Vote Now! BA Top 100 Bracket Challenge
Use the options to filter your search.
TRACK RECORD: Varsho, the son of ex-big leaguer Gary Varsho, cemented his status as one of the Diamondbacks' most dynamic prospects last year when he put together one of the better seasons of any hitter at Double-A. In leading the Southern League in OPS, Varsho showed an ability to hit for average and get on base, displayed both power and speed and played well at two positions high on the defensive spectrum. Though he finally began to gain industry-wide recognition in 2019, his production generally fell in line with what he had done throughout his career since being selected 68th overall in the 2017 draft out of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. SCOUTING REPORT: With short arms and a compact swing, Varsho finds the barrel often. He has a mature approach and will take his walks, and he also has good hand-eye skills that allow him to spray the ball to all fields. Even though he hit 18 home runs in 108 games at Double-A Jackson, his power potential generates mixed feelings, with some scouts anticipating 20-plus home runs while others see him merely reaching double digits.He has above-average speed (and not just for a catcher) and is a good baserunner; he became the first backstop at Double-A or Triple-A to steal 20-plus bases since at least 2006. He even runs well enough to hold his own in center field, which he did during a cameo there over the final two weeks of the season. Scouts and executives both inside and outside the organization believe he can be at least an average defensive major league catcher. He is athletic, is a decent receiver, blocks well and compensates for below-average arm strength with a quick transfer that leads to at least average times on throws to second base. D-backs officials were encouraged by Varsho's brief exposure to center field, which came as no surprise given the high marks he receives for his baseball instincts. THE FUTURE: With Carson Kelly's emergence as a potential frontline catcher, the D-backs started to experiment with other paths toward big league atbats for Varsho in August. His outfield experience was limited to center field, but club officials say he also could be exposed to left field and did not rule out the possibility of second base. Varsho is likely to open the year in Triple-A Reno and should give the D-backs the kind of flexibility their front office values.
TRACK RECORD: Following the trade deadline deal that sent Jazz Chisholm to the Marlins, Perdomo took the reins as the D-backs' shortstop of the future. His play earned him such a designation in 2019, a year in which he reached high Class A and put together a solid six weeks in the Arizona Fall League. SCOUTING REPORT: The switch-hitting Perdomo is best known for his mature approach and on-base ability and stayed true to form by finishing last year with more walks than strikeouts. He has good bat speed and bat-to-ball ability, and scouts who watched him in the AFL saw him unload on a handful of balls, giving them reason to dream on potentially average power. Perdomo is an above-average runner whose speed plays up thanks to his instincts. He is a graceful defender with good range, a plus arm and an accurate internal clock. He is a consistent and dependable defender whom scouts have little doubt will stick at short. THE FUTURE: Given his defense, speed and approach, Perdomo is on his way toward being an aboveaverage everyday player. He grew an inch taller from 2018 to 2019 and still has plenty of maturing to do physically. If that leads to more pop, the D-backs could have an all-star.
TRACK RECORD: Robinson received a $2.5 million bonus in 2017 and put his massive skill-set on display in the short-season Northwest League in 2019, dominating against much older competition. Playing the entire season at age 18, he reached low Class A for the final month of the season. SCOUTING REPORT: A physical specimen despite his age, Robinson has a chance for four plus tools, the exception being his arm. At the plate, he uses a simple stride with little movement in his setup followed by a compact swing. The raw power he generates is enormous, and he got to it often in games last season. Scouts are concerned by his strikeout total, but his chase rate is solid and his in-zone whiff rate isn't bad, either. He makes enough hard contact to offset the swing-and-miss in his game. Robinson gets good reads in center field, but scouts expect he will move to a corner once he fills out. He is mature for his age, a hard worker and routine-oriented. He has plus speed and stole bases at an 82 percent clip in Hillsboro. THE FUTURE: Given his loud tools, Robinson arguably has more potential than any player in the D-backs system. If he continues his upward trajectory, he could find himself among baseball's top prospects in short order.
