ESPN ranks 4 D-backs minor-leaguers among top-100 prospects in 2021

Feb 21, 2021, 7:00 AM | Updated: 7:44 pm
D-backs prospect Alek Thomas (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)...
D-backs prospect Alek Thomas (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)

A handful of players within the Arizona Diamondbacks farm system were included in ESPN’s 2021 top MLB prospects ranking recently.

The ranking, compiled by Kylie McDaniel, pinpoints the top-100 prospects. Despite limited tape due to the cancellation of last year’s minor league season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, four D-backs prospects landed in the top-65.

Leading the way for Arizona is center fielder Corbin Carroll at 27th.

Carroll has gotten significantly stronger and is posting exit velos to match, akin to the jump Andrew Benintendi made in his draft year at Arkansas. A plus hitter with a good approach, solid-average power he can get to in games, and solid-average center-field defense is probably a better package than the college version of Benintendi when he was picked in the same range as Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Carroll was the 16th pick in the 2019 draft and was praised for his strong arm and good instincts.

In 11 games with the Short-A Hillsboro Hops in 2019, Carroll had 14 hits, six RBIs and 13 runs scored. He also posted a .326 batting average and a .408 OBP.

After Carroll, shortstop Geraldo Perdomo is the next D-backs prospect on the list, ranking 39th.

Perdomo is known for his quickness and has shown solid discipline at the plate. The shortstop has 66 career stolen bases since joining Arizona’s farm system in 2017.

His raw power is below average right now, but he is 6-foot-3 and adding bulk, so 15 homers doesn’t seem ridiculous. Hitting 15 homers annually with his profile would put him on the fringes of All-Star-like performance and his skill set comes with a lot less risk than, say, the Kristian Robinson type of skill set.

Kristian Robinson ranks 51st, 11 spots down from Perdomo in the rankings, with concerns over his below-average bat control and suspect pitch selection. McDaniel adds that reports have surfaced saying the 20-year-old has had his fair share of inconsistent play.

Despite Robinson’s struggles, he’s still considered one of the most intriguing prospects in baseball.

Robinson is one of the most exciting upside prospects on this list, with some ridiculous tools and a physique at 6-foot-3 that would stand out at the NFL combine. He has plus speed, arm strength, and raw power right now, but as he fills out, the power may jump to 80-grade (some think it’s already there) while the speed takes a step back and he slides from center to right field.

The final D-back on the list is center fielder Alek Thomas, who is ranked 64th.

Thomas’s father Alan is the White Sox director of conditioning, so it shouldn’t be super surprising that Alek has grown into two grades more of raw power since entering pro ball in the summer of 2018. It’s also not shocking that Alek has strong outfield instincts, with plus speed that plays as a plus defender in center field.

Thomas averaged .255 to go along with 24 hits, seven RBIs and two home runs as member of the Single-A Visalia Rawhide in 2019.

McDaniel believes there’s still a good chance that Thomas can hit around .250 and reach 15 to 25 home runs per year.

Penguin Air

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks batter Jake McCarthy, left, congratulates Daulton Varsho (12) after Varsho's i...
Associated Press

Diamondbacks match last season’s win total with shutout victory over Rockies

The Diamondbacks notched win No. 52 Saturday night, matching last year's win total with more than a month remaining on the season.
21 hours ago
Emmanuel Rivera #15 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates after hitting a third inning solo home r...
Sam Graveline

D-backs’ Emmanuel Rivera hits 2 home runs in win over Colorado

Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Emmanuel Rivera is fitting right in with his new team, blasting two early home runs on Saturday.
21 hours ago
Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Chris Devenski works against the Colorado Rockies in the sixth ...
Associated Press

Arizona Diamondbacks drop series opener in Colorado to Rockies

The Arizona Diamondbacks only managed five hits in a loss on the road against the Colorado Rockies.
2 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks' Sergio Alcantara (43) and Geraldo Perdomo, middle, celebrate after scoring ag...
Kellan Olson

Diamondbacks rally to beat Pirates, make up for odd defensive blunder

The Arizona Diamondbacks' seven runs in the seventh inning picked up starter Merrill Kelly after he was positioned for an undeserved loss.
3 days ago
Chicago White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn warms up in the outfield before a baseball game against the Ne...
Associated Press

‘Field of Dreams’ game Thursday sees Cubs, Reds clash

“Field of Dreams” gets another tribute when the Cincinnati Reds take on the Chicago Cubs in a throwback ballpark in the cornfields of Iowa.
4 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Daulton Varsho leaps in vain for a triple hit by Pittsburgh Pira...
Kellan Olson

Bizarre double play, replay review costs Diamondbacks in loss to Pirates

The D-backs loaded the bases with nobody out down 6-3 in the ninth inning against the Pirates before one of the strangest plays of the year.
3 days ago
ESPN ranks 4 D-backs minor-leaguers among top-100 prospects in 2021