11 February 2011
The Diamondbacks have announced that 20 non-roster players (players not on the 40-man roster) have been invited to Spring Training. The list includes 9 Pitchers, 2 Catchers, 4 Infielders, and 5 Outfielders. In the last article, we looked at the pitchers; here is a look at the 11 position players.
Catchers - Rossmel Perez, P.J. Pilittere
Infielders - Paul Goldschmidt, Chris Owings, Cody Ransom, Andy Tracy
Outfielders - Collin Cowgill, Marc Krauss, Wily Mo Pena, A.J. Pollock, David Winfree
Rossmel Perez, C (21)
Visalia (High A): .259/.324/.338, 5 HR, 43 RBI, 33BB, 47BB
Perez is one of the best young catching prospects in the Diamondbacks' system. His strength is his defense, where he has thrown out 40% of base stealers in the minors. Offensively, he has shown excellent plate discipline in the minors, with 117 BB and only 122K, posting a career OBP of .347. But the power has been non-existent, with a career SLG of only .317. He's still very young, so maybe the power will develop. He will probably head to AA Mobile this year.
P.J. Pilittere, C (28)
Scranton (AAA, Yankees): .357/.419/.482, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 56 ABs
Pilittere, a former 13th Round pick out of Cal-State Fullerton, was signed in the offseason from the Yankees' organization. He spent the 2010 season in Scranton Wilkes-Barre backing up top Yankees' prospect Jesus Montero, so he only played in 22 games. Although Pilittere hit well in his very limited playing time in 2010, he has a career OPS of only .671 in the minors. He will probably serve as a backup catcher for AA Mobile.
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B (23)
2010: Visalia (High A): .314/.384/.606, 35 HR, 108 RBI, 102R, 57BB, 161K
Goldschmidt won California League MVP honors in 2010, leading the league in HR (35) and SLG (.606). He showed good power to all fields, and played well defensively at 1B, showing good skill at digging throws out of the dirt. He will probably start the 2011 season in AA Mobile.
Chris Owings, SS (19)
2010: South Bend, A: .298/.323/.447, 5 HR, 28 RBI, 39 R, 9 BB, 50K
Owings only played in 62 games for South Bend in 2010 because of plantar fasciitis, but was voted as the #17 prospect in the league. He has a solid line drive stroke, and is a good defensive shortstop who should be able to stick at that position. Owings needs to improve his plate discipline, as he only has 12 career walks in 382 plate appearances. He should start 2011 in High Class A Visalia.
Cody Ransom, IF (35)
Ransom is a veteran infielder who can play all four infield positions. He spent last year with the Phillies, and the two years before that with the Yankees. Although he's been in the majors for parts of the eight seasons, he has never had more than 80 ABs in a year. He has played a lot in AAA, logging over 1000 Games at that level, and compiling a respectable .774 OPS. He'll probably be back there again in 2011.
Andy Tracy, 1B/3B (37)
2010 AAA: .275/.373/.492, 21 HR, 80 RBI, 68 BB, 114K
Like Cody Ransom, Andy Tracy has played over 1000 games in AAA. Tracy has spent parts of five seasons in the Majors, but hasn't had more than 55 ABs in a major league season since 2000. He should be part of the AAA Reno roster in 2011, but could be a fall-back option if the Diamondbacks' other 1B options struggle.
Collin Cowgill, OF (24)
2010 AA: .285/.360/.464, 16 HR, 83 RBI, 25 SB, 9 CS, 57BB, 73K
Cowgill played all three outfield positions in AA Mobile last year, and had an impressive 23 assists from the outfield. Offensively, he was solid, finishing in the Top 3 in the Southern League in both Runs Scored and RBI. Cowgill should start 2011 in AAA, and could be an option for the Diamondbacks' LF position later in the season.
Marc Krauss, LF (23)
2010: Visalia, High A: .302/.371/.509, 25 HR, 87 RBI, 107 R, 57BB, 141K
2010: Arizona Fall League: .298/.404/.524, 4 HR, 23 RBI, 20R, 15BB, 22K
Krauss had an excellent offensive season for Visalia last year, and followed that up by leading the Arizona Fall League in RBI. His defense in LF is still a concern, but so far, he has hit at every level. He'll start 2011 in AA Mobile.
Wily Mo Pena, OF (29)
Pena has always had outstanding power, and slugged .504 with 56 Home Runs between 2004 and 2006. After spending several seasons in the Majors, Pena has been in AAA for the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Injuries limited him to 40 games in 2010, but he did have a good .324/.390/.556 line for AAA Portland. He's a long shot for the major league roster, but a good start in AAA could put him into the outfield picture.
A.J. Pollock, CF (23)
2010: AFL: 16 Games, .313/.389/.406, 0 HR, 9 RBI, 10R, 6 BB, 10K, 7 SB, 0 CS
Pollock missed the entire 2010 minor league season with an elbow injury, sustained on a diving catch in CF. But he came back in the Arizona Fall League, and picked up right where he had left off, getting on base, stealing bases, and playing well in CF. He should start the 2011 season in either High A Visalia or AA Mobile.
David Winfree, OF (25)
WInfree has spent the last two years in AAA, playing for the Twins, Mariners, and Yankees' systems. His career AAA stats are decent, but not outstanding - .281/.322/.469. The batting average and power are OK, but the on-base percentage is a little low. Winfree has never walked very much, and strikes out about 3.5 times for every base on balls. He should be in the AAA Reno outfield.
The Diamondbacks' non-roster list includes several of the team's top prospects, including Marc Krauss, Chris Owings, A.J. Pollock, Paul Goldschmidt, and Rossmel Perez. None of these players are ready for the majors yet, however, and will all start the 2011 season in AA or High Class A. Wily Mo Pena has intriguing power and is a long-shot for the major league club, and Collin Cowgill should start in AAA. The rest of the group will primarily be used for minor league depth.