Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (8) | 2012 (5) | 2011 (23) | 2010 (28) | 2009 (26)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [81-81] NL West
AAA: [60-84] Pacific Coast League – Reno
AA: [79-60] Southern League – Mobile
A+: [77-63] California League – Visalia
A: [81-58] Midwest League – South Bend
A(ss):  [34-42] Northwest League — Hillsboro

Graduated Prospects
A.J. Pollock (OF); Didi Gregorius (SS); Adam Eaton (OF); Will Harris (RHP); Tyler Skaggs (LHP)

The Run Down
The Arizona farm has been one of great interest to fantasy players over the past few years, and that trend holds true for 2014.  The D’backs have done a fine job in acquiring impact talent through recent drafts, and the trade market has been friendly to their system too.  I’ll admit, though, that this 2014 crop of prospects is a little more top-heavy than what we’ve grown used to seeing from Arizona — once Archie Bradley, Chris Owings, and Braden Shipley surface in the bigs,  this will be a system in need of high-end talent to emerge.  Fortunate for them, lower-levels prospects like Stryker Trahan, Justin Blair, and Jose Martinez seem poised for breakouts in the year ahead.

Top Ten Fantasy Prospects
1.  Archie Bradley, RHP:  Bradley is an elite-level pitching prospect with an explosive fastball-curve combo that’s ready to start missing bats at the big league level.  He’s the premier SP prospect in the game, and he’s likely the only arm capable of stepping out of the minor leagues and offering the sort of immediate impact that Jose Fernandez did last season.  The D’backs have some rotation depth at the moment, so they won’t feel pressed to use him out of camp, but once the presumed Super Two cutoff rolls by in June, it’ll be hard to keep Bradley down much longer. Here’s Grey’s Archie Bradley fantasy.  ETA:  2014

2.  Chris Owings, SS:  #33 in my top 50 for 2014, here’s what I had to say:  “Owings brings a polished offensive skill set, and he’s ready to put it to work at the highest level.  A shortstop capable of batting north of .300 while offering modest contributions in the power and speed departments, Owings is only waiting for an opportunity to present itself.  A poor spring or an early-season slump from Didi Gregorius could provide that opening.”  ETA:  2014

3.  Braden Shipley, RHP:  The 15th overall pick last June, Shipley spent time at two Low-A stops (Hillsboro, South Bend) in 2013, looking sharper and sharper as the season progressed. The 22-year-old is a superb athlete, and he’s a polished thrower, with a fastball-changeup combo that’s reminiscent of Michael Wacha’s.  All things considered, Shipley has a skill set that has him projecting as a front-end starter, and he’s a prime candidate to push through the next levels quickly.  He should spend some time in Visalia before surfacing in the upper levels during the summer months.  ETA:  2015

4.  Stryker Trahan, C:  Trahan’s fantasy ceiling is quite large when considered among catching prospects.  The 19-year-old is an impressive athlete with enormous raw power, and a pretty solid all-around offensive projection, but there are plenty of evaluators who doubt his ability to stick behind the dish defensively.  A shift to outfield would significantly damage Trahan’s fantasy appeal, but let’s not close the book on his catching days until the D’backs officially make that transition.  He’ll make his full-season debut this season.  ETA:  2017

5.  Brandon Drury, 3B:  Drury arrived in the Arizona org via Atlanta as part of the Justin Upton trade.  In a full season at Low-A South Bend, the 21-year-old hit .302/.362/.500 with 70 XBH (15 HR) in 583 PA.  That’s some outstanding XBH production, and it certainly indicates a prospect who’s ready for the next level, but the 2013 line needs to be approached with some degree of caution considering it was his go at Low-A.  An impressive follow-up at High-A will go a long way in establishing Drury as a must-own guy in dynasty formats.  ETA:  2016

6.  Jacob Lamb, 3B:  Drafted in the 6th round out of University of Washington in 2012, Lamb has done nothing but hit as a pro, posting a cumulative line at .316/.405/.544 with 22 HR in 136 career games.  As a 3B with upside in average and power, the 23-year-old’s outlook is similar to Drury’s, but long-term scouting reports are in favor the younger party, which is why he has the edge on this list.  ETA:  2015

7.  Aaron Blair, RHP:  Arizona followed up their Braden Shipley pick by selecting Blair — another college starter — at 34th overall.  The 21-year-old is on the same developmental track as Shipley, having spent time at both Low-A stops in 2013, posting a line at 3.14/1.25/41 in 48 IP along the way.  The physical projection is great, the repertoire is solid (although it lacks the oomph of the arms ahead of him on this list), and there’s plenty of reason to believe that Blair can develop into a workhorse starter in the bigs.  He should continue his development alongside Shipley at High-A in 2014.  ETA:  2015

8.  Justin Williams, OF:  A 2nd round pick out of high school last June, Williams surprised folks in his pro debut, posting some big numbers in a couple stops at the rookie-level, and even earning himself a cup-of-coffee at the full-season level.  Clearly there’s a long way to go with the 18-year-old who projects as a corner outfield slugger, and it’s far too early to start digging into his rookie-ball numbers, but the positive pro debut provides a great foundation to build from. We’ll know a lot more a year from now when his first full season is in the books.  ETA:  2017

9.  Jose Martinez, RHP:  Like Williams, Martinez features an impressive raw skill set that is yet to be tested at the full-season level.  Behind Bradley, this 19-year-old Dominican might have the most impressive stuff in the system, with a fastball that works in the upper-90s to go with a promising power curve.  I’m anxious to see what Martinez can do over a full-season workload, and we’ll get the opportunity to witness that phase of his development this year.  If all goes well, this is a prospect who could climb near the top of this list next offseason.  ETA:  2017

10.  Andrew Chafin, LHP:  After drawing whiffs in 2012 at a rate of 11-per-nine, Chafin regressed in that department in 2013, posting a K/9 at just 6.8 in 27 starts between High-A and Double-A.  That drop-off was a concerning development, considering the 23-year-old had been touted mostly for his bat-missing arsenal.  There are also command issues that, amid a SP-heavy org, could lead to an eventual shift to bullpen work.  Chafin will get back to work in the upper levels in 2014, looking to surface in Arizona before year’s end.  ETA:  Late 2014

For a retrospective look at the Diamondbacks farm, last year’s MiLB preview is here.