ESPN’s Law: Arizona Diamondbacks have baseball’s 15th-best farm system

Jan 29, 2014, 12:41 AM | Updated: 12:41 am
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Depending on who you ask, the Arizona Diamondbacks may have gutted a once-stocked farm system over the last couple of seasons.

Or, maybe, they’ve rid it of players who are not destined for stardom at the Major League level.

Whatever the opinion, there is still some talent left, enough so that ESPN’s Keith Law ranks the D-backs as having baseball’s 15th-best farm system.

In an ESPN Insider piece, Law points to the team’s arms as a strength.

A lot of high-ceiling pitching here, which is probably a good strategy for a team that plays in a hitter’s park 1,100 feet above sea level, but light on near-term position players other than shortstop Chris Owings.

One bright spot on the hitting side: Brandon Drury, who looked like a throw-in to the Justin Upton trade, broke out with a big year for low Class A South Bend and may help salvage a mostly disastrous trade for the D-backs.

Owings compiled a .291 average over five minor league seasons, topping out at .330 with 12 home runs and 81 RBI in 125 games for Triple-A Reno last season. He earned a September call up, and responded by hitting .291 with 5 RBI and 2 stolen bases for the big league club.

As for Drury, he rebounded from a miserable 2012 in the Braves organization with a quality campaign for the D-backs. In 134 games for South Bend, he hit .302 with 15 home runs and 85 RBI.

Most of the rest of the NL West fared better than Arizona in the rankings, with the Rockies 8th, Padres 9th and Dodgers 11th, with only the Giants, at 25, finishing behind the D-backs.

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ESPN’s Law: Arizona Diamondbacks have baseball’s 15th-best farm system