The Diamondbacks went years without developing so much as an interesting catching prospect, let alone an actual major leaguer. But the 2018 season featured the emergence of not one but two intriguing catchers in their system.
A 20th-round selection in 2017 out of the University of San Francisco, Miroglio hit a combined .306/.366/.427 with four home runs in 97 games He opened the year at high Class A Visalia but beat several prospects drafted ahead of him to Double-A Jackson in August.
The season came on the heels of a strong showing for Rookie-level Missoula in his pro debut. Through two pro seasons in his young career the 23-year-old has hit .309 with an 11 percent strikeout rate.
Miroglio defers credit for his success at the plate to D-backs hitting coordinator Chris Cron, who helped him implement more of a weight transfer in his stance, something Miroglio said has helped add “more punch” to his swing.
“I think my open-mindedness has helped me a lot,” Miroglio said. “I feel like a lot of the adjustments (Cron) has thrown my way have worked and helped me in-game. I think having an open mind and trying new things out has helped.”
Miroglio said he now lifts his front leg and lets it hover in the air as he shifts his weight to his back side.
“It helped my timing, my load, and my hands got quicker,” he said. “It was a simple adjustment. He told me it, I did it, ran with it and—boom.”
Miroglio is well regarded for his receiving and his ability to work with pitchers. His average arm strength is offset by a quick release. He’s an upbeat, high-energy player who earns raves for his makeup.
Miroglio says he still has plenty of room to improve with his receiving, and he said he learned the value of a good approach during his time in Double-A. He finished the regular season on a 2-for-26 skid for Jackson before tearing through the Southern League playoffs, going 15-for-31 (.484) with four extra-base hits.
“The guys who succeed have better pitch selection than the guys who don’t,” Miroglio said. “That’s something you can always work on.”
— Of the five players the D-backs added to the 40-man roster in November, righthander Joel Payamps was perhaps the most surprising. The 24-year-old posted a 2.90 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 90 innings at Double-A Jackson but struggled after a promotion to Triple-A Reno. The organization viewed him as a player who might be targeted by other clubs as a reliever in the Rule 5 draft.