Arizona Diamondbacks 2020 Top 50 Prospects

Daulton Varsho, Jackson Generals at Tennessee Smokies, May 2, 2019. Photo credit Jim Zele, @ZelePhotography on Twitter

It was only a couple years ago the Arizona Diamondbacks system was near the bottom of the league. Heading into 2020 their system is in the discussion for top 5 in the league. It’s stocked full of high upside bats, and more recently, potentially impactful arms. Impressively, the turnaround was done without a total demolition rebuild. The Dbacks have had winning seasons the last 3 years, making the playoffs in 2017 and contending for the wildcard into the season in 2018 and 2019. So how did Arizona stock their system while still putting a quality product on the field? It started with signing the right international free agents and developing them into future majors leaguers. Kristian Robinson, Geraldo Perdomo, Liover Peguero, Wilderd Patino and Jeferson Espinal are all the in my Top 20. The Dbacks had 4 of the top 33 picks in the June draft who turned into the #2, 6, 7 and 24 prospects on this list. And lastly they pulled off a big trade sending Zack Greinke and his big contract to Houston in exchange for #8 Seth Beer, #11 Corbin Martin, #16 J.B. Bukauskas and Josh Rojas.


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 a 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: 19
2019 Highest. Level: A-
.282/.362/.509 14 HR, 17 SB, 11 BB%, 26.8 K%
K-Rob’s got elite power potential, and could swipe 20 bases in the bigs. He currently strikes out a bit much, but he has a good approach, works counts, and I think he’d benefit from being more aggressive early in the count. If he can adjust the approach I think K-Rob could be in the discussion for the game’s best hitting prospect as soon as this season. Will probably start 2020 repeating Kane County, but should get a taste of AA by season’s end. I’ve currently got K-Rob ranked as the 15th best prospect and 5th best OF. Prospects1500’s overall Top 172 last October had Robinson 35th overall, and the 10th highest OF, telling me some people are still sleeping on him, and now is perhaps the last chance to get him at a value.



Tier 2
2. Corbin Carroll, OF

Age: 19
2019 Highest Level: Short Season-A
.299/.409./487 18 SB, 22 K%, 15.6 BB%
It’s hard to be the steal of the 2019 draft going 16th overall, but Carroll just might be. He fell because of his small stature, but his approach at the plate and his defense are about as polished as you’ll ever see from a high schooler. He has elite speed, instincts and CF defense already. Despite the 5’10” 165 lb. frame he is strong and will rack up plenty of extra base hits, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the home runs come eventually.


3. Daulton Varsho, C
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: AA
Wisconsin native Varsho notched 18 HR, 21 SB, with an impressive .301/.378/.520 line in 452 PA in 2019, all at AA. He was our 2019 Catcher Prospect of the Year on Prospects1500. He improved his BB%, K%, SLG, and ISO from ’18 to ’19 and stayed healthier. There will always be questions about his ability to stick at catcher, but I think he’s fine, and should at least qualify there for years to come. To date he’s only played 4 games at positions other than catcher in his professional career. I expect him to put up some eye popping numbers in Reno and vault up prospect lists. He could bring his rare power/speed combo at the catcher position to the majors in the second half of 2020.


4. Geraldo Perdomo, SS
Age: 20
2019 Highest Level: A+
.275/.397/.364
Perdomo is one of the crown jewels in the Diamondbacks recent success in the international free agent market. He has elite BB skills, 14 BB% and 169 career BB to 148 career Ks. Couple that with plus athleticism, plus speed, plus body and I think power is coming. He’d fit perfectly at the top of a major league lineup, a tough out, works the count, gets on base a ton, and pesky once on the basepaths.

5. Alek Thomas, OF
Age: 19
2019 Highest Level: A+
.300/.379/.450 10 HR 15 SB 447 AB
Thomas’s bat is proving to be a very advanced for a high schooler drafted in 2018. He has present strength and walks at 10%. The Midwest League MVP and youngest player in the Futures Game has simply been better than his competition thus far in the minors. Thomas is a high riser on many prospect lists as he should be, but I think his ceiling is capped in the power department more than elite prospects.

