The Athletic’s Keith Law names 3 D-backs in his midseason top 60

Jul 23, 2023, 5:00 PM | Updated: Jul 24, 2023, 7:39 am

Jordan Lawlar, Diamondbacks prospect...

Jordan Lawlar #11 of the Amarillo Sod Poodles rounds the bases after hitting a home run during the game against the Springfield Cardinals at HODGETOWN Stadium on June 03, 2023 in Amarillo, Texas. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)

(Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks are being noted for having a few gems in their farm system.

The Athletic’s Keith Law named three Diamondback prospects in his top 60 for 2023 on Friday, including one in the top 10.

These names could be important as the trade deadline looms Aug. 1 and Arizona may try to make a trade to solidify their playoff hopes.

Law previously ranked the players in the offseason.

No. 7 Jordan Lawlar

Jordan Lawlar has had his ups-and-downs offensively at the Double-A level, batting .259 with 13 homers and 39 RBIs with Amarillo of the Texas League. However, he has stolen 27 of 30 bases, walked 36 times to boast a .355 OBP and has slugged .479 in his age-20 season. He was named to the 2023 Futures Game to start for the National League, but he went 0-2 with two strikeouts.

He struggled when promoted to Amarillo last year, slashing .212/.299/.353 with four homers and 11 RBIs in 97 ABs.

The now 21-year-old — he blew out the candles on July 17 — may be position-blocked with Arizona, having only played shortstop or DH in the system, and is behind 2023 All-Star Geraldo Perdomo and Nick Ahmed.

“He hits fastballs extremely well, even those with higher velocity, while some of the flashes of trouble he showed last year with better offspeed stuff have carried over into this year.”

His ranking in the offseason top 60 was No. 9.

No. 52 Brandon Pfaadt

Brandon Pfaadt has been touted for a bit and has made three trips up to the major leagues in 2023, with his most recent start coming Saturday against the Reds in Cincinnati.

His fastball can be electric, averaging 93.5 mph, according to Fangraphs. However, whether that makes him Triple-A good or major-league good remains to be seen.

In 2023 in Triple-A, the right-hander gave up fly balls in play 40.6% of the time, surrendering infield fly balls 25.4% of the time. In the majors, however, his fly ball in play jumped to 45.8%, and his infield fly ball rate fell to 6.1%, meaning the fly balls were hit further. Between Triple-A and MLB this year, his home run per fly ball ratio jumped from 16.4% to 24.5%.

That can be exemplified in Pfaadt’s most recent start on Saturday: He recorded seven fly-ball outs, but ended his afternoon surrendering three-straight homers. He did record six K’s though.

“It turns out that major-league hitters are, in fact, pretty good, and if you make mistakes, like leaving a whole bunch of fastballs in the heart of the zone, they will punish you for it. Pfaadt does have the stuff to be an above-average big-league starter, including a fastball that has a very high spin rate with good carry, and he gets great extension over his front side. “

His previous rank was No. 38.

No. 54 Druw Jones

What is there to say about the former No. 2 overall pick of the 2022 MLB Draft? He’s had 60 career at-bats at Low-A Visalia since being drafted where he’s slashed .175/.283/.200.

He’s been on the 7-day injured list since April with multiple injuries. That follows suffering a shoulder injury he had in 2022.

“He has shown plus power and 70 defense in center with a solid idea of the strike zone as an amateur, along with plus speed, so he has the tools to be a top-10 prospect in the sport. But the limited results have been poor and there’s talk of an attempt to revamp his swing for more contact. “

His previous rank was No. 14.

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