If we rewind the reel back two weeks then this Arizona Diamondback prospect list includes the first pick in the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft and a big right handed pitching prospect. However, given The Arizona Diamondbacks big splash of Shelby Miller, those two prominent prospects have packed their bags for Atlanta. The trade subtracts Arizona’s top two prospects, but given their lack of success the past several years, they have turned high draft picks, and expiring Major League players into prospects. Those prospects, coupled with multiple international free agent signings, have collectively created a solid farm system for Arizona, but with a “win now” mentality, there could be more farm hens on their way out. I was fortunate enough to work for The Hillsboro Hops during the 2015 season, which allowed me to get to know six of the top twenty prospects in the system.
Arizona has a significant amount of young arms in their system. With the additions of Zack Greinke, and Shelby Miller, they are looking at a rotation of Greinke, Miller, Corbin, Robbie Ray and a choice between Rubby De La Rosa, Chase Anderson, Zack Godley, and Josh Collmenter. That doesn’t leave much room for some of Arizona’s pitching prospects to burst onto the scene, but that could be a blessing in disguise as it allows those pitching prospects to mature in the minors.
Arizona’s hitting prospects are a bit lite, especially when comparing them to teams such as The Cubs and Rockies who have a bevy of hitting prospects. However, they do have a few impact bats that might make an impact in the desert this upcoming season.
As with all the lists we will be putting out, the rankings are based upon in-person evaluations, video evaluations, extensive readings of other scouting reports, and conversations with scouts.
20) Jimmie Sherfy – RHP
Date of Birth: December 27, 1991
Height/Weight: 6’0”/175 lbs.
Acquired: Drafted 10th round in 2013
Fortunately, I attended The University of Oregon while Sherfy was pitching for The Ducks and boy was he electric. When he would enter a game everyone in the stadium knew the fastball (95-97 mph with big movement) was coming, and he would still blow it by hitters. He complements that plus fastball with an above average slider that has the potential to be a Major League strike out pitch. He has some feel for his changeup, but if he remains as a late inning reliever he may not need it often.
He racked up 40 saves in 2012 and 2013 at Oregon and continued to have success in pro ball as he reached Double-A during his first full season. What will hinder Sherfy is his lack of command, which is illustrated in his 5.1 walk per nine rate in 44 games during the 2015 season. Couple that rate with giving up 50 hits in 49.2 innings and you get a 6.52 ERA, which is certainly not the numbers he enjoyed at Oregon. Sherfy’s plus stuff, despite the command issues, still make him a future late inning option for The Dbacks as early as 2016 and if he can sharpen his command a bit he has future All-Star caliber closer potential.
19) Stryker Trahan – C
Date of Birth: April 25, 1994
Height/Weight: 6’0”/232 lbs.
Acquired: Drafted 1st round (26th) in 2012
With the 26th pick in the 2012 draft, Arizona decided to take a chance on a High School bat out of Lafayette, LA. Stryker Trahan is every bit of 232 pounds as I saw him personally when he was on a rehab assignment at Hillsboro. Trahan has had a bit of an uncommon path, as he was drafted catcher, moved to the outfield so he could develop his bat, and now he is back at catcher. Time will tell whether he can stay back behind the dish, but if he can, his bat certainly profiles well there. Trahan’s size and strength point to him possibly being able to stay at the position.
Trahan’s best tool is his power, specifically his raw power, which he tapped in to during the 2015 season hitting a total of 17 home runs in 373 at bats. If Trahan can continue to work on his swing in order to improve his contact rate then he may be able to tap into more of his raw power. Trahan has more work to do behind the plate before he can be tagged as a future catcher, but the bat will allow him to crack a big league roster. Whether he stays in The Major Leagues or becomes a quad-A player, will depend on how much power he can produce.
18) Sergio Alcantara – SS/2B
Date of Birth: July 10, 1996
Height/Weight: 5’9”/168 lbs.
Acquired: Signed during 2012 signing period (International)
Sergio Alcantara is another Arizona prospect with a bit of an uncommon path to professional baseball. He was signed in 2012 and skipped the Dominican Summer League, which is an impressive feat considering he hadn’t even had his 17th birthday yet. Having seen him play all year at Hillsboro, he is as advertised. He is a plus defender with quick hands and great feet work and has an absolute cannon in his right arm. The joke with Alcantara is that if he fails to hit, then The Dbacks should put him on the mound.
What also stood out over the summer is his ability to recognize pitches and be patient at the plate. Considering he is only 19 years old, an advanced approach is very promising to see in that young of a player. Alcantara will need to mature physically to add strength, but with a premier arm and the glove to field a premium position, he may not need to develop much offensively to be a Major League defensive-oriented regular at shortstop. It will be fun to see if he has added any muscle when he arrives at Spring Training.
17) Marcus Wilson – OF
Date of Birth: August 15, 1996
Height/Weight: 6’3”/175 lbs.
Acquired: Drafted 2nd round in 2014
Taken in the Competitive Balance Round B in the 2014 draft, Marcus Wilson is the definition of a prospect. He is a very raw, young player, but his 6’3” athletic frame screams projection to scouts. He would be higher on this list had he not struggled during his pro debut, specifically with strikeouts, but growing pains can be expected during the firs year of pro ball. His lengthy swing could be a cause of his strikeout troubles, and there are improves he could make to shorten it, whether that be a timing mechanism or a readjustment of his hands, but given his age it might be beneficial to let him work through some struggles.
He profiles as an above average runner, which should translate to a threat on the bases and a strong glove in center field. He is for sure a couple years away from contributing to a Major League team, but he has a good amount of tools that have the potential to make him a solid everyday player.
Dawel Lugo, who signed with Toronto, was tabbed as one of the best hitters in the 2011 international signing period. The Dbacks must have liked what saw in Lugo because they traded for him in summer of 2015 in exchange for Cliff Pennington. Lugo maintains an aggressive approach at the plate, but is still able to keep his strikeout total down, which makes me a bit unique. He creates good bat speed and has some raw power considering his smaller frame, which could produce solid home run totals from the middle infield position.
Lugo possesses a strong arm, but has limited range that may hinder him from staying at shortstop long term. Lugo has the underlying tools, such as arm strength and bat speed, that make him an intriguing prospect, but those tools haven’t been tested in higher levels of professional pitching. He holds some promise since he is still very young and could develop some pop, which would add value to a Major League team, whether that is at shortstop, or third base. However, he will probably start 2016 in A+ or AA, which would put an arrival date around 2017-2018 if he continues to improve his skills.