Lost in an offseason where the Arizona Diamondbacks traded two of their more high-profile players is the fact that they still have a considerable amount of talent left on the roster.
Some of it is young, and some of it is ready to make an impact. And according to ESPN.com’s Keith Law in an ESPN Insider piece, two of the top 20 impact prospects for 2013 will be wearing Sedona Red this season.
In fact, the number one prospect is outfielder Adam Eaton while Tyler Skaggs comes in at number four.
Eaton has one thing no other top-100 position player prospect has in 2013: a full-time job, most likely playing center field for the Diamondbacks and leading off. While the team loves him because he is scrappy and gritty and plays hard and stuff, he also takes great at-bats, makes hard line-drive contact, and has improved his conditioning and agility to the point that he can handle center field if he improves his reads. A favorable ballpark also will help his candidacy for rookie of the year.
Eaton played in 22 games for the D-backs last season and hit .259 for the club. He hit two home runs, stole two bases and drove in five runs. But as for whether or not he’ll be the regular center fielder when the season begins, that much has yet to be determined.
Just like with Skaggs, who may or may not be a part of the starting rotation when the season opens.
Skaggs would have to beat out sophomore Pat Corbin to win the last rotation spot in Arizona. Skaggs has far more upside but Corbin seems to have the confidence of Kirk Gibson and his coaching staff after some impressive work as a swingman in 2012. I like Corbin in that swing role going forward — his velocity improves substantially in relief — with Skaggs as the full-time starter, even if Corbin has to be Skaggs’ caddie to manage both pitchers’ innings. Skaggs has the knockout stuff, though, three pitches to potentially miss bats and even some projection remaining.
Skaggs made six starts for the big league club lat season. He compiled a 1-3 record to go along with a 5.83 ERA.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, former D-backs prospect Trevor Bauer, now a member of the Cleveland Indians, was ranked fifth.