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2011 Archives http://www.dbacksvenom.com/table/2011-articles/january/ Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:40:42 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb 5th Starter Options for the Diamondbacks http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/january/5th-starter-options-for-the-diamondbacks.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/january/5th-starter-options-for-the-diamondbacks.html With spring training a few weeks away, the Diamondbacks have several options for the 5th Starter slot. The Top 4 should be set with Joe Saunders, Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, and Zach Duke. The top candidates for the 5th slot are Barry Enright, newly acquired Armando Galarraga, and converted reliever Aaron Heilman.  Longer shots for the #5 spot are rookies Jarrod Parker and Wade Miley, and newly returned Diamondback Micah Owings.

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) January Wed, 26 Jan 2011 05:55:59 +0000
Baseball America Releases their Diamondbacks Top 10 Prospects List http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/january/baseball-america-releases-their-diamondbacks-top-10-prospects-list.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/january/baseball-america-releases-their-diamondbacks-top-10-prospects-list.html Today, Baseball America released their list of the Top 10 Prospects in the Arizona Diamondbacks system. As expected, pitcher Jarrod Parker was ranked as the #1 prospect, followed by LHP Tyler Skaggs, 3B Matt Davidson, SS Chris Owings, and LF Marc Krauss.

Their Top 10 is very similar to the rankings posted at D'Backs Venom a few days ago.  All of the players in Top 10 are the same, except that BA likes OF Keon Broxton, while I picked RHP Charles Brewer. Some other small differences:

  • BA has Tyler Skaggs in the #2 spot, while I have Matt Davidson there. I think Davidson's upside is a little higher - he could be a 30 HR, clean-up hitter, while Skaggs projects as more of a #3 starter.
  • BA likes SS Chris Owings a little more than I do. I am still worried about the lack of walks.
  • I rank Bobby Borchering a little higher than BA does.
Player Baseball America D'Backs Venom
RHP Jarrod Parker 1 1
LHP Tyler Skaggs 2 4
3B Matt Davidson 3 2
SS Chris Owings 4 6
LF Marc Krauss 5 5
CF A.J. Pollock 6 8
3B Bobby Borchering 7 3
LHP Wade Miley 8 7
LHP Patrick Corbin 9 10
CF Keon Broxton 10 x
RHP Charles Brewer x 9

Baseball America also listed their projected lineup for 2014:
C Miguel Montero
1B Bobby Borchering
2B Chris Owings
3B Matt Davidson
SS Stephen Drew
LF Marc Krauss
CF Chris Young
RF Justin Upton
SP1 Jarrod Parker
SP2 Tyler Skaggs
SP3 Daniel Hudson
SP4 Ian Kennedy
SP5 Wade Miley
CL Kevin Munson 

It was interesting to see that Kevin Munson was listed as the 2014 closer, but in a subsequent chat, Bill Mitchell of Baseball America stated that they see Munson more as a setup man as a closer. But they had to list someone, and Munson was the best choice currently in the system.  
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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) January Mon, 17 Jan 2011 19:08:27 +0000
Top 25 Diamondbacks Prospects for 2011 http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/january/top-25-diamondbacks-prospects-for-2011.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/january/top-25-diamondbacks-prospects-for-2011.html The Arizona Diamondbacks' farm system had a big drop in talent from 2007-2009, as players like Justin Upton, Miguel Montero, and Mark Reynolds advanced from the minors, while prospects such as Carlos Gonzalez and Brett Anderson were traded away. The result was a minor league system that was rated in the lower third of MLB, with very few players ready to contribute at the major league level.  Things began to improve with the 2009 draft, when the Diamondbacks had seven picks in the first two rounds, and continued in 2010, as players such as Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson were traded away for minor leaguers. Unfortunately, the team's top pick in the 2010 draft, Barret Loux,  did not sign due to injury concerns, but the Diamondbacks did sign and draft a good crop of young, hard-throwing pitchers. The result is that now Arizona has a farm system that is rated in the middle of the pack for 2011, and should be moving further up in 2012 as the many high school-drafted players move up through the ranks.

Top 5 Prospects for 2011
1. Jarrod Parker, RHP (22)
2. Matthew Davidson, 3B (20)
3. Bobby Borchering, 3B (20)
4. Tyler Skaggs, LHP (19)
5. Marc Krauss, LF (23)

The rankings are led by Jarrod Parker, whose stuff is considered to be among the very best in the major leagues. Coming back from elbow surgery, he should be making his major league debut at some point in 2011. The rest of the Top 5 are a little further away - #2 Matthew Davidson and #3 Bobby Borchering are 2009 first round picks  now in Visalia of the Class A California League, who both have legitimate 30-HR potential in the Majors.  #4 Tyler Skaggs dominated batters in the Midwest League last season, and will join the talented group of prospects in Visalia. #5 Marc Krauss will be starting in AA Mobile, and is coming off an All-Star season in the California League and a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League, where he led the league in RBI.  

