The final group of minor league division All Stars, the NL West.
The Diamondbacks will have to wait until next year to make the playoffs. As usual, they have a bevy of prospects percolating up their minor league system. They are the only team with three minor league champions in Reno (AAA), Mobile (AA) and Missoula (rookie). Those prospects seem to stall once they reach the major leagues. Despite those three championships the minor league system still finished below .500 (.499).
Jake Elmore 2B AAA - Jake was voted as having the best strike zone discipline in AAA. His 74/54 walk to whiff ratio is evidence of that. He also hit .344 with 32 stolen bases in 40 attempts. It resulted in a promotion to Arizona where he has struggled with a .206 average. In three of his five years he has walked more than he has struck out.
Ryan Wheeler 3B AAA - Third base is his next year if he can come close to replicating his AAA numbers (.351, 15, 90). He combines both offense and defense. His major league debut has been a dud (.224) but a good spring could make up for that.
Adam Eaton OF AAA - Adam was voted the MVP of the Pacific Coast League, hitting .381 with 38 stolen bases. He has hit .300 in each of his three professional minor league season. His major league debut is a bit of a challenge (.256). He has a career minor league .456 OBA. Standing at only 5′8″ he has to produce to continue to be still considered a prospect.
Matt Davidson 3B AA - He has Ryan Wheeler ahead of him and may have to switch positions. While he replicated his numbers from last year (.261, 23, 76) his RBI numbers were down 30. He was voted the best power prospect in the Southern League.
Alfredo Marte OF AA - This was the first year Alfredo hit double digits in homeruns with 20. He also hit .294, driving in 75. Diamondbacks are crowded with corner outfielders so that power needs to continue if he wants to crack the major league roster.
Alexander Carreras SP short season - After getting blasted in Hi A (9.95) in four starts, the Cuban defector was demoted to a short season league and pitched better (8-5, 2.96). The lefthander doesn’t miss a lot of bats.
Michael Perez C rookie - The fifth round 2011 pick from Puerto Rico powered his way to the All Star game with 10 homeruns and a .542 slugging. He also hit .293. Still strikes out too much (72 in 58 games).
Stryker Trahan C rookie - The Diamondbacks first round 2012 pick also showed some power, hitting .281, 5, 25. He coaxed 40 walks in 49 games for a .422 OBA.
Colorado had a number of players voted to the post season All Star teams, but many of the older players are more organization players than prospects. The future still looks bright at the lower levels if they can find some pitchers who get hitters to beat the ball on the ground.
Matt McBride 1B AAA - At 27 years of age he has been around awhile. He hit .344 with 10 homeruns. Doesn’t strike out a lot but lacks the power for a corner position.
Andrew Brown OF AAA - Another older prospect Andrew hit .308 with 24 homeruns and 98 RBIs. At 27 with a 2-year major league career .216 average his best bet would be as a fourth outfielder.
Lars Davis C AA - A third round pick in 2007 he has advanced slowly for a college player. In his third year in AA he hit .287 with a career high 9 homeruns and 43 RBIs. He has yet to play 100 games in his six major league seasons.
Edwar Cabrera SP AA - Last year Edwar led the minor leagues in strikeouts with 217. Except for his two major league starts (11.12) he pitched well going 8-4, 2.94 in AA and 3-1, 3.41 in AAA. His strikeout numbers were cut in half ((126) but he pitched 30 less innings. Does not throw with a lot of velocity.
Kyle Parker OF Hi A - Drafted in the first round in 2010, the former highly sought after football player hit .308, 23, 73. The RBI numbers dropped but his stikeouts also dropped while his walks and slugging (.562) increased.
Christian Bergman SP Hi A - Didn’t miss a lot of bats but 16-5, 3.65 brought him into the spotlight. Last year he produced more ground ball outs and had better command.
Tyler Anderson SP Low A - This was the debut season for the first round 2011 pick. He finished 12-3, 2.47 with an impressive ground ball to fly ball ratio. Tyler didn’t miss a lot of bats but forcing hitters to beat the ball on the ground will save on the pitch counts.
Harold Riggins 1B Low A - His season ended in early August but it didn’t stop him from hitting 19 homeruns with 76 RBIs. He hit .302 but his whiffs (104) for games played (87) is a bit too high.
Trevor Story SS Low A - Voted the best defensive shortstop in 2012 but with Troy Tulowitski at short he may have to settle for second. The 2011 supplemental first round pick showed power for a middle infielder with 18 homeruns, hitting .277. Needs to cut down on his strikeouts (121).
Francisco Sosa OF split season - This is his fifth year and the Dominican has still not played in a full season league. The 22 year old hit .275 with only four homeruns, but was 21 for 23 in stolen bases. Next year he needs to show what he can do in a full season league.
