Join Today! Become A Baseball America Insider
Use the options to filter your search.
Bauer earned all-state honors as a junior at Hart High (Newhall, Calif.) before deciding to tackle a bigger challenge, graduating in December of his senior year and enrolling early at UCLA. He immediately became the Bruins' best pitcher, going 34-8, 2.36 in three seasons and setting school records for career wins, strikeouts (460) and innings (373). He led NCAA Division I in strikeouts in both 2010 and 2011, breaking Mark Prior's Pacific-10 Conference record with 203 last spring. Bauer won both Baseball America's College Player of the Year award and USA Baseball's Golden Spikes Award in 2011. He and Gerrit Cole became the second pair of teammates ever to go in the first three picks in a draft, with the Pirates selecting Cole No. 1 overall and the Diamondbacks taking Bauer at No. 3. Bauer became the first of the 2011's draft elite prospects to sign, agreeing to a four-year major league contract in July. The deal includes a $3.4 million bonus and $4.45 million in guarantees, and he could earn as much as $7 million if he quickly reaches the majors to stay. He's expected to do just that, needing just three starts at high Class A Visalia to earn a promotion to Double-A Mobile. He looked a little tired at times with the BayBears, but he tossed five innings of one-run ball to clinch the Southern League championship. Bauer takes an unconventional approach to pitching, studying advanced concepts like biomechanics, effective velocity and pitch tunneling. He has a tremendous work ethic and a drive to succeed. He adheres to an extreme long-toss regimen, throwing at distances up to 400 feet, and works out with rubber tubes before and during his starts. Bauer has drawn a lot of attention for his unorthodox style, sometimes overshadowing the quality of his stuff. He generates 92-98 mph fastballs with extreme torque, not unlike Tim Lincecum, and usually sits at 94-95. His best pitch is his plus-plus curveball, a 12-to-6 downer that plays off the plane of his fastball. He has an extremely deep repertoire that features a plus slider, an above-average changeup and a solid splitter. He's also working on a pitch that he calls "The Bird," a zone-crossing slurve that he's making up as he goes along. Though he's not physically imposing, Bauer has conditioned himself to handle heavy workloads and completed his last nine starts for UCLA. He generally throws strikes but can be more efficient with his pitch counts, something that should happen once he become less conscious about piling up strikeouts. He puts considerable effort into each pitch, though he has a loose arm and a very efficient delivery that adds deception. Arizona signed Bauer before the Aug. 15 deadline with the thought he could contribute in September or the playoffs, but decided to shut him down after the Southern League postseason. He'll report to big league camp with a legitimate chance to earn a spot in the big league rotation, if not on Opening Day then quite likely by the second half of the season. He not only has top-of-the-rotation potential, but his approach is so revolutionary that his success in the majors could cause teams to rethink how they condition and develop young pitchers.
The Diamondbacks received the No. 7 overall choice in the 2011 draft for failing to sign 2010 first-rounder Barret Loux. Instead of going conservative with an unprotected pick, they went for Bradley, who had extra leverage as an Oklahoma quarterback recruit. He beat Owasso, then the nation's top-ranked team, in the Oklahoma state 6-A championship game with a 14-strikeout, two-hit shutout while hitting 101 mph on the scoreboard radar gun. He signed at the Aug. 15 deadline for $5 million, a franchise record for a drafted pitcher. Bradley was the talk of Arizona's instructional league camp, with scouts from other organizations using terms such as "spectacular" and "the real deal." Bradley usually throws his fastball at 92-98 mph, operating on an excellent downhill plane and with heavy life. His power curveball, which arrives at 82-85 mph, can be just as overpowering. He's still developing a changeup after not needing one in high school, but it projects to be at least an average pitch. He's athletic and repeats his clean delivery well. Like fellow 2011 first-rounder Trevor Bauer, Bradley has No. 1-starter potential and should move quickly through the minors. After making two brief appearances last September, he'll get his first real taste of pro ball at low Class A South Bend to start 2012.
