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Mike Hazen: D-backs prospect Daulton Varsho could play in 2020

AFL East All-Star, Daulton Varsho #8 of the Arizona Diamondbacks bats during the Arizona Fall League All Star Game at Surprise Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The inclusion of several top Arizona Diamondbacks prospects on the team’s 60-player pool announced this week can serve more than one purpose. Some of them, like Daulton Varsho, might step in and play.

“First of all, you’ve kind of got to separate out [our top prosects],” general manager Mike Hazen said Tuesday on The D-backs BP Show. “Those guys are at different stages in their development. So there’s certain guys on there that are major league ready or depth-ready right now, a guy like Daulton Varsho.”

Varsho, 23, is a catcher who has also seen time in the outfield. He is the Diamondbacks’ No. 3-ranked prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. Arizona included plenty of outfield depth in the 60-player pool, but only four players listed as a catcher: Carson Kelly, Stephen Vogt, Varsho and John Hicks.

“[Varsho] is certainly one of our top prospects, but there would have been every guess that somebody could make that he was going to impact our major league roster this year, and I don’t see why that won’t be the case in a shortened window,” Hazen said.

Other players that may not end up playing, but who would otherwise miss out on a season of baseball (the 2020 minor league baseball season was officially canned on Tuesday), can get reps at the team’s alternate site of Salt River Fields. Nine of the D-backs’ top-10 prospects on MLB Pipeline’s list were included in the 60-player pool, though most were not on the 40-man.

“The balance with the roster was, we looked at a normal year, how many guys do we typically use? Well, roughly, somewhere between about 45 and 50,” “So we put 50-plus guys on that roster that are going to serve the major league depth in a lot of ways, make sure the team is protected, injury protection.

“But what are we going to do with those last couple spots? Well, in the case that we don’t get development reps this year, if we don’t have a fall league, or we don’t get an instructional league for whatever reason, it’s really hard for Major League Baseball teams — especially one in our position that relies on our minor league system — to go a full year. Corbin Carroll going a full year without getting at bats, that was pretty tough.”


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