Tag: Taylor Widener

2019 Preseason Top 150

Carter Kieboom
Carter Kieboom. Courtesy: Aaron Whelan

Before I even got this posted Alex Reyes exhausted his rookie eligibility (needed a single out to do so and pitched an inning on Friday) so I updated my top 150 before it went live. Reyes was at 22 but is now removed making room for Ryan Weathers, giving the Padres two more than any other team with 12 players making the top 150.  15 players on the list open the season in the big leagues, with 14 of those in the top 80 and the Padres and Mariners both starting with two players in the big leagues.

 

Player Position Team Rank
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 3B Toronto Blue Jays 1
Fernando Tatis Jr. SS San Diego Padres 2
Eloy Jimenez OF Chicago White Sox 3
Forrest Whitley RHP Houston Astros 4
Victor Robles OF Washington Nationals 5
Jo Adell OF Los Angeles Angels 6
Royce Lewis SS Minnesota Twins 7
Wander Franco SS Tampa Bay Rays 8
Nick Senzel 2B/3B Cincinnati Reds 9
Jesus Luzardo LHP Oakland Athletics 10
MacKenzie Gore LHP San Diego Padres 11
Bo Bichette SS/2B Toronto Blue Jays 12
Kyle Tucker OF Houston Astros 13
Taylor Trammell OF Cincinnati Reds 14
Keston Hiura 2B Milwaukee Brewers 15
Brendan Rodgers SS/2B Colorado Rockies 16
Sixto Sanchez RHP Miami Marlins 17
Cristian Pache OF Atlanta Braves 18
Carter Kieboom SS Washington Nationals 19
Luis Urias 2B/SS San Diego Padres 20
Casey Mize RHP Detroit Tigers 21
Joey Bart C San Francisco Giants 22
Austin Riley 3B Atlanta Braves 23
Keibert Ruiz C Los Angeles Dodgers 24
Pete Alonso 1B New York Mets 25
Brendan McKay LHP/1B Tampa Bay Rays 26
Michael Kopech RHP Chicago White Sox 27
Hunter Greene RHP Cincinnati Reds 28
Mitch Keller RHP Pittsburgh Pirates 29
Andres Gimenez SS New York Mets 30
Brent Honeywell RHP Tampa Bay Rays 31
Nick Madrigal 2B/SS Chicago White Sox 32
Jonathan India 3B/SS Cincinnati Reds 33
Sean Murphy C Oakland Athletics 34
Alex Verdugo OF Los Angeles Dodgers 35
A.J. Puk LHP Oakland Athletics 36
Matthew Liberatore LHP Tampa Bay Rays 37
Mike Soroka RHP Atlanta Braves 38
Nolan Gorman 3B St. Louis Cardinals 39
Ian Anderson RHP Atlanta Braves 40
Francisco Mejia C/OF San Diego Padres 41
Luis Robert OF Chicago White Sox 42
Dylan Cease RHP Chicago White Sox 43
Chris Paddack RHP San Diego Padres 44
Ke’Bryan Hayes 3B Pittsburgh Pirates 45
Vidal Brujan 2B Tampa Bay Rays 46
Touki Toussaint RHP Atlanta Braves 47
Brusdar Graterol RHP Minnesota Twins 48
Justus Sheffield LHP Seattle Mariners 49
Kyle Wright RHP Atlanta Braves 50
Yordan Alvarez OF Houston Astros 51
Alex Kirilloff OF Minnesota Twins 52
Jesus Sanchez OF Tampa Bay Rays 53
Yusei Kikuchi LHP Seattle Mariners 54
Yusniel Diaz OF Baltimore Orioles 55
Khalil Lee OF Kansas City Royals 56
Jarred Kelenic OF Seattle Mariners 57
Triston McKenzie RHP Cleveland Indians 58
Danny Jansen C Toronto Blue Jays 59
Jazz Chisholm SS Arizona Diamondbacks 60
Adrian Morejon LHP San Diego Padres 61
Griffin Canning RHP Los Angeles Angels 62
Dustin May RHP Los Angeles Dodgers 63
Luis Patino RHP San Diego Padres 64
Alec Bohm 3B Philadelphia Phillies 65
Estevan Florial OF New York Yankees 66
