he emerges as the best prospect in the system, though the newly turned 19-year old needs significant time to mature/develop.  There’s power (12 doubles, 1 triple, 9 HR) and speed (13 SB), which he displayed over his first 249 AB as a professional, but his plate discipline leaves a lot to be desired:

  • Strikeout Rate – 27.0%
  • Walk Rate – 7.0%

We are concerned when that type of strikeout rate is produced at Double or Triple-A, but considering it came in Rookie Ball it’s a significant red flag that needs to be monitored closely.  It doesn’t change the potential upside, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he emerged as the team’s top prospect by the end of ’17, but we also need to be patient and afford him time.

 


 

3) Socrates Brito – Outfielder
Grade – B-
ETA – Already Arrived

Brito has already seen time in the Majors (131 PA), and brings both power and speed to the table.  The problem is his approach, posting a 22.9% strikeout rate as compared to a 2.3% walk rate.  He’s chased outside the strike zone far too much (41.9%) and in ’16 he showed an inability to make consistent contact against offspeed pitches (26.92%) and breaking balls (18.57%).  It’s an adjustment he needs to make, or MLB pitching will continue to take advantage of him (eliciting memories of Drew Stubbs).  He was particularly bad against left-handed pitching (5 K over 12 AB), though it’s also a miniscule sample size.

 

4) Dawel Lugo – Third Baseman
Grade – B-
ETA – 2018

Lugo played ’16 as a 21-year old, reaching Double-A and hitting .311 with 17 HR over 488 AB across two levels.  While he does have some power, he needs to continue developing and it’s possible that there’s a cap on his potential (1.44 GO/AO over his minor league career, 1.30 at Double-A in ’16).  His strongest skill is an ability to make consistent contact, though that doesn’t mean a strong eye at the plate (strikeout rate // walk rate):

  • High-A (315 AB) – 12.3% // 4.5%
  • Double-A (173 AB) – 8.5% // 2.3%

As he continues to advance more developed pitchers will be able to take advantage of his aggressive approach, and that could lead to a spike in strikeouts (and a regression in his average).  Monitor that closely, as it will obviously have a negative impact on his value.

 

5) Domingo Leyba – Shortstop
Grade – B-
ETA – 2018

Leyba is a solid, though unspectacular, prospect who is solid across the board but lacks a true standout tool.  Listed at 5’11” and 160 lbs., he showed a little bit of power (32 doubles, 2 triples, 10 HR) between High-A and Double-A, but it’s hard to imagine him developing into much more than that.  He has a touch of speed, though over his minor league career he’s just 37-for-58 and can’t be expected to swipe much more than 8-12 in a given season (he had 9 last season).  Considering he’s not projected to be a .300 hitter (84 K vs. 46 BB last season), there’s nothing to get overly excited about.

 


 

The Rest:

6) Anfernee Grier – Outfielder (Grade – C+)
7) Brad Keller – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C+)
8) Taylor Clarke – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C+)
9) Alex Young – Left-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C+)
10) Jon Duplantier – Right-Handed Pitcher (Grade – C+)

Sources – MILB.com, MLB.com, Brooks Baseball, Fangraphs

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Grading System:
Grade A – Elite Prospects (aka potential future perennial All-Stars)
Grade B – Above Average Prospects (aka above average Major Leaguers, could develop into a potential All-Star)
Grade C – Average Prospects (aka solid, though unspectacular)
Grade D – Nothing More Than Roster Filler
Grade F – Move On

Make sure to check out all of our 2017 Prospect Rankings:

AL EastAL CentralAL West
Baltimore OriolesChicago White SoxHouston Astros
Boston Red SoxCleveland IndiansLos Angeles Angels
New York YankeesDetroit TigersOakland A's
Tampa Bay RaysKansas City RoyalsSeattle Mariners
Toronto Blue JaysMinnesota TwinsTexas Rangers
NL EastNL CentralNL West
Atlanta BravesChicago CubsArizona Diamondbacks
Miami MarlinsCincinnati RedsColorado Rockies
New York MetsMilwaukee BrewersLos Angeles Dodgers
Philadelphia PhilliesPittsburgh PiratesSan Diego Padres
Washington NationalsSt. Louis CardinalsSan Francisco Giants

One comment

  1. Katman says:

    That is one ugly system.

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