The Diamondbacks' system is best-known for its collection of top-tier pitching talent at this point. They boast three pitchers ranked among Scout.com's top 40 prospects and would have had four had they held on to Jarrod Parker.
Where Arizona appears thinner than in recent years is in its depth. Other than Parker, the organization has shrewdly held on to its premium assets and instead used mid-tier farmhands to acquire major league help. The likes of Ryan Cook, Kevin Eichhorn, Jordan Norberto, Leyson Septimo, Adam Worthington, and Zach Walters have all been traded away recently. While these six players are talented and could each get an opportunity in the majors, none of them is likely to become an impact player at the major league level the way that the D-backs' current top 25 prospects or so could.
#5 - Wheeler
While it's fairly obvious who the D-backs' top three prospects are, analysts struggle to find consensus on how to rank those three. Here at FutureBacks.com, we see the comparisons between Trevor Bauer and Tim Lincecum as legitimate. This isn't to take anything away from Tyler Skaggs, whom we had ranked ahead of three-time #1 prospect Jarrod Parker prior to the Trevor Cahill trade. While Archie Bradley drew gushes of praise in the Fall Instructional League, we need to see how he handles a full professional season before we could even think about ranking him ahead of Bauer or Skaggs.
How the rest of the rankings shake out after those three are even less obvious. We've always been higher on Ryan Wheeler than other outlets, and in 2012 he will demonstrate why by putting up monster numbers in Triple-A and potentially becoming the Diamondbacks' starting third baseman by season's end. The pressure is on for him to do so, because Matt Davidson is nipping at his heels despite being nearly three full years younger. Both A.J. Pollock and Adam Eaton are close to big league-ready, but it's hard to see where they might fit in to Arizona's crowded outfield picture. A host of other pitching prospects that most teams would love to have in their top ranks fall in line behind those two outfield prospects.
Second baseman David Nick made the biggest jump in the rankings by handling himself with aplomb in the Arizona Fall League at the young age of 21. Patrick Schuster and Eury De La Rosa were among the few pitchers who managed to make significant gains despite the system's influx of new arms by making the transition from Short-Season to Full-Season ball exceptionally well. Fidel Pena came out of nowhere to do a pretty good Craig Biggio impersonation.
Without further delay, dissect, discuss, and enjoy the 2012 FutureBacks.com Prospect Rankings.
Notes: Listed age is as of January 1st, 2012.
NR = Not Ranked in 2011; YR = Designated Young & Raw in 2011;
IE = Ineligible for Ranking in 2011
|1 (IE)||RHP||Trevor Bauer||20|
|2 (2)||LHP||Tyler Skaggs||20|
|3 (IE)||RHP||Archie Bradley||19|
|4 (6)||3B||Matt Davidson||20|
|5 (4)||3B||Ryan Wheeler||23|
|6 (7)||OF||A.J. Pollock||24|
|7 (15)||OF||Adam Eaton||23|
|8 (9)||LHP||Patrick Corbin||22|
|9 (13)||LHP||David Holmberg||20|
|10 (8)||1B||Bobby Borchering||21|
|11 (12)||LHP||Wade Miley||25|
|12 (16)||RHP||Charles Brewer||23|
|13 (3)||SS||Chris Owings||20|
|14 (IE)||LHP||Andrew Chafin||21|
|15 (19)||RHP||Kevin Munson||22|
|16 (IE)||RHP||Anthony Meo||21|
|17 (10)||OF||Marc Krauss||24|
|18 (IE)||RHP||Evan Marshall||21|
|19 (45)||2B||David Nick||21|
|20 (17)||OF||Keon Broxton||21|
|21 (YR)||RHP||Yoimer Camacho||21|
|22 (29)||LHP||Patrick Schuster||21|
|23 (NR)||C/2B||Fidel Pena||20|
|24 (22)||RHP||Chase Anderson||24||25 (34)||RHP||Yonata Ortega||25|
|26 (38)||C||Rossmel Perez||22|
|27 (IE)||RHP||Jesse Darrah||21|
|28 (IE)||LHP||Taylor Siemens||22|
|29 (44)||LHP||Eury De La Rosa||21|
|30 (YR)||RHP||J.R. Bradley||19|
|31 (24)||SS||Raul Navarro||19|
|32 (18)||RHP||Mike Belfiore||23|
|33 (YR)||RHP||Tyler Green||20|
|34 (43)||1B||Yazy Arbelo||23|
|35 (32)||RHP||Bryan Woodall||25|
|36 (IE)||LHP||John Pedrotty||22|
|37 (YR)||C||Raywilly Gomez||21|
|38 (YR)||RHP||Jeff Shields||21|
|39 (NR)||RHP||Mike Bolsinger||23|
|40 (36)||2B||Jake Elmore||24|
|41 (46)||RHP||Kable Hogben||21|
|42 (NR)||LHP||Keith Hessler||22|
|43 (NR)||OF||Alfredo Marte||22|
|44 (60)||RHP||Blake Cooper||23|
|45 (28)||LHP||Dan Taylor||24|
|46 (IE)||RHP||Raymond Hernandez||23|
|47 (54)||OF||Ender Inciarte||21|
|48 (50)||RHP||Victor Capellan||22|
|49 (IE)||RHP||Matt Sample||23|
|50 (IE)||RHP||D.J. Johnson||22|
Too raw for these rankings, but potentially excellent prospects:
Right-Handed Pitchers Blake Perry, Robby Rowland, and Kyle Winkler; Left-Handed Pitchers Michael Blake, Alexander Carrereas, and Jose Jose; Catcher Michael Perez, Shortstops John Leonard, Ronny Mejias, and Antonio Sepulveda; and Outfielders Justin Bianco, Socrates Brito, Yorman Garcia, Jeremia Gomez, Ty Linton, and Wagner Mateo.
Too old for their level, but could still impact the big leagues:
Right-Handed Pitchers Matt Gorgen, Bryan Henry, Jeremy Erben, Kyler Newby, Wes Roemer, Seth Simmons, Billy Spottiswood, and Daniel Stange; Left-Handed Pitchers Zach Kroenke, Taylor Sinclair, and Cody Wheeler; Catcher Konrad Schmidt, Infielders Mark Hallberg and Taylor Harbin; and outfielders Evan Frey and Ollie Linton.
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