Jon Duplantier RHP Arizona Diamondbacks 67
DL Hall LHP Baltimore Orioles 68
Nate Pearson RHP Toronto Blue Jays 69
Josh James RHP Houston Astros 70
Drew Waters OF Atlanta Braves 71
Bryse Wilson RHP Atlanta Braves 72
Nolan Jones 3B Cleveland Indians 73
Gavin Lux SS/2B Los Angeles Dodgers 74
Travis Swaggerty OF Pittsburgh Pirates 75
Matt Manning RHP Detroit Tigers 76
Oneil Cruz SS Pittsburgh Pirates 77
Luis Garcia SS/3B Washington Nationals 78
Garrett Hampson 2B/SS Colorado Rockies 79
Adonis Medina RHP Philadelphia Phillies 80
Ryan Mountcastle 3B Baltimore Orioles 81
Kristian Robinson OF Arizona Diamondbacks 82
Brady Singer RHP Kansas City Royals 83
Monte Harrison OF Miami Marlins 84
Logan Allen LHP San Diego Padres 85
Nico Hoerner SS Chicago Cubs 86
Michel Baez RHP San Diego Padres 87
Isaac Paredes SS/2B Detroit Tigers 88
Victor Victor Mesa OF Miami Marlins 89
Trevor Larnach OF Minnesota Twins 90
Brandon Marsh OF Los Angeles Angels 91
Heliot Ramos OF San Francisco Giants 92
Brandon Lowe 2B/OF Tampa Bay Rays 93
Ronny Mauricio SS New York Mets 94
Will Smith C/3B Los Angeles Dodgers 95
MJ Melendez C Kansas City Royals 96
Dane Dunning RHP Chicago White Sox 97
Ronaldo Hernandez C Tampa Bay Rays 98
Hans Crouse RHP Texas Rangers 99
Jonathan Loaisiga RHP New York Yankees 100
Corbin Martin RHP Houston Astros 101
Cole Winn RHP Texas Rangers 102
Luiz Gohara LHP Atlanta Braves 103
Leody Taveras OF Texas Rangers 104
William Contreras C Atlanta Braves 105
Seuly Matias OF Kansas City Royals 106
Lucius Fox SS Tampa Bay Rays 107
Corey Ray OF Milwaukee Brewers 108
Spencer Howard RHP Philadelphia Phillies 109
Jahmai Jones 2B Los Angeles Angels 110
Jordyn Adams OF Los Angeles Angels 111
George Valera OF Cleveland Indians 112
J.B. Bukauskas RHP Houston Astros 113
Justin Dunn RHP Seattle Mariners 114
Michael Chavis 3B Boston Red Sox 115
Mark Vientos 3B New York Mets 116
Daz Cameron OF Detroit Tigers 117
Bubba Thompson OF Texas Rangers
Josh Naylor 1B/OF San Diego Padres 119
Colton Welker 3B Colorado Rockies 120
Daulton Varsho C Arizona Diamondbacks 121
Evan White 1B Seattle Mariners 122
Peter Lambert RHP Colorado Rockies 123
Taylor Widener RHP Arizona Diamondbacks 124
Julio Pablo Martinez OF Texas Rangers 125
Kevin Smith SS/3B Toronto Blue Jays 126
Miguel Amaya C Chicago Cubs 127
Andrew Knizner C St. Louis Cardinals 128
Tyler Nevin 1B Colorado Rockies 129
Hudson Potts 3B/1B San Diego Padres 130
Sandy Alcantara RHP Miami Marlins 131
Shane Baz RHP Tampa Bay Rays 132
Tyler Stephenson C Cincinnati Reds 133
Eric Pardinho RHP Toronto Blue Jays 134
Franklin Perez RHP Detroit Tigers 135
Jordan Groshans 3B/SS Toronto Blue Jays 136
Dakota Hudson RHP St. Louis Cardinals 137
Nate Lowe 1B Tampa Bay Rays 138
Elehuris Montero 3B St. Louis Cardinals 139
Luis Oviedo RHP Cleveland Indians 140
Tony Santillan RHP Cincinnati Reds 141
Triston Casas 1B/3B Boston Red Sox 142
Adbert Alzolay RHP Chicago Cubs 143
Ethan Hankins RHP Cleveland Indians 144
Beau Burrows RHP Detroit Tigers 145
Brice Turang SS Milwaukee Brewers 146
Brent Rooker 1B/OF Minnesota Twins 147
Alex Faedo RHP Detroit Tigers 148
Deivi Garcia RHP New York Yankees 149
Ryan Weathers LHP San Diego Padres 150

