Wednesday, July 31st 2013

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers

In 2010 former Arizona Diamondbacks General Manager Josh Byrnes traded for Ian Kennedy, Three years later now San Diego Padres GM Josh Byrnes traded for Ian Kennedy once again. In Kennedy’s first season with Arizona he showed great potential, so much so it led him to be the 2011 opening day starter. The Diamondbacks made the playoffs in 2011, and Ian Kennedy was arguably the biggest reason why after going 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA. ultimately the Diamondbacks lost in 5 games to the Brewers. In both 2012, and 2013 Kennedy was manager Kirk Gibson’s choice as opening day starter. However Kennedy had a very disappointing 2012 campaign, and was ultimately worse in the follow-up 2013 season.

Hours before the 4pm EST trade deadline on July 31st, 2013 it was announced the Diamondbacks have agreed to trade Kennedy to the division rival San Diego Padres for lefty reliever Joe Thatcher, relief prospect Matt Stites, as well as a 2014 Competitive Balance 2nd round pick. While the baseball industry appears to be mixed about the trade, as some feel like the Diamondbacks got very little for Kennedy, while some believe the Diamondbacks got a quality return for the one time Cy Young candidate.

Both Padres fans and Diamondbacks fans should like the trade, first it helps the DBacks chances of making the 2013 playoffs, as well as adding a very high draft pick, and a quality pitching prospect. Padres fans hope they catch lightning in a bottle and Kennedy returns to the form that had him as a 4th place finish in the 2011 Cy Young vote.

Going forward Ian Kennedy was likely going to be kicked out of the rotation regardless. As the Diamondbacks have very good starting pitching depth with Patrick Corbin, Wade Miley, Trevor Cahill, Randall Delgado, Brandon McCarthy, Archie Bradley, Tyler Skaggs, and even more quality prospects.

Scouting Reports:

Ian Kennedy RHP (Padres) Kennedy has a High 80’s, Low 90’s fastball which he throws 60% of the time. He also throws a high 70’s curveball, low 80’s change-up, as well as a mid-to-upper 80’s cutter. Ian Kennedy appears to be a perfect fit for Petco Park, as Kennedy is a Flyball/Strikeout pitcher.

Joe Thatcher LHP (Diamondbacks) Thatcher is a lefty specialist who doesn’t have the best velocity, but thrives with great deception. From 2010-2012  has held lefties to an amazing .182 AVG, while righties hit .256 in the same time. The DBacks greatly needed a second lefty in the bullpen, and it doesn’t get much better than Thatcher.

Matt Stites RHP (Diamondbacks) (Stites is likely out the rest of 2013 following an emergency appendectomy) Stites is probably the most interesting piece of the entire trade. A 17th round pick of the 2011 draft, Stites has been nothing short of amazing. In 2012 Stites had a 0.74 ERA, with 60 strikeouts and only 3 walks  in 48 2/3 innings. In 2013 Stites has been equally impressive in AA posting a 2.08 ERA with 51 Strikeouts and 8 walks in 52 innings. Stites throws a fastball that touches 96 MPH+, to go along with his amazing command is very impressive.

Joe Thatcher

Today’s article was prepared by Codey Harrison, MiLB Prospects Analyst. We would like your feedback, so please feel free to comment on the article below, and share in discussion with our readers.

Please e-mail us at: behindhomeplatebaseball@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter, and “Like” us on Facebook. You can subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox.

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Tuesday, July 30th 2013

Chicago White Sox v Cleveland Indians

 

So the big story on Twitter this afternoon is the fact that the Arizona Diamondbacks are trying to trade for Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy. The ties between Peavy and Diamondbacks General Manager Kevin Towers go all the way back to 1999 when Towers drafted Peavy in the 15th round for the San Diego Padres. Peavy is not too long removed from being one of the National Leagues best pitchers, as proved by his 2007 season when he won the NL Cy Young award, beating out former Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb. Since he was traded to Chicago Peavy has battled some injuries that have somewhat limited him, but when he’s been healthy enough to toe the rubber he has pitched fairly well. In 13 2013 starts peavey has a 4.28 ERA in 80 innings, with a 76/17 Strikeout/walk ratio.

