Arizona Diamondbacks 2010 Minor Review
Overall farm ranking via Baseball America:
2010 (27) | 2009 (26) | 2008 (15) | 2007 (3) | 2006 (1) | 2005 (13) | 2004 (13)
Major League Record and Minor League Affiliates Records
MLB: [65 – 97] NL West
AAA: [69 – 74] Pacific Coast League – Reno
AA: [75 – 62] Southern League – Mobile Bay
A+: [72 – 68] California League – Visalia
A: [59 – 78] Midwest League – South Bend
A(ss): [43 – 33] Northwest League – Yakima
R: [28 – 47] Pioneer League – Missoula
The Run Down
The 2009 Baseball America has a great quote to summarize the state of the Diamondbacks minor league system, “[Arizona has] created a roadmap of how to tumble from the top ranking to near the bottom in near record time. Arizona has drafted conservatively, leading to a lack of power arms and bats, and traded prospects aggressively to supplement a young, talented big league team.” Their pitchers behind Tommy John victim Jarrod Parker are innings eaters with low ceilings with Joe Saunders/Jon Garland-type futures and their power hitting prospects are starting to move through the minors, but still have at least another half season or more in the minors (Paul Goldschmidt, Marc Krauss, Ryan Wheeler, Bobby Borchering and Matt Davidson). The Diamondbacks promoted only a few names from their own system this year: Brandon Allen, Cole Gillespie, John Hester, and Barry Enright along with midseason acquisitions of Dan Hudson and Sam Demel. Dan Hudson was a steal , Enright was quite the surprise, Allen improved upon his initial MLB cup of tea, Demel was a bullpen mainstay, and Hester provided backup help at the catcher position (don’t feel bad if you didn’t notice him before, no one else really did either). Beyond these graduating prospects, there were other September promotions that happened (Cesar Valdez, Jordan Norberto, Konrad Schmidt, Zach Kroenke, and Daniel Strange). There are only four rotation spots locked for the 2011 season with Joe Saunders, the veteran, and Ian Kennedy, Dan Hudson, and a statistically frightful, Barry Enright. The Diamondbacks need pitching more than hitting. Jarrod Parker may have a chance to return from surgery and make the major league squad in the same season as the current minor league options aren’t bankable solutions such as Bryan Augenstein, Josh Collmenter, and Wade Miley. There are other prospects that have a long shot to make a difference in the 2011 season such as Kevin Mulvy, Pat McAnaney and Wes Roemer, but these latter three pitchers have reached, or are close to reaching, their upside. However, I don’t believe in their abilities to perform at a high enough level to have success or write a blurb about them. To see further minor league reports on the Diamondbacks, see the 2009 Arizona Diamondbacks Minor League Review.
#4 (1B) Brandon Allen; #16 (OF) Cole Gillespie; #25 (C) John Hester; Barry Enright (RHP); #3 (RHP via CHW) Dan Hudson; (RHP from OAK) Sam Demel
Players in the Arizona Fall League – Scottsdale Scorpion
Pitchers: Josh Collmenter (RHP), Bryan Shaw (RHP), Dan Stange (RHP), Bryan Woodall (RHP), Hitters: Konrad Schmidt (C), Marc Krauss (OF), A.J. Pollock (OF)
Players of Interest
#13 Paul Goldschmidt | 1B | D.o.B: 9-10-87 | Stats (A+): .314/.384/.606 | 525 AB | 80 XBH | 35 Hr | .291 ISO | 5/1 SB/CS | 161:57 K:BB | .385 BABIP
Contending all season long for the minor league home run leader, he finished tied second, one home run behind leaders Mike Moustakas and Mark Trumbo. Read his Scouting the Unknown article for more details. Just note he has played in great hitter leagues for his first two professional season (also note his high BABIPs). His presence has forced inferior defenders from their natural first base position (see Ryan Wheeler below). Expect him to play at Double-A next year and see at least a September call-up if not sooner (could pull a Mike Stanton).
#9 Collin Cowgill | RF | D.o.B: 5-22-86 | Stats (AA): .285/.360/.464 | 502 AB | 54 XBH | 16 Hr | .179 ISO | 25/9 SB/CS | 73:57 K:BB | .300 BABIP
Not considered a stud prospect, Cowgill has been compared to Cody Ross or Aaron Rowand with a better swing according to Baseball America; he plays solid defense with a good arm but is a fourth outfielder on a contending team. We’re looking at a 10 to 15 home run and 20 steal outfielder, in fantasy that is called “Yes please!” or what Justin Upton did in his sophomore slump season. Cowgill probably won’t get a chance in the majors without some injuries. He should be promoted to Triple-A to start the 2011 season.