 

Arizona Diamondbacks 2019 Preseason Top 10

Jazz Chisholm
Jazz Chisholm. Courtesy: Aaron Whelan

1)

Player: Jazz Chisholm
Position(s): SS Opening Day Age: 21 2018 Highest Level: High A
Bats: Left Throws: Right Height:  5’11” Weight: 165 lbs.
Quick Report: Jazz led Minor League shortstops in home runs a year ago, although some of those numbers are slightly inflated as a bunch came while in the California League. He has a left handed stroke that provides natural loft to the ball and his plus raw power did turn into game power a season ago regardless of the league he was in., He will strike out more than you like from a guy who plays up the middle, but he makes enough contact he should be able to put up an average around .275. There is no doubt he will stay at short where he has excellent instincts that help make up for his average speed and range. When he gets to the ball he has soft hand and quick hips with a strong arm that will allow him to be an above average fielder while providing rare power from the shortstop position.

2)

Player: Jon Duplantier
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 24 2018 Highest Level: AA
Bats: Left Throws: Right Height: 6’4” Weight: 225 lbs.
Quick Report: Duplantier fell to the third round of the 2016 draft after injury concerns despite having a good Junior year. 2017 was his only season that he was fully healthy throughout, although he finished last season off strong with a good performance in the AFL. He has an upright delivery but the arm comes out of a low 3/4 slot that allows his mid-90s fastball to really run making it play as plus. He has a slider that is currently above average but could become a plus pitch to go with a solid curve and a change that has flashed above average. He has surprising command for the arm slot and odd delivery, but he repeats well and can spot all four pitches when needed. He doesn’t have the greatest ceiling, but there is a good chance he carves a role for himself as a number three starter and should get the chance to show what he can do at the highest level this season.

3)

Player: Kristian Robinson
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 18 2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’3” Weight: 190 lbs.
Quick Report: The second Bahamian prospect on the list (Jazz Chisholm being the other) Robinson has as much upside as anyone currently in the Diamondbacks system. His raw power is plus plus, while his game power will likely settle in at “just” plus. He has an advanced approach at the plate that should allow him to tap into that raw power sooner than later, and the quick bat and direct bat path will allow him to put up a solid average. There is some thought he will have to move off center as he grows, but he currently has the athleticism and reads to stay there. If he does move off the position in the future he has more than enough arm to stay in right where his power bat will play well. Folks in the desert should be seeing an all-Bahamas middle of the order in a few years.

4)

Player: Daulton Varsho
Position(s): C Opening Day Age: 22 2018 Highest Level: High A
Bats: Left Throws: Right Height: 5’10” Weight: 190 lbs.
Quick Report: The third piece of the D-Backs trio that helped lead Salt River to the AFL title game that lost to Peoria in walk off fashion. The big question on Varsho is whether or not he can stick behind the plate where his arm is below average and receiving ability still needs some work. He has plus athleticism for a catcher as he runs above average regardless of the position, so his footwork prevents him from being a liability in controlling the running game and has actually become very good at throwing runners out. He keeps the ball ahead of him really well behind the plate so I feel he can stick. If he moves off catcher he has enough athleticism many feel he can play the outfield and possibly even second base. Regardless of where he lands his bat will play, as he will have average power but a smooth and controlled swing will make him a sneaky good two hole hitter that makes him an above average regular if he sticks behind the plate.

5)

Player: Taylor Widener
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 24 2018 Highest Level: AA
Bats: Left Throws: Right Height: 6’ Weight: 195 lbs.
Quick Report: Drafted in the 12th round as a reliever at South Carolina by the Yankees in 2016, the D-Backs acquired him along with Steven Souza Jr. in the three-team deal that also included the Rays. Widener was moved to the rotation by the Yankees and has stuck as a starter ever since where he can sit up to 94 with his fastball. He also has a slider that has two different shapes, a big slider and sharp cutter, and a change that is an above average offering. There is some effort to his delivery and he fights across his body some, but the command is solid and the lower 3/4 slot helps create movement and deception. He may eventually end up back in the bullpen, but he also has the upside of sticking as a starter and being a mid-rotation arm.

