McKamey on Diamondbacks Prospect Movement

Minor league expert Deric McKamey analyzes winter prospect movement for the Arizona Diamondbacks: How the Haren, Cabrera, and Swisher deals compare, who the D-Backs will most regret losing, how decimated the system is, what to expect from newcomers Billy Buckner and Juan Gutierrez, and more.

Deric McKamey of was kind enough to answer our questions about the Arizona Diamondbacks system.

More on Deric McKamey and his rankings

FutureBacks had Carlos Gonzalez, Brett Anderson, Aaron Cunningham, Chris Carter, and Greg Smith ranked at #1, 3, 6, 7, and 10 prior to the Dan Haren trade.  Where would you have put each of them?

Here is what my top 15 looked like prior to the trade.  Greg Smith would have been in the 16-20 range had I gone that far.

Carter came in at #7 before the deal
1.    Carlos Gonzalez
2.    Max Scherzer
3.    Jarrod Parker
4.    Brett Anderson
5.    Gerardo Parra
6.    Aaron Cunningham
7.    Chris Carter
8.    Wes Roemer
9.    Brooks Brown
10.  Ed Easley
11.  Emilio Bonifacio
12.  Barry Enright
13.  Cyle Hankerd
14.  Reynaldo Navarro
15.  Hector Ambriz

How far did the Diamondbacks system fall relative to the other 29 organizations after that deal?

Substantially.  I had them in the middle third of all organizations prior to the Haren deal, but feel the only organizations they may be better than right now are the White Sox, Tigers, and Astros.  I wouldn't get too discouraged over that as few organizations possess as many high-quality young players (Upton, Drew, Young, Montero, Reynolds, Owings, and Pena) as Arizona does.

How does the package of prospects sent for Haren compare to the group that Detroit sent to Florida and the trio that the White Sox swapped for Nick Swisher

I like the group that Florida received for Cabrera/Willis slightly better, and I'm basing that on my projections on the primary players that were involved (Maybin/Miller/de la Cruz for Florida, Gio Gonzalez/de los Santos/Sweeney for Oakland, and C. Gonzalez/Anderson/Cunningham for Oaklan>).  Maybin is one of the top hitting prospects in the game and will be given a chance to start in CF right away.  Miller is already major league-tested.  De la Cruz projects more as a reliever for me, but has an electric arm.

C. Gonzalez has the bat and defense that rival Maybin, but lacks the speed and ability to play CF.  Anderson is very projectable and polished for his age, but far from a sure thing.  I like both pitchers involved in the Swisher deal (G. Gonzalez and de los Santos), and feel G. Gonzalez can contribute immediately. 

De los Santos has a very live arm, but is several years away.  Sweeney has been a disappointing player in the sense that his power hasn't developed, but getting out of the White Sox organization may do wonders for him.  The other players involved (Dallas Trahern, Burke Badenhop, and Mike Rabelo) in the Detroit/Florida deal don't do much for me and didn't factor into my decision.

Who is the best left-handed pitcher remaining in the Diamondbacks system?

Scott Maine, who was Arizona's sixth round pick in the 2007 Draft from Miami-FL.  He doesn't have a ton of upside, but has three average pitches, solid command, and a repeatable ¾ delivery.  He is more of a pitchability-type hurler who will have to rely on command and groundball outs instead of missing bats.

What can Diamondbacks fans expect from recent acquisitions Juan Gutierrez and Billy Buckner?  Could either of them help the big league club in 2008?

Though they go about their business in different ways, I see them both as backend starters at best and believe both will amass starts at the major league level in 2008, though their ERA's will be on the high side.  Gutierrez sports excellent velocity, but lacks fastball movement and doesn't change speeds well.  His command is very solid and is durable.  Buckner is very polished and gets good deception from his delivery.  His stuff is very pedestrian, doesn't miss many bats, and tends to elevate his pitches.

Of all the prospects that the Diamondbacks have lost over the past couple of years, whose departure will fans most regret five years from now?

Carlos Gonzalez is the highest rated player that was lost, but being that the Diamondbacks are flush with an outstanding core of outfielders, I think LHP Brett Anderson will be the player that fans may regret losing.  Admittedly, I was a little tepid on Anderson coming into the 2007 season, seeing a pitcher with a non-projectable frame that didn't have great stuff and may struggle to notch strikeouts.  However, he used his intelligence and ability to repeat his low ¾ delivery, making his stuff play-up.  His base skills (command/efficiency, ability to miss bats) were outstanding, even in the California League, which was a level higher than he was expected to be at.

Deric McKamey's Minor League Baseball Analyst profiles over 1000 minor league prospects and includes detailed scouting reports, sabermetrics, major league equivalencies, organizational lists, a top 100 list, and potential ratings.  The book can be purchased through Baseball HQ, where the purchaser will also receive a free online update to the lists in the book.   You may also purchase the book through any of the major on-line bookstores.  The Minor League Baseball Analyst is expected to arrive mid-January.

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