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Diamondbacks farm system has depth but lacks top talent

Jon Duplantier pitching for the Visalia Rawhide. (Facebook Photo)

Replenishing the Arizona Diamondbacks’ depleted farm system has become a major topic of discussion following November’s GM meetings in California and ahead of the MLB Winter Meetings scheduled from Dec. 10 through 13 in Las Vegas.

The D-backs only have two prospects in the top 100 on MLB Pipeline’s Prospect watch, but another publication gives the D-backs farm system more credit.

Baseball America ranked the D-backs third in the MLB with 15 players that rank in the top 20 prospects of their respective minor leagues.

The top five D-backs prospects, according to Baseball America, have not faced AAA competition yet. Those prospects are pitcher Jon Duplantier, catcher Daulton Varsho, shortstop Jazz Chisholm, pitcher Taylor Widener and outfielder Kristian Robinson.

Varsho and Chisholm spent most of their time last season with High-A Visalia, while Widener started 25 games with AA Jackson. Robinson played rookie ball all of last season splitting time between the D-backs’ Arizona League team and Missoula of the Pioneer League.

The D-backs’ top prospect, Duplantier, ranked No. 80 on the Pipeline list but has put together an impressive season in the Arizona Fall League.

He struck out nine batters over 4.2 innings on Nov. 6, which helped him earn the AFL Pitcher of the Week honors. It was the most strikeouts in a game by a pitcher this season and the second most in the AFL in the last 10 years.

Duplantier is second in the AFL with 32 strikeouts over 21.2 innings and has a 3.32 ERA in six starts.

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