Arizona Diamondbacks 2011 Minor League Review
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America:
2011 (23) | 2010 (28) | 2009 (26) | 2008 (20) | 2007 (3) | 2006 (1) | 2005 (13) | 2004 (13)
2011 Affiliate Records
MLB: [94-68] NL West
AAA: [77-67] Pacific Coast League – Reno
AA: [84-54] Southern League – Mobile
A+: [63-77] California League – Visalia
A: [67-72] Midwest League – South Bend
A(ss): [33-43] Northwest League – Yakima
R: [41-35] Pioneer League – Missoula
The Run Down
Jerry Dipoto’s recent success as Arizona’s GM is well noted by now, as is his new gig with the LA Angels. Dipoto leaves the Diamondbacks farm system flush with promising pitching talent. The system that already featured frontline arms like Jarrod Parker and Tyler Skaggs bolstered their starting pitching even further by nabbing both Trevor Bauer and Archie Bradley in the first round of June’s draft. Bradley is a couple years away from the majors, but Bauer is ready to make an impact in 2012, and should be on your mind come draft day. The Arizona hitting prospects aren’t nearly as exciting. Matt Davidson is a quality third base prospect, but he needs more time to develop and likely won’t see any time with the big club for a year or two. Beyond him, the D-Backs feature a handful of okay-ish outfielders. I’ll be surprised if any Arizona hitting prospect is fantasy-relevant in 2012.
Arizona Fall League Players – Salt River Rafters
Players of Interest
After losing 2010 to elbow surgery, Pollock had a strong 2011 at Mobile, slashing .309/.359/.445. He’s not your prototype outfield prospect, but he’s an outstanding contact hitter who reaches gaps regularly and he’s a heady baserunner (36 SB without impressive speed, mind you). Scouts love his intangible baseball qualities. Pollock will get to the big leagues based on that merit, and he might even stick as a third or fourth outfielder.
Here’s another “intangible qualities” guy. Cowgill has a head start on Pollock, though, compiling 100 Major League PAs in 2011. At AAA in 2011, he slashed .354/.430/.554 with 30 SB and 45 XBH in 456 trips to the plate. Like Pollock, Cowgill projects as a fourth outfielder. But given the right situation, he could see regular playing time.
Stephen ranks Bauer at number 26 in his Top 50 Prospects for 2012, noting some mechanical and college workload concerns. Those concerns are warranted, given his frame and his unorthodox delivery. But with an approach rooted deeply in biomechanics, it might not take long for the young righty to squash those worries, ala Tim Lincecum. Bauer profiles as a top-of-the-rotation starter with an upper 90s fastball and a devastating curve. The third overall selection in June’s draft should earn a spot in the D-Backs’ rotation out of spring training.
Skaggs should begin 2012 at Reno, which is quite an accomplishment for a 20-year-old. His fastball is still adding velocity, and his curveball is a definite plus pitch. There are some concerns regarding dropping his arm slot on off speed pitches, though. It’ll be interesting to see if that becomes a problem for Skaggs in AAA. He could be with the Diamondbacks for the second half, if things go nicely.
After missing 2010 to Tommy John surgery, Parker threw 131 innings with Mobile in 2011, plus one start with the big club. With a plus slider and a plus change to compliment a fastball that touches 100, I’m surprised that Parker’s 2011 K% (20.4%) wasn’t more impressive. Solid mechanics and ace-type stuff should help Parker get back on track and earn a starting role in 2012.
After starting seven games for Arizona in 2011, it seems likely that Miley will make his way into the bullpen for 2012. As a starter, he profiles at the back of the rotation, but with the D-Backs’ surplus of frontline arms, plan on seeing Miley in middle relief.
Eaton ranks behind both Pollock and Cowgill on the organizational depth chart, but he’s likely the best hitter in the bunch. His on-base skills are fantastic (.456 career OBP) and he has ample speed. For now, the major knock on Eaton is his size (5-9, 180). It might not happen in 2012, but I have a hunch that he’ll emerge as the best of the Diamondbacks’ mediocre outfield prospects.
Pat Corbin | LHP – SP:
Corbin is a similar lefty to the aforementioned Tyler Skaggs. He’s lanky, athletic, still adding velocity to his fastball, and he should be pitching alongside Skaggs at AAA in 2012. Corbin falls short of Skaggs in that his secondary pitches are not as far along.