D-backs vault to No. 4 on MLB Pipeline farm system rankings

Apr 3, 2022, 10:10 AM | Updated: 11:09 am

Alek Thomas #92 of the Arizona Diamondbacks bats against the Chicago Cubs during the MLB game at Sl...

Alek Thomas #92 of the Arizona Diamondbacks bats against the Chicago Cubs during the MLB game at Sloan Park on March 29, 2022 in Mesa, Arizona. The Cubs defeated the Diamondbacks 3-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

MLB Pipeline released its annual farm system rankings this week, and the Arizona Diamondbacks jumped into No. 4 after three straight years sitting at No. 9.

Only the Tampa Bay Rays, Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles are ranked higher, and the D-backs will get to add to it with the No. 2 pick in the 2022 MLB Draft.

Outfielder Alek Thomas is Arizona’s top-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline at No. 18 while outfielder Corbin Carroll is right behind at No. 19.

Shortstop Jordan Lawlar is not trailing by much at No. 23, and left-handed pitcher Blake Walston is the fourth and final D-back in the top 100 at No. 99. Only five teams have two top-20 prospects on the list.

Arizona has strung together some good drafts over the past couple seasons and the future is starting to look a bit brighter in the desert. With Alek Thomas and Corbin Carroll atop the list, it’s easy to get excited about the future outfield. The deep system also features several intriguing pitching talents, including five among its top 10 prospects.

Each of Arizona’s past four first-round picks are ranked in the top 10 of its farm system by MLB Pipeline, as drafting during general manager Mike Hazen’s tenure is off to a promising start. Hazen’s first top pick was Pavin Smith in 2017 out of Virginia, and the first baseman/outfielder played 145 games with the big league club in 2021.

Thomas’ estimated debut is in 2022, as his shift from Double-A to Triple-A last season went very well. He hit .369 with eight home runs in 34 games with the Reno Aces.

With his speed and outfield tracking skills, his defense looks ready for the next level.

Carroll’s and Walston’s ETA via MLB Pipeline is 2023 and Lawlar’s is 2024.

The D-backs went 52-110 last season and the organization is looking forward. Second baseman Ketel Marte was extended through the 2027 season with the idea that he will be a core piece of Arizona’s next contending team.

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