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D-backs minor league affiliates capture multiple championships

The California League champion Visalia Rawhide. (Twitter photo)

While the Arizona Diamondbacks have been quickly fading out of the race for the National League Wild Card, there has been some major success for the team’s minor league affiliates.

The Hillsboro Hops, Arizona’s short-season Single-A affiliate, won the Northwest League championship on Wednesday in a dramatic five-game series.

The team’s season saw seven of the D-backs’ eight players selected in the top-93 of this year’s draft play for them, including three that were with them for the title.

Corbin Carroll, the 16th pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, hit .326 for the Hops in 43 at-bats and had a hit in each of the last four games of the series. Carroll is the D-backs’ No. 3 ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline.

Second-round pick Ryne Nelson threw six shutout postseason innings over two appearances, including three in Game 5 that earned him a victory. Nelson comes in at 25th on MLB Pipeline’s top 30 D-backs prospects.

And while he was promoted before the team’s postseason run, we shouldn’t go without mentioning outfielder Kristian Robinson, who won’t turn 19 until mid-December. Robinson hit .319 in Hillsboro over 44 games with nine home runs and 35 RBIs and has rapidly risen to No. 2 on the D-backs’ top prospects rankings after being signed out of the Bahamas in 2017.

It’s the team’s third title in six years after winning the league back-to-back in 2014 and 2015.

Another Class-A affiliate, the Visalia Rawhide, won the California League title on Saturday night, the team’s first since 1978.

Two top 10 prospects featured for that run in outfielder Alek Thomas and shortstop Geraldo Perdomo.

Thomas, 19, is the D-backs’ No. 1 prospect and is fresh off promotion from Single-A Kane County to Visalia. For the Rawhide, Thomas hit .255 with two home runs and seven RBIs in 23 games.

In the deciding game, Thomas was 2-for-5 with two doubles and one RBI.

Like Thomas, Perdomo started the season in Kane County before arriving in Visalia, where he has thrived, hitting .301 in 26 games with an OPS of .794. At 19 years of age, Perdomo is Arizona’s seventh-ranked prospect.

Lastly, the Jackson Generals in Double-A won the Southern League Championship on Sunday, making it back-to-back titles and their third in four years.

Jackson’s offense was led all season by No. 5 prospect Daulton Varsho, who had a monster season at the plate. The catcher hit .301 with 18 home runs and 58 RBIs in 108 games, mashing a .899 OPS. His OPS was the best in the league during the season and he was productive in the postseason, racking up six hits in the last four games. He was named series MVP.

Seth Beer, who you might remember as a part of the Zack Greinke deal, was a key piece for the Generals in the postseason, posting a batting average of .438. Beer is Arizona’s fourth-ranked prospect.

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