LOD’s 2019 Offseason Top Prospects: Arizona Diamondbacks #5-#1
Here at Legends on Deck our passion is prospects and the offseason presents an outstanding opportunity for us to showcase some of baseball’s top up and comers. Throughout the offseason, we will be bringing you the top ten prospects from all 30 organizations. We will start with the Arizona Diamondbacks and work our way alphabetically all the way through the Washington Nationals. This series is the opinion of Jake Berry, Senior Editor at Legends on Deck and does not reflect any official MLB rankings.
#5 – C Daulton Varsho
2019 Opening Day Age: 22 Height: 5’10 Weight: 190 B/T: L/R
Acquired: CBB.68 2017 College: UW-Milwaukee ETA: 2020 Top Future Tool: Hit
2018 Stats (High-A): .286/.363/.451, 11 HR, 44 RBI, 19 SB, 71 SO, 30 BB
About as athletic as a catcher comes, Varsho has great raw tools across the board. He makes consistent contact and produces good power that could even improve. He is a good baserunner and great behind the plate. The question around Varsho seems to be if he can stay at catcher due to his lack of ability to throw runners out. The arm is strong, but scouts seem to think it is his footwork holding him back. Given the athleticism, I believe he can adjust and stick behind the plate. Of course, Arizona may prefer him in the outfield regardless of how much his footwork improves.
#4 – RHP Taylor Widener
2019 Opening Day Age: 24 Height: 6’0 Weight: 195 B/T: L/R
Acquired: Trade w/ NYY College: South Carolina ETA: 2019 Top Future Pitch: SL
2018 Stats (Double-A): 5-8, 2.75 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 176 SO, 43 BB
Acquired in the Brandon Drury trade, Widener has done the opposite of most pitchers and has made the move from reliever to starter. He couples a mid 90’s fastball with a vicious slider and good command. We should see Widener in a D-Backs uniform at some point in 2019.
#3 – 1B Pavin Smith
2019 Opening Day Age: 23 Height: 6’2 Weight: 210 B/T: L/L
Acquired: 1.7 2017 College: Virginia ETA: 2020 Top Future Tool: Hit
2018 Stats (High-A): .255/.343/.392, 11 HR, 54 RBI, 3 SB, 65 SO, 57 BB
If there is one thing I love in a prospect, position player or pitcher, it is K/BB ratio. Smith is the K/BB ratio king. His University of Virginia career has been well-documented where he homered more times than he struck out in a competitive ACC and he didn’t miss a beat when he made his pro debut. He is limited defensively to first base and the bat, along with plate discipline, will carry him to the big leagues.
#2 – SS Jazz Chisholm
2019 Opening Day Age: 21 Height: 5’11 Weight: 165 B/T: L/R
Acquired: Intl FA 2015 (Bahamas) College: N/A ETA: 2020 Top Future Tool: Glove
2018 Stats (Single-A/High-A): .272/.329/.513, 25 HR, 70 RBI, 17 SB, 149 SO, 39 BB
A meniscus tear put a pause on his development briefly, but when he has been on the field Chisholm has made quite an impression. He can be elite at the shortstop position and the tools at the plate are there to match the glove. That combination has him looking like one of the next major league players from the Bahamas.
#1 – RHP Jon Duplantier
2019 Opening Day Age: 24 Height: 6’4 Weight: 225 B/T: L/R
Acquired: 3.89 2016 College: Rice ETA: 2019 Top Future Tool: FB
2018 Stats (Double-A): 5-1, 2.69 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 68 SO, 28 BB
The “oft-shelfed”, if you will, righty has been absolutely dominant when he’s been on the mound. I honestly believe he is the D-Backs ace of the future if he stays healthy. The stuff, command, and overall package is that good. (I don’t use the “ace” designation lightly).
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