6. Blake Walston, LHP
Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: Short Season-A
Walston was drafted with the compensation pick for failing to sign Matt McClain from UCLA the year before…a BIG upgrade in my opinion. He is an athletic 6’5″ 175 lbs. who split his time in high school between pitching and quarterbacking. So there’s lots of room for adding strength and skills with a focus on baseball. It’s surprising that the raw high schooler already has a 94 mph fastball with the makings of a good curve and changeup. He got an 11 inning taste in Rookie and Short Season-A ball, striking out 17 and walking just two. He’s all projection at this point, with a huge range of outcomes, but I think one of which is elite prospect with ace potential.

7. Brennan Malone, RHP
Age: 19
2019 Highest Level: Short Season-A
Malone transferred to play high school ball at IMG Academy much like fellow teammate and fellow big righty Levi Kelly did. He’s a 6’3″ 220 lb. flamethrower. He already throws a high 90s fastball with movement, with a good slider, and potential curve. There’s little projection left for his size, but a lot for his secondary offerings. I see Malone as a big, power throwing workhorse, with the potential to be an upper echelon talent if that slider works and he can develop a 3rd plus offering. Malone and Walston are both being undervalued in dynasty leagues drafts this spring.

8. Seth Beer, 1B
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: AA
Beer was one of the pieces coming from Houston in the Zack Greinke deal. He hit .289/.388/.516 across two levels with an acceptable 21 K%. Beer is a professional batsmith, and is near MLB ready. Beer’s value would improve greatly if the NL adopts the DH in the near future as he can’t play OF and 1B will be a struggle too. Potential middle of lineup hitter, he isn’t that far away, and no serious blockers in AZ.


Tier 3
9. Luis Frias, RHP

Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A-
2.83 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 76.1 IP, 101 K across two levels
Frias has had a long journey from being a 3B signed in 2015, and turning into an athletic, intimidating presence on the mound. His 99 mph fastball and curve are already plus pitches with a change and slider that flash plus. He dominated this year in short season Hillsboro with a 37 K%. His command (3.4 BB/9) will be the determining factor. His inconsistent delivery and lack of innings have some concerned he might be better as a reliever, but I think he’s a starter. Along with Walston, Malone, Tabor, Kelly, and acquiring Gallen, Arizona is suddenly flush with young upper tier arms.

10. Matt Tabor, RHP
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A-
2.93 ERA, 95.1 IP, 16 BB, 101 K
Tabor broke out in 2019. His changeup is his bread and butter at this point. He’s got a 27 K% and impressive 4.2 BB% and suppresses home runs by pitching smart and keeping hitters off balance. An arm to watch in the system, especially if his fastball and third offering get better as he matures. The Dbacks have taken it slow with Tabor, and it’s paid off. I could see him moving up multiple levels in 2020.

11. Corbin Martin, RHP
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: MLB
28.5 K%, 11.4 BB% in AAA
Martin underwent Tommy John surgery in July, and was a piece of the 4-player trade that sent him to Arizona for Zack Greinke. His control regressed in 2019, but he still is a great prospect with three swing and miss pitches. His fastball hits 97, and the slider and curve are above average as well. Martin’s upside is tempered by the command issues and his surgery, but I think the Dbacks got a steal in having him part of the Greinke deal. If he can get back healthy and find his 2018 level of command you’re looking at a #3 starter.

12. Kevin Cron, 3B
Age: 26
2019 Highest Level: MLB
In only 305 AB Cron mashed 38 HR and slugged a lucky .777 in AAA Reno. He also tallied 6 HR in 71 sporadic MLB at bats. Cron struck out 36% of time in the majors but has been in the 20-23% range in his minor league career. He’s made steady progression every year in the minors and is now major league ready in need of a chance. Given Jake Lamb’s struggles and injuries maybe he gets that chance and runs with it much like Christian Walker did for the Dbacks in 2019.

