Arizona Diamondbacks 2019 Midseason Top 50 Prospects

Alek Thomas BP, July 7, 2019, Futures Game, Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH. Photo credit - Scott Greene, @Scotty_Ballgame on Twitter

2019 is a fun year to be a Diamondback fan. They’re competing for the NL wildcard, just 3 games back from the 2nd seed as of games today. Surprisingly they have a +64 run differential, 3rd best in the National League. They’ve received tons of contributions from recent prospect graduates like Yoan Lopez, Christian Walker, Carson Kelly and Merrill Kelly. Hopefully you snagged them late in your fantasy draft and they’re helping your team compete as well. There’s also reason for optimism on the prospect front. An influx of talent joined the system after the MLB draft in June. They had a lot of money to spend and a ton of picks. The new midseason rankings reflect an improved system. Some upper level prospects stalled, but a lot of lower level prospects progressed.  I think the top 8 players in the system have huge fantasy upside that rival many systems.

Note: the list has a strong fantasy baseball lean, and stat lines are thru 7/23.


Prospects1500 Tiers:
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster.


Tier 1:
1. Kristian Robinson, OF
Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: Short Season A (Hillsboro)
Preseason Rank: 1
Has hit the ground running in short season ball. Slashing .336/.404/.604 with 8 hr, 8 SB, and  182 wRC+ in 35 G. Hasn’t done anything to diminish the shine on his star. KRob will be on the short list of players in the discussion for best player in the minors a year from now.

 

Tier 2:
2. Jazz Chisholm, SS
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: AA (Jackson)
Preseason Rank: 3
.201/.306/.429 17 HR, 11 SB, 11.6 BB%, 32.6 K%, .248 BABIP, 114 wRC+
Typical Jazz year with great power and speed hampered by swing and miss issues. Have to worry about his K%, but he has improved his approach as the year progressed. The BA is bad, but his .248 BABIP is 60 points below his previous career low. His BB% is a career high. He still has loud tools and is one of the most exciting players in the minors, capable of going off at anytime. If he gets his K% under control, look out.

3. Alek Thomas, OF
Age: 19
2019 Highest Level: A- (Kane County)
Preseason Rank: 7
Thomas is posting .308/.393/.486 with 153 wRC+ in Kane County. He’s truly standing out amongst Arizona’s young minor league CF prospects. He was one of the younger prospects in the Futures Game this July. His advanced approach, power/speed combo and great results have him rising up prospect lists.

4. Daulton Varsho, C
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: AA (Jackson)
Preseason Rank: 4
Posted a solid .277/.363/.460, 141 wRC+ line so far in 2019, similar to his 2018 numbers. Has collected 10 home runs and 15 steals in 78 games, while cutting down on his whiffs (20.8% in ’18, 12.7% in ’19). Although there were questions that he sticks at catcher, he hasn’t played a defensive position besides catcher yet in his minor league career. If he can bring his speed/power/contact skills to the majors as a catcher his fantasy value is even higher.

5. Corbin Carroll, OF
Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: Rookie (Arizona)
Preseason Rank: N/A
Corbin was a steal at the 16th pick overall in June, and shouldn’t last that long in your dynasty first year player drafts. Owns an advanced approach for a prep bat. He can hold down CF, has a solid hit tool, speed, and potential power down the road. His pro career is off to a good start already with a couple home runs, 8 steals, and nearly a 1:1 BB:K ratio.

6. Brennan Malone, P
Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: none
Preseason Rank: Not Ranked
Malone was taken by Arizona 33rd overall in this year’s first year player draft. He’s physically mature already at 6’3″ 220 lbs out of high school. Owns solid mechanics with an already good curve and change in his arsenal.  Most impressively, he possesses a huge fastball in the mid 90s with room to grow. HUGE upside. Malone is so far away with all the potential pitfalls of any young starting pitching prospect, but this is a potential ace.

7. Blake Walston, P
Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: none
Preseason Rank: Not Ranked
Drafted 26th overall by Arizona in the June draft.  He’s a high risk, high upside, high schooler much like Malone, but he’s younger, skinnier, and more raw from playing QB not just focusing on baseball. He’s an athletic 6’4″ with room to fill out, add strength, and add a lot of velocity to his fastball. At present he’s hitting the low 90s, with a great curve, but the sky is the limit much like with Brennan Malone.

