Diamondbacks farm system ranked 9th despite injuries to top prospects

Aug 29, 2021, 7:45 AM
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 31: 2021 MLB first round draft pick Jordan Lawlar #21 of the Arizona Diamon...
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 31: 2021 MLB first round draft pick Jordan Lawlar #21 of the Arizona Diamondbacks watches batting practice prior to a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field on July 31, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks organization is ranked ninth in MLB Pipeline’s midseason farm system rankings, but some top prospects are injured.

Arizona bolstered its farm system in the 2021 MLB Draft. First-round selection Jordan Lawlar debuted in the prospect rankings as the organization’s top prospect. He is 13th overall and sixth at the shortstop position.

Three other draft selections are among Arizona’s top 30 prospects. Arizona’s second-round pick, infielder Ryan Bliss,  is ranked 14th in the organization. Catcher Adrian Del Castillo, who was selected in the second competitive balance round, is 18th. He is also the team’s top prospect at catcher.

Arizona’s third-round selection, pitcher Jacob Steinmetz, is 25th in the organization.

Two other prospects in Arizona’s farm system are in the overall top 100. Outfielders Corbin Carroll and Alek Thomas are ranked 21st and 42nd, respectively.

Despite having three prospects in the top 100, MLB Pipeline thinks Arizona’s system needs a little bit more before being an elite farm system.

The good news: Lawlar was a massive get with the sixth overall pick and instantly became the shining star of the system. Also, there’s no telling how high Carroll could have climbed if not for season-ending shoulder surgery. Instead, Thomas has been the productive outfielder in the upper levels. Unfortunately, Geraldo Perdomo has struggled, and Kristian Robinson’s status remains up in the air due to a legal issue.

However, the farm system is not entirely healthy entering the final weeks of the minor league season. Lawlar is undergoing a season-ending shoulder surgery after playing only two games in the rookie-level Arizona Complex League.

Carroll also suffered a shoulder injury in May after only a week with the High-A Hillsboro Hops. Further down Arizona’s prospect rankings, pitcher Slade Cecconi is done for the year after being put on the 60-day injured list on August 11. He is ranked seventh in the organization.

Injuries to Arizona’s two highest-ranking prospects make Thomas the highest-ranked active prospect in the organization. He was called up to the Triple-A Reno Aces on Aug. 16 after hitting .283 with 10 home runs and 41 runs batted in with the Double-A Amarillo Sod Poodles. Thomas has a .222 batting average in seven games with Reno.

Arizona’s top two pitching prospects, Blake Walston and Ryne Nelson, pitched well to earn call-ups throughout the year.

Walston earned the call to High-A Hillsboro in June. He struggled at first with High-A competition, but has pitched strong outings for the Hops. His August has been strong despite a 1-1 record with a 2.63 earned run average and 13 strikeouts.

Nelson was also called up in June, earning a place with Double-A Amarillo. After struggling in his first two starts, he too has regained his momentum. He has a 3.63 ERA with 76 strikeouts in 52 innings pitched throughout 10 starts.

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Diamondbacks farm system ranked 9th despite injuries to top prospects