The Diamondbacks wanted Skaggs with the 41st overall choice in the 2009 draft, but the Angels took him one pick earlier and signed him for $1 million. Arizona finally got its man in July 2010, when he was the key piece in a four-player package Los Angeles gave up for Dan Haren. In his first full year in the system, Skaggs rated as the No. 1 prospect in the high Class A California League and was named Diamondbacks minor league pitcher of the year. Skaggs' money pitch is his 12-to-6 curveball with late, sharp break that's a true swing-and-miss pitch. He sets it up by moving his lively 88-93 mph fastball around the strike zone. His fastball velocity increased in 2011, sitting in the low 90s more consistently, and he may add more as he fills out his projectable frame. His changeup is at least an average pitch, a 78-82 mph offering that sinks below the zone with a side-to-side curl. Skaggs repeats his delivery well and throws strikes. He has great poise on the mound and is a fierce competitor. Originally projected as a No. 3 starter, Skaggs has revised that outlook and now looks like he can pitch at the front of a rotation. He handled Double-A so easily that he'll probably open 2012 at Triple-A Reno as a 20-year-old.
For the second straight season, Davidson had to share third base with fellow 2009 premium pick Bobby Borchering. The recipient of a $900,000 bonus, Davidson struggled in high Class A at the end of 2010 but drove in 106 runs and improved his defense when he returned to Visalia in 2011. He moved up to Double-A for the Southern League championship series and homered in the clincher. Davidson has strong, quick hands that give him power to all fields. He's a very consistent hitter with a good approach at the plate, so his strikeout totals should come down as he matures. He handles secondary pitches well but can get beat by good fastballs on the inner half. While Davidson never will be known for his defense, he should be able to handle third base. He doesn't have much range and needs to improve his consistency, but he has soft hands and a strong arm. He's a below-average runner. The system's top position prospect, Davidson will head back to Mobile in 2012 and should reach the majors the following season. He won't have to spend any more time at first base or DH now that Borchering is moving to the outfield. He projects as a No. 4 or 5 hitter in a big league lineup.
The No. 17 overall pick in the 2009 draft, Pollock signed for $1.4 million and missed all of his first full pro season after fracturing a growth plate in his throwing elbow during a spring-training drill. He looked as good as ever when he returned in 2011, leading the Southern League in runs (103) and hits (169) while helping Mobile to the championship. Pollock's total package is greater than the sum of its parts. First and foremost, he's a blue-collar player with great makeup and excellent instincts in all phases of the game. He's a line-drive, gap-to-gap hitter who squares balls up consistently and produces lots of doubles. He could develop 15-homer power once he gets stronger. He makes contact so easily that it hampers his ability to draw walks. Though he has just average speed, Pollock is the system's best baserunner and stole 36 bases in 43 tries in 2011. He's solid defensively at all three outfield positions, making good reads in center field and displaying an average arm. Pollock is ready for a move to Triple-A in 2012 and could fill a need at the big league level at some point in the season. Though some scouts see him as a fourth outfielder because he isn't loaded with plus tools, the Diamondbacks envision him becoming a solid regular.
The Diamondbacks would have been more than satisfied with their July 2010 trade of Edwin Jackson to the White Sox if they had acquired only Daniel Hudson in return. But they got another potential future starter in Holmberg, who made a smashing fullseason debut in 2011. He improved his velocity while maintaining his command, which managers rated as the best in the low Class A Midwest League. Holmberg stands out for his poise and pitchability. After his fastball topped out around 90 mph in his first two pro seasons, he worked at 88-93 mph in 2011. He can locate his fastball to either side of the plate with good sink. He also firmed up his cutter/slider, though his solid-to-plus changeup remains his plus pitch. Holmberg also has a curveball that has the potential to become an average pitch. He repeats his delivery well, giving him plus command that helps his pitches play up. He had a doughy body in the past, but now he's in better shape and built for durability. Holmberg struggled when he got to the hitter-friendly California League last July, so he'll repeat high Class A to open 2012. He's still on course to reach Double-A before he turns 21 and to eventually become a No. 3 starter.
Most of the Diamondbacks' best position prospects are products of the 2009 draft, in which Owings went 41st overall and signed for $950,000. He missed the second half of 2010 after coming down with plantar fascitis, inflammation on the bottom of both his feet. He struggled in 2011 as a 19-year-old in high Class A, ending the season in a 12-for- 73 (.164) slump that included 19 strikeouts. Owings has the quickest bat for his system and is strong for his size, giving him surprising power that could produce 15 homers per season. His difficulties come at the plate because he lacks patience and doesn't recognize pitches well. He tends to look for fastballs and often chases breaking balls out of the zone. He has slightly above-average speed and runs the bases well. Owings has the tools to be an above-average defender at shortstop. He has solid range and a plus arm, though he needs to improve his focus after committing 32 errors in 117 games at Visalia. Owings will need at least two more years in the minors, but he's still just 20 and projects as a future middle-infield starter in Arizona. Though he might benefit from repeating high Class A, the Diamondbacks plan to send him to Double- A with other members of his draft class.