13. Liover Peguero, SS
Age: 19
2019 Highest Level: Short Season-A
Peguero’s been climbing up my rankings every year. From 48th being signed as an international free agent in 2017, to 39th last year to 14th in the midseason rankings to 13th in a pretty stacked list this year. As an 18-year-old he crushed the Pioneer League to a tune of a .364/.410/.559 line. He walked at an 8% clip and had an wRC+ of 153. He then more than held his own in Short Season Hillsboro. He’s got speed and strength with the glove to handle SS, and the bat to handle 3B. He broke out in 2019, and still has the tools and potential to breakout to another level in 2020.

14. Jon Duplantier, RHP
Age: 25
2019 Highest Level: MLB
36.2 IP 3.95 ERA 4.4 BB/9 in MLB
Duplantier yet again lived up to his fragile reputation. He pitched 80 total innings this year, and just 74 last year. He pitched in relief when in the bigs in 2019, but the Dbacks still see him as a mid-rotation groundball pitcher utilizing his 4-pitch mix. He doesn’t have a clear role for the 2020 Dbacks. I’m still a believer in Duplantier. I think it’s realistic for Duplantier to put up some very good numbers in between injuries stints, hopefully that can be for an entire seasons.

15. Levi Kelly, RHP
Age: 20
2019 Highest Level: A-
2.15 ERA, 100 IP, 126 K, 31 K%, 9.6 BB%
Kelly and his slider exploded onto the scene in 2019. Arizona drafted Kelly in the 8th round of the ’18 draft, and bought him out of his LSU commitment. He’s been absolute money ever since. He’s got a double plus slider/plus fastball combo that would work as a reliever for his floor. But the ceiling is high if he can add a change and/or a splitter and stay a starting pitcher.

16. J.B. Bukauskas, RHP
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: AA
92.2 IP, 5.7 BB/9, 10.6 K/9, 14.3BB%
JB was 1/4 of the Greinke deal. The Dbacks hope a change of scenery can jolt his career. The 15th overall selection in the 2017 draft has a career 4.9 BB/9. But he also possesses a sick arsenal with a plus fastball and change-up and plus plus slider. If he can harness his fastball control, his ceiling is thru the roof as a starter. He also could be a lights out late inning reliever.

17. Andy Young, 2B
Age: 25
2019 Highest Level: AAA
Young hit .271/.368/.535 across two levels in 2019. He had his career best SLG%, that was accompanied by his highest K%. He had a 140 wRC+ in AA, and 131 wRC+ in AAA. The guy can hit. He’ll be useful as a bat first infielder that can fill in at 2B or 3B as soon as 2020.

18. Pavin Smith, 1B
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: AA
.291/.370/.466 in AA Jackson
The book on Smith coming out of college was his plus eye, plus contact, and lack of pop. After 3 seasons in pro ball, that’s still the case. In 1,232 career plate appearances Pavin’s tallied 143 BB and 150 SO. However, his power output was so pathetic to start his career, that even mild gains have made his SLG and ISO increase every year as a pro. His prospect stock has lost a lot of value since being drafted. Enough that I think he’s a good buy low candidate and maybe his numbers get a boost next year in Reno to sell high again.


Tier 4:
19. Wilderd Patino, OF

Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: Rookie
.319/.378/.447
Patino is a physical specimen with a plus body, plus projectability and plus plus speed. He has the strength for power, but needs to work on his swing because it’s not game power yet. he also needs to bring down his 28 K%. All things considered though he’s off to a great start in his pro career. If nothing else, he’s the only Wilderd EVER to play professional baseball in the states.

20. Jeferson Espinal, OF
Age: 17
2019 Highest Level: Rookie
.347/.413/.437, 26 SB
Espinal is another hidden gem of Arizona’s recent success in the international free agent market. Although he was much less heralded and got a much smaller signing bonus ($200,000), his pro career is off to a better start than signing classmate Alvin Guzman. He crushed in the Dominican Summer League (144 wRC+) and earned a brief taste of the Arizona Rookie League. 63 of his 77 hits have gone for singles, but he has the body to develop power. His defense and speed and BB% are already present.