8. Geraldo Perdomo, SS
Age: 19
2019 Highest Level: A- (Kane County)
Preseason Rank: 11
.273/.402/360, 130 wRC+, with 20 SB, 53 BB and 53 K, in 83 games this season. Perdomo has improved as the year progressed. He’s an on-base monster and I think his bat continues to grow as he gets stronger, smarter, and more experienced.

9. Jon Duplantier, P
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: MLB
Preseason Rank: 2
Played well in short stints in the majors before living up to his injury prone reputation. He’s currently rehabbing in the minors. He’s a long way from proving he can ever stay healthy enough to do it over a significant amount of time, but I still believe he can be a valuable fantasy baseball asset. I’m buying low to try and steal value in short stints, with the huge payoff if he figures out how to stay healthy over the long haul.


Tier 3:
10. Kevin Cron, 3B
Age: 26
2019 Highest Level: MLB
Preseason Rank: 18
Cron’d 5 HR in 58 MLB at bats, albeit with 26 Ks. I think he proved he can contribute in the majors, and I hope he gets an opportunity in 2020 like Christian Walker got and ran with in 2019.  Made an absolute mockery of AAA in the PCL for Reno with the “new” baseball putting up a video game stat line of 29 HR in 56 games with an .836 SLG and 192 wRC+.

11. Jake McCarthy, OF
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A+ (Visalia)
Preseason Rank: 6
.277/.341/.405, 110 wRC+, 2 HR, 18 SB in 53 games. Stock falls a little bit while having an OK if uneventful year. Was hoping to see more power, but still a solid, on-base/speed/defense skill set. I’m still high on, just got pushed down due to 2019 draft class.

12. Matt Tabor, P
Age: 20
2019 Highest Level: A- (Kane County)
Preseason Rank: 20
The Dbacks have been taking it slow with Tabor, but are letting him loose this year, and he’s having a breakout campaign. He’s posting 10.7 K/9 and just 1.3 BB/9. He’s keeping the ball in the yard and going deeper and deeper in games lately. He’s got a #3 SP profile if he can keep it going.

13. Blaze Alexander, SS
Age: 20
2019 Highest Level: A- (Kane County)
Preseason Rank: 10
.234/.335/.339, 101 wRC+
Came down to earth after scorching start last year to kick off his pro career. He’s a glove first prospect at this point. I think his stellar defense should give him the time to work out his bat and it will come around eventually.

14. Liover Peguero, SS
Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: Rookie (Missoula)
Preseason Rank: 39
.369/.421/.541, 151 wRC+, 3 HR, 7 SB in 29 games. Breaking out since being signed in 2017. Another example of Arizona’s recent success signing international free agents.

15. Levi Kelly, P
Age: 20
2019 Highest Level: A- (Kane County)
Preseason Rank: 36
The 8th rounder out of high school last year is crushing it in Kane County this year. He’s a big kid, and his fastball/slider combo lead to 94 K and just 47 hits in 73.1 IP. A nice surprise to see him get off to a good professional start, I think Kelly would come cheap in deep dynasty leagues.

16. Luis Frias, P
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A short season (Hillsboro)
Preseason Rank: not ranked
Has had his injury issues, but is slowly building a nice resume. He threw 55 innings last year and should pass that this year. He’s a big guy throwing in the upper 90s with a wild delivery. 14.4 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 38.2 IP so far. Frias is generally lasting 5 innings per outing.

17. Wilderd Patino, OF
Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: Rookie (Arizona)
Preseason Rank: 40
He only recently turned 18 and has 86 plate appearances stateside. Wilderd is a physical specimen with 5 tool potential. Showed a good eye in Dominican League last year, and is off to a good start this year hitting .360/.395/.493

18. Andy Young, 2B
Age: 25
2019 Highest Level: AAA
Preseason Rank: 9
Young is walking a little less this year, with a 5% uptick in Ks. Earned a 140 wRC+ in AA, but struggling a little bit since AAA promotion (76 wRC+). Projection of a bat first, 2B holding true however.