TRACK RECORD: Thomas, the son of White Sox strength coach Allen Thomas, performed well in the low Class A Midwest League in his first full season as a pro and mostly held his own at high Class A Visalia after an August promotion. Fast, instinctual and with a nose for hitting, Thomas capped his season with a walk-off RBI double to give Visalia the California League championship. SCOUTING REPORT: Thomas has a lot of moving parts with his swing, including a big leg kick and active hands before he loads. But he consistently manages to be in the right position and on time when he swings, and he is able to generate hard line drives on all types of pitches. He has an aggressive approach that will lead to strikeouts, but he will also take a walk. Thomas surprises with the power he generates from his undersized frame, but how that will translate in the majors remains a question among scouts, most of whom project 12-15 home run totals. He is a plus runner who could steal 20-plus bases. Thomas gets good reads and will have no trouble sticking in center field. His arm is improving but remains below-average. THE FUTURE: Scouts love the way Thomas plays and compare him with Adam Eaton and Jon Jay. He will likely open 2020 back in Visalia.
TRACK RECORD: The D-backs' front office hasn't shied away from taking undersized position players high in the draft the past few years, and the 5-foot- 10 Carroll became the latest such selection. The club was thrilled a player it had rated in the top 10 of the draft made it to No. 16 overall. Carroll signed for $3.75 million, forgoing his commitment to UCLA. SCOUTING REPORT: Carroll, whose game is similar to fellow D-backs prospect Alek Thomas, described his play as “tools meets gamer.” Scouts and coaches paint a similar picture. Carroll has a fluid swing with which he sprays line drives to all fields. He has surprising average raw power, which he put on display during an impressive batting practice session at Chase Field after he signed. In his pro debut in the Rookie-level Arizona League and short-season Northwest League, he showed some swing-and-miss tendencies but also carried an impressive 15.5 percent walk rate. Carroll is a burner whose plus-plus speed plays on the bases and in center field, where he projects to be a plus defender. He has an accurate but below-average arm. An advanced player for his age, he has good instincts and good baseball acumen. THE FUTURE: Carroll will look to build on his strong pro debut in 2020, beginning at low Class A Kane County.
TRACK RECORD: The D-backs saw a projectable lefthander with plenty of stuff to dream on in Walston and surprised many, including Walston himself, when they selected him 26th overall in the 2019 draft. He signed for $2.45 million to forgo a North Carolina State commitment. Walston made huge strides in his first summer as a pro, adding both strength and velocity. SCOUTING REPORT: In the world of high school pitchers, Walston checks all the boxes when it comes to projectability. He's tall and lanky with room to add strength; he has a clean arm action and delivery; he showed velocity and the ability to spin a breaking ball; and he is an excellent athlete, evidenced by his success as a high school quarterback. While his velocity fluctuated during the spring, he was more consistent after signing, regularly touching 96-97 mph. His plus curveball and average slider tended to bleed together, and some feel he could benefit from settling on one or the other. His changeup is lightly used but showed flashes of being an average pitch. THE FUTURE: Walston excited the Diamondbacks with glimpses of his potential last summer, drawing comparisons to a young Barry Zito. He likely will open the season in extended spring training with a chance to push his way to low Class A Kane County.
TRACK RECORD: Martin reached the majors last season and made five starts for the Astros before being sent back to Triple-A Round Rock in June. Three starts later, he went down with elbow problems that ultimately required Tommy John surgery. The injury will sideline him for most, if not all, of the 2020 season, but it didn't deter the D-backs from acquiring him as part of the four-player package for righthander Zack Greinke at the 2019 trade deadline. SCOUTING REPORT: The surgery will act as a bumper on what had been a fast-track career for Martin, who reached the big leagues less than two years after being drafted. He is a good athlete with clean arm action and a simple, repeatable delivery. Assuming he can get back to what he was, Martin will give the D-backs a polished starter with a four-pitch mix. His fastball sits in the 94-95 mph range, touching 98, and he commands it well to both sides of the plate. His slider and curveball both can be above-average pitches. His slider is more consistent, but when it's on his curveball can be better. His changeup comes in firm but with good armside run. THE FUTURE: Martin's immediate future includes a lot of days rehabbing at Salt River Fields. If all goes well, he will return to game action after the all-star break.
