ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

A breakdown of the Diamondbacks’ top 30 prospects by position

Jun 5, 2020, 6:00 PM
Kevin Cron #32 of the Arizona Diamondbacks runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run in the e...
Kevin Cron #32 of the Arizona Diamondbacks runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run in the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

With an unusual format of the MLB Draft coming up this month, the Arizona Diamondbacks have some decisions to make.

The MLB Draft will only be five rounds this year as the coronavirus pandemic has had a far-reaching impact on the sports world and beyond. The D-backs could still very well get an eventual major league player as an undrafted free agent once the five rounds have concluded, but with a shorter draft to nab the most-coveted players, teams will have to make their picks count.

So we’re looking at the top 30 prospects in the Diamondbacks’ system, as ranked by MLB Pipeline. Keep in mind that these rankings vary from outlet to outlet, and you can imagine they vary further still if you got a candid ranking from the team’s front office itself. In other words, these rankings are subjective.

But from a broad view, they paint a picture of how well-balanced the top of the D-backs’ prospect pool is, positionally speaking. Let’s dive in (position totals don’t add up to 30 because some players play two positions):

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

OUTFIELDERS (9): 

Kristian Robinson (No. 1 prospect)
Alek Thomas (2)
Corbin Carroll (5)
Wilderd Patino (11)
Seth Beer (12)
Dominic Fletcher (20)
Jeferson Espinal (23)
Pavin Smith (24)
Tristin English (25)
Eduardo Diaz (29)

From a pure volume standpoint, the D-backs are set here. Three of their top five prospects are outfielders, and their No. 3 prospect, Daulton Varsho, is a catcher who also plays some outfield.

The D-backs may very well be wise to draft the best player available — especially with early picks — so their abundance of outfield prospects may be irrelevant in that regard. But it’s worth noting that the top of their prospect pool is by no means short on outfielders.

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

MIDDLE INFIELDERS (4):

Geraldo Perdomo (4)
Blaze Alexander (14)
Andy Young (15)
Domingo Leyba (30)

The D-backs probably can afford to be patient at middle infield with All-Star Ketel Marte and defensive stud Nick Ahmed manning those spots at the big league level. Even still, three of their top 15 prospects as ranked by MLB.com are middle infielders.

Arizona also had Jazz Chisholm, a shortstop who was their No. 1 prospect until he was traded to Miami for Zac Gallen.

Leyba has already played big league games but was dealt an 80-game suspension in spring training this year for testing positive for a PED.

CORNER INFIELDERS (5):

Seth Beer (12)
Andy Young (15)
Pavin Smith (24)
Tristin English (25)
Kevin Cron (26)

The D-backs got Beer in the Zack Greinke deal last season, and he hit .289 with 25 home runs and 103 across three teams in the minor leagues. Young batted well in his first taste of Triple-A, and Cron has already reached the big leagues.

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

RIGHT-HANDED PITCHERS (12)

Corbin Martin (7)
Luis Frias (8)
Levi Kelly (9)
J.B. Bukauskas (10)
Jon Duplantier (13)
Josh Green (16)
Drey Jameson (17)
Matt Tabor (18)
Ryne Nelson (21)
Justin Martinez (22)
Kevin Ginkel (27)
Conor Grammes (28)

The D-backs’ top 30 prospects are represented by right-handed pitching more than any other position group. Four of those arms are in the top 10, and two of those four (Martin, Bukauskas) came over in the Greinke deal.

General manager Mike Hazen replenished a key position with that trade, but the left-handers could use attention…

LEFT-HANDED PITCHERS (2)

Blake Walston (6)
Tommy Henry (19)

The D-backs’ top-ranked pitcher is left-handed, but after that, there’s not much there.

Walston was a first-round pick by the D-backs (26th overall) last year and had a 2.45 ERA in six total games between Single-A and Rookie level. That’s a long ways away from being on the precipice of a call-up.

Similarly, Henry only has three games of professional experience as a fellow 2019 draft pick. He had a 6.00 ERA in three innings pitched.

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

CATCHERS (1)

Daulton Varsho (3)

Varsho has ascended to becoming one of the top prospects in the Diamondbacks organization. He hit .301 with 18 home runs in Double-A Jackson last season and could later crack the roster as an outfielder. At the big league level, 25-year-old Carson Kelly seems promising for the long haul.

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A breakdown of the Diamondbacks’ top 30 prospects by position