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Track Record: A constant member of North Carolina's starting rotation during his three collegiate years, Gallen was drafted by the Cardinals in the third round in 2016. A year and a half later, the New Jersey native was traded to the Marlins as part of the deal that sent Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis. Scouting Report: Gallen is known more for his control than pure stuff, although his upper-80s cutter has become an above-average pitch that he can throw in any count. He stays in the low 90s with his fastball, touching 94 mph, and he changes speeds effectively with both a changeup and curveball. All of Gallen's offerings are average-or-better pitches, and even though his walk rate ticked up to a career-worst 3.24 walks per nine innings this season, his above-average control helps all of his pitches play up. The Future: Gallen spent all of 2018 in Triple-A, and he has now thrown more than 150 innings at the minors' highest level. He should be ready for the majors sometime in 2019, even if the Marlins' crowded starting rotation keeps him in Triple-A to start the year. Gallen has the potential of a No. 4 starter, and his collegiate and minor league track record suggests he is a safe bet to reach that ceiling in the near future.
Track Record: The son of White Sox strength coach Allen Thomas, Alek bypassed a commitment to Texas Christian to sign with the Diamondbacks for $1.2 million as the 63rd overall pick. He quickly won over fans inside and outside the organization with his athleticism, aggressiveness and ability to hit at his first two stops as a pro. Scouting Report: Thomas is undersized--he's generously listed at 5-foot-11--but has a strong build and is likely one of the best pure athletes in the system. His swing can get long and he might need to tone down some aspects of it, but he has an innate ability to find the barrel. Projections on his power were mixed but some believe he could eventually reach 10-15 home runs. Scouts believe he should stick in center field, where he has above-average range. His arm is fringe-average at best. He's a good runner with solid instincts on the bases, though he needs to work on his basestealing. The Future: Thomas' size might have been the biggest reason he wasn't drafted higher. It's the main reason some scouts are reluctant to build in too much projection in his game. That said, those who really like him draw comparisons with Adam Eaton, Brett Gardner and Ender Inciarte. Thomas has a chance to open 2019 with low Class A Kane County.
Track Record: After tearing up the Horizon League his junior year at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Varsho, the son of big leaguer Gary Varsho, was taken 68th overall by the Diamondbacks in 2017. In his first full season as a pro, he jumped to a fast start for High Class A Visalia before needing surgery for a broken right hamate in June. He returned in August, and after a slow two and a half weeks, he hit like had before the injury over his final 10 games. Scouting Report: Varsho has a compact swing, an aggressive-yet-mature approach and a knack for finding the barrel, with scouts seeing good extension that generates loft, giving him average power with the chance for more. There are still questions about his ability to stick at catcher, but he did win over some converts in 2018. He's athletic and energetic behind the plate, and his quick transfer and throwing accuracy make up for average-at-best arm strength. Some scouts say his receiving can occasionally appear raw. He's the rare catcher who also is an above-average to plus runner. The Future: Even those unsure if Varsho can catch believe he'll be a big leaguer, saying that his athleticism should allow him to handle second base or the outfield, with some saying the Diamondbacks could use him at multiple positions the way the Dodgers have with Austin Barnes.
Track Record: The Diamondbacks signed Robinson for $2.5 million in 2017 and fully expected his first season as a pro to begin in the Dominican Summer League. But he so impressed throughout the spring, with a mature approach on and off the field, that the club started him in the Rookie-level Arizona League, then pushed him to the Pioneer League to finish. Scouting Report: Robinson has a strong, physical build and looks far more developed than his age would suggest. He has good pitch-recognition skills and some feel to hit, though some scouts see him as a power-over-hit type for now. His power could be huge, and he showed signs of tapping into it in 2018, driving balls to all fields. Given that he's a native of the Bahamas and had limited exposure to tough pitching as an amateur, he might have even more room to grow than others his age. He has the instincts, speed and athleticism to stick in center field, but his ultimate home could depend on how his body develops. The Future: Though he has a long way to go, the sky is the limit in terms of Robinson's upside. Some see flashes of Andruw Jones or Adam Jones if he can remain in center, while others see his physical development turning him into a Jermaine Dye or Jorge Soler type on a corner. If he doesn't open in low Class A Kane County, he'll likely get there at some point early in the 2019 season.
