D-backs’ Torey Lovullo calls Corbin Carroll’s rise a story of development
PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo noticed outfielder Corbin Carroll “connect the dots” quicker than anyone since he joined the team in 2019.
The D-backs called up Carroll, their top prospect, Monday ahead of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies after the 22-year-old had played only 49 minor league games and none above Single-A heading into the season.
Carroll was picked No. 16 overall in the 2019 draft and spent the 2020 campaign at the minor league alternate site due to COVID-19.
He played seven games in 2021 – in which he went 10-for-29 with two home runs – before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury.
The lefty tried to make the most of his time while injured, though, as Lovullo said Carroll watched and studied a lot of baseball and kept in close contact with his coaches.
Carroll hit the ground running in 2022 with a 1.073 OPS in Double-A Amarillo before picking up where he left off after getting promoted to Triple-A Reno July 7 (.943 OPS).
“He’s just very driven, motivated in the process that he undertakes for himself,” general manager Mike Hazen said. “You guys saw him last year scouting games when he was hurt, he was here every day. That speaks to how he thinks about the game.”
Have a night, Corbin 😤
Corbin Carroll finishes his night 2️⃣-for-2️⃣ with a home run, double, 4️⃣walks and 3️⃣ RBI. pic.twitter.com/8X3yjBWAlp
— Reno Aces (@Aces) August 26, 2022
Carroll said he tried to make the most out of each of his stops, whether he was playing games or not.
“You can’t necessarily control where you are, but I think you can control how you go about it,” Carroll said. “You can control your process, you can control those day-to-day things that in the long run add up and pay off.”
Carroll joins the D-backs with 36 games remaining this season. Hazen said he hopes competing down the stretch of the season in the big leagues will provide Carroll a healthy learning environment.
The rookie is expected to play all three outfield spots with Arizona and will make his debut Monday, batting eighth and starting in right field.
Lovullo was impressed with the 22-year-old’s mindset coming up to the majors and the questions he was asking.
The bigs are about winning and performance, not as much about development like the minors, Lovullo noted. He felt Carroll seemed to understand that.
“He was asking some really poignant questions about why things were happening here versus what would happen in the minor league level,” Lovullo said.
“I think that was a big thing that he was able to see when he was sitting in the stands. It’s about getting the job done, taking care of your brothers and being a good teammate and helping your team win a baseball game.”
Bye ball 👋
— Reno Aces (@Aces) August 25, 2022
Now that the young outfielder reached baseball’s pinnacle, Lovullo stressed that all he wants from Carroll is to stick to what has made him successful.
Growing pains are natural, baseball is a game of highs and lows, as Carroll said himself, and the jump to the majors is the most challenging. Hazen said expectations have to be realistic.
For Lovullo, it’s a big deal that Carroll does not try to do too much in the bigs.
Another rookie who came up this year had similar advice for his friend.
“The advice that I got was just to be yourself and I think that that helped me,” starting pitcher Tommy Henry said. “And I think that is absolutely all that Corbin needs to do. The player he is and the the person he is are completely enough.”
— 98.7 Arizona Sports (@AZSports) August 29, 2022
Carroll was on the same page when speaking hours before his first game.
He took a moment to ponder how was wanted to answer a question about expectations placed on him.
He is a top-three prospect in all of baseball on MLB Pipeline, The Athletic’s Keith Law has him ranked first on a list of top prospects and the D-backs are counting on him to continue growing into a franchise cornerstone.
After taking about 15 seconds to think, he left with a simple message that it is important to stay true to himself and everything will take care of itself.
He’s gotten this far.