Diamondbacks Midseason Report
Best Player: Paul Goldschmidt
was the high Class A California League player of the year in 2010, and he's in contention for the same honor in the Double-A Southern League this season while leading the league in most offensive categories midway through the season. The 23-year-old Mobile first baseman has a compact yet powerful swing capable of doing damage in any park. He led the league in homers (25), RBIs (75) and OPS (1.065) while hitting .312/.431/.634 in 295 at-bats.
"Goldy has been good since the day we got him," Arizona vice president of scouting/player development Jerry Dipoto said.
"We believed that he was a guy that was going to grind his way through minor league baseball and give himself a chance to be a big leaguer, and he's proven to be far better."
Biggest Leap Forward: Pat Corbin
was the slightly less-heralded of the two minor league lefthanders obtained in the Dan Haren deal with the Angels at the 2010 trade deadline (Tyler Skaggs was the other) and has made a strong leap forward in the system.
Corbin, 22, was third in the Southern League in strikeouts (77) and fifth in innings (86) as the second half began, and he opened June with a stretch in which he had given up one earned run in 272⁄3 innings. His fastball touches the mid 90s and sits in the low 90s, and his breaking stuff has improved so much that he is a reliable strike thrower, with only 18 walks.
Biggest Disappointment: Keon Broxton
had 19 triples and 21 stolen bases at low Class A South Bend last season, his first full year after signing as a third-round pick in 2009, but his athleticism did not translate at high Class A Visalia. Broxton, who turned down a college football offer at Florida Atlantic to sign with Arizona, was hitting .256/.348/.357 at Visalia after starting the season .231/.294/.282 in a month back at South Bend. The 21-year-old was still looking for a hitting approach to make more contact after striking out 172 times last year and 92 times the first half of this year.
• While Collin Cowgill was making the most noise in Triple-A Reno's lineup, fellow outfielder Evan Frey came on strong as well. The 25-year-old hit .367/.442/.478 in June to improve to .324/.415/.438 in 176 at-bats for the season.
• Low Class A South Bend first baseman Yazy Arbelo was batting just .254 in 276 at-bats but was leading the Midwest League in both home runs (20) and RBIs (65). Arbelo, 23, was a 26th-round pick in 2010 from Division III Keystone (Pa.).