TRACK RECORD: Since signing for $50,000 in 2015, Frias has added size, strength and stuff to develop into one of the more intriguing pitching prospects in the organization. He took steps forward in 2019 by smoothing out his delivery and both refining and adding to his pitch mix, and as a result he reached full-season ball for the first time with low Class A Kane County. SCOUTING REPORT: Frias comes with some reliever risk, but he has the ingredients of a frontline starter. He has a big, physical build, a fastball that reaches the upper 90s and a swing-and-miss breaking ball. He implemented a spike curveball grip in 2019 that made the pitch a plus offering and turned his changeup into more of a splitter, giving him a usable, average third pitch. Frias ironed out his delivery and began to shed his reputation for being erratic. He also kept his weight in check around the mid-230s after ballooning to more than 250 pounds a year ago. THE FUTURE: Frias showed progress in 2019, but he will need to continue to refine his arsenal and show his command and control will play against more advanced hitters. He could be a force in the rotation if it all clicks. Otherwise, his path might lead him to a high-leverage relief role.
TRACK RECORD: The Diamondbacks lean toward conservative when handling high school arms, keeping most at extended spring training their first full season. Kelly was so dominant in spring training he forced his way to low Class A Kane County, where he turned in an overpowering season in the Midwest League. SCOUTING REPORT: Tall and lean, Kelly features a fastball that sits in the mid-90s along with a slider that some believe already is at least an above-average major league pitch. He switched his changeup grip to a splitter, a pitch that better fits his aggressive mindset, but it remains a distant third offering. Kelly has a max-effort delivery—some coaches think he might benefit from not going all-out on every pitch—and only fair command. Those attributes, combined with his still-developing splitter, lead to projections of a possible future in relief. He earns high marks for his makeup and maturity. THE FUTURE: If everything comes together, Kelly could settle into a role as a back-end starter. If not, his slider gives him a go-to weapon that would shine in a late-inning relief role.
TRACK RECORD: Pro ball has not been the smoothest ride for Bukauskas since the Astros selected him 15th overall in 2017. He missed two months with a bulging disk in his back following a car accident in 2018, then struggled to command his pitches in 2019, a year in which he was both traded to the Diamondbacks in the Zack Greinke trade and shut down in August with elbow discomfort. SCOUTING REPORT: There are few questions about Bukauskas' stuff. He has a short arm stroke that produces deception and power and two plus pitches in his his fastball and slider. His fastball, though straight at times, touches the mid-to-upper 90s, and his slider is a true wipeout pitch in the upper 80s with sharp, late tilt. His changeup projects average. Bukauskas was his own worst enemy in 2019, falling behind in counts and putting runners on as his command took a step back from the previous year. He has trouble repeating his delivery and remaining consistent with his release point. THE FUTURE: Bukauskas has the weapons to start if he can clean things up, but most evaluators now view him as a reliever. Still, he could be a difference-maker in a late-inning role.
TRACK RECORD: Duplantier reached the majors in 2019, but he spent the year bouncing not only from Triple-A Reno to Arizona but also from the rotation to the bullpen, where the Diamondbacks primarily used him in the big leagues. He mostly struggled no matter the role or level as his season became a manifestation of the reservations scouts have harbored about him for years. SCOUTING REPORT: Duplantier again battled injuries—this time, shoulder inflammation—and also struggled to maintain his velocity while showing below-average command. For some scouts, both Duplantier's injury and command issues stem from his high-maintenance delivery and long arm action. He spent the final months of the season working to correct those issues with then-Diamondbacks pitching coach Mike Butcher. At his best, Duplantier features a fastball that can touch the mid-90s along with a slider, curveball and changeup that all flash at least average, but consistency eludes him. THE FUTURE: The Diamondbacks hope a more consistent role as a starter in 2020 will allow Duplantier to regain his previous form. His struggles last season led to more questions about whether he is best suited for relief.
TRACK RECORD: Beer is a former elite-level swimmer who chose to focus on baseball at age 13, a decision that has worked out nicely. After mashing his way through the Atlantic Coast Conference at Clemson, he was drafted 28th overall by the Astros in 2018 and hit his way to Double-A in his first full season. The Diamondbacks acquired him midway through the year as part of the Zack Greinke trade. SCOUTING REPORT: Beer's calling card is his bat, but there's far from a consensus on what kind of player he is likely to become. His game includes a blend of hittability, power and a mature approach, but scouts wonder if he does well enough at any of them to be a first-division bat. Since he doesn't run well and is a poor defender—he's a first base-only type with below-average footwork and hands—he's going to have to really mash in order to profile at the position. THE FUTURE: Despite the gaudy numbers, Beer is a divisive player in the industry. Analytically-inclined officials support him, while most traditional scouts remain uncertain, offering comps of modestly productive sluggers like Matt Adams and Allen Craig. Beer is likely to open 2020 back at Double-A Jackson.
