MLB: A look at some AZ Diamondbacks Prospects
The Arizona Fall League season ended last month with the Salt River Rafters completing an excellent season by defeating the Peoria Javelinas, 14-7, in the Championship game. The Arizona Diamondbacks’ had seven players from their minor league system contribute to the Rafters championship. A few of those players might have a chance of making the team’s opening day roster.
Third baseman, Brandon Drury (who also played a little second base during the Fall League season), had 21 hits in 96 at-bats with three home runs and 11 RBI’s. He hit only .219 with.312 on base percentage; but he did show a more disciplined approach late in the Fall League season and that helped him out at the plate. He also improved on the defensive side of the ball. He has a strong arm and good hands and that will give him a chance to become an adequate fielder. Depending on what happens with Di Di Gregorius and Aaron Hill during the off-season, Drury might be on the 2015 opening day roster.
Right hander, Jimmie Sherfy, posted a 0.93 ERA in nine appearances. He allowed only five hits with three walks while striking out 10 in 9 2/3 innings. He had his fastball in the low-to-mid 90s with good spotting. His slider was a swing-and-miss offering, and he occasionally showed a changeup as well. We saw in the minors that he has the mentality necessary to pitch in tough situations, so we will see if the Diamondbacks continue to use him as a closer or a setup guy. He still needs some work on his command.
Catcher, Peter O’Brien, led the Rafters in home runs with five and hit .256. The Diamondbacks were impressed with the development of a keen eye at the plate in the Fall League. O’Brien’s raw hitting ability ranks among the best in the minors. He does swing and miss a lot and has strike zone control issues. His catching skills are average and will need work. There are not many catching prospects in the Diamondbacks organization, so it will be interesting to see where he plays. He did see time at first base in the Fall League and played third base and the outfield in the minors. However his lack of speed may leave first base as his only option.
Pitcher, Archie Bradley, is the Diamondbacks top prospect. He made six starts in the Fall League, with 17 2/3 innings pitched. He allowed 28 hits and 11 walks while striking out 12. The Diamondbacks were not too concerned about the numbers, or even his 7.13 ERA, as he has battled injuries this past season. He looked healthy and injury free and that is what they wanted to see. He did debut a slider and we will see during Spring Training how he pitches and if he is MLB ready for 2015.
The last players to look at will more than likely be assigned to AAA and AA, but still showed impressive numbers in the Fall League.
Pitcher, Enrique Burgos, was a “fire-balling” right-hander and he might have been the Diamondbacks most impressive player during the Fall League. His fastball came close to hitting 100 MPH and he had 11 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings, to go along with four saves. Look for Burgos to be the closer at AA Mobile for 2015.
Kaleb Fleck was another hard-throwing right-hander who pitched in eight games totaling 8 2/3 innings. He struck out 12 and had two saves. He featured a fastball in the mid-90’s and a good slider. It’s tough to say where he will end up. He might be back in Mobile or AAA Reno. If he is in Reno he may end up being the set-up guy for Jake Barrett.
Evan Marzilli started slow, but the outfielder finished strong with a .303 average and 23 hits in 76 at-bats. His play in center field drew some rave reviews from scouts. Look for him to be at AAA Reno.
In other Diamondbacks news of interest, newcomer Jeremy Hellickson, along with Cliff Pennington, David Hernandez, Mark Trumbo, Wade Miley and Addison Reed were all offered contracts, as they are arbitration-eligible. They can file for arbitration on January 13th, at which time the two sides would exchange proposed salary figures for the 2015 season by January 16th. If necessary, arbitration hearings are scheduled to take place from Feb. 1-21. The two sides can reach an agreement any time before the arbitrator announces their decisions.
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