The White Sox are looking for a major haul in any Peavy trade. Asking for 2-3 top prospects, as well as the other team to assume the rest of the money owed on Peavy’s contract. Meaning likely the Diamondbacks would have to part with LHP prospect Tyler Skaggs, as well as either short stop Chris Owings, or third base prospect Matt Davidson. Which for a team to take on that big of a contract, and part with some of its top prospects seems like a lot to give up for the 32-year-old Jake Peavy.

While most trade rumors pre deadline don’t ever happen, it’ll be interesting to see how this possible trade plays out.

Arizona-Diamondbacks

 

Today’s article was prepared by Codey Harrison, MiLB Prospects Analyst. We would like your feedback, so please feel free to comment on the article below, and share in discussion with our readers.

Please e-mail us at: behindhomeplatebaseball@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter, and “Like” us on Facebook. You can subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox.

Monday July 29th, 2013

MLB: New York Mets at Atlanta Braves

On January 24th Arizona Diamondbacks General Manager Kevin Towers traded 25 Year Old superstar outfielder Justin Upton along with teammate Chris Johnson to the Atlanta Braves for fan favorite third baseman Martin Prado, pitcher Randall Delgado, along with prospects shortstop Nick Ahmed, Pitcher Zeke Spruill, and third baseman Brandon Drury. From the time of the trade Towers was hammered by the media for giving up on a young superstar with a club friendly contract. As the season started things only got worse for the Diamondbacks GM, as Justin Upton set the baseball world on fire in April as he slugged 12 home runs, and had the Braves on top of the Nation League East. While out in the Desert Martin Prado was slumping badly for the Diamondbacks, as was pitcher Randall Delgado who was sent to AAA after spring training and had an ERA around 9.00.

Since the month of April, the Justin Upton trade still looks one sided, but now in the Diamondbacks favor. After an incredible April Justin Upton went on a cold streak that has now spread from May through the end of July, and Upton is showing no signs of heating up. While Martin Prado has started to heat up and show Diamondbacks fans why he was such a fan favorite for Braves fans. Following injuries to pitchers Brandon McCarthy, and Trevor Cahill the Diamondbacks promoted Randall Delgado and inserted him into the starting rotation. Since that time Delgado has pitched to the tune of a 2.85 ERA in 8 Starts, with an impressive 38/10 strikeout to walk ratio, and appears to be showing what once made him a top 50 prospect in all of baseball when he was with Atlanta. Pitcher Zeke Spruill was also impressive in his short MLB stint as a reliever compiling a 2.08 ERA with 5 strikeouts, in 4 1/3 innings.

Down in AA Mobile shortstop Nick Ahmed got off to a rough start in April/May at the plate, but since June, Ahmed has been sensational batting close to .300 in June/July. Some scouts feel that Ahmed already plays better defense than current Diamondbacks defensive wizard Didi Gregorius, which if you’ve seen Didi play defense that is some serious praise. The most intriguing player of the entire trade may very well be 20 year old third base prospect Brandon Drury. In the Low A Midwest League Drury has been nothing short of amazing with a slash line of .321/.366/.532 with 41 Doubles, 4 Triples, 12 Home runs, and 71 RBI with a very respectable 27/63 walk/strikeout rate.

While we don’t yet know who won this trade, we probably won’t even know that for 10-15 years from now. However right now Diamondbacks fans have got too really like what they see in the players acquired in the Upton trade.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Arizona Diamondbacks

Today’s article was prepared by Codey Harrison, MiLB Prospects Analyst. We would like your feedback, so please feel free to comment on the article below, and share in discussion with our readers.

Please e-mail us at: behindhomeplatebaseball@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter, and “Like” us on Facebook. You can subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox.

Minor League Photo Day

Monday June 17th, 2013

As the Minor league All-Star games are about to beginning I figured this was as good of a time as any to update the Diamondbacks top 20 prospects list. After two moths of the MiLB season some prospects are starting to strive in the minors, while unfortunately some prospects have taken a step back in their progression. It can be the breakout of RHP Archie Bradley becoming arguably baseball’s biggest pitching prospect, or other prospects who aren’t performing on their expected level. With that in mind here is my ranking of the Arizona Diamondbacks Mid-Season top 20 prospects including 2013 draft picks. The process of completing this list I used scouting reports from pro, and armature scouts, as well as my own judgement to make this list. Enjoy.

