By Pete Schwichtenberg @schwick26_pete on August 16, 2014
Not much has gone right with the Arizona Diamondbacks this season, but there are plenty of positives from their minor-league system. Here is a look at the progress of their top five prospects.
Outfielder Mitch Haniger was acquired at the trading deadline for Gerardo Parra. Haniger is a top-flight defender with an advanced bat. Although he has missed time with injuries this season, Haniger was one of the best hitters in the Arizona Fall League last year. He has ability to play all outfield positions, but his strong arm should place him as an everyday right fielder in the future.
As a minor leaguer, Jake Lamb has developed into a power-hitting third baseman. After hitting 13 homers last year, he slugged another 15 minor-league home runs before his recent promotion to Arizona. He has a patient eye that allows him to get on base and a steady glove at third that should give him a bright future in the major leagues.
Pitching a scoreless 2-3 of an inning in the Futures game, Shipley got a taste of facing top-flight talent. With three plus pitches, he surely has what it takes to be a top of the rotation starter. This season through three levels, Shipley has gone 6-7 with a 3.88 ERA.
Although he was very raw, the Diamondbacks showed faith in Touki Toussaint when they selected him with their first selection in June's draft. While the early results have not been great (7.64 ERA with 14 walks in 17.2 innings), Toussaint has the skills to be a future frontliner. Although he is small in stature, he can crank his fastball in the upper 90s.
Last season, Archie Bradley was the best pitcher in all of minor-league baseball, going 14-5 with an ERA under two. This season, while he was slowed a bit by elbow soreness, he is proving he is ready to pitch in the major leagues. With daunting size and poise on the mound, he is set to be the Diamondbacks' ace very soon. It should not be long until he is pitching in Arizona every fifth day.
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