The Diamondbacks also have several young players who should make major contributions in 2011, including 1B/LF Brandon Allen (25), RHP Sam Demel (25), and 1B Juan Miranda (28).

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) January Sat, 15 Jan 2011 00:22:04 +0000
Diamondbacks Sign Willie Bloomquist - Whose Roster Spot is in Trouble? http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/january/diamondbacks-sign-willie-bloomquist-whose-roster-spot-is-in-trouble.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/january/diamondbacks-sign-willie-bloomquist-whose-roster-spot-is-in-trouble.html The Diamondbacks signed IF/OF Willie Bloomquist to a one year, $1M contract for 2011, with a mutual option for 2012. What does Bloomquist add to the team, and whose roster spot will he take? 

There are two positive attributes that Bloomquist adds to the Diamondbacks - versatility and speed. Bloomquist played 8 different positions in 2010, everywhere except pitcher and catcher, even getting in one game as a DH. With teams moving to 11 or 12 man pitching staffs, a player who can play any position does have some value. The second aspect that Bloomquist adds is speed. For his career, he has stolen 104 bases in 127 attempts, good for a 82% success rate, which means he does add a base-stealing threat to the bench. Of course, he will be 33 this year, so even that skill is probably diminishing.

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) January Thu, 13 Jan 2011 16:50:10 +0000
Diamondbacks Off-Season Recap: Corner Infield http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/january/diamondbacks-off-season-recap-corner-infield.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/january/diamondbacks-off-season-recap-corner-infield.html Wrapping up our offseason recap of the Arizona Diamondbacks, let's take a look at the corner infield positions. While the middle infield seems set with Stephen Drew and Kelly Johnson, there are several candidates battling for the corner spots, including Melvin Mora, Geoff Blum, Tony Abreu, Juan Miranda, Brandon Allen, and Xavier Nady. The Diamondbacks need to replace the 60HRs and 200 RBI from last year's duo of Mark Reynolds and Adam LaRoche. At this point, Melvin Mora seems to be the frontrunner at 3B, but the 1B job is still wide open. 

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) January Wed, 12 Jan 2011 00:34:23 +0000
Diamondbacks Off-Season Recap: Middle Infield http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/january/diamondbacks-off-season-recap-middle-infield.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/january/diamondbacks-off-season-recap-middle-infield.html The middle infield was a high point for the Diamondbacks in the 2010 season, and it should be again in 2011. 2B Kelly Johnson was probably the Diamondbacks' best player last season, leading the team in AVG, OBP, and SLG, while SS Stephen Drew was second on the team in OPS at .810 while playing solid defense. Both Johnson and Drew are eligible for salary arbitration and should see raises this year, and will be key member of the 2011 team. Looking at the stat Wins Above Replacement from Baseball-Reference.com, Johnson finished first in the National League among 2B, while Drew was 4th among SS. Both should finish in the upper half of the league again in 2011.

Rank Second Base WAR Shortstop WAR
1 Kelly Johnson 4.7 Troy Tulowitzki 5.6
2 Chase Utley 4.2 Hanley Ramirez 3.5
3 Rickie Weeks 3.7 Rafael Furcal 3.4
4 Dan Uggla 3.7 Stephen Drew 3.3
5 Martin Prado 2.7 Jose Reyes 2.2
6 Jeff Keppinger 2.5 Juan Uribe 2.0
7 Brandon Phillips 2.3 Jimmy Rollins 1.7
8 Neil Walker 1.5 Brendan Ryan 0.9
9 Freddy Sanchez 1.5 Ian Desmond 0.6
10 David Eckstein 1.4 Orlando Cabrera 0.4  
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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) January Sat, 08 Jan 2011 20:01:38 +0000
Diamondbacks Off-Season Recap: Catching http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/january/diamondbacks-off-season-recap-catching-and-the-infield.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2011-articles/january/diamondbacks-off-season-recap-catching-and-the-infield.html Continuing our look at the Diamondbacks' off-season, let's examine the team's catching situation. Miguel Montero will be the starter behind the plate, and veteran Henry Blanco has been signed to be the team's backup catcher.  Also on the Diamondbacks' 40-Man roster are catchers John Hester and Konrad Schmidt, a pair of right-handed batters who will probably start the season battling for playing time at AAA Reno. Here is a closer look at these four players.

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amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) January Sun, 02 Jan 2011 22:31:26 +0000