Arizona Diamondbacks 2009 Minor Review
Overall farm ranking via Baseball America:
2009 (26) | 2008 (15) | 2007 (3) | 2006 (1) | 2005 (13) | 2004 (13)
Major League Record and Minor League Affiliates Records
MLB: 70 – 92 (NL West – sixth worst record in MLB)
AAA: 79 – 64 (Pacific Coast League)
AA: 66 – 74 (Southern League)
A+: 64 – 76 (California League)
A: 59 – 78 (Midwest League)
A(ss): 28 – 48 (Northwest League)
R: 40 –36 (Pioneer League)
The Run Down
Arizona has traded away seven top 17 prospects prior to the 2009 season (#1 – OF – Carlos Gonzales (Rockies), #3 – SP – Brett Anderson (A’s), #6 – 2B/SS/OF – Emilio Bonifacio (Nationals, eventually Marlins), #7 – OF – Aaron Cunningham (A’s), #8 – 1B – Chris Carter (Mets), #13 – SP – Greg Smith (Rockies), #17 – P – Dallas Buck (Reds)). The Diamondbacks have acquired copious amounts of talent through trades and have sent even more talent away in trades. The Dan Haren trade definitely depleted their top talent (Gonzales, Anderson, Cunningham, Carter (who was acquired for 11 days from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Carlos Quentin), and Smith). Haren has pitched extremely well for Arizona, however, Brett Anderson pitched well for the A’s too – not nearly as dominate, but eight years younger than Haren. Trading the farm for essentially one player may not have been the best decision. Josh Byrnes, the D-Back GM since 2006 (which coincidentally is the year their farm talent was ranked number one), has traded, signed and created a team that Baseball America says, “… [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.”
To add insult to injury, one of the games top power arms and their top prospect for 2009, Jarrod Parker, is having Tommy John surgery. In the Scouting the Unknown article I wrote regarding Parker, he was just visiting Dr. James Andrew about his “’elbow tightness’ that caused him to be DL’d on August 5th.” Now he’s out for at least a year. If not for his injury, Parker would have been in the same boat next year as Tommy Hanson was this year. With a rotation of Haren, Brandon Webb, Max Scherzer, Doug Davis and fill-in fifth starter, the Diamondbacks would love to improve from within. Webb is a huge question mark, Scherzer still needs to learn how to pitch and not just throw, Davis should be a long reliever or a fifth starter. On the hitting front, other than Justin Upton and Mark Reynolds, this team has very few sure things. Is Miguel Montero the real deal? Was the 2009 Stephen Drew the real Stephen Drew? Who plays second base? Can Conor Jackson return from Valley Fever? How good will Gerardo Parra be and what do you do with Eric Byrnes? They have a ton of questions to answer this off-season. Here are some players that could help sooner rather than later:
Players of Interest
Numbers prior to a players name are their prospect rankings according to Baseball America 2009. Additionally, deviating from previous articles, the “Players of Interest” section will focus on higher level players or players that may end up on the MLB roster at some point during the 2010 season.
Brandon Allen | 1B | AA/AAA | 23 | .298/.375/.503 | 447 AB | 24 2B | 20 HR | 85:50 K:BB | .205 ISO
Once he was acquired by the Diamondbacks from the White Sox for reliever Tony Pena, he raked in Triple-A. He was called-up to the Majors on the 21st of August and hit .202/.284/.385 striking out 38.5% of his 104 at-bats (40:12 K:BB). With Chad Tracy or Conor Jackson as the competition for first base next year, Allen may get a chance out of spring. However, a June call up would be more likely.
#9 (@ MIL) – Cole Gillespie | OF | A+/AAA | 25 | .273/.372/.472 | 417 AB | 20 2B | 12 3B | 13 HR | 18/5 SB/CS | 98:65 K:BB | .199 ISO
Gillespie was acquired in the Felipe Lopez trade. Playing only a month at High-A, the Brewers promoted him to Triple-A because he played at Double-A all of 2008. He is a little on the old side for a top prospect. Nevertheless, hitting 12, 14 and 13 homers these past three years isn’t overly impressive, but paired with 18, 16,17, and 18 steals in his four years as a minor leaguer, he looks like a poor man’s Mike Cameron. That isn’t terrible, just not jaw dropping nor Braun-like exciting. He is sneaky boring like Shin-Soo Choo.