19. Pavin Smith, 1B
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: AA (Jackson)
Preseason Rank: 12
8 HR, 12.4 K%, 10.8 BB% .263/.340/.416, 121 wRC+
His .417 SLG is a career high and that says a lot about why Pavin’s prospect stock is down. He still has the contact skills and high BB%, but the power fans were hoping to develop still hasn’t come. I think he was overrated out of college, but now his value is down enough to take a chance on in deep leagues. It may be unlikely, but if the power comes in AAA or MLB, you’ve got a nice major leaguer.

20. Kevin Ginkel, P
Age: 25
2019 Highest Level: AAA (Reno)
Preseason Rank: 23
Ginkel has a 16.2 K/9 and this year between AA and AAA. He’s been posting crazy K%s for 3 years now, and his control is around 3 k/9 but has been better in the past. I think Ginkel is a late inning, high leverage reliever, sooner rather than later.

21. Eduardo Diaz, OF
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A+ (Visalia)
Preseason Rank: 37
Diaz has revamped his game for the better. He posted a 2.3 BB% in 2018, and upped it to 8.0% in 2019. He crushed it in Kane County and continued in Visalia. He’s always had a good hit tool, speed, and some pop, and now added the eye to his tool shed. Love when a prospect realizes his weak spot, addresses it and fixes it.

22. Jorge Barrosa, OF
Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: A short season (Hillsboro)
Preseason Rank: 27
Barrosa has yet to show much if any power in Hillsboro hitting just .234/.329/.320. However, he showed a great eye in DSL and has so far tallied 14 BB and 21 K in 146 PA. Another one of Arizona’s lower level exciting bats.

23. Buddy Kennedy, 3B
Age: 20
2019 Highest Level: A- (Kane County)
Preseason Rank: 16
.249/.328/.375, 104 wRC+, 10.5 BB%, 19.9 K%, .126 ISO
Kennedy is having an OK year. His stellar BB% continues, but his K% has spiked to a career high. He’s doing well, but I wish he would show more game power. Needs to up his game to stand out in a system getting better.

24. Drew Ellis, 3B
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: AA (Jackson)
Preseason Rank: 13
.226/.339/.396, 117 wRC+
Continuing his remarkably consistent pro career. Low BA, high walks, disappointing power. Maybe playing in Reno solves that problem, and he gets a power boost once out of AA. But his game might be a lackluster finished product at this point.

25. Taylor Widener, P
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: AAA (Reno)
Preseason Rank: 8
Widener has endured a brutal year. The pitchers in the PCL this year have been getting historically pummeled and Widener is no exception.  He’s given up 82 ER in 90.1 IP, with a career high 3.6 BB/9 and a more than doubled HR/9 rate from last year. I’d like to give him a mulligan based on his pedigree, past performance, and legit stuff, but this year is hard to ignore.

26. Emilio Vargas, P
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: AA (Jackson)
Preseason Rank: 17
4.89 ERA but the peripherals are much better. 2.2 BB/9, 5.8 BB%, 3.65 xFIP, 1.065 WHIP. Vargas doesn’t have the upside as other Dbacks pitching prospects, but he’s closer to the majors, and been performing well.


Tier 4
:
27. Jose Caballero, 2B
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: A+. (Visalia)
Preseason Rank: 22
126 wRC+, 28 SB, 12.1 BB%
Plays with energy and excitement. Still one of my favorite players to watch in all the minors.

28. Drey Jameson, P
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A short season (Hillsboro)
Preseason Rank: Not Ranked
Drafted 34th overall last June for $1.4M. Small college pitcher with mid 90s fastball, good change, good slider.

29. Glenallen Hill Jr., SS
Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: Rookie (Arizona)
Preseason Rank: Not Ranked
Signed for $850,000 to bypass going to Arizona State. Raw, speedy, might move to CF.

30. Domingo Leyba, 2B
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: MLB
Preseason Rank: 45
Batted .309/.362/.572 with 17 HR in AAA this year. All those numbers were career highs for his minor league career. Getting a chance to fill utility role in MLB at the moment.

31. Jimmie Sherfy, P
Age: 27
2019 Highest Level: MLB
Preseason Rank: 24
Bouncing up and down from AAA to MLB, control took a step back this year.

32. Tommy Henry, P
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A short season (Hillsboro)
Preseason Rank: Not Ranked
Big crafty lefty helped take Michigan to College World Series this year.