Kyle Von Tungeln OF split season - His average was unimpressive (.258) but 34 walks in 44 games brought his OBA to .401. Not a lot of power with only one homerun and 7 for 10 in stolen bases.
David Dahl OF rookie - The first round 2012 pick won the MVP of the Pioneer League, hitting .379, 9, 57. He also contributed 22 doubles and 10 triples for a .625 slugging percentage. Voted the top prospect in the Pioneer League.
Eddie Butler SP rookie - The Rockies supplemental 2012 number one pick went 7-1, 2.13 in 12 starts. He also had an impressive ground ball to fly ball ratio (3.10).
Scott Oberg SP rookie - Scott pitched out of the pen picking up 13 saves with a 2.33 ERA. At 22 he was old for rookie ball.
Los Angeles Dodgers
They spent a lot of money for veterans with large salaries, trading what few prospects they had in their minor leagues to acquire those prospects. Having veterans in the major league lineup does not leave a lot of room for prospects. Just ask the Yankees. It is not like the Dodgers system is oozing with prospects, suffering from the previous ownerships de-emphasis on putting money in the minor leagues.
Tim Federowicz C AAA - Nurtered by the Red Sox, Tim was voted the best defensive catcher in the Pacific Coast League in 2012. He added offense to his resume, hitting .294, 11, 76. At 24 he is still young enough to make an impact.
John Ely SP AAA - His 14-7, 3.20 ERA got him voted Pacific Coast League pitcher of the year. At 26 his time is now but a 20.25 ERA in two appearances with the Dodgers was disappointing. Relies more on command than velocity to get hitters out.
Josh Wall RP AAA - He picked up 28 saves but with a 4.53 and 25 years of age his future is at the back end of the bullpen, not as a closer.
Jeremy Rathjen OF rookie - The 11th round 2012 pick hit .324 with 9 homeruns. He also walked 48 times for a .443 OBA.
Jonathan Martinez SP rookie - The 18 year old Venezuelan went 3-0, 3.05 in 12 starts. He averages over a strike out an inning.
San Diego Padres
The Padres have what is considered one of the better minor league systems in baseball. They didn’t get a lot of players voted to the post season All star teams and what players made the list were at the lower levels.
Ali Solis C AA - The 25 year old from Mexico has been playing since 2005, but the Padres are loaded at catcher. His defense and .283 average got him a cup of coffee in the major leagues where he appeared in four games but no hits in three at bats.
Nate Freiman 1B AA - Nate slugged four homeruns in two games for Israel in the WBC qualifier. The one game he did not hit a homerun Israel lost. He slugged 24 homeruns and drove in 105 at San Antonio hitting .298.
Tommy Medica DH Hi A - Another first baseman, Tommy slugged 19 homeruns, slugging .623. He hit .330 driving in almost a run per game (87 in 93 games).
Matt Andriese SP Hi A - The third round 2011 pick went 10-8, 3.58 in his second year.
Kevin Quackenbush RP Hi A - If you don’t like his 27 saves and 0.94 ERA you have to like his name. He was voted the best reliever in the California League. His strikeout numbers went down when compared to last year.
Austin Hedges C Low A - May be the best Padres defensive catcher. The second round 2012 pick was voted best defensive catcher in the Midwest League. He also showed some power, hitting 10 homeruns and speed, stealing 14 bases in 23 attempts.
Adys Portillo SP Low A - After three years he is finally reaching his potential, going 6-6, 1.87 in 18 starts. When promoted he skipped High A and went to AA, reverting back to his ineffectiveness (7.20). Despite the impressive ERA he still lacked command and didn’t miss bats (45/81) so the verdict is still out.
Roman Madrid RP short season - The seventh round 2012 pick went 7-0, 2.89, picking up 13 saves.
Chris Nunn RP short season - He matched his bullpen partner’s undefeated streak (3-0) with a better ERA (0.87) but fewer saves (3). A late round (24) 2012 pick.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants seemed to break away from the division after the Dodgers chose to take on three expensive contracts and the Giants lost Melky Cabrera to a drug suspension. Not a lot of prospects here to get excited about. The Giants seem to have magic dust when developing pitchers. They had a couple All Stars in AA that are to be watched.
Chris Heston SP AA - Voted the best control in the Eastern League and the top pitcher, finishing 9-8, 2.24. He has been advancing one level a year so expect time with the Giants next year.
Mike Kickham SP AA - The lefty went 11-10, 3.05, skipping High A but still improving his ERA by more than a run.
Adam Duvall 3B Hi A - He bashed 30 homeruns, driving in 100 runs. He appears to be a good run producer but poor defense may force a move from third base.
Shawn Rayne Utl Low A - The 22 year old outfielder hit .309 with 53 stolen bases in 56 attempts. He also walked 61 times for a .413 OBA. He may challenge Gary Brown for that lead off spot.