1.) Archie Bradley RHP (A+, AA) – 2013 Stats: 14 GS, 1.42 ERA, 82.2 IP, 36 BB, 97 K, .202 avg. Archie Bradley has taken the Minor leagues by storm in 2013 following his so, so 2012 full season debut. Bradley uses his plus, plus fastball that sits 93-96 MPH and touches 100 MPH, along side one of the minors best curveballs a nasty plus power curve that sits about 80-84 MPH. Bradley’s 3rd pitch is a change-up which is well behind his other two pitches, but scouts say Bradley has a feel for his change-up and should at least be an average offering down the road. If Archie Bradley can continue to improve his control/command most scouts believe Bradley has the stuff to become a true “Ace” with an about average #2 starter as the fall back.

2.) Braden Shipley RHP (2013 Draftee) – 2013 Stats: (No stats in 2013 yet) Most everyone was shocked when Shipley was still on the board when the Diamondbacks picked No. 15 overall in the 1st round. Braden Shipley has more room to grow than most college pitchers as Shipley just recently switched to pitcher after starting his Nevada career as the everyday short stop. Shipley has a great fastball that sits 92-96 MPH, and touches 99 MPH, Shipley also has a plus change as he uses the same arm speed on his change as he does with his fastball. Shipley’s third offering is a curveball, which at this point is just a show me pitch. Scouts believe Shipley will be an above average No. 2 starter in the Bigs, with an outside chance of being a number 1 starter if he continues to progress on the mound.

3.) Tyler Skaggs LHP (AAA, MLB) – 2013 Stats: MiLB stats 10 GS, 4.92 ERA, 56.2 IP, 19 BB, 61 K, .270 avg. Skaggs continues to be one of the best pitching prospects in baseball, however in 2013 Skaggs has taken a tiny step backwards as his FB velocity and command are both a little down compared to 2012. Skaggs uses a great 4 pitch arsenal to get batters out, a FB that sits 89-92 and can touch 94 MPH, a 72-76 MPH CB that many believe is undoubtedly the best in all of the minors, a Change up that’s about 82-84 MPH has shown real progress in 2013 and is becoming a really good pitch against RHB. While he doesn’t used it much Skaggs has shown a slider in 2013 which is just a show me pitch right now. Tyler Skaggs still looks like he will be a number 2 starter, and the floor for Skaggs is a 1st end number 3 starter.

4.) Matt Davidson 3B (AAA) – 2013 Stats:  .305/.360/.514, 10 HR, 43 RBI. Davidson has always been known for his power as he has come up through the Diamondbacks Farm system after hitting more home runs every year than he did the previous year. In 2013 that appears to hold true as he is on pace for a career high in home runs. Early in his career scouts questioned whether Davidson could stay at 3B long-term, but over 2012/2013 Davidson has made major strides on defense, while all but erasing those scouts questions. Davidson has a plus arm which sometimes it gets him in trouble making throws that he should probably eat instead of forcing the error. At this point Matt Davidson appears to be and above average everyday third baseman. While he wont be the best hitter for average Davidson can probably hit .260/.280 with 20-30 HR annually at the MLB level.

5.) Adam Eaton (A+, AAA) – 2013 Stats: Eaton was injured during spring training and has only appeared in a few MiLB games as part of his rehab. Heading into 2013 Eaton was projected to be the everyday center fielder and bat leadoff. When healthy Eaton can hit for average, with plus speed, great defensive range, and a cannon of an arm.

6.) Chris Owings SS/2B (AAA) – 2013 Stats: .353/.371/.472, 6 HR, 42 RBI, 11 SB. Since being drafted in 2009 Owings has shown an ability to hit for average and above average pop for his position. The only question scouts generally have about Owings is his plate discipline as Owings has only walked 8 times in 2013, and his professional career high is only 24 walks. Over the last two seasons Owing has shown great improvements defensively and can stay at SS defensively. Having said that, Owings will likely have to move to 2B with Didi Gregorius manning short stop for the for seen future. Chris Owings has the potential of being an everyday SS/2B who hits enough will enough defense to possibly be an above average regular.