TRACK RECORD: A 14th-round senior sign out of Southeastern Louisiana, Green opened eyes during his pro debut in 2018 before breaking out as a prospect in 2019. He led the organization in wins (11) and finished second in ERA (2.71) while advancing to Double-A and was named the Diamondbacks' minor league pitcher of the year. SCOUTING REPORT: Riding a heavy, sinking fastball that harkens back to a different era, Green recorded one of the highest ground-ball rates in the minors. His sinker sits in the low-to-mid 90s, touching 96 at its best. His curveball improved to the point that it might be his best secondary offering ahead of his changeup, as an average pitch. He also has a cutter/slider. Green's secondaries are truly secondary, but he limits walks and homers and is something of a workhorse. He went at least five innings in all 22 of his starts. THE FUTURE: Rival scouts believe Green's stuff is too light to compare to a turbo-sinkerballer like Dakota Hudson, but the Diamondbacks view him differently. They see enough stuff to go along with a durable frame and aptitude and believe he can become a back-end starter.
TRACK RECORD: Patiño reportedly agreed to a $1.3 million deal with the Rangers before hurting his elbow prior to the start of the 2017 international signing period. The Rangers nixed the deal, allowing the Diamondbacks to swoop in and sign him for $985,000. Patiño underwent a second elbow surgery that sidelined him until the following June, but he played his first uninterrupted season in 2019. SCOUTING REPORT: Once healthy, Patiño quickly showcased his ultra-athletic skill set. Built like a defensive back, he has a chance to develop into a five-tool talent. He has at least plus speed, above-average if not plus raw power, a chance to stick in center field and an above-average arm to go with his promising pure hitting ability. Patiño still has plenty of facets to fine tune. His approach can come and go, he chases too much and doesn't recognize spin particularly well. He also hits too many balls on the ground, which limits his capacity for extra-base hits. THE FUTURE: Patiño's rough edges are standard for an 18-year-old with fewer than 300 professional at-bats.
TRACK RECORD: Jameson arrived at Ball State a two-way player but quickly turned himself into the Cardinals' best pitching prospect since Bryan Bullington went No. 1 overall in 2002. As a draft-eligible sophomore, he earned Mid-American Conference Pitcher of the Year honors in 2019 and was drafted 34th overall by the Diamondbacks. SCOUTING REPORT: Jameson stands out for his pure stuff. Despite an undersized frame, his quick arm produces rising fastballs that regularly gets into the 93-97 mph range. He compliments his fastball with a swing-and-miss curveball, a potential above-average slider that elicits soft contact and a changeup that flashes plus with split action. All have intriguing potential but are inconsistent. Jameson's size and uptempo delivery create questions about whether he'll be able to maintain his stuff as a starter. He also did not throw enough strikes his freshman year, and while he improved as a sophomore, his control wasn't sharp in his abbreviated pro debut and will be worth watching moving forward. THE FUTURE: Jameson is regarded as a tremendous athlete, giving the Diamondbacks hope he'll find a way to stick in the rotation. If he can't, his explosive stuff should play well in relief.
TRACK RECORD: Smith long struggled to generate the kind of offensive production expected from him as the seventh overall pick of the 2017 draft, but he caught fire in the second half of last season to rekindle hopes of a major league future. Smith hit .329 with a .936 OPS at Double-A Jackson after the all-star break, finding a way to balance his top-notch plate discipline and contact skills with the ability to do damage. SCOUTING REPORT: Smith had been trying to tinker with his swing and approach, but his hot finish seemed more like him getting back to his old self. A natural hitter who can find the barrel and rarely expands the zone, he went back to spraying balls to left and center and trying to pull the ball with power only occasionally. While he's always been a good defender at first, he also played a more passable corner outfield in 2019, showing a sneaky good arm. THE FUTURE: Smith started to make his path toward a positive big league role more palatable. Whether he fully lives up to his draft slot remains to be seen, but he'll open 2020 in Triple-A Reno on the cusp of the majors.
