One of the reasons the Diamondbacks have been one of the most winning franchises over the last 15 years has been the success of their farm system. Many players, both pitchers and position players, who were down in the minors at one time have come up to the big leagues and have made major contributions over the past decade and a half.
CBSSports.com have brought up this discussion in the past month with their series entitled called Homegrown. In the feature, CBS ranks each organization’s talent if there were no trades, no waivers and no minor or major league free agent signings. All 30teams across the league can be found here.
There are only three teams which rank ahead of the Diamondbacks; the Mariners and Braves. With the talent that those two organization’s have brought to the majors over the last several seasons, it is hard to argue against them being the top two teams. Unfortunately for Seattle, almost none of that talent is on their current 25-man roster, which is why they are one of the worst teams in baseball.
Arizona’s stockpile of talent is nothing to laugh about either though. Here is the lineup, the rotation and the bullpen that CBS came up with for the Diamondbacks.
1. Stephen Drew, SS
2. Miguel Montero, C
3. Justin Upton, RF
4. Carlos Gonzalez, CF
5. Dan Uggla, 2B
6. Carlos Quentin, LF
7. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
8. Mark Reynolds, 3B
It is almost unreal good this lineup is. There really isn’t a hole in the entire group and you know you have great power when Reynolds is hitting in the eighth spot. Unfortunately, only four, Drew, Montero, Upton and Goldschmidt are the only members of the current Diamondbacks roster.
Rod Barajas, Chris Snyder, Lyle Overbay, Conor Jackson, Scott Hairston, Emilio Bonifacio, Gerardo Parra
I love the combination of power and speed here. You can bring in either Overbay or Hairston if you are in need of a solo home run late or you can call on Bonifacio or Parra for baserunning purposes. Parra could be brought in for defense as well. I like Barajas and Snyder as backups behind Montero too.
1. Jorge De La Rosa
2. Brett Anderson
3. Max Scherzer
4. Josh Collmenter
5. Chris Capuano
The rotation clearly isn’t as good as Arizona’s offense, but it is still a good set of pitchers nevertheless. The only real concern would be the health of De La Rosa and Anderson, who both had season-ending surgeries in 2011. Realistically, you could also add Trevor Bauer, Tyler Skaggs and Jarrod Parker to this group as well.
Closer – Jose Valverde
Set up – Javier Lopez, Sergio Santos, Daniel Schlereth, Vicente Padilla, Esmerling Vasquez
Long – Brad Penny, Ross Ohlendorf, Micah Owings
Once again, lots of good members of the ‘pen. Valverde was one of the best closers in the game last season and was a legit candidate for the AL’s Cy Young award. Santos would be this team’s main set up man with Lopez and Schlereth getting out the tough left-handers. Penny, Ohlendorft and Owings would be nice options to have in the long relief role.
I know CBS is playing fantasy with this article, but this would have been a really good ballclub if this were real life. I think it is a clear upgrade over the 2011 version of the Diamondbacks. If De La Rosa and Anderson were healthy, this roster would be good enough to be a legit World Series contender.