A supplemental first-round pick who signed for $887,000 in 2008, Miley struggled in his first 1½ pro seasons. After improving his conditioning, he was the system's most improved player in 2010 and continued on that path in 2011. He jumped from Double- A to the majors, going 4-2 in seven starts as the Diamondbacks overtook the Giants for the National League West title in September. Miley throws his fastball, which ranges from 88-94 mph and sits at 91-92, at an angle that makes it tough on hitters. His fastball command can be an issue at times but has improved. He has three effective secondary pitches, though they sometimes lack consistency. His changeup is a plus pitch at times but he doesn't always use it enough. He throws two breaking pitches, with his slider better than his curveball, and both can get slurvy. He does the little things well, such as handling the bat, fielding his position and holding runners on base. Miley profiles as a back-of-the-rotation starter with his four-pitch mix, and he'll contend for a starting job in spring training. Arizona has more talented arms coming up behind him, so he'll likely get pushed to a swingman or middle-relief role in the future.
One of the better athletes in the system, Corbin played both baseball and basketball at Mohawk Valley (N.Y.) CC before transferring to Chipola (Fla.) JC in 2009. The Angels drafted him in the second round that June, then sent him to the Diamondbacks in the Dan Haren trade 13 months later. Part of Mobile's 2011 championship club, he led the Southern League in innings (160) and strikeouts (142). Like fellow lefties Tyler Skaggs and David Holmberg, Corbin experienced a bump in fastball velocity in 2011. His heater now ranges from 89-94 mph and usually operates at 90-92. He's still very lanky and could gain more speed as he gets stronger. He throws with terrific angle to the plate and his three-quarters delivery also creates nice downward plane. Both of Corbin's secondary pitches have the potential to become plus offerings, with his changeup more consistent than his late-breaking slider. The biggest quibbles scouts have are with his arm action and slight build, but he has been durable and fills the strike zone. His athleticism helps him field his position well and control the running game. Corbin will move to Triple-A in 2012 and be in line for a promotion if there's an opening at the major league level. He projects as a No. 4 starter.
Borchering was the 16th overall pick in the 2009 draft, one of five players selected by the Diamondbacks before the second round. Signed for $1.8 million, he has as much raw power as anyone in the system and showed it by hitting 24 homers in high Class A at age 20 last season. He swung at a lot of pitches out of the zone early in the year but started to make adjustments and lay off offspeed pitches in the dirt. A switch-hitter, Borchering is equally effective from both sides of the plate. His propensity for striking out likely will preclude him from hitting for a high average, and he has batted just .266 in three pro seasons. Borchering entered pro ball as a third baseman, as did 2009 sandwich pick Matt Davidson, and they had to share time at both infield corners in the last two seasons. Borchering never showed much progress in the infield--one scout declared him "allergic to leather"--and Arizona finally moved him to left field during instructional league. He's a below-average runner with fringy arm strength, but he has enough athleticism to get the job done in the outfield. How he fares in Double-A against more challenging pitching this year will be telling.
The highest-drafted pitcher in Coastal Carolina history--and third-highest draftee ever, behind big leaguers Kirt Manwaring and Mickey Brantley--Meo enhanced his already-strong stock with the final two outings of his college career. He threw the first no-hitter in Big South Conference tournament history, striking out nine in as many innings against Radford, then beat Connecticut and eventual Red Sox first-rounder Matt Barnes in the NCAA regionals. The Diamondbacks stocked up on power arms in the 2011 draft and were delighted to get Meo in the second round, where they signed him at the Aug. 15 deadline for a slightly above-slot $625,000. His best pitch is a 91-98 mph fastball. He also has a solid changeup and a slider that lacks consistency but plays nicely off his fastball. Meo employs a unique, deceptive delivery that makes it hard for righthanders to pick up the ball. He throws with a lot of effort, but his pitches get on the batter quickly and he has no problem throwing strikes. Some scouts believe his mechanics will fit better in a relief role. The Diamondbacks will develop Meo as a starter with No. 3 upside, but he also has the potential to be a closer. If they want to challenge him, he could see high Class A at some point during his first full pro season.