TRACK RECORD: Alexander's father, Charles, pitched in the Indians organization and his older brother, C.J., is in the Braves' system. The Diamondbacks snapped up the youngest Alexander in the 11th round of the 2018 draft and signed him for an overslot $500,000 bonus. He produced right away with impressive numbers at two short-season levels, then put together a solid, if unspectacular, season in the low Class A Midwest League in 2019. SCOUTING REPORT: Lean and athletic, Alexander's loudest tool is his arm, which scouts rate near the top of the scouting scale. He has good hands and actions, as well, convincing evaluators he could be at least a serviceable shortstop in the majors. He also saw time at second base and third base. Though his numbers (.262, 7 HR) weren't great, he made strides at the plate and showed better pitch selection. Even so, Alexander gave away too many at-bats without a consistent plan, something the Diamondbacks hope will come with maturity. Scouts give him a chance to hit for a decent average and close to average power. THE FUTURE: With a crowded middle infield picture in the system, Alexander's versatility could help him carve out a role in the Chris Taylor/Chris Owings mold. He'll see high Class A Visalia in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Though he wasn't as accomplished as Carson Kelly or Luke Weaver, Young was no throw-in to the Paul Goldschmidt trade but rather a player whose offensive upside the Diamondbacks found intriguing when they acquired him from the Cardinals. A 37th-round pick who signed for $3,000, Young continued to swing the bat with his new organization and hit 29 homers between Double-A Jackson and Triple-A Reno, tied for second-most in the D-backs' system. SCOUTING REPORT: Young has a strong frame and a compact swing with little wasted movement, allowing him to generate real power. Most scouts envision a player who will provide quality at-bats and occasional power at the major league level. They are less convinced on what Young will bring defensively. He is at best a fringe-average defender at second base, while others don't see a position for him on the field at all. The Diamondbacks plan to expose him to the outfield in 2020, where he has played only sparingly. THE FUTURE: The D-backs added Young to the 40-man roster in November. Comparisons put him somewhere between a Phil Gosselin and Jedd Gyorko type of contributor.
TRACK RECORD: Drafted in the third round in 2017 as a projection play, Tabor hasn't taken any massive leaps forward with his stuff but continues to make gradual progress. That included refining a third pitch and his ability to miss bats consistently, and the result was a 2.93 ERA at low Class A Kane County. SCOUTING REPORT: Tabor has a lean frame and a clean, athletic delivery. His fastball sits mostly in the low-90s, touching 93 mph, and since he's still maturing physically there remains potential for him to add another tick or two. He focused on his slider in the offseason and turned it into a useable weapon, a pitch that ranged from average to plus. The emphasis on his breaking ball came at the cost of his changeup, though he rediscovered the pitch late in the year to give him a solid three-pitch mix. Most impressive was his control—he walked only 16 batters in 95.1 innings. THE FUTURE: Most evaluators see Tabor as a potential back-end starter, and he still has work to do to get there. He is likely to open 2020 with high Class A Visalia.
TRACK RECORD: The younger brother of Angels infielder David Fletcher, Dominic spent three years at Arkansas, where he developed a reputation as a terrific defensive center fielder and a solid hitter with surprising pop. The D-backs selected him 75th overall in 2019, making him the highest-drafted Razorback since Andrew Benintendi was drafted seventh overall by the Red Sox in 2015. SCOUTING REPORT: Fletcher has a smooth, line-drive swing that generates impressive above-average raw power, which he can occasionally tap into during games. His amount of swings and misses was a concern for some clubs. He is only an average runner, but he gets good enough jumps that most project him as an above-average center fielder. Some are less certain about his position and paint him as an outfield tweener without the chops to play center or the offensive thump to profile in a corner. THE FUTURE: Whether as an everyday center fielder or a fourth outfielder, Fletcher is viewed as a likely future big league contributor. He is likely to start 2020 at high Class A Visalia.
TRACK RECORD: Henry made his way through an up-and-down junior year at Michigan and was viewed as a volatile prospect when the Diamondbacks took him 74th overall, but his arrow began pointing up after a string of dominant outings led the Wolverines to the brink of a College World Series title. He finished the year owning the school's single-season strikeout record and was the highest drafted Michigan pitcher in 25 years. SCOUTING REPORT: Henry doesn't have a dominant repertoire, but he is a strike-thrower who repeats his delivery and commands each of his three offerings: a fastball that sits in the low-90s along with a slider and changeup that operate in the 78-82 mph range. He is an excellent athlete so the Diamondbacks are hoping that athletic aptitude helps his stuff to tick up. THE FUTURE: Henry is viewed as having a back-end rotation ceiling, but the Diamondbacks see him as a safer bet than most to pitch in the big leagues. He'll open 2020 at one of the Class A levels.
