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Terrero is one of Latin American coordinator Junior Noboa's prized finds from the Dominican Republic. His development hasn't been without obstacles, but his tools are reminiscent of Vladimir Guerrero's. After getting off to a miserable start at low Class A South Bend last season, he went on the disabled list with a high left ankle sprain. He later found out it was a stress fracture and missed six weeks. Injuries are nothing new, as he missed six weeks with a broken right hamate bone in 2000. Terrero finally got on track and hit .349 between high Class A Lancaster and Double-A El Paso. Scouts love players with Terrero's loose and easy actions, and his frame can handle more muscle as he fills out. His wiry strength and above-average bat speed give him power potential to all fields. He has the wheels to steal 30 bases a year if he doesn't bulk up too much. Despite his apparent lack of strike-zone judgment, he's under control and has good balance at the plate. He's an outstanding center fielder with the range to run down balls in the alleys and a plus arm capable of handling right field. The Diamondbacks say something clicked for Terrero at the end of the year, and his aptitude and work ethic will help him make adjustments. But he will struggle to get the most out of his five-tool potential until he takes a more disciplined approach. His poor strikeout-walk ratio illustrates how aggressive he is at the plate. Terrero likes to hack at the first close pitch he sees. He has enough strength and bat speed to make up for his long swing, but he has to shorten up with two strikes. He struggles with pitch recognition. Noboa was encouraged with Terrero's progress in the Dominican League this winter, but he again was shelved after tearing cartilage in his left knee. He's still on schedule to play in Triple-A Tucson in 2002, and he'll provide insurance for Steve Finley. Terrero made up a lot of ground in a short time, but he needs to shake the injury bug and make key adjustments before comparisons to Guerrero become apt. A healthy year in Triple-A could make him Finley's successor in 2003.
After two years as a reliever at Stanford, Gosling overcame a tender elbow at the start of 2001 to excel as a starter, though Miami trounced him 12-1 in the College World Series championship game. The Diamondbacks gambled successfully they could get him in the second round. He signed for $2 million, the largest bonus outside the first round. Gosling is tough to hit, allowing a stingy .209 average as a collegian, but he didn't throw strikes consistently until ironing out his delivery as a junior. He has above-average velocity for a lefthander at 92-95 mph, and his fastball runs and tails. His array of breaking stuff is already among the best in the system. His curveball has late depth and his slider was sharp in the Arizona Fall League. He has an advanced feel for changing speeds. Gosling has a funky arm action, but most scouts say it works for him and adds to his deception. His velocity dipped to the mid-80s at the end of the spring, so he needs to build up his stamina. Gosling didn't join the AFL until midway through the sixweek schedule, but he worked 29 innings. He's expected to jump right onto the fast track as a starter in Double-A.
Four of Hairston's relatives have played in the majors: grandfather Sam, father Jerry, uncle John and brother Jerry Jr., who's Baltimore's second baseman. He won Arizona's junior college triple crown and was Baseball America's junior college player of the year after hitting .503-18- 77 last spring. He recovered from a slow start to compete with teammate Jesus Cota for the Rookie-level Pioneer League triple crown. Hairston's deep baseball bloodlines are evident in his approach to the game. He positions himself well in the field and shows outstanding instincts on the bases. He has a chance to be a productive offensive player because he generates power with excellent bat speed, giving balls extra carry. Questions about Hairston's defense kept him from going higher in the draft. His arm is below-average and he's not polished with the glove. He could improve because like his brother he shows athleticism, soft hands and range to both sides. Hairston had one of the best debuts in the draft class of 2001. As a result, the Diamondbacks will jump him to high Class A and he could reach Double-A before the end of his first full season.
Overbay won the Big West Conference batting title as a senior at Nevada in 1999, then became the first player ever to drive in 100 runs in a short-season league. He was named the best batting prospect in the Double-A Texas League last year, leading the loop in hitting, doubles and on-base percentage (.423). Overbay is predominantly a line-drive, gap-togap hitter. Though he hasn't topped 14 homers in a pro season, some scouts say with his pure swing, he has a chance to develop 20-25 longball power. Overbay thinks contact first and gets good extension through the ball, spraying hits to all fields. The ball jumps off his bat, and he has shown the strength to drive the ball into the alleys with authority. Drafted as an outfielder, Overbay can be stiff and awkward around first base. He went to Mexico over the winter to work on his defense, and while he's no Mark Grace, he did show more fluid actions. With Grace locked up for another season and Erubiel Durazo waiting in the wings, Overbay will spend the year feasting on pitching in another hitter's league at Triple-A Tucson.
With injured closers Matt Mantei and Bret Prinz unavailable in the postseason, Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly would have loved to call on Valverde's power arm when Byung-Hyun Kim imploded. To get there, Valverde has to prove his durability. A right shoulder strain limited him in 2000, and shoulder tendinitis cut short his 2001 campaign and precluded a trip to winter ball. Compared to Armando Benitez for his intimidating stature and overpowering repertoire, Valverde generates explosive late sink on his 94-96 mph fastball. He also throws a hard slider and operates from a deceptive maximum-effort delivery. Valverde is primarily a two-pitch pitcher, but he needs to develop a third pitch to combat lefthanders, who hit .348 against him last year. He's an animated pitcher who must curb his energy and emotions. He has yet to show the resiliency expected from a closer. Valverde is expected to be fully recovered in time to take Tucson's closer job. He'll be a tempting option should Arizona's bullpen falter again, though he must improve his control and stamina before becoming a dominant closer.
A 14th-round draft pick in 2000, Cota improved his stock as a sophomore and signed for $60,000 a week before last year's draft. The last time the Diamondbacks signed a Mexican first baseman out of Pima Community College, they came away with Erubiel Durazo. Cota reached base safely in 68 of 75 games and won the Pioneer League triple crown. Beyond the obvious parallels that link Cota and Durazo, Cota's size and tools conjure further comparisons. The Diamondbacks project him to have 40-home run potential. He still needs to learn to generate more backspin and loft on the ball, but his quick, compact stroke has power written all over it. Cota is limited athletically and already is a big-bodied player who doesn't run well. He's learning to play first base after spending most of his amateur career in the outfield, and he needs work around the bag. First base is a crowded position throughout the organization. Cota's bat will have to carry him, and it can. He's a polished product at the plate and shouldn't have any trouble adjusting to low Class A Midwest League pitching in his full-season debut.
When Arizona scouts had Garcia at a private workout in Tampa, all they needed to see was him running the 60-yard dash in 6.4 seconds before they knew they weren't letting him leave without a contract. He signed for $65,000. His pro debut was interrupted when he broke a hand sliding into second base. A loose, natural athlete, Garcia has as much upside as anyone in the system. He's an 8 runner on the 2-to-8 scouting scale. He patrols center field with the ease of perennial Gold Glover Andruw Jones with a solid-average major league arm. Garcia projects to hit for more power because he generates plus bat speed and has leverage that propels the ball off the bat and creates backspin. Garcia went straight from extended spring training to the Pioneer League last season, skipping the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League. While he held his own, he was overmatched at times. His main needs right now are to add strength and gain experience. Garcia will make a big leap to South Bend, where he'll make his full-season debut before his 18th birthday. He has the tools to shoot up the depth chart in a hurry.
Bulger pitched little until his senior year at NCAA Division II Valdosta State, when he attracted attention with his fastball. He didn't project as a first-rounder but was considered an easy sign, then went in the first round and held out for the entire summer. He signed for $936,000, the second-lowest bonus in the first round. Brothers Brian and Kevin were selected later in the draft by the Giants. A converted third baseman, Bulger led Valdosta State in hitting, ERA and saves last season. He's capable of running his heater up to 97 mph, and it sits comfortably in the low 90s. He has an ideal pitcher's frame, similar to Kevin Brown's with broad shoulders and a loose arm. Bulger gives glimpses of a quality breaking ball, but until he hones his delivery it will be inconsistent. He rushes his delivery on his curveball and his arm has trouble catching up with his body. He has minimal mileage on his arm, but Bulger also lacks the savvy that comes with experience. His best chance to jump on the fast track will be in the bullpen. He'll debut as a starter in Double-A to build stamina.
Cresse hit 29 homers as a Louisiana State sophomore but wasn't drafted after a disappointing junior season. He rededicated himself and led NCAA Division I in homers as a senior, capped his career by driving in the championship-winning run in the 2000 College World Series and tore up pro pitching in his debut. Cresse's father Mark served as Dodgers bullpen coach, and Mark's godfather is Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda. Cresse is a strong, durable slugger with tremendous raw power. He has a good idea at the plate and shows the ability to make adjustments. His bloodlines come across in his work ethic. He has plenty of arm strength and instills confidence in his pitching staff. At Cresse's size, mobility behind the plate will always present a challenge. While he has improved his footwork and overall receiving, he allowed 17 passed balls last year and threw out just 27 percent of basestealers. He gets too pull-conscious at times. The Diamondbacks have yet to develop an everyday catcher but think Cresse could be their first. He's a student of the game and could move quickly through Tucson to Arizona by the end of 2002.
Perez has pitched with poise that belies his youth since Junior Noboa signed him out of the Dominican Republic as a slightly built 17-year-old in 1999. Perez showcased his best stuff in a pair of emergency starts in the high Class A California League at the end of the 2000 season, which was more than enough to convince Arizona that he could handle South Bend in his first full season. His fastball is average at best, sitting in the 86-89 mph range and occasionally touching the low 90s, but his arm action suggests there is more velocity to come. Though he's not overpowering, he pitches on a tough downward plane and has outstanding finish on his fastball, making it seem quicker to hitters. His changeup is a major league pitch already because his arm works so free and easy, but his breaking ball needs work. Perez hits his spots and managers rated his control the best in the Midwest League last year. If he doesn't add a third pitch, he'll be destined for the bullpen, but he has plenty of time to develop it as a starter in the minors. He'll work on that this year in the Cal League.
Drafted as a 17-year-old, Kroeger had 497 at-bats before he turned 19. Recruited as a wide receiver out of high school, he combines strength, size and athleticism with a smooth lefthanded stroke. He uses his upper-body strength to generate torque in his swing and the ball carries well upon impact, suggesting he'll develop power. Kroeger is a polished hitter for his age but still needs to learn which pitches he can and can't handle. He could also use some more patience at the plate. Kroeger will be limited to an outfield corner and may have just enough arm to play right field. His bat profiles well for that position. The Diamondbacks didn't operate an instructional league following the 2001 season and planned to send Kroeger to Australia so he could prepare for high Class A this year, but the league suspended operations this winter.
The versatile Olson is one of the organization's most athletic players. Before transferring to Florida from Hutchinson (Kan.) CC, Olson touched 93 mph as a pitcher. With the Gators, he earned third-team All-America honors and put together a school-record 27-game hitting streak as a junior outfielder. Since signing as a seventh-rounder in 2000, he hasn't settled at one position. After splitting duties between the outfield and third base in his debut season, Olson opened the 2001 season in Lancaster at the hot corner and finished as El Paso's everyday shortstop. A native of North Dakota, he's still relatively inexperienced and learning the game, so his success is a testament to his natural ability. He is a hard-nosed shortstop in the Mark Belanger/Dick Schofield mold, with more offensive upside. Some scouts don't view Olson as a prototypical shortstop because he doesn't possesses exceptionally quick feet. However, he runs well underway and owns plus arm strength. He committed 44 errors last season, so he'll have to get more reliable. It took him most of the year to settle on an approach at the plate, and he still needs to be more selective, but he has some raw power in his stroke. Olson could challenge Alex Cintron for the Triple-A shortstop job this year, and his versatility could make him an interesting option for the Diamondbacks by 2003.
As if it's not already challenging enough for pitching prospects to make their way to the big leagues, Diamondbacks farmhands are faced with the added burden of pitching in launching pads. Stats don't always tell the entire story, and Villarreal is a perfect example. With just 25 high Class A innings under his belt, he spent 2001 in the El Paso rotation and held his own as the second-younger pitcher in the Texas League. Villarreal succeeds by getting hitters to pound his sinker into the ground. He surrendered just 10 home runs while pitching his home games at Cohen Stadium, a notorious bandbox. He's not intimidating, but he works aggressively in all quadrants of the strike zone with a 91-94 mph fastball, a sharp slider and a deceptive changeup with late life. His 2001 workload was a career high, though he averaged just more than five innings per start--raising questions about his durability. Villarreal needs to settle on a consistent arm slot, which will improve his command. For the second winter in a row, he was one of the top pitchers in the Mexican Pacific League. Scouts say he pitches with more confidence and poise in his native country and think it's only a matter of time before he achieves the same success in the United States.
Like the other draft loophole free agents from 1996, Patterson has yet to fulfill his potential. Injuries have posed roadblocks for Matt White and Bobby Seay in Tampa Bay, and Patterson will be entering his second year coming back from Tommy John surgery. The Diamondbacks' other loophole signee, Travis Lee, made the biggest splash before slumping with Arizona and getting traded to the Phillies in the deadline deal for Curt Schilling in July 2000. Prior to his injury, Patterson ranked among the very best prospects in the game and was on the verge of justifying his $6.075 million bonus. He had picture-perfect mechanics, mid-90s gas and an overhand 12-to-6 power curveball. He made his first start in more than a year last May in high Class A and climbed to Triple-A by season's end. His velocity was back in the 91-92 mph range, but he was inconsistent with the command of his curveball and a below-average changeup. The Diamondbacks have always babied Patterson, who never has surpassed 131 innings in a season, and he made it past the sixth inning in just three starts in 2001. They aren't sure what to expect out of Patterson in 2002, when he'll rejoin the Triple-A rotation. He worked hard in Tucson during the offseason to get ready for spring training.
As it did with John Patterson, Tommy John surgery knocked Ward off of the fast track. After signing out of Long Beach State as a second-rounder in 1999, he reached Triple-A in his first pro summer and posted a 1.62 ERA in the Arizona Fall League. He caught the attention of everyone in the organization in big league camp the following spring, when he nearly made the club. After that fast start, though, Ward missed almost all of 2000 and spent last year reestablishing his overpowering two-pitch arsenal. He experienced a minor setback in July with elbow discomfort, but bounced back and finished strong. After reaching the mid-90s in the past, Ward's fastball has settled in at 90-92 mph to go with a hard slider. He always has had an aggressive mentality and isn't afraid to challenge hitters. He joined fellow Diamondbacks farmhand Chris Capuano on Team USA's staff last fall at the World Cup in Taiwan, where he made three scoreless appearances as the U.S. won the silver medal. If Ward can stay healthy, he could be one of the first arms in line to help rebuild the Arizona bullpen.
The Diamondbacks drafted Capuano in 1999 with the understanding he would not begin his professional career until he completed his degree at Duke. He made his debut in the summer of 2000 and overmatched low Class A hitters with his array of polished pitches. Last year, he jumped to Double-A, where the Texas League's smaller ballparks provided a challenge. He rebounded from a 2-7, 7.31 start with back-to-back shutouts as part of an 8-4, 4.21 finish. He finished second in the TL in strikeouts but also led the league in walks. Capuano throws an 89-92 fastball effectively to both sides of the plate. Managers rated his sharp, sweeping slider the best breaking pitch in the TL, and he also has an average changeup. Capuano hides his arm well in his delivery, providing deception that causes hitters to swing and miss frequently at pitches in and out of the zone. He needs to develop an effective pitch to combat righthanders, who hit .302 against him in 2001. He's inconsistent with his slider, though scouts say a simple adjustment would make it a strikeout pitch. As his hefty walk numbers illustrate, he also still needs work on his command. Capuano was generally more effective the first time through the lineup and was tough on lefties, leading some scouts to project him more as a middle reliever or swingman down the road. He's ticketed for Triple- A in 2002.
Tracy capped his college career last June by hitting .435 with five homers in five NCAA playoff games for East Carolina, winning MVP honors as the Pirates defeated Winthrop in regional play before losing to Tennessee in the super regionals. His picturesque swing was regarded as one of the prettiest in the draft and even evoked memories of Robin Ventura's in his heyday at Oklahoma State. Tracy had been one of the best all-around hitters in the Cape Cod League in 2000 and looked good with wood bats again after signing. He hit .340 in low Class A, including a streak of seven consecutive multihit games, while walking as much as he struck out. At third base, he displays first-step quickness, soft and quick hands and a strong arm. In fact, before the draft his defensive tools even led some scouts to speculate that he could move to catcher. For now, the Diamondbacks will keep Tracy at the hot corner and challenge him with a move to Double-A. Given his pure hitting ability and disciplined approach, he could become an offensive menace when he adds upper-body strength.
Scouts liken Devore's ability and frame to Paul O'Neill's. The key to achieving his ceiling could just be an issue of building confidence. He skipped the high Class A level and collected 58 extra-base hits with a .502 slugging percentage in Double-A last year, though he did hit 81 points higher at home than on the road and 11 of his 15 homers came in El Paso. Devore offers solid tools across the board, including an above-average arm suitable for right field. His swing is more of a line-drive stroke now, but he has the size and strength to lift more balls out of the park with experience. He'll need to be less pull-conscious and improve his selectivity as he makes the jump to Triple-A. He went to the Arizona Fall League, where wrist and hamstring injuries limited him to 38 at-bats. The Diamondbacks hope a spot on the 40-man roster and an invitation to big league spring training will spark Devore into a breakout campaign.
In Mike Rizzo's two years as scouting director, Arizona has signed 32 pitchers out of the draft--with 31 of those coming out of college. The lone exception is Bruney, who threw three no-hitters and hit .505 during his career at Warrenton (Ore.) High, where he was also a basketball standout. After walking 29 in 25 innings in his pro debut in 2000, he wasn't the most likely candidate for a breakthrough. But the athletic righthander made outstanding progress towards harnessing his lively arsenal, which features one of the best heaters in the system. While he works consistently in the 91-95 mph range, Bruney's fastball has been clocked as high as 99. His high leg kick adds to a deceptive, powerful delivery. He shows the makings of an average breaking pitch with slurvy action, but he lacks an effective offspeed pitch to combat lefthanders. Bruney limited opponents to a .214 average and has a chance to move quickly if he continues to make strides with his command. Scouts have compared him to Kerry Ligtenberg.
White led NCAA Division I with 16.0 strikeouts per nine innings at Jacksonville State in 2000 while also tying for fifth with 70 walks. The Diamondbacks drafted him in the third round not only because they were attracted to his live arm, but also because they liked his power curveball that was largely responsible for his gaudy strikeout rate. The scouting department felt comfortable turning White over to Rookie-level pitching coach Mark Davis, who won a Cy Young Award using a similar breaking ball. Work with pitching instructor John Denny, another former Cy Young winner, also helped White clean up his mechanics. White has an 88-93 mph fastball with natural tail to complement his plus curveball. His changeup slowly is developing into a reliable third option. White brings a confident attitude to the mound and he works at an aggressive pace. He still has command issues that need to be resolved, especially as he faces more advanced hitters. He was forced to leave the Arizona Fall League with shoulder soreness that required minor labrum surgery and was on schedule to resume throwing in January and join the Double-A rotation in the spring.
After topping this list a year ago, Cintron hit .292 in Triple-A and even received a couple of major league callups. But he didn't convince scouts he was worthy of anywhere close to top billing again, as most now believe his skills are best suited for a utility role. He has proven to be a tough out with outstanding bat control, but otherwise his offensive profile is similar to that of the Dodgers' Alex Cora. Cintron has 13 homers and a .379 slugging percentage in 1,866 pro at-bats. He rarely walks and thus possesses mediocre on-base ability. He doesn't possess the actions of a natural shortstop and is outgrowing the position. As his legs get thicker, he's losing the quickness to make tough plays in the hole or up the middle. His arm is aboveaverage but he has trouble reading hops. The Diamondbacks aren't strong in the middle of the diamond, though Cintron doesn't look like he'll be the answer. His ability to put the ball in play and experience at three positions give him a shot at a career as a utilityman.
Gil is another shortstop who takes a tumble on this list after ranking fifth entering 2001. His tools remain raw and unproven after his first full season performance. Since signing out of the Dominican as a 17-year-old for a $767,500 bonus, he has drawn just 19 walks against 166 strikeouts. He was totally overmatched as the youngest everyday player in the Midwest League. His defensive tools stand out, though. Gil possesses soft hands and a plus-plus arm, but he lacks first-step explosiveness. He runs a notch below average now and won't get any quicker as he matures physically. The Diamonbacks are banking on him improving drastically at the plate as he fills out. Gil must improve his discipline and pitch recognition to get anything to happen offensively. He's easily fooled by breaking pitches and is occasionally off balance at the plate. Some scouts still project him to hit because he shows bat speed and continues to get stronger. He'll face a tough challenge of stepping to high Class A as a 19-year-old.
A move to the bullpen has served Belflower well. He struggled as a member of Florida's rotation early in the spring before changing roles, which boosted his confidence and his velocity. After signing in June, he carved up pro hitters with his three-pitch repertoire. He didn't permit an earned run in his first 24 appearances for Lancaster, which was all the more notable because he went straight to high Class A and pitched his home games in hitterfriendly Municipal Stadium. Belflower works down in the zone with a 92-93 mph sinking fastball that helps him keep the ball in the park. He complements his sinker with a slider and changeup and brings a closer's demeanor to the mound. He earned a taste of Triple-A after just 29 pro innings and he'll pitch for the opportunity to stay there in spring training.
Signed as a 17-year-old out of Australia in 1998, Bevis spent three seasons in Rookie ball as a starter, doing little to attract attention as a prospect. The Diamondbacks dropped his arm slot to three-quarters last year and made him a reliever. The changes turned Bevis' career around, just as they had for Bret Prinz in 2000. Bevis also bulked up and watched his velocity soar from the high 80s to 92-94 mph, occasionally touching 95-96. He mixes in a power curveball as well as a bigger, slower bender to keep hitters guessing. He still needs to refine his command. After starting 2001 in extended spring training, Bevis didn't surrender a run in his first 10 appearances at short-season Yakima and finished the season as the Double-A closer after Jose Valverde was shut down with a tender shoulder. He also earned a save against Canada at the World Cup in Taiwan. Bevis could return to El Paso to start 2002.
Medlin has improved significantly since the Diamondbacks drafted him in the 22nd round out of high school in 2000. He went to San Jacinto (Texas) JC, got his fastball up to 90-92 mph during the spring and was pumping gas at 94-96 mph by the end of the summer. His unorthodox delivery evoked some thoughts of Robb Nen and Rockies prospect Craig House, and that wasn't necessarily meant as a compliment. His mechanics could lead to control issues or injury problems down the road. Medlin complements his fastball with a true power slider that features late break and depth. He limited Pioneer League hitters to a .185 average. Arizona is anxious to see if he can continue to overpower hitters at one of its full-season Class A affiliates this season.