Eaton has made a career of exceeding expectations and he hasn't stopped since signing for $35,000 as a 19th-round college senior in 2010. He won the Rookie-level Pioneer League batting title (.385) in his pro debut and reached Double-A midway through his first full pro season. The undersized gamer has a career .340 average in the minors and kept hitting in the Arizona Fall League after the season, batting .344/.410/.475. Eaton is a line-drive hitter with enough power to hit 10-15 homers per year. He has a somewhat unorthodox style, with one scout likening it to a Japanese approach in which he gets an early jump out of the batters box. He makes consistent contact, drawing nearly as many walks as strikeouts. His biggest drawback at the plate is his struggles against lefthanders, who held him to .263/.386/.331 numbers last season and eventually may relegate him to a platoon role. Eaton has plus speed and knows how to use it to create havoc on the bases. He can play all three outfield positions, with solid range in center and above-average range on the corners, and he has the strongest outfield arm in the system. Some scouts still see Eaton as a fourth outfielder, but his doubters are diminishing. He may start 2012 in Triple-A and could finish the season in Arizona.
Chafin bounced back from missing all of 2010 following Tommy John surgery to become the fourth Kent State pitcher (after big leaguers Dustin Hermanson, Travis Miller and John Van Benschoten) to go in the first or sandwich round of the draft. After handing Brewers first-rounder Taylor Jungmann his first loss of the season in an NCAA regional playoff, Chafin went 43rd overall in June and signed at the deadline for $875,000. His pro debut consisted of one scoreless inning in the Rookie-level Arizona League, where he struck out two batters but yielded a double off the left-field fence to Cubs first-rounder Javier Baez. Chafin's fastball ranged from 90-95 mph during the college season, though he tired late and worked 88-92 mph during instructional league. He commands his fastball well to both sides of the plate, but his best pitch is a slider that can be unhittable at times. He also has an average changeup that he honed when he was unable to throw a breaking ball during his rehab. Chafin gets nice angle on his pitches, though some scouts worry about his choppy mechanics with a funky finish. He has been described as having a starter's repertoire with a reliever's delivery. The Diamondbacks will develop him as a starter but could be tempted to expedite him to the majors as a late-inning reliever. They'll send him to one of their Class A affiliates to begin 2012.
Broxton turned down a football scholarship to play wide receiver at Florida Atlantic in order to play baseball at Santa Fe (Fla.) CC before the Diamondbacks picked him in the third round in 2009. He's extremely athletic and possesses the best set of tools in the system. He's still a long way from proving that he'll be able to hit quality pitching, though he did show improvement in the second half last year, when he batted .272/.373/.407 in high Class A. Broxton has above-average raw power and speed, but he doesn't make enough consistent contact to get the most out of them. He gets beat by offspeed pitches and struggles to control the strike zone. Broxton excels more on defense and could play center field in the big leagues right now. His speed allows him to chase down balls deep in the gaps, and he also gets good jumps and takes sound routes. His arm gives him yet another plus tool. Though the jury is still out on whether Broxton can turn his physical gifts into production at the plate, the sky's the limit if he eventually figures things out. He'll get his first taste of Double-A this year.
Marshall started 2010 in Kansas State's rotation before finding his niche as the Wildcats' set-up man. Placing an increased emphasis on their bullpen, the Diamondbacks popped Marshall in the fourth round last June and signed him for $232,500. He concluded a spectacular pro debut by saving the championship clincher in Southern League playoffs, striking out three of the five batters he faced. Marshall pitches with a maximum-effort delivery, throwing hitters off because he flies open so quickly. As one scout said, "He does a lot of things wrong but it works for him." Marshall attacks opponents with a 91-96 mph fastball and an 82-86 mph curveball. His curve has so much quick bite that it resembles a slider. His 82-84 mph changeup has late dive and mimics his fastball. His changeup wasn't very reliable in college but looked better in his pro debut. Marshall is wired to be a late-inning reliever and will move quickly, perhaps even reaching the big leagues at some point in 2012.