TRACK RECORD: Diaz has been viewed as a toolsy, high-risk prospect in the Diamondbacks system for years, and there were concerns he could be stalling out after an injury-plagued 2018 season. But he came back in 2019 and performed well across both Class A levels, rekindling hope that the club still has an intriguing prospect on its hands. SCOUTING REPORT: Diaz's tools have never been in question. He is an above-average runner, thrower and defender who also shows the ability to hit and put a charge into balls. Diaz has a strong, athletic build and has always been an extremely aggressive player, but he continued to take steps toward refining his game. His approach has come a long way as he started looking to do damage but not longer at all costs, although he's still learning how to consistently tap into his above-average raw power. THE FUTURE: Diaz can stick in center field, so his bat will determine whether he's an everyday player or a fourth outfielder. He'll face his toughest test yet at Double-A in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: After a difficult 2017 season in which his stuff regressed and he struggled to bounce back physically from outings, Ginkel feared he would be released. He reworked his delivery that offseason in a bid to save his career, and everything about his trajectory has changed. Ginkel posted a 1.41 ERA in 2018 and soared from Double-A to the majors in 2019, where he pitched well and now looks like a bullpen mainstay. SCOUTING REPORT: Ginkel went to Arizona, but his revamped delivery is reminiscent of a Virginia product: He is bent at the knees as he comes set, a posture which helps him activate his lower half before driving toward home plate. The delivery allows him to generate elite extension, helping his mid-90s fastball play up. He pairs his fastball with a slider that proved to be nearly unhittable in his 25 appearances in the majors. The Diamondbacks did not hesitate to move Ginkel up the bullpen hierarchy, even giving him a pair of save chances in the season's final two weeks. THE FUTURE: Barring a disastrous spring, Ginkel seems assured of a role in the Diamondbacks' bullpen to open 2020, and potentially even a prominent one.
TRACK RECORD: English was a two-way player viewed by most organizations as a pitcher in the long run throughout most of his playing career. It wasn't until he performed well in the Cape Cod League in 2018 and carried that success into his junior season at Georgia Tech that scouts began to see him as a hitter. The Diamondbacks drafted him in the third round in 2019, believing he could develop into an everyday big leaguer with a sole focus on hitting. SCOUTING REPORT: English is a tall, lanky athlete with smooth, graceful actions. He has good hand-eye coordination and rarely swings and misses. He began to tap into above-average power last year. He can be overly aggressive in his approach but is working on being more selective. English bounced between first base, right field and third base and appeared to find a home at third, where his plus arm can thrive. THE FUTURE: With pitching in his past, English will put his attention squarely on being a position player. He'll likely open 2020 at low Class A Kane County.
TRACK RECORD: A two-way player who stood out as a shortstop his first two years at Oregon, Nelson moved to pitching full-time in 2019. He featured some of the most electric stuff in his draft class, but while he missed bats at a high clip, he was also more hittable than the stuff would suggest. The Diamondbacks took a chance on the arm and athleticism, drafting him in the second round. SCOUTING REPORT: Nelson has an athletic delivery and a long but lightning-quick arm action. His fastball touches 99-100 mph and his curveball was his best secondary pitch during his pro debut. He also throws a slider, split changeup and cutter, the latter of which might be shelved for the time being. Nelson began ironing out some mechanical issues after signing. The club is hopeful his above-average body control and athleticism will allow him to become consistent mechanically and develop the command to start. THE FUTURE: An excellent athlete with a low-mileage arm, the Diamondbacks will work to develop Nelson as a starter, knowing he has a fallback as a power-armed reliever.
TRACK RECORD: Widener won Diamondbacks minor league pitcher of the year in his first season with the club after they acquired him from the Yankees in a three-team deal in Feb. 2018. The wheels came off in year two, however, as Widener was unable to survive the harsh conditions of Triple-A Reno, particularly with livelier baseballs. He finished the year with an 8.10 ERA and missed a month with elbow soreness. SCOUTING REPORT: Widener has always thrived by relying on his fastball, a pitch that has good ride through the zone and plays above its 92-95 mph velocity. His changeup and slider never have been dominant or consistent, but he struggled with both in 2019, leaving him overly reliant on his fastball. Making matters worse, his velocity was down at times, and scouts thought he was working so hard to add velocity that his command suffered. The end result was a fastball he couldn't control that hitters sat on, and summarily punished. THE FUTURE: Widener's year created doubt about his future as a starter. He will need to rediscover his fastball velocity and command and find a consistent secondary pitch to succeed in any role.
