As far as farm systems go, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ ranks near the middle of the pack.
At least, according to ESPN MLB insider Keith Law.
In an ESPN Insider piece (ie: subscription only), ranking every team’s minor league system, Law puts the D-backs at 15.
Dealing Trevor Bauer for 50 cents on the dollar didn’t help, nor did failing to get any of Atlanta’s top six prospects in the Justin Upton trade, but the Diamondbacks are still very deep in arms and now oddly deep in shortstops who can field but don’t get on base. Two solid draft classes have helped, as well as strong work on the development side in taking guys such as Matt Davidson, Adam Eaton and David Holmberg, and helping them exceed the limits of their raw tools.
Law’s feelings on the D-backs’ offseason echo those many baseball “experts” have had in that the team may not have received proper value in some of the trades it made over the offseason.
However, as Law notes, it is not as if the farm system has been depleted, and some of the better prospects could be ready to make an impact in 2013.
Eaton and Tyler Skaggs are big league ready, Davidson is close but is now blocked, and they have two starter prospects in Andrew Chafin and Anthony Meo who might be better off in relief roles, where they’d also be close to contributing in the majors.
Of course, Law also gives a “sleeper” category, and headlining that list is a recent top pick.
Stryker Trahan, their 2012 first-rounder, isn’t under the radar but has the best chance of any of their non-top-100 guys to make a big move onto the list next year, a potential impact bat from the left side who has the quickness and arm to catch but needs a lot of work on receiving and especially blocking balls. Two smaller sleepers from this past draft: infielder Andrew Velazquez and right-hander Ben Eckels, their 7th- and 11th-round picks, respectively, who both looked very strong in rookie ball and might jump into the team’s top 10 next winter.
Law’s entire list, in order, is as follows:
1. Tyler Skaggs, LHP
2. Archie Bradley, RHP
3. Matt Davidson, 3B
4. Adam Eaton, CF
5. Stryker Trahan, C
6. David Holmberg, LHP
7. Chris Owings, SS
8. Didi Gregorius, SS
9. Andrew Chafin, LHP
10. Anthony Meo, RHP