Krauss hit .302/.372/.504 in his first two pro seasons, propelling him to a No. 5 ranking on this list a year ago. But a subpar year in Double-A, along with concerns about his bat speed and athleticism, have dropped his stock. He hit just .242 at Mobile and looked stiff in the batter's box. He has above-average on-base skills and raw power, but scouts worry that he won't hit consistently enough or catch up to good fastballs. After handling lefthanders well in the past, he hit just .219/.308/.344 against them in 2011. Krauss has gone from looking like a potential No. 5 hitter a year earlier to perhaps no more than a platoon player now. That's a worry for a thick-bodied guy with below-average speed who has to rely on his bat to carry him. Though he's a little better with the glove than he usually gets credit for, he's limited to left field. He also has seen time in right, where he's passable despite a fringy arm. Krauss will get a chance to get back on track in 2012 when he moves to the more hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
When Matt Purke had shoulder problems, Winkler replaced him as Texas Christian's ace last year and went 8-2, 1.39 for the Horned Frogs. Though he's a sub-6-foot righthander, he showed enough stuff to warrant discussion as a late first-round pick. That ended when he came down with arm problems right before the draft, causing him to drop all the way to the 10th round. He was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his elbow and had surgery in July before signing for $240,000 a month later. When healthy, Winkler has frontline- starter stuff. He can get hitters out with a 91-96 mph fastball with heavy life down in the zone or with his slider. He can run his slider up to 87 mph but it has better break in the low 80s, and some scouts preferred the hard curveball he threw in high school. He also throws a changeup, but it's too firm in the mid-80s and not as effective as his other offerings. Winkler's delivery offers some deception and he throws without too much effort. He's extremely competitive, and his size and medical history may lead to a future in the bullpen. He was still rehabbing his elbow in the fall and wasn't ready to pitch during instructional league.
Wheeler was a college first baseman when the Diamondbacks drafted him in the fifth round in 2009, and he won their minor league player of the year award in his pro debut. Afterward, he moved across the diamond to third base and didn't make the same offensive impact in 2010. He got his bat going again in Double-A last year, using his strong wrists and the leverage in his swing to serve as Mobile's second-most dangerous hitter, after Paul Goldschmidt. Wheeler was the BayBears' top hitter in the playoffs as they won the Southern League championship. His bat looked quicker in 2011 and he did a better job of catching up with good fastballs. He projects as a solid hitter with average power. That would be enough to become a major league regular at third base, but the question is whether Wheeler can stay there. Though he has enough arm strength for the hot corner, his range is below average and he's erratic. He probably won't dislodge Goldschmidt at first base, so his value may come as a corner utility player. A well below-average runner, he has played briefly in left field as a pro. Following a strong performance in the Arizona Fall League, Wheeler will head to Triple-A.
Munson posted a 1.59 ERA in his 2010 pro debut, handling the transition so easily that the Diamondbacks thought he had a chance to be a big league contributor as early as 2012. That ETA seemed optimistic after he struggled with his command and control for most of last year in high Class A, though he finished with a strong final month after learning to trust his fastball. James Madison recruited Munson as a catcher and righthander, but quickly realized his arm strength would serve him best on the mound. He works mainly off his fastball, which operates at 91-95 mph and has good sink. His other pitch is a 79-83 mph slider that some scouts say looks more like a cutter. Munson walked nearly a batter per inning in the first four months of last season, and he doesn't have a history of filling the strike zone. His delivery is partly to blame, as he has a short arm action and lands on a stiff front leg, though it also provides deception. He threw strikes in August and in the Arizona Fall League, so he might have turned a corner. Munson likely will return to Double-A after finishing 2011 there. If he can continue to harness his fastball, he still could be in line for a callup at some point this year.
Since signing Ortega at the age of 17 in 2004, the Diamondbacks have been waiting patiently for the hard-throwing Dominican Republic native to harness an arm that ranks among the livest in the system. In his first two seasons in the United States, he put up 6.40 and 6.87 ERAs. He led Arizona farmhands with 33 saves in 2010, earning a spot on the 40-man roster, and while he wasn't as consistent last season, he averaged a career-high 12.0 strikeouts per nine innings. Ortega can blow hitters away with a 94-98 mph fastball. He also shows the makings of a plus splitter and can get swings and misses with his low-80s slider. He still has trouble commanding his pitches, however, and doesn't have much feel for his slider. There's a quality late-inning reliever in there, waiting to come out, if Ortega can build on the strides he made late in 2011. He limited Double-A hitters to a .115 average following a late-July promotion, though he had trouble finding the strike zone. Ortega will return to Mobile this season and he'll move quickly if he can start putting his pitches where he wants.
