The Top 50 is finally here. After months of interviews, evaluations, discussion and hand wringing, we've done the Santa Claus thing, made the list, checked it twice, then reevaluated, discussed some more, and done some more hand wringing...then there were cuts, and trades, and rumored trades. We're locked and loaded now though, once it's in print, there's no going back you know. Round 2 #45-#41.
|'04 Club||Low-A South Bend Silverhawks (Midwest League)|
Cremidan is a fly ball pitcher being groomed as a closer. In a hitter friendly ballpark like the BOB that could be a problem, but his solid control and the big game experience he picked up pitching for Greece in the Athens Olympics have the Diamondbacks excited. A fourth pitch, reportedly a split fingered fastball, could seriously raise Cremidan's profile in the system.
"There's a lot of potential closers ahead of him in the system," FutureBacks.com's David Merchant says, "but that actually might work in his favor. Cremidan needs a lot of polishing, his arm angle is inconsistent, which keeps the ball up, especially on his slider, and since there will be little to no pressure on him he just might be able to take the time to get those kinks worked out."
|'04 Club||Hi-A Lancaster JetHawks (California League)|
His ceiling is high, and it needs to be at 6'6". When Bass was taken out of the University of Alabama-Huntsville he was a starter, but in 2003 when he reported to Short Season Yakima he was used mostly out of the bullpen. While this practice is common to pitchers who have logged extensive innings pitching for their college teams, it produced a 0.80 ERA for Bass. In '04 Bass was moved back into the starting rotation and while his 5.03 ERA was not horrible in the hitter friendly California League, he completed only one game this season and saw his ERA rise dramatically in the fifth and sixth innings.
|'04 Club||Triple-A Tucson Sidewinders (Pacific Coast League), MLB Arizona Diamondbacks|
The slick fielding shortstop got a chance to play in the bigs this past season, but one wonders if that had more to due with Alex Cintron's slump than Gil's potential. He projects as a guy who can hang around the league awhile for his defense and speed, even if he's never going to be much of a hitter. Though his production hasn't been spectacular he is still only 22 and may have time to add strength, which could help him handle pitches inside.
|'04 Club||Hi-A Lancaster JetHawks (California League), Double-A El Paso Diablos (Texas League)|
"One of the best change ups I've ever seen," says Scott Coolbaugh, Doyle's manager at Double-A El Paso in 2004. "Everything's set up off that pitch." When Doyle was taken in the 3rd round of the 2002 draft he was viewed as a top of the rotation guy, a lefty who could eat up innings and potentially become an 'Ace.' Those expectations have cooled since, but he's still viewed as a guy with solid #4 potential.
|'04 Clubs||Hi-A Lancaster JetHawks (California League)|
Avlas quietly put together one of the better all around seasons in the Diamondback organization last year. While not as highly publicized as some of the other catchers in the D'Backs system, his youth and defensive prowess impress. Always viewed as a very good defensive receiver he had a breakout year at the plate hitting .315 with 13 homers and 63 RBI. Unfortunately it seemed nobody noticed, as he was playing on a team with Conor Jackson, Carlos Quentin, and Jaime D'Antona the first half of the season, and then Jon Zeringue the second half. He'll likely start '05 at Double-A Tennessee and will attract a lot of trade inquiries since the Diamondbacks have a minimum of three catchers ahead of him under the age of 25.