21. Blaze Alexander, SS
Age: 20
2019 Highest Level: A-
.262/.355/.382 7HR, 14 SB, 10 BB%, 22 K% 117 wRC+ in 406 PA
Blaze came back down a little back to earth after a hot start to his pro career in ’18. Blaze has an 80-grade arm and that will always be his calling card. But he has some potential with the bat, and the glove will give him plenty of opportunities to stay in the lineup.

22. Josh Green, RHP
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: AA
Green has been largely under the radar since being selected in the 14th round of the 2018 draft. But his results are becoming harder to ignore. A starter for the 1st time in 2019, he dominated in A+ Visalia, and was promoted to AA Jackson. What he lacks in stuff (101 K in 126.1 IP) he makes up for in control (1.5 BB/9) and an impressive minor league career 66% groundball rate.

23. Jake McCarthy, OF
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: A+
.277/.341/.405
McCarthy’s stock has fallen a bit since being the 39th overall selection in 2018. A wrist injury hampered him, and his BA, ISO, OBP, SLG all dropped in ’19 coupled with a big uptick in his K%. He needs to hit for more power, hitting just 5 HR in 414 AB as a professional. But there’s a lot to like about McCarthy. He is a plus defender, utilizes his speed well on the bases, and with the exception of last year makes good contact. He’s been passed on the Arizona minor league outfielder depth chart, but a rebound might be as simple as staying healthy in 2020.

24. Drey Jameson, RHP
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: Short Season-A
Despite being just 165 lbs., scouts believed Jameson had one of the best fastballs in the 2019 draft. He pitched at Ball State ranking 5th in D1 strikeouts and signed for $1.4M after being drafted 34th overall. He possesses a plus change and good slider as well. His small stature and loud delivery pegs him as a probable reliever.

25. Buddy Kennedy, 3B
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A-
.262/.342/.384
Still waiting on game power from the stocky 3B after slugging just .384 in Kane County last year. There are reasons to think it’s coming, his BB% has been top tier, he’s strong, and a sneaky good athlete with a quick bat. I also think he’s underrated defensively, even logging some games at 2B last year.

26. Kevin Ginkel, RHP
Age: 25
2019 Highest Level: MLB
Ginkel continued to dominate in the minors in 2019 (62K, 33.1 IP) and impressed in 24.1 innings in the majors. His control is decent, and I think he’s good enough to close games if given the chance. Arizona is frustrating in that they seem hell bent on signing free agent relievers rather than promote from within. He’ll start out in a set up role for the Dbacks, but he’s one of their best arms in the pen.

27. Ryne Nelson, RHP
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: Short Season-A
18.2 IP, 34 K%, 13 BB%
Nelson signed for $1.1M after getting drafted 56th overall in June’s draft. He was a dominant reliever at Oregon, with his 100 MPH fastball and killer slider. He’s working on 2 other pitches, but I think that would be a waste of time. His future is in the bullpen in high leverage situations.

28. Glenallen Hill Jr., SS
Age: 19
2019 Highest Level: Rookie (AZL)
Hill Jr. was drafted 122nd overall in last year’s draft, and signed for $850,000 to pass up Arizona State. He has present speed and athleticism, and some surprising raw power potential. This was reflected in his 2019 line of .206/.289/.363 with 3 HR, 19 SB, 9.4 BB%, 34.8 K% in 181 PA.

29. Alvin Guzman, OF
Age: 17
2019 Highest Level: Dominican Summer League
.226/.279/.310
The top signing from Arizona’s 2018 international free agent signing class. A little surprised to not see him make it stateside in 2019. The fact Arizona has been crushing their IFA signings lately makes me bump up Guzman a little. There is probably no prospect in the system with a greater current divide between their floor and ceiling. Swings and misses a ton, but there is no denying the 5-tool potential, and projectability of Guzman. Very intrigued to see him play in the States this season.

30. Dominic Fletcher, OF
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: A-
.318/.389/.463 147 wRC+ 9.2 BB%
Scouting reports were all over the map for Fletcher coming out of Arkansas as the 75th overall pick in the 2019 draft. However, the success of his professional debut was undebatable. Fletcher without question can play CF in the bigs in a couple years. He’s a high floor, low ceiling prospect that will have to prove himself with the bat at every level.