33. Dominic Fletcher, OF
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A- (Kane County)
Preseason Rank: Not Ranked
.308/.386/.487, 151 wRC+ in 21 games
4th outfielder profile, will have to outplay his tools to make the majors.

 

Tier 5:
34. Franyel Baez, OF
Age: 16
2019 Highest Level: none
Preseason Rank: N/A
$1M bonus sign from international free agent signing day this past July 2. Was the highest for a Dback signee, but generally not regarded as a top prospect in this class. Trust that Arizona has had a lot of recent J2 success.

35. Joel Payamps, P
Age: 25
2019 Highest Level: AAA (Reno)
Preseason Rank: 25
Dominates in AA, struggles in AAA for 2 years in a row now. Has good control but doesn’t have upper tier stuff.

36. Avery Short, P
Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: none
Preseason Rank: Not Ranked
Dbacks lured Short away from Louisville with $922,500 bonus. Profile varies wildly within scouting community. Throws 92 has a couple secondary pitches. The projection is the variable.

37. Alvin Guzman, OF
Age: 17
2019 Highest Level: Dominican Summer League
Preseason Rank: 21
.219/.277/.306 The jewel of last year’s J2 international signing period, not putting up stats, but nothing has changed in his physical tools. Still a lotto ticket.

38. Andy Yerzy, C
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A- (Kane County)
Preseason Rank: 5
Landed with an absolute thud at full season ball in Kane County slashing .104/.176/.144 (-2 wRC+)! And not much better after his demotion to Hillsboro. I knew he’d be a project being a raw Canadian trying to learn the catcher position, but this was ridiculous. Still young, so who knows.

39. Diomede Sierra, P
Age: 17
2019 Highest Level: Dominican Summer League
Preseason Rank: 43
J2 signing last year. Having some BB issues

40. Dominic Miroglio, C
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: AA (Jackson)
Preseason Rank: 29
.233/.317/.329. Big drop in numbers but still good BB/K%’s. Back up MLB catcher profile is best case scenario.

41. Adrian Del Moral, P
Age: 20
2019 Highest Level: A- (Kane County)
Preseason Rank: 31
8.6 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, averaging less than 5 IP per start so far.

42. Tristin English, 1B/P
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: A short season (Hillsboro)
Preseason Rank: Not Ranked

43. Spencer Brickhouse, 1B
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: Rookie (Missoula)
Preseason Rank: Not Ranked
.281/.344/.430
Big powerful lefty, with questionable hit tool

44. Jackson Goddard, P
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: A- (Kane County)
Preseason Rank: 31
2.55 ERA but 4 BB/9 and 7.9 K/9 indicate the good ERA is despite the peripherals.

45. Matt Mercer, P
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: A+ (Visalia)
Preseason Rank: 28
11.3 K/9, 5.6 BB/9, started 12 of 12 games, but trending towards ending up a reliever.

46. Teofilo Mendez, SS
Age: 17
2019 Highest Level: Dominican Summer League
Preseason Rank: 48
.170/.302/.261

47. Ronny Polanco, SS
Age: 16
2019 Highest Level: none
Preseason Rank: Not Ranked
International free agent signee from this July 2nd.

48. Ryne Nelson, P
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A short season (Hillsboro)
Preseason Rank: Not Ranked
Dbacks selected this reliever with 100 MPH fastball 56th overall last June. Just 3 innings pitched this year.

49. Harrison Francis, P
Age: 20
2019 Highest Level: Rookie (Arizona)
Preseason Rank: 26
Just one inning pitched this year for the former 4th rounder

50. Jiter Heredia, SS
Age: 16
2019 Highest Level: none
Preseason Rank: not ranked
Signed in this year’s J2 class. When you have a chance to rank a player named Jiter, you rank a player named Jiter.

 

 




About Matthew Hammerling 12 Articles
Matt Hammerling covers the Arizona Diamondbacks prospects for Prospects1500. Hailing from Southeastern Wisconsin, he plays in 20-30 fantasy baseball leagues a year including multiple dynasty leagues. Besides fantasy baseball, he enjoys tailgating, growing his beard, getting into bands 8 years after they're cool, and hanging out with his dog Monk. Follow him on Twitter at @AZdbProspector.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Arizona Fall League: Fall Stars Game Preview | Prospects1500

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*