D-backs top prospect rankings: Kristian Robinson leads the way

Mar 5, 2020, 4:18 PM
Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen (Arizona Sports/Matt Layman)...
Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen (Arizona Sports/Matt Layman)
(Arizona Sports/Matt Layman)

Tracking a handful of publications, it appears that people are on the same page about the Diamondbacks boasting a handful of MLB’s top prospects going into 2020.

From there, the opinions are somewhat mixed.

We know this much: Outfielder Kristian Robinson and catcher Daulton Varsho are among the three best prospects in the D-backs’ organization. Everyone also agreed that Geraldo Perdomo and Alek Thomas are among the top 100 prospects in baseball.

There was some disagreement, however, on where to rank each player. Robinson was the top D-backs prospect on all but The Athletic’s list; Alek Thomas was anywhere from the second to the fourth-best prospect the D-backs have, depending on who you ask. Baseball Prospectus said the D-backs had only four of the top 100 prospects in MLB, whereas three publications counted five, and The Athletic had six.

Here’s a look at how the Diamondbacks fare on different publications’ top prospects lists:

MLB Top 100 prospects 2020

43. Kristian Robinson
49. Alek Thomas
76. Daulton Varsho
82. Geraldo Perdomo
89. Corbin Carroll

Robinson is both a physical specimen — listed at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds — and an impressive athlete who shows the makings of having average or better tools across the board. He has the type of prodigious right-handed power that could one day make him one of the game’s more revered sluggers, and he already applies it during games from line-to-line. Robinson also shows feel to hit, with plate discipline and contact skills that stand out for his age and experience. That hitting ability is the reason why scouts are so bullish about Robinson’s power potential, and he stands to make a major jump in that department as he learns to consistently hit the ball in the air.

ESPN: Kiley McDaniel’s top 100 prospects

31. Kristian Robinson
34. Daulton Varsho
62. Geraldo Perdomo
72. Alek Thomas
80. Corbin Carroll

Outfielder Alek Thomas was the top D-backs prospect on MLB Pipeline at the end of 2019, but that’s no longer the case, and ESPN was among those to say he’s only the D-backs’ fourth-best prospect going into 2020.

Thomas was one of a couple of Northern-based prep bats who faced just OK competition in the spring but were stalwarts at summer events, particularly Team USA ones, for multiple summers in front of scouts, playing with players older than them. Jarred Kelenic was another such prospect; Thomas is a notch lower than him in terms of tools but gets every drop out of them. He’s a plus hitter with average raw power (which has been growing thanks in part to his father, the White Sox strength and conditioning coordinator) that he should get to in games. Thomas’ plus speed and instincts allow him to project as an above-average defender in center field.


28. Kristian Robinson
59. Daulton Varsho
70. Alek Thomas
91. Geraldo Perdomo
99. Corbin Carroll

Like other publications, FanGraphs sees shortstop Geraldo Perdomo as among the top 100 prospects in baseball:

So confident is Perdomo in his notion of the strike zone that, after taking a looking strike three during Fall League, he flipped off the TrackMan unit calling balls at Salt River Fields.

That skill combined with Perdomo’s bat-to-ball ability from the left side (his right-handed swing is bad) and his elegant shortstop defense, gave him a promising foundation of skills as a teenager on the backfields. Then, the juice started to come. Perdomo’s exit velos climbed throughout 2019.

The Athletic: Keith Law’s top 100 prospects

29. Daulton Varsho
33. Corbin Carroll
45. Kristian Robinson
57. Alek Thomas
96. Corbin Martin
98. Geraldo Perdomo

Law went in-depth on each prospect on his top-100 list, and six total Diamondbacks earned his praise as being among the best in the game. His ranking was the only one of these publications to declare catcher Daulton Varsho as the best prospect Arizona has:

Varsho led all Double-A hitters in slugging (.520) and was eighth in OBP (.378), while stealing 21 bags in 26 attempts. A catcher with this offensive profile is extremely unusual — Jason Kendall with more pop? — and even if Varsho is just adequate at controlling the running game, he could be an occasional All-Star as a catcher, with more upside at the plate if he does move to another position.

Baseball Prospectus

16. Kristian Robinson
54. Alek Thomas
87. Daulton Varsho
91. Geraldo Perdomo

While Baseball Prospectus only gave four Diamondbacks prospects the distinction of being in the top 100, they ranked Robinson 16th, which was by far the highest that any of these publications ranked an Arizona farmhand.

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