Konrad Schmidt | C | D.o.B: 8-2-84 | Stats (AA): .315/.373/.490 | 394 AB | 44 XBH | 11 Hr | .175 ISO | 7/3 SB/CS | 63:32 K:BB | .347 BABIP
This is more to show what Schmidt did during the 2010 season to receive a September call-up. Bolstered by a high-ish BABIP Schmidt looks to have gap power and a decent to good eye at the plate. Nothing to be excited about yet, but may provide sneaky catcher help in the second half of the year.
# 11 Bryan Augenstein | RHP | D.o.B: 7-11-86 | Stats (AAA): 7.5 K/9 | 2.9 BB/9 | 120 2/3 IP | 6.56 ERA | 3.86 FIP | 1.63 WHIP | .9 Hr/9 | 12.1 H/9 | .385 BABIP
Disappointing is one word to describe his 2010 season. He throws a mediocre fastball that sits between 85-90 mph with good sicking action, a 78-81 mph change-up, and a 76-79 mph slider. Sickels says, “under the right circumstances (good infield defense in a pitcher’s park), he could succeed.” Well, he didn’t have a pitcher’s park in the PCL, let alone a good league to pitch in general. In the mold of an innings eater, Augenstein may get a chance to take the fifth rotation spot for the Diamondbacks, but he would need the as much help as Barry Enright got in 2010 from the baseball gods.
#23 Josh Collmenter | RHP | D.o.B: 2-7-86 | Stats (A+/AA/AAA): 7.9 K/9 | 3.0 BB/9 | 152 IP | 3.38 ERA | 1.23 WHIP | .8 Hr/9 | 8.0 H/9 |
Here is how his advance metrics break down between the three levels he pitched at (his High-A stats are from rehab starts): BABIP/FIP (A+: .297/2.93) (AA: .274/2.72) (AAA: .312/5.06). He is much like Augenstein and the three pitchers mentioned in “The Run Down” section of this article. A 86 to 90 mph fastball with cutting action and tool box of “junk pitches” such as a hard and slow curveball, a slider, a cutter, and a change-up. Collmenter relies on control and his defense. If he is able to keep the ball in the park, he may beat Augenstein for the last rotation spot. He did struggle at Triple-A this past year.
#15 Wade Miley | LHP | D.o.B; 11-13-86 | Stats (A+/AA): 6.6 K/9 | 3.8 BB/9 | 153 IP | 2.65 ERA | ~3.55 FIP | 1.35 WHIP | .4 Hr/9 | 8.3 H/9 | ~.297 BABIP
He throws his fastball between 89 and 92 mph, a slider that’s his best pitch, and an average change-up. His numbers were better at Double-A then there were at High-A (higher strikeout rate is most notable). I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the bullpen at some point where he could run his fastball up to 95 mph and use his power slider more often. Watch him start the year at Double-A with a quick promotion to Triple-A or an early season call-up.
#29 Jordan Norberto | LHP | D.o.B:12-8-86 | Stats (AAA): 11.7 K/9 | 5.8 BB/9 | 29 1/3 IP | 3.07 ERA | 3.44 FIP | 1.50 WHIP | .6 Hr/9 | 7.7 H/9 | .340 BABIP
Norberto threw 20 innings in the majors this past year. He has great fastball that he throws between 90 to 95 mph with late sinking life. However, there isn’t a solid or reliable second pitch in his repertoire. This is a MR. B shout out.