31. Domingo Leyba, 2B/SS
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: MLB
Leyba’s .300 BA and .351 OBP were largely in line with his career averages, but his 19 HR and .519 SLG were by far career highs. Could be a by-product of hitting in Reno, but while his true power is debatable his plus hit tool, and defensive versatility is not. His floor is a major league utility infielder, with more potential if he gets a chance at playing time and if the power is to be believed.

32. Jorge Barrosa, OF
Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: Short Season-A
.251/.335/.336 8 BB%, 13 K%
Barrosa already has great bat to ball skills and plays good defense. He logged 21 BB and 32 K in 252 PA this season in his stateside debut. He stole 39 bases in ’18 but had just 8 in ’19. He’s only 18 and power will not be a part of his game. Barrosa’s ceiling is as a leadoff hitter that gets on base and steals bases.

33. Drew Ellis, 3B
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: AA
Ellis has been about consistent as could be possible over the course of his minor league career. In AA Jackson he hit .235/.344/.406 remarkably in line with his career marks of .238/.335/.416. Unfortunately that’s not much to get excited about from a prospect with much higher hopes after getting drafted. It wouldn’t be surprising if he gets a huge stat boost in Reno to make him get some shine, but I think it’s fair to say he’s a finished product with his low BA, high BB and K totals, and disappointing power.

34. Tommy Henry, LHP
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: Short Season-A
Pitched three innings at Hillsboro to get some work in after leading Michigan to the College World Series this year. Has a boring low 90s fastball, but above average slider and curveball. He has the ceiling of a lefty workhorse innings eater.

35. Taylor Widener, RHP
Age: 25
2019 Highest Level: AAA
No sugar coating this one, Widener’s 2019 season was an absolute horror show. Posted an 8.10 ERA, 1.74 WHIP. His IP and Hits Allowed totals basically flipped from his stand out 2018 season. 2019 saw 133 hits in 100 IP, after allowing just 99 hits in 137.1 IP in 2018. Part of the blame can obviously go to the crazy pro hitting environment in the PCL, but there’s not much redemption in anything Widener did in 2019. To look at the optimistic side, he did keep up an impressive K rate, and his ’19 could be interpreted as outrageously unlucky. His 2.07 HR/9 was more than double his previous career high. His 18% HR/FB rate is obscene as was his 60 LOB%. His BB/9 was almost a full walk higher than in 2018. And his FIP was 5.90, over two runs lower than his actual ERA. And as if all that wasn’t bad enough, his 2019 BABIP was 106 points higher than his 2018 BABIP. Widener still has some skills, and his price isn’t going to get lower than it is now.

36. Emilio Vargas, RHP
Age: 23
2019 Highest Level: AA
3.84 ERA, 1.125 WHIP, 6.5 BB%, 20 K% 96 IP, 82 K
Vargas is not an upper tier prospect. He doesn’t have swing and miss stuff and he needs to go longer in games. But he has three good pitches, and good control and puts up numbers. He’ll likely start the year in AAA Reno, and has deserved a shot at the bigs.


Tier 5
37. Eduardo Diaz, OF

Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: A+
10 HR, 18 SB in 473 AB
The 10 HR were a career high, and Diaz is making strides in being more selective at the plate. Still has a way to go in those departments to be considered much more than organizational depth/5th outfielder type player at this point.

38. Franyel Baez, OF
Age: 16
2019 Highest Level: DNP
Baez was the premier signing by the Dbacks from the 2019 international free agent signing period. Baez signed out of the Dominican Republic for $1M. Baez ranked anywhere from the high teens to the 30’s in the ’19 IFA class. He’s a tall lean CF, that projects to average power and good speed. I’m going to trust the Dbacks with their IFA signs given their recent successes in picking and developing talent. There are 17 international free agents on this list.

