Diamondbacks Final Report
Best Player: Paul Goldschmidt
continued his quick rise in the Diamondbacks organization with another powerful season at Double-A Mobile, and anyone still questioning his credentials only needs to check with major league pitchers.
Goldschmidt, who led the minor leagues with 30 home runs and was batting .306/.435/.626 for Mobile when he was called up to Arizona on Aug. 1, hit two of his first three major leagues homers off former Cy Young winners Tim Lincecum and Cliff Lee. The 24-year-old first baseman has a quick bat and can use the whole field, and he has shown an ability to turn around the best fastballs. Teammates have been impressed by his attention to detail and his inquisitiveness upon his arrival in the majors. He had 83 homers in two-plus minor league seasons after being an eighth-round pick out of Texas State in 2009, and he is the team's present and future first baseman, hands down.
The Diamondbacks consummated the Dan Haren 2010 trade deadline deal once lefthander Tyler Skaggs
was included, and it is easy to see why. Skaggs, 20, made his presence felt at two levels and was even more effective at his second stop in Mobile, going 4-1, 2.50 in 10 starts.
Skaggs, a sandwich pick by the Angels in 2010, combines a low-90s fastball with a plus-plus curve that many scouts believe already is a major league pitch. He also has an excellent feel for his third pitch, a changeup, and throws strikes with all three. He had four strikeouts for every walk, 198-49, at high Class A Visalia and Mobile, and limited opponents to a .218 average.
Keep An Eye On:
Second baseman David Nick
took a step forward in his first season at Visalia, batting .300/.342/.449. He finished second in the California League in hits (169) and set career marks in virtually every offensive category with 35 doubles, 13 homers, 68 RBIs and 99 runs as the Rawhide's leadoff man.
Nick, a fourth-round pick in 2009 out of Cypress (Calif.) High, has shown an ability to use the entire field while driving his pitch. He was named to the Cal League postseason all-star team and will play in the prospect-laden Arizona Fall League.
• Triple-A Reno advanced to the postseason for the first time in its three-season existence. Manager Brett Butler has been with the team since it moved from Tucson in 2009. "This means a lot to me," Butler said.
• Outfielder Collin Cowgill, promoted to the parent Diamondbacks in late July, was named the PCL rookie of the year after hitting .354/.430./.554 with 13 homers, 70 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in 98 games.