7.) David Holmberg LHP (AA) – 2013 Stats: 13 GS, 2.45 ERA, 23 BB, 50 K, .253 AVG.

8.) Stryker Trahan C (EX Spring Training) – 2013 Stats: (No Stats in 2013 yet)

9.) Brandon Drury 3B/1B (A-) – 2013 Stats: .319/.353/.564 27 2B, 10 HR, 48 RBI (Drury was a prospect the DBacks received in the Justin Upton trade.)

10.) Aaron Blair RHP (2013 Draftee) – 2013 Stats: (No Stats in 2013 yet) Arizona Diamondbacks picked Blair with their competitive balance pick after the 1st round/ before the 2nd round.

11.) Zeke Spruill RHP (AA, AAA) – 2013 Stats: 14 GS, 3.12 ERA, 89.1 IP, 31 BB, 44 K, .256 AVG.

12.) Jake Barrett RHP (A+) – 2013 Stats: 15 Saves, 25.1 IP, 8 BB, 33 K, .186 AVG

13.) Jake Lamb 3B (A+) – 2013 Stats: .287/.415/.558, 8 HR, 24 RBI

14.) Andrew Chafin LHP (A+, AA) – 2013 Stats: 14 GS, 3.53 ERA, 81.2 IP, 37 BB, 64 K, .261 AVG.

15.) Kevin Munson RHP (AA) – 2013 Stats: 12 Saves, 3.64, 29.2 IP, 15 BB, 36 K, .167 AVG.

16.) Anthony Meo RHP (AA) – 2013 Stats: 8 GS, 6.37 ERA, 35.1 IP, 25 BB, 17 K, .252 AVG.

17.) Michael Perez C (A+) – 2013 Stats: .182/.224/.325, 5 HR, 24 RBI.

18.) Andrew Velazquez SS (A-) – 2013 Stats: .286/.318/.405, 5 2B, 4 RBI

19.) Nick Ahmed SS (AA) – 2013 Stats: .167/.237/.215,  7 2B, 15 RBI.

20.) Justin Williams 3B/OF (2013 Draftee) – 2013 Stats: (No Stats in 2013 yet) The Diamondbacks 3rd pick of the 2013 draft. Best Tool: Plus raw power.

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l_52d277602cf360320961ccfc16381217Today’s article was prepared by Codey Harrison, MiLB Prospects Analyst. We would like your feedback, so please feel free to comment on the article below, and share in discussion with our readers.

Please e-mail us at: behindhomeplatebaseball@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter, and “Like” us on Facebook. You can subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox.

Tuesday April 30th, 2013

Arizona-Diamondbacks

Codey Harrison (Lead Editor & President/Ceo) – The Arizona Diamondbacks are known for their depth at virtually every position in the organization. While depth is a great thing to have, The Diamondbacks would likely admit they wish they didn’t have to use their depth so early in the 2013 season. Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers made some noise in the off-season with some big name trades, starting with trading veteran center fielder Chris Young, For shortstop Cliff Pennington, and veteran reliever Heath Bell in the 3-Team trade. Shortly there after Towers finished a trade sending 2011 1st round pick Trevor Bauer to Cleveland in a three team trade that sent Reds shortstop prospect Didi Gregorius to the Dessert. What has also turned into a great trade for the Dbacks was the addition of LHP Matt Reynolds, in exchange for third baseman Ryan Wheeler. The most scrutinized trade however was the last trade Kevin Towers pulled the trigger on, sending 25-year old superstar Justin Upton, along with Chris Johnson to the Braves for Martin Prado, Randall Delgado, and 3 prospects.

During the off-season K.T. also signed veteran slugger Cody Ross to once again load up the Diamondbacks outfield. unfortunately the Diamondbacks have been rattled with injuries throughout this still very young season. Starting with injuries in spring training to Adam Eaton, Willie Bloomquist, Ross, and Gregorius, followed by early season injuries to Jason Kubel, and Aaron Hill. Not to mention the injury starter Daniel Hudson suffered in 2012 (expected back shortly before All-Star break,) most teams would have crumbled under such injuries, however the Diamondbacks are sitting at 15-11 and in 2nd place in the National League West.

Between all of the injuries and struggling veterans the Dbacks could see a number of prospect being promoted this season.