39. Tristin English, RHP/OF/3B/1B
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: Short Season-A
.290/.356/.482
English was drafted 93rd overall in the 2019 draft. He was a relief pitcher and power hitting 1B at Georgia Tech. So far in the pros he hasn’t pitched, but the reports on him from college have him as a control pitcher with a low 90s fastball, with good slider and curve. He’s played 3B, OF, and 1B for Arizona so far in the minors. He hit 7 HR in 193 AB, and just a 11 K%. Will be interesting if the Dbacks let him play both ways this year, but I think he could handle it.

40. Shumpei Yoshikawa, RHP
Age: 24
2019 Highest Level: A+
3.75 ERA, 103 IP, 123 K, 1.9 BB/9
Yoshikawa was plucked out of the Japanese Industrial League (an independent league) before the season in 2019 for a $650,000 signing bonus. He’s a cerebral pitcher with a good three pitch mix. He posted an impressive 28.3 K% and 5.1 BB%. He did well in his debut at A+ Visalia, although at 24 he was a little old for the league. I’m sure he’ll be challenged more aggressively in his 2020 assignment.

41.Luis Rubio, SS
Age: 17
2019 Highest Level: Dominican Summer League
Rubio is part of Arizona’s 2018 international free agent draft class. He hit .297/.405/.362 for a 123 wRC+ in 274 plate appearances his pro debut. His 40BB:44K ratio reminds me of Geraldo Perdomo, but Rubio has much less power. He’s smaller and only had 10 extra base hits. Still a good start to his career, and should make it stateside in 2020.

42. Avery Short, LHP
Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: Short Season-A
Short is very raw coming out of high school in Indiana. He throws 92, and has the beginnings of three secondary pitches. The Dbacks thought enough of him to pay him a $922k bonus in the 12th round and forego his Louisville. He got his feet wet in 8 innings at Hillsboro. There’s a long way to go, but if he can add some velocity and develop his pitches, the Dbacks’ gamble could prove to be worth it.

43. Justin Martinez, RHP
Age: 17
2019 Highest Level: Rookie Pioneer League
2.89 ERA, 56 IP, 78 K, 37 BB
As bad as Martinez’s control was this year, it actually was an improvement over 2018. He’s got a huge fastball, and the makings of a good slider. He’s very young for the level. There is a lot of tools to work with for Martinez and plenty of time to develop it.

44. Bo Takahashi, RHP
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: AA
3.72 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 118.2 IP, 104 K, 2.9 BB/9, 7.9 K/9
Takahashi is a grinder, and has been putting up consistent results for years. His solid line in 2019 was actually a tick down from his normal numbers. His 22 K% and 7 BB% totals are slightly down from 2018 as well. The ceiling for Takahashi is as an innings eater type in the majors, but is more likely organizational depth.

45. Jiter Heredia, SS
Age: 16
2019 Highest Level: DNP
Heredia did not get into any games after signing this summer as an international free agent. He’s the typical tools athletic J2 lotto ticket. He reminds me physically of Jean Segura. Will be interested to see if he skips DSL and comes to the states to start his pro career.

46. Conor Grammes, RHP/3B/OF
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: Short Season-A
Grammes is another two way player taken in the 2019 draft. As a pitcher he’s in the high 90s regularly, touching 100. he’ll be a reliever with a good slider and bad control. In his 15 innings of work at Hillsboro he was true to form with 8 BB and 20 K. He was no slouch with the bat in college, showing power, a good eye, and even some speed. He hasn’t gotten any at bats as a pro yet. Hope to see Grammes get some work in the field as well as the mound in 2020.

47. Adrian Del Moral, RHP
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A-
2.86 ERA 72.1 IP 59 K
Del Moral is off to a good start to his career after signing out of Mexico in 2018. He suppresses HR, induces ground balls and weak contact.

48. Neyfy Castillo, OF
Age: 18
2019 Highest Level: Rookie Pioneer League
Castillo hit .255/.332/.393 in his stateside debut in 2019. He’s moved from SS to the OF.

49. Ryan January, C/OF
Age: 22
2019 Highest Level: A-
January hit .253/.392/.421 in short season ball before a brief promotion to Kane County. He split his time between the OF and behind the dish. He’s got his career back on track after missing 2017 with some off-field issues and a poor 2018. In 132 PA he had 22 BB and only 30 SO. He hit only 3 HR, but power is part of his game.