TRACK RECORD: Beasley posted a 5.79 ERA in his one season at Clemson and couldn't crack the Tigers' starting rotation, but the Angels saw untapped potential and signed him for $3,000 as a 30th-round pick in 2017. Beasley moved to the rotation in his first season and made good on that hunch by skyrocketing to Double-A. He continued to pitch well in 2019 and reached Triple-A for three starts at the end of the year. SCOUTING REPORT: Beasley's fastball sits at 92 mph and touches 95-96 mph. His best secondary pitch is a sharp, 83-84-mph splitter with tumble that can miss bats or induce weak contact. He has a decent slider, but the splitter is clearly his out-pitch. Beasley's high-tempo delivery and his bulldog mentality on the mound—he grunts and snarls his way through many games—lead most to believe he's bound for the bullpen, but he holds his stuff and throws strikes enough to remain a starter for now. THE FUTURE: Beasley is on the cusp of his major league debut in 2020. His splitter gives him an out-pitch that will serve him well as either a starter or multi-inning reliever.
TRACK RECORD: Grammes was a position player and a wrestler in high school, barely stepping foot on the mound. He became a two-way player at Xavier, but as his velocity climbed and ultimately touched triple digits, it became clear where his future would lie. The Diamondbacks selected him in the fifth round and signed him for $300,000, and already think he has a chance to be a steal. SCOUTING REPORT: Grammes has an explosive arm that generates fastballs in the mid-to-upper 90s. He has two breaking balls, a curveball he can throw for strikes or bounce and a slider he buries in on left-handed hitters. He began to get a better feel for his little-used changeup late in his pro debut at short-season Hillsboro. His high-effort delivery occasionally broke down across multiple innings in college and led to a walk rate of more than six batters-per-nine innings, and after signing he had issues with maintaining his arm slot and keeping his backside from collapsing. Given Grammes' athleticism and limited pitching experience, the organization is hopeful his delivery and strike-throwing will become more consistent with time. THE FUTURE: The Diamondbacks believe the upside with Grammes is significant. He has obvious reliever risk, but the organization will develop him as a starter.
TRACK RECORD: Martinez converted from outfield to the mound less than six months before the Diamondbacks took a $50,000 flyer on him in March, 2018. He debuted in the Dominican Summer League a few months later, topping out at 95 mph, and added a few more ticks to his fastball last year to suddenly look like an intriguing, under-the-radar arm. SCOUTING REPORT: Martinez flashes electric stuff with his arm strength and athleticism. He sits 95-96 mph on his fastball, touching 98, and can show a powerful, swing-and-miss slider, albeit inconsistently. He also shows feel for a changeup. Despite a clean arm action and an uncomplicated, low-effort delivery, he has difficulty repeating and syncing up his levers. Even so, his strike-throwing improved year-to-year, and given his athleticism and how far he has come so quickly for a converted player, the Diamondbacks see reason to believe he'll continue to get better in time THE FUTURE: Martinez has the ingredients to become a tantalizing pitching prospect, but he still has a long way to turn that potential into reality. He'll open 2020 in extended spring training.
TRACK RECORD: The Diamondbacks first saw Alvarez only days before the 2017 international signing period opened. They gave him $65,000 on July 2 even with that limited look because they were intrigued by his arm speed, strike-throwing and aggressiveness. Alvarez rapidly added velocity to become one of the system's many lottery-ticket arms and made his stateside debut in the Rookie-level Arizona League last year. TRACK RECORD: Alvarez possesses an electric arm and keeps adding velocity. His fastball topped out at 89 mph when he signed, jumped to 92 mph that fall, bumped up to the mid-90s in 2018 and touched 99 mph early in the 2019 season. Alvarez pairs his fastball with a changeup that is his best secondary pitch and slurvy, 77-80 mph curveball that has some projection. His effortful delivery portends some risk he ends up a reliever, and he also was limited to five appearances last season by a shoulder issue. THE FUTURE: Alvarez needs to stay healthy and become more consistent with his secondary pitches, but some D-backs officials believe Alvarez has as much upside as anyone in the system. He will likely open 2020 back at extended spring training.
In order to access this exclusive content you must have a Baseball America Account.
Login or sign up