See also: Baseball America updated all its prospect rankings for subscribers in August.
When the season began, the D-backs did not know what to expect from outfielder Corbin Carroll.
Would he return at full strength from major shoulder surgery? Would the injury nag at him? Would there be certain swings that might bother him? Would he look rusty after so much downtime?
Would he struggle with the jump to Double-A in light of having just 49 games of experience since being drafted 16th overall out of high school in 2019?
As it turned out, Carroll provided the organization with the best possible answers to all of those questions.
He did not just look like his old self—he might have looked even better. Carroll managed to remain healthy, and the 22-year-old had one of the best seasons in the minor leagues.
Carroll hit .307/.425/.611 with 24 home runs, 31 stolen bases, 67 walks and 107 strikeouts in 93 games for Double-A Amarillo and Triple-A Reno. The D-backs called him up on Aug. 29.
“I think everybody expected Corbin to have a good year,” D-backs assistant general manager Amiel Sawdaye said, “but I don’t know that anybody really expected him to come out after missing a full year of at-bats and just never really struggle.”
Carroll maintained a consistent approach at the plate from start to finish. He might have had a few bad games here or there, but he did not have lengthy stretches where he would chase or make poor swing decisions, Sawdaye said.
This season, Carroll managed to generate similarly impressive exit velocities as before he had surgery in May 2021 to repair labrum and capsule tears in his right shoulder. He continued to surprise onlookers with his ability to crush balls from a 5-foot-10, 165-pound frame.
A late-season taste of MLB action should help Carroll compete for the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2023. If he wins ROY it would grant the D-backs a draft pick—and roughly $2 million in bonus pool money—after the first round in 2024.
“We’ve been around a lot of young players who have come up in their first 100 at-bats and really struggled (who then) go on to be very good players,” D-backs general manager Mike Hazen.
“I think there’s a reason for that. And I think the best use those experiences to take their game to a to a different place.”