10. Marcos Diplan
Diplan was probably the least heralded of the prospects that came to the Brewers in the Gallardo trade. He is still young at 18 years old, and he isn’t that big, standing at only 6’ 160’’. Despite his limitations, there is a lot to like about this righty.
Diplan has a pretty standard 3 pitch mix. His fastball is really where his value comes, at least for now. It grades out as just over major league average all ready, as it sits in the low 90’s, touching as high as 96 MPH. His curveball is a little ahead of the changeup, but both pitches have the potential to be at least major league average. Diplan gets a lot of comparisons to Octavio Dotel, and his delivery definitely shows why. Much like Dotel, Diplan has a high leg kick, and his arm slot is at a high 3/4. There is some effort there, and time will have to tell if his small stature can support long stints of the delivery.
He has only had one season in the states so far, but there are some positives to draw from Diplan’s debut. He threw 64.1 innings in 13 games last year, all coming as a starter. Diplan registered a respectable 7.97 K/9, or 22.4% of the batters he faced. He only surrendered 2 homeruns, which translated to .28 HR/9, he only allowed a .197 average on balls in play, and got an impressive strand rate at 79.2% LOB. On the downside, Diplan did walk 36 batters (5.04 BB/9), which was a big reason for his high FIP of 4.05. Coupled with his low BABIP, the distance between Diplan’s ERA (1.54) and his FIP, make it a little difficult to take his first state side season at full value statistically.
Texas signed Diplan for$1.3 million in 2013. He was one of the top prospects, especially on the pitching side, from that international class. It’s still very early to pass too much judgment, but early signs have been pretty positive for the young right hander. It may take a while, but Diplan has the chance to be a really nice arm if everything falls right.
To be honest, I was more impressed with the Brewers system than I was going into making this list. They have a very solid set of hitters on the way in Arcia, Harrison, Coulter, Taylor, and Gatewood, and a few intriguing arms in Medeiros, Williams, Knebel. Jungmann, and Diplan The 2014 draft was of excessive help in boosting a system that had been somewhat depleted from trades, graduations, and loss of picks due to qualifying offers, as they brought in Medeiros, Harrison, and Gatewood with their first three picks. The talent is spread fairly evenly throughout the system, so they should see a steady flow of upside coming to the big league level, rather than a big influx all at once. With a pitching staff that is starting to age, some older corner infielders, along with Ryan Braun potentially facing a decline, the Brewers should be able to sustain some hits with the talent they have coming up.
Statistics were found on Fangraphs and Baseball Reference.