The Arizona Diamondbacks are a bad baseball team.
At 38-52 they are occupying last place in the NL West, and a season that began with playoff aspirations has now turned to ice cream and the future.
And hey, if your future involves ice cream, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
However, while things have not gone particularly well at the big league level, down in the minors, the D-backs have players who are putting together some pretty good seasons. Some you may be familiar with; others not so much.
Either way, here are five prospects worth keeping an eye on in the latter half of this season.
Anthony Banda – LHP
A 10th-round pick in 2012 by the Milwaukee Brewers, Banda landed in Arizona in 2014 as part of the Gerardo Parra trade. The 22-year-old stands in at 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, and in 16 starts across Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno this season has posted a 6-4 record with a 2.86 ERA. The lefty pitched in the Futures Game during All-Star Weekend, allowing a two-run homer while recording a pair of outs and taking the loss.
Braden Shipley – RHP
Generally seen as the top prospect in the farm system, the 2013 first-round pick boasts a 7-5 record with a 3.85 ERA in 18 starts for Triple-A Reno this season. A 24-year-old right-handed starter, he has struck out 70 in 112.1 innings of work. Of all the prospects on this list, he is the most likely to see time in the majors this summer.
Dawel Lugo – SS
Acquired in the deal that sent Cliff Pennington to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015, Lugo has risen up the prospect ranks with the D-backs organization with solid defense and an improving bat. He hit .314 with 13 home runs, 42 RBI and an .863 OPS (on base+slugging) in 315 at-bats for Single-A Visalia, for whom he also hit for the cycle last week. In 12 at-bats following a promotion to Double-A Mobile, the 21-year-old has batted. 417 with one double and an RBI.
Jimmie Sherfy – RHP
A relief pitcher who was chosen in the 10th round of the 2013 draft out of Oregon, Sherfy has a miniscule 0.47 ERA in 33 appearances that spanned time with Single-A Visalia, Double-A Mobile and now Triple-A Reno. He has struck out 61 batters in 38 innings, while walking 14 and earning 20 saves. This season, opponents have batted just .114 against the 24-year-old.
Jack Reinheimer – IF
Reinheimer was part of the trade that saw the D-backs send Mark Trumbo to the Seattle Mariners last summer, and while he was originally viewed as a solid infield prospect, his stock has done nothing but rise in the Arizona system. He can play both second base and shortstop, and in 333 at-bats for Triple-A Reno this season has a .288 average with two home runs, 36 RBI and 11 stolen bases. The 23-year-old has also earned 29 walks, and has an on-base percentage of .346.
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