Track Record: As Martin prepared for his junior season at Texas A&M, he was penciled in as the club's closer, hoping to put the wildness that had ruined his sophomore season behind him. He had worked as a reliever in two years with the Aggies and in the Cape Cod League, but A&M moved him to the rotation as a junior. He quickly became the club's ace. As a pro, he's been one of the fastest-moving pitchers from the 2017 draft, reaching Double-A by May and posting a 2.97 ERA in a league where the average ERA was 4.17. Scouting Report: It's hard to believe that Martin was ever viewed as a reliever or that he battled control issues. Now, he is a starter with excellent feel for pitching, plenty of polish and a mastery of the details like holding runners and fielding his position. Martin sits 93-95 mph and touches 97 mph. His plus fastball earns those grades for his above-average command and control as much as the pitch's velocity. He locates well to all four corners of the zone. Martin mixes in a slider and curveball. Both earn above-average grades on his best days, with his slider being a little more consistent than his curve. His changeup improved this year from being a below-average to a potentially average pitch. The Future: The Astros have pitchers with better stuff and other pitchers who are nearly as refined, but Martin is the best combination of the two. Martin combines stuff and refinement like no other Astros pitching prospect and is a future mid-rotation starter. He will start the 2019 season at Triple-A, but he could work his way into the Astros' big league plans at some point in 2019.
Track Record: Bukauskas' 2018 season was derailed from the start. He was in a spring training car accident, though nothing seemed to be wrong at the time. But Bukauskas started to feel pain when he went to low Class A Quad Cities. Eventually he was diagnosed with a bulging disk in his back and was sidelined for two months. Scouting Report: Bukauskas' fastball/slider combo is still his calling card, but the cutter he has developed as a pro has helped give him better survival skills as a starter. Bukauskas' 93-96 mph fastball has gained life as a pro, helping him develop it into a plus pitch. His plus-plus slider has sharp, late tilt that makes it one of the best in the minors. But Bukauskas' slider is mainly an out-of-zone chase pitch, and he struggles to control his fastball. When he's not throwing his fastball for strikes, his cutter gives him another pitch he can locate in the zone. His changeup is a fringe-average pitch that he doesn't seem to throw with much confidence or conviction. The Future: Bukauskas' repertoire has invited bullpen projections, but he has shown better-than-expected starter traits as a pro. He's a potential mid-rotation starter who likely will swing from dominating to surviving based on how well he's locating his fastball.
Carroll wowed scouts all summer by dominating at the plate in almost every high-profile event he attended. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound outfielder plays above his size in every facet of the game. He has a polished hit tool and a terrific feel for the strike zone with a patient approach in the batter’s box. Carroll has no problem spitting on pitches just outside the zone and taking a walk, and then he can wreck havoc with his plus speed and advanced feel for running the bases. While Carroll is short, he isn’t small, with a solid frame and improved strength to the point where he could project for at least average power. Carroll’s speed plays in the outfield as well, where he is one of the best defensive center fielders in the class. Scouting directors voted Carroll as best prep defender in the class during the preseason thanks to excellent jumps and efficient route running. Some teams question his arm strength, and it was previously fringe-average, though reports on his throwing this spring have continued to improve as he’s gotten stronger. There are very few holes to speak of in Carroll’s game, although his size and some of the comparisons he’s gotten to Phillies prospect Mickey Moniak, who has struggled since being the No. 1 overall pick in 2016, might give some teams pause. Still, Carroll has shown more impact ability than Moniak did at the same age. He is also praised for his excellent makeup, high baseball IQ and impressive work ethic. Carroll’s all-around package and polish could allow him to become the highest-drafted Washington high schooler this century, passing Reese McGuire (2013) and Travis Snider (2006), who were both selected with the 14th overall pick. Carroll is committed to UCLA.
