D-backs' Bauer Bolts To The Majors
Best Player: Trevor Bauer
was deemed the pitcher closest to the major leagues when the Diamondbacks grabbed the UCLA righthander with the third overall pick in the 2011 draft. His dominating run through two minor league levels proved those evaluations correct when Bauer was promoted to the Diamondbacks in late June.
Bauer, 21, went 11-1, 2.23 in 16 minor league starts between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno with a minor league-leading 116 strikeouts and 48 walks in 93 innings. He features an at-times unhittable multi-pitch mix that begins with a mid-90s fastball and includes a knee-buckling curveball—his second-best pitch. The D-backs had him on a 100-pitch limit, a hindrance to getting deep into games when his walks mounted.
"He gets his strikeouts. He may walk some, but he has swing-and-miss stuff," Diamondbacks farm director Mike Bell said.
Biggest Leap Forward:
Center fielder Alfredo Marte
, signed by super scout Junior Noboa at age 16 out of the Dominican Republic in December 2005, moved gradually through the system before blossoming this season in Double-A, where he was hitting .294/.365/.579. His .945 OPS led the Southern League, and he was tied for second in homers and third in RBIs. The 6-foot, 190-pound Marte has grown into his power. His 14 home runs this season is a career-high. He already has more homers in 2011 than he did in any of his previous four minor league seasons in the U.S., and he also has 19 doubles. He was named MVP of the SL all-star game while going 2-for-2 with a double, a run and an RBI.
"He's always had a good swing and good bat speed," Bell said.
Biggest Disappointment: Keon Broxton
, a third-round pick in 2009 who turned down a football offer, has hit with more power at high Class A Visalia in his third season at the Class A level but continues to struggle with pitch recognition. Broxton, 22, was hitting .239/.311/.384 with eight homers, one more than he had in each of the previous two seasons. But he had 83 strikeouts—and just 26 walks—in 268 at-bats. After 19 triples in 2010, he had seven last year and none so far this season.
• Shortstop Chris Owings was promoted from Visalia to Mobile at midseason after hitting .324/.362/.544 in his second season with the Rawhide. Owings, considered the top shortstop prospect in the organization, tied his season high for homers (11), and with eight stolen bases was two short of his career high set in Visalia in 2011. He was the 41st overall pick in the 2009 draft.
• Lefthander Tyler Skaggs got roughed up in his Triple-A debut, yielding five runs over seven innings against Las Vegas at Reno's hitter-friendly Aces Ballpark. Skaggs earned the call to Reno in late June after going 5-4, 2.84 with 71 strikeouts and 21 walks in 70 innings with Mobile.