Brewer won three Arizona state 4-A championships at Chaparral High in the Phoenix suburbs before heading to UCLA, where he pitched with Trevor Bauer in 2009. The Diamondbacks brought Brewer back home that June, drafting him in the 12th round and signing him for $50,000. He has had little difficulty in pro ball, going 23-11, 2.45 overall and pitching well in Double-A last year. A line drive broke his pitching hand in June, but he returned at the end of the regular season and won the clinching game of the Southern League semifinals. Brewer has a prototypical pitcher's body and good arm action. He locates his 88-93 mph fastball well and backs it up with a 74-78 curveball that features nice depth. He also throws an effective changeup and flashes a slider with good tilt that he didn't use much in 2011. Brewer doesn't blow batters away, instead keeping them off balance by commanding and mixing his pitches. He doesn't have a true out pitch, which ultimately may lead him to the bullpen. So far, he's done nothing to suggest that he can't be a good No. 4 starter. After getting roughed up in the Arizona Fall League, Brewer probably will open 2012 back in Mobile.
The Diamondbacks swayed Linton from a North Carolina football scholarship to play safety just before the 2010 signing deadline with a $1.25 million bonus, knowing he was an extremely raw if talented athlete. He got just one plate appearance at Rookie-level Missoula that summer, then returned there in 2011 after beginning the year in extended spring training. He missed nearly half of the schedule with a variety of minor injuries, making it a frustrating season and difficult to evaluate his progress. Linton had a reputation for hitting off his front foot in high school, but he did a better job of staying back and driving the ball with authority in his first real taste of pro ball. However, he swung and missed too frequently, striking out in 36 percent of his plate appearances. His bat speed, raw power and foot speed all rate as above average, though it remains to be seen if he can maximize them. Linton may lack the arm strength to play anywhere but left field, so he'll have to hit. One scout commented that he still looks like a football player learning to play baseball. At this point, his main concern is to get at-bats against higher-tier pitching. Linton still isn't ready for full-season ball, so he'll open 2012 in extended spring training and report to short-season Yakima in June.
Another product of Arizona's deep 2009 draft, Nick switched from shortstop to second base after coming out of the Cypress (Calif.) High program that has produced four big leaguers and recent top-10 picks Scott Moore (Tigers, 2002) and Josh Vitters (Cubs, 2007). Nick has been overshadowed by the six position players the Diamondbacks selected ahead of him, but he put himself on the prospect map with a strong season in high Class A last year. He's a hard-nosed kid who wants to be good. He's an aggressive hitter who puts the ball in play, drilling line drives and providing good pop for a middle infielder. His on-base skills and his speed are both fringy. Nick is a steady defender who makes the routine play and turns the double play well. He has cleaned up his arm stroke, but his arm strength limits him to second base and prevents him from playing on the left side of the infield in a utility role. Nick's best attribute is his makeup, which is off the chart. Ticketed for Double-A in 2012, he'll have to continue to overachieve to make it to the big leagues.
A 2011 fifth-round pick who signed for $235,000, Perez attracted the Diamondbacks because he's a lefthanded-hitting catcher with offensive potential. He signed in August and played in just seven pro games last summer, though he smashed a long home run to center field in his first at-bat. Perez has a short, fast stroke that gives him the chance to hit for average with at least average power. If his 10 strikeouts in 23 pro at-bats are any indication, he'll need some time to develop. That's true of his defense as well because Perez is relatively new to catching. He gave up 13 steals and two passed balls in five games behind the plate in the Arizona Fall League. He has solid arm strength but his receiving is still a work in progress. Perez isn't very big, so there are some concerns as to how well he'll be able to handle the workload of a catcher. He's not close to ready for full-season ball and probably will spend 2012 at Missoula.
The Diamondbacks gave Green an above-slot $750,000 bonus just before the 2010 signing deadline, luring him away from a commitment to Texas Christian, where he would have been a two-way player. He didn't pitch in the minors that summer but showed enough in spring training to earn a full-season assignment to low Class A at age 19. He went 2-0, 2.95 in his first nine outings before tailing off, going 4-8, 6.17 in his final 17 starts. Green has a live, quick arm that generates 87-95 mph fastballs, though he has a tough time throwing them for strikes. His second-best pitch is a fringy 12-to-6 curveball that generates swings and misses when it's on. He also has a slider and changeup, but both are below-average pitches at this point. Green has a deceptive delivery from a higher arm slot and pitches with some effort, costing him some control and command. He can stay in the rotation and possibly become a No. 3 or 4 starter if his secondary pitches develop, though his future may be brighter as a hard-throwing reliever. He'll remain in the rotation this year in high Class A.