Track Record: Duplantier turned in one of the more dominant minor league seasons of the past 25 years in 2017, but a hamstring injury and a bout with right biceps tendinitis limited him to just 74 innings at Double-A Jackson in 2018. Given his injury history, the Diamondbacks were overly cautious with him, bringing him back slowly. Duplantier made up 21.2 innings with a strong performance in the Arizona Fall League. Scouting Report: Duplantier still has the best stuff of any starter in the system. His legit four-pitch mix begins with a lively fastball that sits in the low-to-mid-90s. Scouts and coaches say his slider evolved into his best secondary option, with his curveball and changeup both average to plus at times. He's cerebral and inquisitive, and coaches say he understands how best to use his stuff to exploit hitters' weaknesses. He has average to above-average command and control, though his walks ticked up in 2018. For some scouts, Duplantier's recent arm issues made it harder to overlook his funky arm action. The Future: Scouts who like Duplantier see a mid-rotation starter and perhaps a little more, but some remain spooked by the injuries that date to his days at Rice and wonder if he's a breakdown candidate. If he keeps taking the ball he can shed that reputation, not to mention possibly reach the majors in 2019.
Midseason update: Kelly has shown maturity, poise and a major league-quality fastball-slider combo while pitching in the low Class A Midwest League this season. He has a chance to grow into a mid-rotation starter if his fastball command continues to improve.
Malone initially blew up on scouts’ radars as an underclassman and has long been thought of as one of the most talented pitchers in the 2019 draft class. He has an uber-projetable, 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame, a picturesque arm action and delivery, as well as well above-average pure stuff. His fastball trails only Georgia righthander Daniel Espino’s as the best fastball in the prep class, and Malone’s heater sits in the low to mid-90s, touching as high as 97 mph. The righthander also throws a curveball, slider and changeup. Throughout the summer, Malone displayed flashes of a plus breaking ball—at times with his slider and at other times with his curveball—but scouts lamented that fact that neither of his breaking balls show above-average or plus potential consistently. He would either struggle to get on top of his curveball regularly, or his slider would lack sharp biting action. This spring, Malone seems to have addressed those critiques, as he put on one of the best amatuer outings of the season at USA Baseball’s National High School Invitational. Pitching for IMG Academy (where he transferred to for his senior season after playing in North Carolina previously), Malone threw a seven-inning shutout and showcased an 80-83 mph slider that had late biting action and two-plane break. He used the pitch effectively against both righthanders and lefthanders, landing it in the zone for strikes and also using it as a chase pitch. Malone’s mid-70s curveball has 11-to-5 shape and could be an average or better offering in the future, depending on how he continues to improve his release point. His low-80s changeup has solid velocity separation from his fastball, and he throws the pitch with solid arm speed as well. Overall, Malone might have the best combination of current stuff and future projection of any prep pitcher in the 2019 draft class, and while he is committed to North Carolina, he should get drafted at some point in the middle of the first round this June.
Track Record: Beer is the rare player who was never draft-eligible in high school. That's because he enrolled at Clemson six months early, so when his high school class was graduating, Beer was wrapping up an outstanding freshman season in the Atlantic Coast Conference. As a pre-teen, Beer was an elite swimmer. As a 12-year-old, he set a national age group record in the 50-yard backstroke, but he eventually opted to focus on baseball over swimming. So far, it's been a wise choice. Beer finished his college career with 56 home runs and nearly twice as many walks (180) as strikeouts (98). Scouting Report: Beer has an excellent batting eye to go with the plus power that gives him the potential to hit 25-30 home runs. He demonstrated that power in his first two pro stops, helping alleviate some of the concerns that revolved around his struggles to hit with a wood bat in summer ball during college. Once he reached high Class A, Beer got too aggressive and chased too many pitches, but he should draw plenty of walks to post high on-base percentages. His batting averages likely won't reflect that, as his average will suffer from bottom-of-the-scale speed. His lefthanded power profile makes shifting on him an easy call, and a second baseman playing in short right field will be able to cut off some hits that otherwise would fall in. What kept Beer from going higher in the draft was his lack of a clear defensive position. He will likely only get slower from here. He is a heavy-footed, well below-average left fielder with a below-average arm and is worse at first base because of poor footwork. The Astros have to hope he can become a below-average defender, but he fits best as a DH. The Future: Beer moved quickly in his pro debut and should make it to Double-A in 2019. His bat could be ready for Houston before too long, but unless he shows significant improvement defensively, he'll be the rare young player who tries to break into the majors as a designated hitter. His attributes are similar to long-time Astros minor league slugger A.J. Reed, but the Astros have to hope he can make a bigger MLB impact.