Good chance of promotion –

Tyler Skaggs LHP

Chris Owings SS/ 2B

Matt Davidson 3B

Tony Campana CF

Joe Patterson LHP

Not likely but possible promotion –

Randall Delgado RHP

Jake Barrett RHP

Evan Marshall RHP

Eury De La Rosa LHP

Long shots for 2013 MLB promotions –

Nick Ahmed SS

Kevin Munson RHP

There are some other prospects could debut sometime in 2013, but these are the ones that we feel most likely. Think any other prospects are worthy of promotions? Well feel free to comment below with other promotion candidates you can think of.

Chris+Owings+Arizona+Diamondbacks+Photo+Day+mwvvcARjtT1x

Today’s article was prepared by Codey Harrison, MiLB Prospects Analyst. We would like your feedback, so please feel free to comment on the article below, and share in discussion with our readers.

Please e-mail us at: behindhomeplatebaseball@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter, and “Like” us on Facebook. You can subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox.

Monday April 1st, 2013

Harper

Codey Harrison (Lead Editor & President/Ceo) – Opening day is always a great day, in fact Opening Day is a holiday in Cincinnati Ohio. The 2013 Opening Day is just a sign that things are only looking up in the Washington National’s organization. 2009, and 2010 first overall picks of the Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg, and 20-year old sensation Bryce Harper were a two-man wrecking crew in the Nationals 2-0 win over the Florida Marlins. The possible Cy Young favorite in the National League Stephen Strasburg pitched 7 shutout innings, striking out 3. After a lead-off single Strasburg retired the next 19 batters. All of the National’s offense came off of two solo home runs from Bryce Harper, who many people in baseball feel that despite his young age Harper has a legitimate chance of winning the NL MVP if he performs in 2013 like he did in September of 2012.

After mediocrity since the Nationals moved to Washington the National’s are among the favorite’s to represent the National League in the World Series. It’s easy to see why after watching their Opening Day victory over the Marlins. Beyond Harper, and Strasburg the team is loaded with talent, with the likes of Ryan Zimmerman, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Ian Desmond, Jason Werth, and a bunch of other guys who are very capable players on a potential World Series team.

stephen-strasburg

Today’s article was prepared by Codey Harrison, MiLB Prospects Analyst. We would like your feedback, so please feel free to comment on the article below, and share in discussion with our readers.

Please e-mail us at: behindhomeplatebaseball@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter, and “Like” us on Facebook. You can subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox.

Sunday March 31st, 2013

Troy Tulowitzki

Codey Harrison (Lead Editor & President/Ceo) – Generally amongst the greatest baseball minds players who play in the middle of the field are considered the most valuable, and most sought after posistions when making a team. Whether its catchers, second baseman, shortstops, or center fielders most general managers will tell you it is impossible to have to many of players at these premium positions. The only problem is these are generally light hitting players at these posistions, who only start because of the above average defense. So when a team has a great hitter at these premium positions ala Miguel Montero (Catcher), Robinson Cano (Second baseman), Troy Tulowitzki (shortstop), or Matt Kemp (Center fielder) their teams are quick to sign them to massive contracts because they understand these types of players rarly come around.

1.) Cleveland Indians – Carlos Santana/Jason Kipnis/Asdrubal Cabrera/Drew Stubbs/Michael Bourn

2.) Atlanta Braves – Brian McCann/Dan Uggla/Alfreido Simmons/BJ Upton

3.) New York Yankees – Chris Stewart/Robinson Cano/Derek Jeter/Curtis Granderson

4.) Baltimore Orioles – Matt Wieters/Brian Roberts/J.J. Hardy/Adam Jones

5.) Toronto Blue Jays – J.P Arencibia/Emilio Bonifacio/Jose Reyes/Colby Rasmus

Have any suggestions as to who you would like to see on this list? Feel free to comment with your top 5 in the comments below.

Matt Kemp

Today’s article was prepared by Codey Harrison, MiLB Prospects Analyst. We would like your feedback, so please feel free to comment on the article below, and share in discussion with our readers.

Please e-mail us at: behindhomeplatebaseball@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. You can follow us on Twitter, and “Like” us on Facebook. You can subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox.