Sign Up! Join our newsletters, get a FREE e-Edition
Use the options to filter your search.
To say that 2015 was an eventful year for Swanson is an understatement. The Vanderbilt shortstop learned of his selection by the Diamondbacks as the No. 1 overall pick during the on-field celebration after the Commodores clinched their NCAA super regional at Illinois. Before signing with Arizona, Swanson returned to the College World Series for a second straight year, with Vanderbilt losing to Virginia after defeating the Cavaliers in the championship round in 2014. His college career had begun after he turned down a chance to sign with the Rockies, who drafted him in the 38th round in 2012. Swanson was limited to 11 games in his freshman year due to various injuries, but he hit the national stage the next season when he was named the Most Outstanding Player at the CWS as Vandy's starting second baseman. He transitioned to shortstop for his junior year and projects to stay at the position long-term. While scouting director Deric Ladnier said he had settled on Swanson as the top pick in February, it took the D-backs until the signing deadline to sign him for $6.5 million. The start of his pro career was delayed after he was hit in the face with a pitch delivered by righthander Yoan Lopez in a simulated game at Arizona's training complex, resulting in lacerations and a mild concussion. He finally reported in August to short-season Hillsboro, where he remained for the rest of the summer and helped the Hops win the Northwest League championship, before returning to Arizona in September to participate in instructional league. With the Hops, Swanson hit .289/.394/.482 with seven doubles, three triples and one home run. And although he didn't tear the cover off the ball in the playoffs, Swanson drew six walks, the most of anyone in the four-team Northwest League tournament. He also had a five-hit game on Sept. 3 against Boise. Swanson projects to be an above-average to plus big league player, with outstanding leadership qualities, ease of operation and off-the-charts makeup. A well-rounded player with no significant weaknesses in his toolkit, Swanson helps his team in every aspect of the game and handles pressure well. Offensively, he is a patient hitter with an advanced approach at the plate. A prototypical No. 2 hitter, he uses a quick, compact line drive swing that will produce plenty of doubles but also with enough power to project 10-15 home runs per year in the big leagues. He's a plus runner with the smarts to collect his share of stolen bases. Already rated as the best defensive infielder in the system, Swanson has the athleticism and instincts to be a solid defender with an accurate, average arm that plays up because he gets rid of the ball quickly. Most importantly, Swanson brings a "top-step" mentality to the field. Like the D-backs' 2009 firstround pick and current center fielder A.J. Pollock, Swanson has premium makeup that will allow his tools to consistently play up. Swanson should make a rapid ascent through the system. He would have advanced to high Class A Visalia in his debut if not for the injury he sustained in the simulated game, and he'll head to the California League in 2016 for his full-season debut. He could get to Double-A Mobile at some point in the season. Swanson is Arizona's shortstop of the near future, with perennial all-star potential. Conservatively, Swanson should reach the big leagues by 2017, but he has the all-around game to potentially accelerate that timetable to reach the majors in 2016.
Blair has zipped through the minors since becoming Marshall's highest drafted player as the 36th overall pick in 2013. He spent time at both Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno in 2015, ranking among the Top 20 Prospects in both the Southern and Pacific Coast leagues. In addition, he pitched for USA Baseball's silver-medal Pan Am Games team, starting against Cuba. The key to Blair's success is a heavy 91-95 mph fastball that features plus downward plane, allowing him to keep balls on the ground and inducing weak contact. He gets swings and misses with an 11-to-5 curveball that he throws in the 72-76 mph range. The pitch has improved from below-average to flash plus at times. His best secondary offering is a plus changeup in the 81-84 mph range that he uses to pitch to contact. He also introduced an occasional fringy slider in 2015 that gets slurvy at 82-84 mph. Blair is an effective strike-thrower whose big hands and clean delivery give him plus command, and he does a good job of pitching to his strengths. He's athletic for his size and repeats his delivery, projecting as a workhorse with a knack for going deep into his starts. Blair will make his big league debut sometime in 2016. His groundball pitching style should make him well-suited for hitterfriendly Chase Field.
For the first time as a pro, Shipley's inexperience seemed to hinder him. He became the first-ever first-round pick from the University of Nevada when the Diamondbacks selected him 15th overall. The former college shortstop spent the entire 2015 season at Double-A Mobile, taking the ball every fifth start but struggling with mechanical issues and the consistency of his breaking ball in the first half. Still, he ranked among the Southern League leaders with a 3.50 ERA and 157 innings, and he improved significantly in the second half, recording a 2.66 ERA in 85 innings with a walk rate of 2.0 per nine innings. Shipley functions as a fifth infielder on the mound thanks to his plus athleticism and shortstop background. Even during his earlyseason struggles, he maintained his arm speed and kept his fastball in the 93-96 mph range with plus life. Shipley gets good downhill angle on his pitches, with a plus hammer curveball up to 84 mph coming out of the same slot as his fastball with big, late break. Both pitches are tough for batters to identify. Equally effective is a changeup from 83-85 mph that he can throw in any count. Shipley got back on track later in the season and should be ready to tackle Triple-A Reno in 2016. He projects as a quality No. 3 starter in the big leagues.
Bradley signed for $5 million as the seventh overall pick in 2011 and made his big league debut on April 11, 2015, tossing six scoreless innings to beat the Dodgers. Early in his fourth outing he was struck in the face with a 115 mph line drive off the bat of the Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez and narrowly escaped serious injury. He later developed shoulder tendinitis that shut him down in early June. He made just six minor league starts after that and did not receive a September callup, pitching in instructional league instead. Bradley's fastball sat 92-95 mph and touched 96 in instructional league after sitting at 93 in the majors. He hides his heater well, and the pitch gets on batters quickly. His best secondary pitch is an above-average, low-80s power curveball. Scouts haven't seen improvement in his firm, mid-80s changeup, and he plans to focus on its development in 2016. The below-average 88-91 mph cutter that Bradley developed in 2014 was shelved during the season, but he started working on it again in instructs. He still struggles to command his pitches but worked on simplifying his delivery late in 2015 in order to better repeat it. Because he leans so heavily on two pitches and struggles with command, Bradley may move to the bullpen. His spring performance will determining his 2016 role.
Drury made it to the big leagues in his third season in the organization after being acquired in the January 2013 trade that sent Justin Upton to the Braves. He headed back to Double-A Mobile after a strong spring but got off to a slow start before earning a midseason promotion to Triple-A Reno and making his big league debut in September. Primarily a third baseman before 2015, Drury split time at both the hot corner and second base. He's a solid defender at third but lacks the quick feet to give him much range at second. Scouts believe he's good enough to handle the keystone in the big leagues. Regardless of where he winds up on the field, his bat will carry him. Drury has a short stroke and good bat-head awareness, with doubles power right now but the potential for 20 homers down the road. One scout chalked his early struggles up to overactive feet in the batter's box, which deprived Drury of a good hitting base. While he is a well below-average runner, he has the ability to slow down the game. With Jake Lamb and Chris Owings ahead of him on the big league depth chart, Drury may wind up back at Reno for more seasoning--but he's nearly ready.
Arizona doled out nearly $22.3 million to sign Lopez and Yasmany Tomas out of Cuba last winter. Lopez signed for $8.25 million, which put the Diamondbacks over their allotted bonus pool for international players and triggered severe penalties. They were hit with a tax equal to nearly the amount of Lopez's bonus, and they also are forbidden from signing any international prospect for more than $300,000 during the next two signing periods. In his 2015 debut, Lopez missed a month with a blister problem, left Double-A Mobile at one point without permission and hitting No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanton in the face with a pitch during a simulated game before finally was shut down with elbow discomfort. Lopez should be able to add strength to his slight build as he matures. He flashes plus velocity and a plus slider when he's on, but his command and velocity can be inconsistent from inning to inning. His fastball regularly sat 90-94 mph during his time in Mobile and reached as high as 98 in the fall. The pitch has arm-side run but lacks deception, and his command of the pitch is below-average. Lopez's 78-82 mph curveball with hard spin is his best secondary pitch, though it can get slurvy at times. A fringe-average changeup in the low 80s is clearly his third pitch, and he uses a high-80s slider infrequently. Lopez, who threw 24 innings in the Arizona Fall League, strikes many scouts as a future reliever. He will be able to address his makeup issues as he repeats Mobile in 2016.
Young spent two years in Texas Christian's bullpen, but improved fastball command allowed him to move to the rotation in 2015. Arizona selected him with the first pick of the second round and signed him for $1,431,400. Because Young threw 97 innings for TCU, which began its season in mid-February and ran through the College World Series, Arizona limited him to 10 pro innings, counting the shortseason Northwest League playoffs. Young has a really good feel for his plus slider, which already rates as the best in the organization. It's a really sharp pitch with a deep release, and he manipulates its break and length. He gets swings and misses on a sneaky, 88-93 mph fastball with sink and tail down in the zone. Young still is developing a mid-80s changeup that has late fade, and it projects to be an average pitch in time. He commands everything in his arsenal and stands out for his ability to set up hitters and throw all pitches in all counts, inducing weak contact from hitters. Young will get the chance in 2016 to prove that he's got the repertoire to stay in the rotation. He could move quickly to high Class A Visalia if he pitches well, and he has a ceiling as a No. 4 starter.
Brito started turning his tantalizing tools into production in 2014 at high Class A Visalia, then raised expectations even higher in 2015 with a solid year at Double-A Mobile, especially in the second half when he hit .347/.398/.540 with seven of his nine home runs. The Diamondbacks named Brito the organization's minor league player of the year, and he capped his season by playing well as a September callup. Brito got stronger in 2015 without losing any speed, making him a potential powerspeed threat. While his bat speed isn't great, he's got strength in his upper body and strokes line drives to the gaps. He developed a better approach at the plate and made more consistent contact in 2015, lowering his strikeout rate from 19 percent in 2014 to 16 percent in 2015. He still tends to struggle against lefthanders, though. Brito has double-plus speed that helped him lead the minors with 15 triples. He has the range for any outfield position, and his plus arm ranks as one of the best outfield arms in the system. Brito's lack of polish, combined with the D-backs' outfield depth, means that he probably will open 2016 at Triple-A Reno. He could be an extra outfielder on the low end or a regular right fielder on the high end.
Drafted in 2014 with the 70th overall pick, Diaz is a Puerto Rico product by way of a Massachusetts high school. After a modest pro debut, he earned MVP honors in the Rookie-level Pioneer League in 2015, leading the league in multiple hitting categories. Diaz ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the league, trailing only a pair of high first-round picks from the 2015 draft class. An offseason mechanical adjustment giving his swing more leverage helped Diaz develop confidence. He has an uncanny ability to find the barrel and makes plenty of hard contact, and he led the PL in slugging (.640) and extra-base hits (44). He has slightly below-average speed but gets good jumps and is a good baserunner. While Diaz has played mostly shortstop, he projects best as an offensive-minded second baseman. He has the first-step quickness to stay in the middle field, with range, footwork and speed better suited for second. His slightly below-average arm could improve with maturity and work ethic. Diaz maintained his momentum during instructional league and could hit his way up this list significantly in 2016. He will head to low Class A Kane County in 2016.
O'Brien has been one of the most prolific home run hitters in the minors since his debut in the Yankees system in 2012. He has hit 60 in just the past two seasons. Acquired in a 2014 deadline deal for Martin Prado, O'Brien did not seize the Diamondbacks' vacant catching spot in spring 2015, so he shifted to the outfield and made it to Phoenix in September, hitting his first homer off Astros ace Dallas Keuchel. O'Brien spent the bulk of his first three seasons as a catcher--his preferred position--showing the needed desire and work ethic but lacking flexibility, lateral mobility and receiving polish. After developing throwing issues, O'Brien spent the bulk of the Triple-A Reno season playing the outfield corners. He's a below-average defender at any position, despite arm strength and some athleticism. At the plate, he generates top-of-the-scale raw power from his strength and bat speed, but his long swing and high strikeout rate make him susceptible high-end pitchers. O'Brien will give catching another try in 2016, and it's his best path to a big league job. He could wind up back in Reno, because both his defense and plate approach require polish.
The Diamondbacks acquired Guerrero, the nephew of 2004 American League MVP Vladimir Guerrero, from the Mariners in June 2015 as part of the return for Mark Trumbo. After a solid year at high Class A High Desert in 2014, when he hit .307 with 18 home runs and 18 stolen bases, Guerrero struggled at the Double-A level in 2015, hitting just .222/.258/.343 with seven homers in 126 games at Jackson and Mobile. He models his game after that of his uncle but lacks the same once-in-a-generation talent. Guerrero's approach and pitch recognition are subpar, but he continues to tantalize with his tools, including double-plus raw power and a double-plus arm strength. He has strong hands and a loose swing but doesn't make enough contact to get to that power, striking out 22 percent of the time in 2015. The ball sounds different coming off his bat when he does connect, however. Guerrero is an average runner and average defender in right field, where he recorded 15 assists in 2015 with a strong, accurate arm. Guerrero will need to repeat Double-A Mobile in 2016, when he must either improve his approach or hit for a lot more power.
Reinheimer began his career in the Mariners organization after being drafted from East Carolina in the fifth round in 2013. Seattle traded him to the Diamondbacks two years later, in June 2015, as one of four players they used to acquire Mark Trumbo from Arizona. Reinheimer profiles best as a utility player who consistently plays above his tools. He is a reliable defender at both shortstop and second base, with good footwork and instincts and an average, accurate arm. He's a patient hitter who puts together good at-bats, but a lack of strength limits his bat speed and leaves him with very little power. Reinheimer is an above-average runner who has swiped 78 bases in three seasons, including 21 in 27 tries in 2015. After a full season at the Double-A level and a second straight year in the Arizona Fall League, Reinheimer should be ready to move to Triple-A Reno in 2016. Scouts are certain that he has a major league future, with his first callup on the horizon.
The Tigers signed Leyba for $400,000 in July 2012, then placed him on the fast track in 2014, when he closed the year as an 18-year-old at low Class A West Virginia-he was promoted to the Whitecaps when Willy Adames was traded to the Rays. Detroit then traded him to the Diamondbacks in December 2014 as part of the three-team deal in which Arizona also acquired lefthander Robbie Ray and shipped shortstop Didi Gregorius to the Yankees. The D-backs continued Leyba's accelerated development program by assigning him to high Class A Visalia as a 19-year-old in 2015. To increase the degree of difficulty, they shifted him to shortstop full time after he had played mostly second base up to that point. Leyba struggled at the plate in 2015 in the hitter-friendly California League, though he improved markedly in the second half, when he hit .250 with 19 of his 28 extra-base hits. He is a fundamentally sound player who lacks flashy tools, but he has a quick bat, strong hands and a good feel for the barrel from both sides of the plate. He has below-average power and will struggle to reach double-digit homers. A below-average runner, Leyba is quick rather than fast, with a good first step. Evaluators were impressed with his defense at shortstop, grading him as an above-average defender with good hands and instincts. A quick release allows his average arm to play up. If the D-backs slow Leyba's timetable, he could return to Visalia for at least part of 2016.
Clarke began his college career at Towson but missed his sophomore year after having Tommy John surgery, then transferred to the College of Charleston for his final year after Towson nearly cut its baseball program. He signed for $801,900 before heading to short-season Hillsboro, where he worked in relief to break into pro ball slowly. Clarke helped the Hops win the Northwest League title while not allowing a run in 23 regular-season and playoff innings. He has a solid, muscular build, coupled with a solid threepitch mix and above-average control, which is why he will move back to the rotation in 2016. He gets good angle on his fastball and pitches with deception, and his fastball sits at 90-93 mph as a starter and peaks at 96 out of the bullpen. Clarke's advanced fastball command allows him to move the ball in and out and to change the batter's eye level. His above-average slider has downer action from a high threequarters slot, which he uses to expand the zone. He also deals an average changeup that he didn't need to use much in Hillsboro. He repeats his delivery and effectively executes his game plan. Clarke projects as a No. 4 starter and will next head to low Class A Kane County in 2016.
The Diamondbacks picked up Banda from the Brewers when they traded Gerardo Parra to Milwaukee in July 2014. Arizona had previously drafted Banda out of high school in 2011 but failed to sign him. They key to his improvement at high Class A Visalia in 2015 was improving his command and lowering his walk rate to 2.3 per nine innings. The extreme hitting environments of the California League can be unforgiving to young pitchers, but Banda recorded a 3.32 ERA and struck out 152 batters to rank seventh in the minors. He has a big arm and a smooth, effortless delivery. He gets good movement on his fastball that ranges from 88-95 mph and sits at 91-92. Banda's best pitch is a curveball from 72-78 mph that grades as at least an average offering. His 81-85 mph changeup with down movement is a putaway pitch when it's working. Because he repeats his delivery and effectively sequences his pitches, Banda is a safe bet to eventually reach the big leagues, health permitting. He projects as at least a back-end starter as he heads to Double-A Mobile in 2016.
The Diamondbacks signed the 20-year-old Huang in July 2014 for $450,000 after he pitched at the National Taiwan University of Physical Education and Sport. Arizona got a sneak preview earlier in 2014 when the slender righthander pitched at their training complex in Scottsdale, Ariz. Huang pitched impressively in 2015 during his pro debut at low Class A Kane County after his season was delayed with a back issue. He went 7-3, 2.00 with 8.0 strikeouts and 1.9 walks per nine innings while holding opponents to a .208 average in 77 innings. Huang's slender build elicits concern from scouts as to whether he will have the strength and durability to remain in the rotation, but his stuff will play in that role if he holds up. He has good command of a fastball that sits 91-92 mph and touches 94, and his double-plus changeup at 78-81 mph already ranks as the best in the organization. He rounds out his three-pitch arsenal with a low-70s curveball that he can really spin. Huang is ready for a move to high Class A Visalia in 2016.
Keller put in a strong pro debut in the Rookie-level Arizona League in 2013, striking out 61 in 57 innings, after the Diamondbacks popped him in the eighth round of the draft out of high school. He ran up a 6.95 ERA at Rookie-level Missoula in 2014, however, before getting his career back on track in 2015 at low Class A Kane County. One of the keys to Keller's improvement was learning to throw a sinker that helped him generate an elite 2-to-1 groundout-to-airout ratio. He also added velocity to his fastball and now sits 91-94 mph and touches 95. He can throw his two-seamer under the hands of righthanders and a four-seamer down in the zone. Keller's slider and changeup both project to be average pitches, and he has a chance to develop above-average command. Keller won't turn 21 until midway through 2016 and projects to a ceiling value of No. 3 or 4 starter, but he will need to move one level per year, so expect him to head to high Class A Visalia in 2016.
A 10th-round pick from Tennessee by the Cubs in 2013, Godley began his pro career as a reliever. Chicago traded him to the Diamondbacks in December 2014 as one of two minor league pitchers exchanged for Miguel Montero. The D-backs thought Godley had starter potential, and they were right. He advanced from high Class A Visalia to the big leagues in his first season with the organization in 2015. He made his major league debut on July 23 against the Brewers, earning the win with six shutout innings. Godley generates plenty of movement on all four of his pitches, though that sometimes results in command issues. He pounds the zone with both a cutting four-seam fastball and a tailing two-seamer that both sit 89-92 mph and touch 94. His cutter is his out pitch that he uses more often than the sinker, and his breaking ball could be called either a slider or a curveball with hard action. Godley uses a Vulcan grip on his 78-84 mph changeup, giving it the down action and late movement of a split-finger fastball. He has good mound presence, repeats his delivery and competes well. Godley projects as a back-end starter or swingman, with a chance to log innings for the D-backs in 2016.
The Diamondbacks knew when they selected Wilson that his ascent would be slow. While he remains a long-term project, the 19-year-old showed signs of growth at Rookie-level Missoula in 2015. He improved his pitch recognition and plate discipline but still needs to make more quality contact. While he added muscle to his lean, athletic frame, Wilson needs to get stronger to allow him to tap into his bat speed and drive the ball more frequently. His biggest improvement came with his outfield play. His above-average speed allows him to cover plenty of ground, but he needs to improve his jumps. His slightly below-average arm is enough for center field. Wilson is an aggressive baserunner who gets good jumps. He may not be ready for full-season ball, so a bump up to short-season Hillsboro is entirely possible.
The Diamondbacks signed Martinez for $55,000 in 2011, and he ranked as one of system's best pitching prospects until a stress fracture in his right elbow in 2014 derailed his progress. The slight, 6-foot-1 righthander made it back to the mound in late-June 2015 and worked exclusively out of the bullpen. Martinez will be a reliever moving forward, and he took to the role well. He possesses a fastball up to 95 mph and a plus curveball with late bite and tilt, giving him enough upside to project as a possible setup man. He doesn't always control his breaking ball or fringe changeup, in part because his quick arm often gets out ahead of his body. Martinez's next test will be high Class A Visalia.
A power lefthanded reliever who has moved quickly, Gibson has pitched well at every level with the exception of a rough patch at high Class A Visalia in 2014. Gibson conquered the California League in 2015, striking out 12.2 batters per nine innings and recording a microscopic 0.82 WHIP. He gave back those gains at Double-A Mobile but remained death on lefties, limiting them to a .151 average while striking out one-third of them at his two stops. Gibson's fastball sits 92-95 mph and is tough for hitters to pick up, and he complements the heater with an above-average slider in the low 80s as well as an average curveball. He struggles when he doesn't command his pitches and leaves the ball up. He worked to clean up a herky-jerky delivery, but he still comes across his body. Gibson may be ready for a jump to Triple-A Reno in 2016. He can function as a lefty specialist, but he might not be limited to that role.
Hernandez became the first catcher plucked from low Class A to stick in the Rule 5 draft in at least 40 years after the Diamondbacks selected him with the first pick. The requirement that Hernandez spend the entire season on Arizona's 25-man roster was easier to meet when the native Venezuelan broke a hamate bone during spring training, allowing him to stay on the disabled list rather than the active roster. After brief rehab assignments at low Class A Kane County and Triple-A Reno, Hernandez made his big league debut on July 12 and spent the rest of the season in the big leagues. While his defense is major leagueready, the 22-year-old will need a few years on the farm to develop into a competent hitter. With strength and hand speed, Hernandez has a chance to hit for power as he matures but needs time to develop a polished approach at the plate and learn to repeat his swing. He's a good all-around catcher with a plus arm and above-average footwork. Diamondbacks pitchers liked throwing to him, but inexperience causes him to make mistakes behind the plate. Double-A Mobile is Hernandez's most likely destination to start 2016.
Miller showed off one of the most powerful arms in the Southern League. His fastball regularly clocked in at north of 100 mph. Miller snuck up on people because he lost two years of development when he went on a two-year Mormon mission after his freshman year at Brigham Young, and he already was 23 when Arizona picked him in the 20th round in 2013. He's not a big guy, but Miller's athleticism gives him such easy velocity, and he closed games at Mobile during the first half of the 2015 season. His fastball was regularly clocked in the high 90s and touched as high as 101, and he complements his top-of-the-scale heater with a high-80s slider that's a plus pitch when he commands it. Miller's lack of a third pitch and inconsistent command consigned him to the bullpen. He needs to improve his control-he walked 4.5 batters per nine innings at Mobile. Miller will be ready for Triple-A Reno in 2016.
The Diamondbacks viewed Barrett, who played both high school and college ball in the Phoenix area, as close to the majors. Instead, the Arizona State product struggled with mechanics and a slight drop in velocity at Triple-A Reno, precipitating a June trip back to Double-A Mobile to right the ship. Barrett also spent part of July with Team USA in the Pan American games, and he returned to Mobile better for that experience. At his best, he delivers his plus fastball from 94-98 mph, works down in the zone and uses both sides of the plate. His slider with sharp downward tilt and bite is a plus pitch when he commands it. Barrett's third pitch is a changeup that has the potential to grade as above-average. The key to Barrett's success is landing his secondary pitches for strikes. He'll get another chance at Reno in 2016.
Arizona's top international signee in 2013, Herrera skipped over the Dominican Summer League and headed to the Rookie-level Arizona League for his 2014 pro debut. The native Venezuelan returned to the AZL in 2015 after being slowed in the spring by a foot injury that kept him from advancing. AZL managers continued to view him favorably because even in his repeat season he was still just 18 years old. Herrera has advanced catching skills and solid actions for his age, with pop times of sub-2 seconds on throws to second base, which has helped him throw out 33 percent of basestealers as a pro. Herrera has an easy swing from both sides of the plate with some raw power, but he needs to trust his hands and develop a better approach to focus on hitting line drives until his over-the-fence power develops. Herrera still will be a teenager in 2016 when he advances to either Rookie-level Missoula or short-season Hillsboro.
The Diamondbacks acquired Reyes from the Braves in a two-part trade that transpired in early April 2015. First, Arizona sent Trevor Cahill to Atlanta for salary relief, then the D-backs reciprocated by sending a 2015 supplemental second-round pick to the Braves for Reyes, a 20-year-old, switch-hitting outfielder. (The draft pick added $814,300 to Atlanta's draft bonus pool.) Reyes spent the 2014 season at low Class A Rome, and the D-backs had him repeat the level in 2015. He finished third in the Midwest League batting race. While Reyes is a career .299 hitter in four pro seasons, he has absolutely no over-thefence power. He has at least average bat speed from both sides of the plate and shows a knack to hit and an ability to barrel the ball. He's more of a line-drive hitter who doesn't produce much loft in his swing, but adding strength to his lean, lanky frame might allow him to develop gap power. He's a slightly belowaverage runner and an average defender with an average arm who can capably handle an outfield corner. Reyes moves to to high Class A Visalia in 2016.
The big-bodied, strong-armed Burr finished a three-year career at Arizona State by setting a school record for saves before signing with the Diamondbacks as a 2015 fifth-rounder for $403,000. The Colorado native put up dazzling numbers out of the bullpen for both short-season Hillsboro and low Class A Kane County, recording a combined 1.06 ERA, .160 opponent average and 13.0 strikeouts per nine innings. Burr operates with a lively 93-96 mph fastball that he keeps in the zone, with a top velocity of 99. His slider was inconsistent in college but improved in pro ball with a slight adjustment in his grip and progress made in repeating his delivery. It's now at least a solid-average pitch and could be a plus offering in time. Burr cut his walk rate from 4.9 per nine innings in his last college season to 2.9 per nine in pro ball by doing a better job of attacking hitters. Burr should move quickly and could reach Double-A Mobile at some point in 2016.
Alcantara hit just .113 in 20 games at low Class A Kane County in 2015, earning a ticket to extended spring training and a June assignment to short-season Northwest League-champion Hillsboro. The switch-hitting shortstop's scouting report reads very similar to past years: he's an elite defender at shortstop with a double-plus arm, but he needs to build more upper-body strength in order to take advantage of his excellent plate discipline. Alcantara has a good feel for the barrel and good bat speed, with scouts noticing improvement at the plate during his time at Hillsboro. He is a slightly above-average runner but doesn't steal a lot of bases. He moved to second base in the latter half of Hillsboro's season in deference to No. 1 overall draft pick Dansby Swanson, and the pair of plus defenders worked well together. Alcantara's defense alone could be enough to get him to the big leagues in a utility role, and the 19-year-old will receive another chance at full-season ball in 2016.
Bracho has consistently put up excellent numbers in each of his four pro seasons, but he didn't jump onto the prospect radar until a strong 2015 season propelled him to a late-season audition with the Diamondbacks. While in the minors, he advanced quickly to Double-A Mobile, where he served as closer, and recorded a composite 0.88 WHIP and 73-to-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 51 innings. Southern League managers recognized Bracho as the Southern League's best reliever, as low Class A Midwest League managers had in 2014. While nothing in his arsenal grades as more than average, Bracho locates everything, knows how to pitch, makes adjustments and is a fierce competitor on the mound. His fastball ranges from 90-94 mph with below-average life, and he also uses an average slider and changeup. Bracho, whose ceiling is seventh-inning reliever, will go to 2016 spring training with a good chance to make the Opening Day roster.
Westbrook continues to defy critics who ding him for being too small, too slow and too limited defensively to project as more than an up-and-down guy. But the 2013 fifth-round pick uses his grinder mentality to overachieve. Westbrook takes an aggressive swing for his 5-foot-9 size but makes pretty good contact, striking out 13 percent of time time at Visalia. He catches up to good fastballs and projects to be an average hitter. Defensively, Westbrook has remained at second base throughout his pro career. He may see some offseason work at third base and in the outfield, and he even caught a few bullpen sessions during instructional league. He's an average defender with good instincts at second base, and is an average runner on the basepaths. Westbrook will be just 20 in 2016 but could receive a shot at Double-A Mobile.