6)

Player: Alek Thomas
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age: 18 2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 5’11” Weight: 175 lbs.
Quick Report: The Diamondbacks didn’t sign first round pick Matt McLain a season ago, so Alek Thomas, their second round pick, signed for above slot value thanks to the next guy on the list signing for just below. Thomas will never be a power hitter, despite him homering in a Spring Training game last week against the White Sox, where his dad Allen is the strength and conditioning coach leading to a really cool interaction. The hit tool is impressive and, when combined with his plus speed, could allow him to turn into a quality leadoff bat someday. The defense is good enough to stay in center, although his arm is well below average and may see him relegated to left field where he could be an elite defender at the position.

7)

Player: Jake McCarthy
Position(s): OF Opening Day Age:21 2018 Highest Level: Short A
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 6’3” Weight: 195 lbs.
Quick Report: The Diamondbacks signed McCarthy for just below slot value last year after he missed a good chunk of his final season at Virginia with a broken wrist. He and Thomas actually have a very similar profile as bat first guys with limited power, good speed and defense. McCarthy’s arm is below average, but not as far below average as Thomas so there is a better chance McCarthy can stick in center. The bat is quick and there is a good plane to his bat path, so there is hope he can add strength and develop into double digit power, but chances are he is more of a fourth outfielder type long term.

8)

Player: Blaze Alexander
Position(s): SS Opening Day Age:19 2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’ Weight: 160 lbs.
Quick Report: One of the surprises in the draft a season ago was Blaze Alexander slipping to the 11th round, where most figured he would head to South Carolina for college, but Arizona went up to a half million to sign him away from the commitment and it looks like a good move. He has as much arm as you will find from a shortstop, with some dropping an 80 grade on the arm. There is some concern he eventually moves off short as he fills out since he doesn’t have elite speed or quickness to start with, although I think there is a good shot he sticks. He is bat first with limited power, but there is enough projectable strength in the frame to think he could develop into just enough power to play at third if he eventually moves off short. Ultimately, the development of power will be the determining factor of Alexander’s upside, where the arm and athleticism could make him an elite utility option when all is said and done.

9)

Player: Geraldo Perdomo
Position(s): SS Opening Day Age: 19 2018 Highest Level: Short A
Bats: Switch Throws: Right Height: 6’2” Weight: 185 lbs.
Quick Report: There is no doubt Perdomo will stick at short, where he could be a plus defender, the question on him is how much he will hit. The bat can take a long time to get through the zone, so he will likely struggle with velocity as he reaches the higher levels, but you can’t complain about his production so far, hitting over .300 at each of his three levels a season ago. If he can quicken the bat and continue making solid contact into the upper levels, he could develop into an everyday type player, but he will never be a guy who hits at the top of the order. There is very little power in the bat and not much in terms of projection either. Ultimately, he is a defense first shortstop that is most likely a utility guy than a future everyday option.

10)

Player: Pavin Smith
Position(s): 1B Opening Day Age: 23 2018 Highest Level: High A
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 6’2” Weight: 210 lbs.
Quick Report: There is a wide variety of opinions on Smith, mostly coming as questions as to what his bat projects to become. He hit for more power than most expected a season ago, but that came at the expense of his contact rate as he was more of a pull hitter than he was in college. At his best, he is a guy with a solid approach who can drive the ball to all fields, mostly as doubles power. He would not be the first player who looked to sell out for more power in the California league, so a promotion to AA this season should come with a correction to his approach and a better batting average. He has plenty of natural strength that should allow him to hit for 20+ home runs, and he is a solid defender at first. He is a guy who could jump up this list a year from now, but if the approach doesn’t change he could also fall off it.

Others of Note:

Domingo Leyba – 2B – 23 – AA
Andy Yerzy – C – 20 – Short A
Andy Young – 2B – 24 – AA
Drew Ellis – 3B – 23 – High A
Emilio Vargas – RHP – 22 – AA
Yoan Lopez – RHP – 26 – MLB