Track Record: Signed for $70,000 in 2016, Perdomo exhibited advanced plate discipline in the Dominican Summer League in his pro debut the following year. He continued to show a discerning eye in 2018, but he added some offensive impact as well, emerging as one of the Diamondbacks' most intriguing young prospects. Scouting Report: Perdomo has an athletic frame with a high waist and an upper body that should be able to handle added bulk. He has a way of gliding on defense, and his soft hands, plus arm and instincts lead scouts to believe he'll have no trouble sticking at shortstop. A switch-hitter, he has plus bat speed, good bat-to-ball skills and pull power that could grow into more. Perdomo was overly passive in the DSL in 2017 but became more aggressive as he started facing better strike-throwers. Scouts say he's a slightly above-average runner. He impressed coaches by making big strides learning English. The Future: Perdomo might not have the huge ceiling of Jazz Chisholm or Kristian Robinson, but his floor could be higher, with scouts seeing a talented, instinctual, smart player in the mold of Tony Fernandez. He'll likely open 2019 in low Class A Kane County.
Track Record: The Yankees traded Widener to the Diamondbacks in February 2018 as part of the three-team Steven Souza Jr. trade also involving the Rays. Widener turned in the most consistent season of any Diamondbacks starter in 2018, earning the organization's pitcher of the year honors while leading the Double-A Southern League in strikeouts and WHIP and finishing second in ERA. Scouting Report: Widener's success is in large part built off a dominant fastball. The pitch sits around 92-93 mph and usually tops out around 95, and he generates lots of swings and misses with it, including up in the strike zone. His secondary stuff was less consistent. His changeup improved in 2018, going from a traditional offspeed/velocity-separation pitch to a power change out of the Zack Greinke mold that's more about disrupting timing and inducing ground balls. It became his best secondary offering, moving ahead of a slider that has some bite but at times can be more like a slurve. The Future: Widener is beloved for his competitiveness, but he does have some effort and aggression in his delivery and a less-than-ideal arm stroke. Combine that with the inconsistent secondary stuff and some see his ultimate home being in the bullpen. He'll get every chance to start, however, and likely will move to Triple-A Reno in 2019.
Track Record: Diamondbacks executive Junior Noboa, the team's vice president of Latin operations, never shies away from signing prospects from Latin America, even if they're older than 16. Frias was about 17 and a half when the club signed him for $50,000 in November 2015, and he's proceeded to add size, strength and velocity to make himself into one of the organization's most enticing young arms. Scouting Report: Frias is still raw, but he has a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and touches 100 mph along with a breaking ball that has the potential to be a putaway pitch. His command is erratic and his delivery inconsistent because he can struggle to maintain direction to the plate. Coaches believe he is too reliant on being overpowering and needs to learn the times he can benefit from taking a little off. He has added more than 40 pounds to his frame since signing and will need to stay on top of his conditioning. The Future: Frias' development has a long way to go, and more avenues point toward the bullpen than the rotation, but he's still young and the Diamondbacks will take their time to see how things come together.
