ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Get to know the D-backs’ 20 non-roster spring training invitees

Jan 29, 2019, 1:36 PM
Rubby De La Rosa, Kelby Tomlinson and Rob Refsnyder have all been invited as non-roster players to ...
Rubby De La Rosa, Kelby Tomlinson and Rob Refsnyder have all been invited as non-roster players to Diamondbacks Spring Training 2019. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

A mix of players with major league experience, players battling back from injury and minor league players with college experience at Arizona and Arizona State make up the list of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 20 non-roster spring training invitees.

Some of the names you might recognize, while some you may need to find out a little more about.

Here is the list of the 20 players and what you should know about each of them:

Abraham Almonte

A career .237 hitter in the big leagues with 17 home runs and 93 RBI, breaking into the MLB in 2013, the 29-year-old has spent time with the Yankees, Mariners, Padres, Indians and Royals organizations since being signed in 2005 by New York.

Andrew Aplin

The 28-year-old Aplin played his college baseball and Arizona State and has spent most of his career in Triple-A. He is a .267 career hitter in the minors with 40 home runs and 134 stolen bases in 700 at-bats. Aplin plays centerfield, a position the D-backs are looking to fill with A.J. Pollock gone to the Dodgers this offseason.

Ryan Atkinson

Atkinson was drafted by the Diamondbacks in 2016 and has worked his way up to the Double-A level, making 20 starts with the Jackson Generals in 2019. He had 123 strikeouts and 58 walks in 109 innings pitched last year in Jackson.

Jazz Chisholm

Chisholm ranks as the D-backs’ top prospect, according to MLB Pipeline’s top 100 list. A native of the Bahamas, the 20-year-old shortstop turned heads in the Arizona Fall League batting .442 with three home runs and nine RBI in 43 at-bats. The speedster also racked up seven steals in those 10 fall league games.

Stefan Crichton

After making eight appearances for the Orioles in 2017, Crichton spent all of 2018 with the Reno Aces. Last season, he took Yasmany Tomas’ place on the D-backs’ 40-man roster before being released to make room for Shelby Miller. Crichton has a 3.83 career minor-league ERA but struggled in Reno with a ERA of 10.12 in 14 games.

Rubby De La Rosa

In an attempt to bounce back from his second Tommy John surgery, De La Rosa returns to the desert after signing a two-year minor league deal the the D-backs in 2017. His best season in the MLB came as a starter with the D-backs in 2015, posting a 14-9 record with 150 strikeouts in 188.2 innings pitched.

Jon Duplantier

Yet to break into the big leagues, Duplantier ranks as the best D-backs pitching prospect, according to MLB Pipeline’s top 100 list. Duplantier shut down opponents in the the Southern League last season with a 2.69 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 74.0 innings with the Jackson Generals.

Kevin Ginkel

Ginkel played college ball in Tucson at Arizona and was drafted by the D-backs in 2016. The 24-year-old reliever went 5-0 with a 1.69 ERA with Jackson last season and in 131.0 total minor league innings under his belt, he has struck out 176 and walked just 38 batters.

 Tyler Heineman

The 27-year-old catcher has spent the past five seasons bouncing between Double-A and Triple-A. He is a career .278 hitter in the minors.

Wyatt Mathisen

A 25-year-old first baseman, Mathisen has climbed the ranks moving from Single-A in 2016 to Double-A in 2017 and breaking into Triple-A in 2018. A second-round draft pick out of high school in 2012, the slugger hit nine home runs in 78 Triple-A games last season with the Pirates organization.

Juniel Querecuto

Querecuto was named a Southern League All-Star last season with the Jackson Generals. Later in the season he was called up to Triple-A Reno. The infielder made a brief appearance in the majors with the Rays in 2016 hitting one triple in 11 at bats.

Rob Refsnyder

Refsnyder has spent four seasons in the major leagues all with teams in the AL East. Born in Korea and drafted by the Yankees in 2012 out of Arizona, Refsnyder spent time with the Yankees, Blue Jays and Rays. He played 40 games with Tampa in 2018 posting an OBP of .314.

Troy Scribner

Scribner started one game with the D-backs in 2018, going 3.2 innings and giving up two earned runs, four hits and six walks, while striking out four. The D-backs lost the game 2-1 to the Nationals. The 27-year-old also made four starts for the Angels in 2017 going 2-1 with a 4.18 ERA.

Braden Shipley

Shipley has spent parts of the last three seasons in the majors with the D-backs. He has 26 games of major league experience with a 5.49 ERA and a 4-6 win-loss record.

Matt Szczur

Szczur spent most of his career with the Chicago Cubs, breaking into the majors in 2014. He was a dual-sport athlete at Villanova helping the Wildcats football team win the FCS Championship and winning MVP of the game in 2009. The outfielder is a career .231 hitter over 363 games with the Cubs and Padres and won a World Series with the Cubs in 2016.

Yasmany Tomas

Tomas is the second highest paid player on the D-backs roster behind only Zack Greinke but was sent to Triple-A Reno for the entire 2018 season. He spent three years with the D-backs, racking up 48 home runs from 2015-17. Last season, he hit 14 home runs with 65 RBI in 355 at-bats.

Kelby Tomlinson

Earning a following for his signature glasses, Tomlinson put his imprint in the Bay Area the last four seasons with the Giants before being out-righted to Triple-A in 2018. The D-backs will bring in the 28-year-old second baseman who enjoyed his best season in 2017 playing 104 games and stealing nine bases for San Francisco.

Daulton Varsho

The son of former MLB outfielder and coach, Gary Varsho, Daulton hopes to tap into what the D-backs hope is a high ceiling. The 22-year-old has been impressive in the minors with a .301 average but has not advanced past High-A Visalia. Varsho is the eighth ranked catching prospect, according to MLB.com.

Taylor Widener

Widener was the third and final player in the D-backs farm system to make the Pipeline top 100 list. Widener ranks as the No. 83 prospect in baseball after leading the Southern League in strikeouts (176) and WHIP (1.03) last season for Jackson.

Andy Young

The third player, not to be forgotten, from the deal that sent Paul Goldschmidt to St. Louis. Young played college baseball where Larry Bird played college basketball at Indiana State. He is a career .283 hitter in the minors and has reached the Double-A level in the Cardinals organization. The infielder batted .301 in 20 Arizona Fall League games last season with a .931 OPS.

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Get to know the D-backs’ 20 non-roster spring training invitees