#8 Ryan Wheeler | 1B | D.o.B: 7-10-88 | Stats (A+): .284/.340/.404 | 465 AB | 36 XBH | 9 Hr | .120 ISO | 3/1 SB/CS | 98:35 K:BB | .343 BABIP
Compared to Joey Votto, Ryan Wheeler has the organization’s best plate-discipline and has the potential to be the best offensive player in the system too. He has a balanced swing, gap power, and ability to drive the ball to the opposite field. Plays average defense and isn’t fast enough to play anywhere else on the diamond according to Baseball America. However, while playing at High-A, Wheeler played a sketchy third with 15 errors and a .947 fielding percent (I know that traditional fielding stats don’t tell the whole story, but minor league fielding stats are limited). John Sickels says his floor is Lyle Overbay. He performed well at High-A, as did teammates Goldschmidt and Marc Krauss (see below). He received a late season promotion to Double-A where he struggled in 73 plate appearances leading to a slash line of .254/.315/.433 with six extra base hits (four home runs) and a 16:5 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Should return to Double-A to start the 2010
#7 Marc Krauss | LF | D.o.B: 10-5-87 | Stats (A+): .302/.371/.509 | 530 AB | 56 XBH | 25 Hr | .206 ISO | 1/3 SB/CS | 141:57 K:BB | .366 BABIP
Krauss teamed up with Wheeler and Goldschmidt to form a dangerous middle of the order for the Visalia Rawhide. Baseball America calls him a “hitter first and power threat second.” He has natural gap power, consistently squares up to pitches, and excellent pitch recognition. He has below-average speed and limited defensive range. Is predicted to be the first prospect from the 2009 draft to reach the majors. In a recent Arizona Fall League game, he drove in seven runners. His bat will carry him to the majors as it supposedly will net him 15 to 25 home runs a year. Just don’t expect any steals from him. The strikeouts will need some reigning in before they get too out of control. Watch for him at Double-A next year.
#2 Bobby Borchering | 3B | D.o.B: 10-25-90 | Stats (A): .270/.341/.423 | 523 AB | 48 XBH | 15 Hr | .153 ISO | 1/1 SB/CS | 128:54 K:BB | .325 BABIP
Draws comparisons to Chipper Jones for his ability to switch hit with some power (helps that they have similar frame and are from Florida). Doesn’t play a smooth third base but has a strong arm and decent hands. He and teammate Matt Davidson (below) will rotate who plays third and DH. Tends to chase balls out of the strike zone (high fastballs and low curveballs). An extremely high ceiling and pedigree, Borchering cashed in during the 2010 season. He showed off some of his power potential (15 home runs) and his gap power. The strikeouts are a potential red flag, but this is the Diamondbacks we’re talking about after all. High-A is up next and his numbers should inflate accordingly.
#10 Matt Davidson | 3B | D.o.B: 3-26-91 | Stats (A): .289/.371/.504 | 415 AB | 54 XBH | 16 Hr | .214 ISO | 0/2 SB/CS | 109:43 K:BB | .354 BABIP
He won the All-American High School Home Run Derby in 2008, and another out at the National Classic tourney last spring. Drafted in the same year as Borchering, Davidson has more power potential (grades as plus-plus) but needs more swing mechanic refinements. He doesn’t run well and his defense is as sketchy as Borchering’s. His comparisons according to Baseball America are Paul Konerko and Matt Williams. His strikeout-to-walk ratio was decent, his power was on full display, and he played well overall. He did receive a promotion to High-A at the end of the season where he struggled in his 21 games. During those games he slashed .169/.298/.268 in 84 plate appearances with two home runs and one double along with a 25:12 strikeout-to-walk ratio while hindered by a .227 BABIP in this small sample size.
Kyler Newby | RHP | D.o.B: 2-22-85 | Stats (AA): 10.6 K/9 | 2.8 BB/9 | 88 2/3 IP | 3.45 ERA | 3.52 FIP | 1.16 WHIP | 1.1 Hr/9 | 7.6 H/9 | .305 BABIP
Second time through Double-A and projects better as a middle reliever. He throws a 88 to 92 mph, splitter and a slider. Should stay as a reliever, but needs to keep the home runs in check.
Charles Brewer | RHP | D.o.B: 4-7-88 | Stats (A+/AA): 9.1 K/9 | 2.1 BB/9 | 150 2/3 IP | 2.45 ERA | 1.09 WHIP | .5 Hr/9 | 7.7 H/9 | .308 BABIP
Couldn’t find a scouting report on him, but Brewer pitched well at both levels this past year. His strikeout rate (9.1 K/9) is something to stay excited about, especially when he has shown some control (2.1 BB/9). Wasn’t aided by a pitcher friend BABIP (.308), matter of fact it was rather average. 2011 will be a telling story as many prospects in the Diamondbacks system struggled in their upper minor endeavors (Pat McAnaney, Josh Collmenter, Bryan Augenstein, and Wes Roemer). Look for him to return to Double-A.
Chase Anderson | RHP | D.o.B: 11-30-87 | Stats (A/A+): 9.5 K/9 | 2.1 BB/9 | 108 1/3 IP | 3.32 ERA | 1.10 WHIP | .7 Hr/9 | 7.8 H/9 | ~.312 BABIP
See one inch above; rinse, wash, repeat but at lower levels.