Track Record: Alexander slipped in the 2018 draft, perhaps due to some combination of a high asking price as well as concerns about how often he swung and missed his senior year at IMG Academy. After signing with the Diamondbacks for $500,000, he quickly quieted any worries about his bat, performing so well in his pro debut he helped ease the sting of the club's inability to sign top pick Matt McLain. Scouting Report: Alexander, whose dad Charles pitched parts of three seasons in the Indians' system and whose older brother C.J. is in the Braves organization, has a lean, athletic frame and an arm that rates near the top of the scouting scale. His swing is consistent and under control, with no wasted movement, and he has good finish at the end, prompting some scouts to envision him growing into power to all fields, though he does tend to roll over on pitches with his top hand. He has good instincts in the field but isn't as fluid and easy as shortstops often are, leading some to envision a shift to third or second base. The Future: Alexander has a chance to open next season in low Class A Kane County and could develop into an infielder in the J.J. Hardy or Chris Taylor mold.
An undersized, draft-eligible sophomore out of Ball State, Jameson has a lightning quick arm with electric stuff out of a 6-foot, 165-pound frame. Jameson works with an up-tempo delivery and has been up to 97 mph with his fastball, although he’s more regularly in the 93-95 mph range. While it’s a plus offering, Jameson’s control of his fastball isn’t great, which leads to him pitching off of an average slider. He has better feel to throw strikes with his slider, but it’s not currently a wipeout pitch. Some scouts believe Jameson’s slider could turn into an above-average offering in a bullpen role, if he’s able to improve his fastball command and use his breaking ball as a chase pitch more regularly. His changeup might be his best pure secondary offering, as it flashes plus at times but remains wildly inconsistent at the moment. There are plenty of ingredients to like with Jameson, but he’ll need to continue sharpening his control moving forward and will always face reliever questions given his size.
Track Record: Tabor didn't have a breakout performance in his first full season as a pro, but coaches say he might have improved from start to finish more than any pitcher in the organization, and he continues to give the club hope he can develop into a big league starter. He didn't miss a ton of bats in the short-season Northwest League, but his clean, repeatable delivery allowed him to fill up the strike zone and he showed good pitchability. Scouting Report: Tabor doesn't have overpowering stuff, but his fastball improved as the season progressed, going from sitting 90-91 mph to about 93. His changeup is his best secondary offering, a pitch that some say is the best in the organization. The fastball/changeup combo draws comparisons with former Diamondbacks pitcher Chase Anderson. Tabor's breaking ball remains a work in progress. For now, it's a slider, but there are some who would like to see him go back to a curveball, which might work better given his ability to pitch north-south with the fastball. The Future: Tabor matured as a pitcher in 2018 but still has work to do if he's going to reach his mid-rotation ceiling. He's in line to open the year in low Class A Kane County.
One of the most exciting, projectable arms in the 2019 class, teams were aware of Walston last summer but weren’t able to see him much on the showcase circuit due to his commitments as a talented high school quarterback. Listed at 6-foot-4, 172-pounds, Walston is a thin lefthander with an immensely projectable frame that could easily add 30-40 more pounds in the future. He has a clean arm action and delivery, and scouts note that his plus athleticism translates well to the mound, allowing him to be one of the best natural strike-throwers in the high school class. At the moment, Walston throws his fastball in the 86-91 mph range, topping out in the low 90s, but scouts are convinced that he’ll start to throw harder once he gains more physicality. He also has terrific feel to spin a breaking ball that projects as a plus pitch in the future, and he has shown a solid changeup as well. In a down year for high school lefthanders, Walston could see himself selected as soon as Day 1, although he is expected to be a tough sign out of his North Carolina State commitment. While there’s nothing plus with Walston right now, every element of his operation screams upside and plenty of high-level decision makers have laid eyes on him this spring.