50. Andy Yerzy, 1B
Age: 21
2019 Highest Level: A-
Yerzy absolutely fell on his face in 2019. He started out in Kane County and in 125 AB hit a sad .104/.176/.144. That’s .144 SLG!! He got a deserved demotion to Hillsboro and hit a slightly better .206/.289/.363. Arizona scrapped the catcher experiment after the demotion and limited him to 1B. Yerzy has obviously not developed as hoped, and his prospect status is hanging on by a thread. 2020 is make or break, but I liked what I saw before this year and can’t quit him just yet.




About Matthew Hammerling 13 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.

12 Comments

  1. Great info! Enjoyed reading this!

    I 100% agree with where you have Alek Thomas. But I disagree with your sentiment on his power.

    The reason is that He’s still a teenager. I don’t feel we get a true profile of a mature bone set grown man at this age.
    Also, his father is a strength and condition coach to pro ball players. He has the tools to get stronger over time.
    And, just noting that Francisco Lindor was the same height and less weight at this time and we didn’t really get a gauge of his true power until the majors as a grown man.

    • thanks Jesse!
      that’s true plenty of smaller guys crushing baseballs in the MLB these days. Thomas is a strong kid, I think a lot of people think he’s maxed out on his frame physically and that’s why the power is limited. We will see tho!

  2. they were in consideration for the very backend of this list, Saalfrank more than Canzone..
    Saalfrank is a big lefty with college success, but I don’t think his fastball is very impressive, and his curve isn’t great either. Could uptick and make his way on the list at midpoint of 2020.
    Canzone was farther away, had a great start to his pro career, but I don’t think he’s very toolsy, and very limited upside. hope he proves me wrong.

  3. Good Article, Jesse. You forgot catcher Dominic Miroglio on your list. He seems to have fallen off the radar after missing half of last season with an injury, but before that was a two-time all-star, and was soaring up the system. He is probably the best catcher in the Diamondbacks farm system.

    • Matt Hammerling is the writer of this column. Pretty sure he’ll respond to your comment. Most prospectors including all of us here at Prospects1500 have Daulton Varsho clearly the best catching prospect in the Dbacks system, and one of the best in all of baseball. Thank you.

    • thanks John, appreciate the comments. Miroglio easily could’ve been on the list. He was considered, and he was on last years midseason list. He did have injury issues, and 2019 was the first time he really struggled with the bat. I think he profiles as a backup catcher in the bigs, maybe more if the bat plays

      Would love to see Varsho stay as catcher…or at least play enough games there every year to qualify there..a 15-15 catcher would be pretty high up the draft board at that position. He’s only played a handful of games in the minors at positions other than catcher, and he’s not that far from the bigs, so if they wanna prep him at LF or especially 2B they better do it quickly.

      • Thanks for the quick response, Matt. Clearly the Diamondbacks are hoping Varsho can stick at catcher as well, which is why they have kept him there so long in the face of less than stellar catching metrics. There is also the robo umps on the horizon, which will tend to diminish the value of some of the defensive catchers (framing), and allow for more bat-first guys. I see that the Dbacks have added Miroglio to the mlb non-roster spring training invitee list, so we will hopefully get a chance to see a little more of him this spring with the big club.

  4. Sorry – I meant Matthew! Following up on the catchers – I would love to see Varsho at second base. He’s a little guy, and is going to get beat up behind the plate (like all catchers do) which will diminish one of his best tools – his speed. I am just afraid his minus arm and catching will be exposed at the next level. But, I also understand that the Dbacks will hold out hope for him as a catcher, since a backstop who can hit is such a luxury.

  5. love the list – except light on Pavin Smith though likes his skill set – after seeing him in person in 2018 in AZ fall league — hopes can prove to be the player I saw and not a bust

    • thanks! you may be right about Pavin.
      Your Pirates got 2 great prospects from us recently, I’m big on Malone. hope they develop nicely for you!

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