Lancaster's Municipal Stadium is a tough place to pitch, though Webb posted an admirable 4.32 ERA there in 2001. He showed his true colors on the road, however, where he had a 3.57 ERA and held hitters to a .247 average. The highlight of his season was a 14- strikeout two-hitter at Modesto. It showed how much the Diamondbacks think of Webb that they sent him to high Class A after he pitched just 18 innings in his pro debut in 2000, when he was shut down with a sore arm. He established the single-season strikeout record in his final season at Kentucky and continues to prove himself as a strikeout artist. Webb has one of the best arms in the system, and projects to add more velocity to his 90-92 mph fastball. He has good command, works down in the zone and also offers an above-average curveball and a changeup. He relishes pitching inside and led the California League with 27 hit batters. Webb eventually could wind up in the bullpen and benefit from shorter outings, but he likely will join the Double-A rotation this season.
Medders has improved his stock each year. He was drafted in the 37th round by the Devil Rays out of high school in 1998, then in the 18th round by the Royals out of Shelton State (Tenn.) Community College a year later, but opted not to sign. He transferred to Mississippi State in 2000 and emerged as the Bulldogs' closer last spring before Arizona took him in the eighth round in June. The Diamondbacks think he could be a slightly bigger version of Tim Hudson. Medders gets a lot of sink on his 90-94 mph fastball and mixes it well with his slider and changeup. He had no problems going straight to high Class A after signing, as his 1.32 ERA, .184 opponent batting average and 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings attest. Some scouts were turned off by adjustments he made to his delivery as a junior but he hasn't had any difficulties to this point. Arizona hopes it can get the same production out of him next season as a Double-A starter.
After leading the Pioneer League in steals in 2000, Hall worked with Diamondbacks instructor Willie Wilson, a former American League stolen base champ, and further refined his technique. He swiped 60 more bases last year in low Class A, and even more impressive, he succeeded on 80 percent of his attempts. One of the fastest players in the organization, he has been compared to Lance Johnson. Hall has hit just five home runs in 1,172 pro atbats, but he realizes his limitations and makes the most out of his blazing speed. He has grounded into just eight double plays in his career, an amazingly low total. He keeps the ball on the ground and demonstrates the patience befitting a leadoff hitter. Though it took him three years to get out of short-season ball, he's still young and held his own in low Class A last year. He'll move up a notch to high Class A in 2002.
Ansman was the New England Collegiate Conference player of the year as a sophomore at Stony Brook, set the program's single-season homer mark with 20 as a junior, and hit .400 for the second straight season as a senior--yet he never got drafted. Signed as a free agent, he led the Midwest League with a .623 slugging percentage in his first full pro season last year. He's burly and strong, and power is his best tool. Offensively, he'll probably need more plate discipline as he moves up the ladder. Though opposing managers weren't crazy about his funky release, Ansman has a strong arm and led the MWL by erasing 42 percent of basestealers. He still needs to improve his game-calling skills. At 23, he was old for low Class A, so a jump to Double-A isn't out of the question for 2002. He'll have to keep proving himself and profiles as a big league reserve.
Green was an academic all-American at Kentucky who never missed a game during his four-year career. The Diamondbacks consider him their prospect version of Craig Counsell. He is a gritty, hard-nosed player with an excellent baseball IQ. Though he's not physically imposing, Green does have some tools. He is a plus runner with excellent baserunning skills. Like Counsell, he won't hit for power, but he is a throwback No. 2 hitter with the bat control to move runners. Managers also rated him the best defensive second baseman in the Midwest League last year. He's gifted with quick feet and good hands. The Diamondbacks think so highly of Green's makeup, they are considering a promotion all the way to Triple-A in 2002. He's already 24 and needs a sterner challenge than Class A.