#14 – Pedro Ciriaco | SS | AA | 22 | .296/.319/.367 | 469 AB | 15 2B | 4 HR | 38/10 SB/CS | 71:16 K:BB | .070 ISO
Bad news, defense is still an issue. Good news, his steal efficiency has improved. The majority of his promise lies in his steals and quick defense. He still has too many errors to be a defensive improvement over Drew and he will never hit like him either. However, maybe moving Reynolds to first base, Drew to third, and Ciriaco to SS eventually may prove to be a better defensive infield for the Diamondbacks.
#1 – Jarrod Parker | SP (RH) | A+/AA | 20 | 8.8 K/9 | 3.5 BB/9 | 97 1/3 IP | 3.14 ERA | 1.35 WHIP | .353 BABIP | 73.2 LOB% | 3.21 FIP
Here is an article about Parker rehabbing. The StU article lays him out pretty well. Keep in mind that he won’t be near the majors for at least another 18 months.
Bryan Augenstein | SP (RH) | AA/AAA | 22 | 7.2 K/9 | 1.7 BB/9 | 81 2/3 IP | 2.98 ERA | 1.04 WHIP
Great control, decent strikeout rates, and actually pitched in the Majors this year (17 IP, threw 45 2/3 IP at Double-A, 36 IP at Triple-A). Not sure why he wasn’t ranked this year as he pitched well at Single and High-A last year. So far this fall, he has pitched decent in the AFL – 9:1 K:BB in 7 2/3 IP, 10 H, 5 ER
#5 – Wade Miley | SP (LH) | A/A+ | 22 | 7.1 K/9 | 2.3 BB/9 | 128 2/3 IP | 4.20 ERA | 1.38 WHIP | 67.2 LOB% | 3.38 FIP
Offering three above average pitches, Miley’s biggest concern was sloppy command. He throws his fastball between 89 and 92 mph, a slider that’s his best pitch, and an average change-up. He threw 113 innings in 2008, and looks like he is following the Verducci rule.
#26 – Leyson Septimo | RP (LH) | AA | 23 | 11 K/9 | 7 BB/9 | 56 2/3 IP
A lefty power arm that throws in the upper 90s but cannot locate his pitches. He had a 9.7 K/9 and 7.2 BB/9 ratios in 2008.
Winston “Ollie” Linton | OF | A+ | 23 | .295/.394/.399 | 491 AB | 28 2B | 10 3B | 1 HR | 28/14 SB/CS | 104:65 K:BB | .104 ISO
Strikes out way too much for a slap hitter. The steals are nice, and he hits the ball into the gaps well.
Josh Collmenter | SP (RH) | A+ | 23 | 9.4 K/9 | 3.4 BB/9 | 145 1/3 IP | 4.15 ERA | 1.25 WHIP | 63.8 LOB% | 3.12 FIP
Marc Hulet mentions that Collmenter may actually be a bit better than his numbers state. Had the most strikeouts in the Diamondbacks farm system. Random fact, his hometown is Homer, Michigan. Arizona hopes that name doesn’t translate into any baseball stat.
Patrick McAanley | SP (LH) | A+ | 23 | 8.9 K/9 | 2.9 BB/9 | 147 IP | 4.41 ERA | 1.42 WHIP | 71.9 LOB% | 4.08 FIP
Threw the second most innings in the Diamondbacks farm system and had the second most strikeouts. Important to note that he is a lefty in a system that lacks many left-handed arms.
Dan Taylor | SP (LH) | A(ss) | 21 | 11.2 K/9 | 2.8 BB/9 | 63 2/3 IP | 3.53 ERA | 1.19 WHIP | 72.2 LOB% | 3.03 FIP
After getting drafted in the 2009 draft (in round 21), he posted the best ERA, WHIP, and AVE against in the Diamondbacks farm system. He pitched as a starter and reliever. He also posted a 1.24 Ground out to fly out ratio. Keep an eye on this young man.
Paul Goldschmidt | 1B | R | 21 | .334/.408/.638 | 287 AB | 27 2B | 18 HR | 74:36 K:BB | .303 ISO
Easily posted the most impressive raw numbers in the entire Diamondbacks farm. Drafted in the eighth round of the 2009 draft, Goldschmidt absolutely raked, had good walk rates, but needs to reduce his strikeouts. I would expect him to play at High-A and Double-A next year.