ESPN: Visalia’s Daulton Varsho a ‘breakout’ prospect for Diamondbacks

Jun 30, 2018, 8:47 AM
(Twitter Photo/@MiLB)...
(Twitter Photo/@MiLB)
(Twitter Photo/@MiLB)

The Arizona Diamondbacks are in a “win now” situation with key contributors set to become free agents following the 2018 season.

A.J. Pollock, Patrick Corbin and newly acquired Jon Jay headline a list of upcoming free agents that currently fill the D-backs roster.

But as the uncertainty of who — if any —  the D-backs are able to re-sign next season remains a concern, general manager Mike Hazen and amateur scouting director Deric Ladnier can take pride in the amount of talented prospects that currently embody Arizona’s farm system.

High-A Visalia Rawhide catcher Daulton Varsho is one of the D-backs prospects that has caught the eye of evaluators this season. And according to ESPN’s Eric Longenhagen, Varsho is the club’s breakout minor leaguer so far this year.

Varsho was crushing the ball at high-A Visalia before he fractured his hand last week. He’s a twitchy, athletic catcher with plus speed and doubles power. Varsho’s offensive and athletic abilities were known when he was drafted, but over the past year his athleticism and makeup have enabled him to develop as a catcher (where amateur scouts were skeptical he’d remain). He could be the first catcher to swipe 20 bags since Jason Kendall in 2000.

Drafted in the second round of the 2017 MLB June Amateur Draft by the D-backs, Varsho’s defensive shortcomings out of college had many speculating whether he would remain behind the plate.

But in just his second season in the minors, the 5-foot-10, 190-pounder has proven himself at catcher with a .989 fielding percentage in 353.1 innings this season.

However, it’s his athleticism and power at the plate that has perhaps impressed evaluators the most this season.

Varsho is hitting .290/.377/.467 with 32 RBI and eight home runs in 57 games. He has also stolen 15 bases.

But Varsho’s season may have been cut short after he suffered a fractured hand.

He currently resides on the seven-day disabled list with the possibility of surgery looming.

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