Track Record: Clarke continued his steady, consistent progression through the system in 2018, logging a career-high 152 innings while pitching in a difficult Triple-A Pacific Coast League environment. He has thrown at least 145 innings in each of the past three seasons. He was in consideration for a callup at multiple points in 2018, but the club opted for more veteran options. Scouting Report: Clarke is much the same pitcher as always: a strike-thrower with good pitchability and solid, if unspectacular, stuff. His fastball velocity ticked up a bit in 2018, topping out around 95 mph and sitting closer to 93, and coaches say his changeup improved, though still remains his second-best secondary offering behind his slider. Clarke took his preparation and game-planning seriously, and with his above-average command was able to attack hitters with a purpose. He could benefit even further from the more-detailed data he would receive in the majors. The Future: Depending on how things shake out, Clarke could have a chance to compete for a big league rotation spot and is knocking on the door after being added to the 40-man roster in November.
Henry has improved each season at Michigan, culminating in a strong junior season that has improved his draft stock significantly in a class lacking top-end college arms. Henry has a solid three-pitch mix, including a fastball that sits 91-93 mph early in games and a slider and changeup that both project as above-average offerings. He doesn’t have a big spin rate on his slider (2,2000 rpm), but he makes the most out of what he has by creating a good angle and tunneling the pitch effectively. Henry has built up a solid track record in the Big 10 and as a junior is posting the best strikeout-to-walk rate of his career (5.15) through nine starts.
Track Record: Miroglio missed most of his junior year at San Francisco following a hand injury, and after being drafted in the 16th round by the Rays, he opted to return to school as a redshirt junior. The Diamondbacks took him the following year, and Miroglio has proceeded to hit a combined .309 in his first two years as a pro, rapidly advancing to Double-A in his second pro season. Scouting Report: Miroglio has solid pitch-recognition and bat-to-ball skills and the ability to use the whole field. His power is somewhat limited, but since he began incorporating his lower half more in pro ball, he's been able to drive the ball with more authority. He gets good marks for his receiving and ability to work with pitchers, and he makes up for average arm strength with a quick release. He has great makeup and a high-energy personality. The Future: Miroglio has the ingredients to carve out a career as a backup, but since he continues to perform the D-backs aren't putting a limit on his ceiling. He'll likely open 2019 back with Double-A Jackson.
Track Record: Just 17 players born in North Dakota have ever reached the majors. Young is hard-charging toward becoming No. 18. The Cardinals picked Young in the 37th round in 2016, signed him for just $3,000 and quickly realized they had a steal. He mashed his way up three levels in his first full season, and he followed in 2018 by finishing fourth in the Cardinals' system in home runs (21) as he moved to Double-A. The Diamondbacks acquired him in the Paul Goldschmidt trade after the season. The Future: Young is a second baseman, but his best position is "hitter."He's a physical specimen with a chiseled core, strong wrists, thick forearms and big legs that give him a strong base and make him a powerful runner. He has a short, compact swing that packs a punch, and he uses the entire field with average raw power. He jumps on fastballs early and doesn't walk much, but he doesn't strike out much, either. Reports on Young's athleticism vary widely. The D-backs envision him at either second or third base and see a David Bote-type player; others believe he'll have to move to left field. The Future: Young will go as far as his bat takes him, and there's a growing consensus that will be the majors. He'll likely open the season in Double-A Jackson.
Track Record: The grandson of four-time all-star Don Money and a product of the same high school as Mike Trout, Kennedy swung the bat well in the Rookie-level Pioneer League in 2018, winning over some onlookers who see a chance for him to develop into a big leaguer, perhaps even an everyday player. Scouting Report: Kennedy does not particularly look the part. He has the build of a fire hydrant, and while he's more athletic than that suggests, scouts believe he's going to have to work to maintain that athleticism. He seems to have a natural ability to find the barrel with a short, controlled swing, and he avoids expanding the strike zone and rarely strikes out. He may never be a big power guy, but scouts believe his gap-to-gap power could grow into double-digit home runs. He showed improvement at third base but his future could be all over the infield or even on an outfield corner, assuming the bat continues to develop. His arm is average, both in strength and accuracy, and he's said to be an average runner, perhaps slightly above-average once underway. The Future: Kennedy figures to be part of the crew of interesting prospects bound for low Class A Kane County in 2019.
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