We’re just days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training at parks all over Arizona and Florida.
What’s become part of the buildup to spring training is the release of ESPN baseball analyst Keith Law’s Top 100 prospects of 2013 (insider subscription required). Law released his annual list Tuesday morning and it features four Arizona Diamondbacks.
Tyler Skaggs, the 21-year-old lefty who started six games for the D-backs last year, comes in the highest-ranked at 12th overall. Law on Skaggs:
Even as-is, he’s a grade of fastball command away from being a No. 2 starter with three above-average-to-plus pitches and the ability to wipe out hitters on both sides of the plate.
Skaggs spent most of the 2012 season in the minor leagues, splitting time between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno, compiling a 9-6 record with a 2.87 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 122.1 innings of work.
Also showing up on Law’s list are right-handed pitcher Archie Bradley (#25), third baseman Matt Davidson (#75) and outfielder Adam Eaton (#91).
His raw stuff remains filthy, an easy 94-98 with downhill plane, a wipeout curveball, and the quarterback size and athleticism that made him a top 10 overall pick in 2011. He was more aggressive in the second half of 2011, attacking hitters when ahead in the count but still walking too many hitters.
Davidson just keeps chugging along, drawing walks, hitting for some power, playing an adequate third base and not getting a ton of respect for it — understandable, as there’s nothing flashy about his game.
He’s an above-average runner who can cover the ground in center but needs to continue to improve his reads on balls off the bat, with a future average glove in center. He’s likely a 10-12 homer guy in a neutral park but should have high-.300 OBPs to keep him in the lineup, even if he’s just a fringy regular in a corner.
On Law’s 2012 list, the Diamondbacks also had four players featured — including right-hander Trevor Bauer, who was dealt to Cleveland in the offseason. Bauer ranked 21st last season. This year he comes in at #25.
Texas shortstop Jurickson Profar tops Law’s list followed by St. Louis outfielder Oscar Taveras and Baltimore right-hander Dylan Bundy.