After spending his first two college seasons at Sacramento State, Darrah set a Fresno Pacific record for strikeouts (101 in 89 innings) last spring. The Diamondbacks made him the first NAIA pitcher selected in the 2011 draft, grabbing him in the eighth round and signing him for $105,000. He continued to miss bats in his pro debut, averaging 10.3 whiffs per nine innings at Missoula. With a strong body and some effort in his delivery, Darrah throws a 90-94 mph fastball. His best secondary pitch is a changeup that he throws with the same release point and arm speed as his heater. His curveball is a plus pitch at times, and he also has a fringy slider that's really just a variation of his curve that he can throw for strikes more easily. Darrah pitches from a high three-quarters slot and repeats his mechanics well. Arizona believes he was a good value pick in a draft in which they loaded up on arms. He projects as a back-of-the-rotation starter and will make the jump to low Class A in 2012.
One of just five West Virginia high school players ever selected in the first two rounds of the draft, Bradley has shown his inexperience and lack of pitchability since signing for $643,500 in 2010. Despite his uneven pro debut, the Diamondbacks assigned him to low Class A at age 18 last year, and he continued to lack consistency. Bradley projects to have an average fastball and currently pitches at 88-92 mph on a downhill plane with nice sink. He developed a changeup last year that could eventually become his best pitch. He throws both a curveball and slider, but neither is special and they often morph into an ineffective slurve. Bradley throws strikes but doesn't always command his stuff, getting into trouble when he elevates his fastball. He has an athletic frame that could put on more weight, which would give his fastball more velocity. Bradley looked like no more than a No. 4 starter last season, but he'll still be just 19 when the 2012 season begins. He may repeat low Class A in an attempt to find him some success.
Originally drafted by the Mariners in the fifth round in 2008 and traded a year later to the Pirates as part of a five-player package for Ian Snell and Jack Wilson, Lorin is on the move again after the Diamondbacks took him in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft in December. After missing the first half of the 2010 season with a hip injury, he bounced back to rank third in ERA (2.84) and WHIP (1.04) in the high Class A Florida State League last year. At 6-foot-7 and 245 pounds, Lorin has the look of a power pitcher but instead is all about finesse. His best attribute is his command of his fastball, which ranges form 87-91 mph and touches 94. He pitches from a low slot and with a long arm action, drawing comparisons to Kameron Loe, but his arm slot keeps him from using his height to generate more velocity. Lorin has good feel for his average changeup, and his slider showed improvement last year. With the pitching depth in the Diamondbacks system, Lorin faces an uphill battle to make the roster out of spring training. If he doesn't, Arizona will have to expose him to waivers and offer him back to Pittsburgh. His best bet is to prove his worth as a long reliever and spot starter. He's effective against righthanders and keeps the ball on the ground, a trait that will help him at hitterfriendly Chase Field.
Pedrotty didn't pitch much at Portsmouth (R.I.), where he was a teammate of former Red Sox No. 1 prospect Ryan Westmoreland. After pitching ineffectively in his first two years at Holy Cross, Pedrotty emerged as the top starter for the Crusaders in 2011. The Diamondbacks signed him for $70,000 as a 13th-round pick and were pleasantly surprised with what they saw in his pro debut. Pedrotty has a loose arm and a smooth delivery with some deception. He pounds the strike zone and gets some swings and misses with his sinking 88-92 mph fastball. He has a reliable changeup, and he can locate his fringy curveball and slider where he wants. Pedrotty has a chance to be a back-of-the-rotation starter if his breaking pitches develop. He'll spend his first full pro season in low Class A.
The Diamondbacks signed Brito out of the Dominican Republic for $190,000 in February 2010, then voided the deal and re-signed him for $90,000 when he failed a steroid test two months later. After serving a 50-game suspension, Brito saw his first pro action in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League in 2010 before making his U.S. debut last year. His game mentality quickly made him a favorite of coaches and scouts in the Arizona League. Brito, who has drawn comparisons to Garret Anderson, has a rocksolid physique with room to get stronger. He shows a lot of power during batting practice and should have more pop in games once he gets his upper and lower halves working more in sync. Brito has slightly above-average speed and is still refining his basestealing skills. He has played all three outfield spots and probably fits best in right field. He has a strong arm that's still a touch inaccurate. He'll still be only 19 this year, which he'll begin in extended spring training before heading to Missoula or Yakima in June.
In order to access this exclusive content you must have a Baseball America Account.
Login or sign up