Scouting Diamondbacks, Mariners High-A affiliates

My trip to Everett to watch the Hillsboro Hops, the Arizona¬† Diamondbacks High A affiliate, was admittedly disappointing. The D-Backs’ first two draft picks from last year, Tommy Troy and Gino Groover, were each placed on the IL.

Beyond those two, there weren’t any impact prospects, guys who would be Top 10 prospects in either system. But there are always players worth writing up.

Brandyn Garcia, LHP — Everett AquaSox

Garcia started the Thursday game for the AquaSox and really popped off the page with high-end velocity and breaking stuff.

The 6-foot-4 lefty showcased a robust three-pitch mix. The fastball was 92-96 MPH with heavy bore, and hitters pounded it into the dirt. His primary secondary was a sharp sweeper at 80-83 MPH that he threw with conviction, and he mixed in a good slider in the upper 80s.

Garcia works exclusively east-west. While the command was strong in the first two frames, it quickly devolved past the third inning. He hit two batters, walked another, and threw multiple pitches to the backstop. He only threw 66 pitches before getting removed after the 5th inning.

The stuff is real, but as a physically maxed, 24-year-old who’s mostly been a bullpen piece, I expect that Garcia goes to the bullpen. as a potential high-leverage lefty with two above-average breaking balls and upper 90s velocity.

Ty Cummings, RHP — Everett AquaSox

Cummings started the Friday game for the AquaSox, and the righty showcased an intriguing four-pitch mix that pops on a spreadsheet, certainly.

The righty worked 90-93 MPH with two fastballs with tons of run — a true sinker, and a four-seamer on which he gets more lift. His low-3/4 slot gives a horizontal angle that makes his gyro slider appear to have more sweep than it does, and it was his go-to weapon between 81-84 MPH. He also mixed in a very intriguing upper-80s changeup with heavy fade.

The control was good-not-great, and while Cummings does have some metric darling traits (notably high spin), he lacks standout tools on the mound. Maybe he could unlock a little more velocity and fastball value allowing him to occupy the fifth spot in a rotation.

Ben Williamson, 3B — Everett AquaSox

Williamson is a fun watch, a gritty ballplayer with the ability to make flashy plays on defense at third base.

He’s not incredibly athletic or rangy, but he’s twitchy, has strong defensive instincts, and isn’t afraid to get his jersey dirty. However, he’s just an average runner, and the arm doesn’t inspire confidence. The defensive prowess could play at multiple positions (and maybe play a bit everywhere in a utility role).

At the plate, Williamson underwent some notable swing changes, as shown below:


This Season:

As you can see, he lowered his hands, toned down the leg kick, and is more upright in his stance. This allows him to cover areas of the zone he struggled with previously, and remain more balanced in the entire operation. He’s now making far more contact.

However, more contact seems to have the trade-off of less impact. He’s now more gap-to-gap and struggled to hit the ball with authority in this look. He only has one home run in a very hitter-friendly park and league in 2024.

Troy Taylor, RP — Everett Aquasox

Taylor has big-league arm talent coming out of the bullpen.

He has a fastball in the mid-90s with loads of run and, and a changeup at 87-88 MPH that tunneled off the fastball immaculately. Taylor has a really quick arm and mimics arm speed on the pitch very well.

He also mixed in a below-average sweeping slider between 83-84 MPH.

There’s a fair bit of effort and violence at release to have qualms about, and it’s a reliever’s command, but Taylor stayed in and around the zone in this look. He could potentially occupy a middle relief role in the majors by 2025.


Andrew Pintar, CF — Hillsboro Hops

Pintar was another fun watch, an above-average athlete with plus speed who’s got tools to buy into.

Pintar has a quick bat and utilizes his speed well, both making contact and tapping into some power. He hit a home run right after a hustle triple in the second game. He made consistent contact and didn’t chase much, though he could be too passive.

Funko Field isn’t a great place to try and measure outfield defense given the lack of outfield to cover. He did have a couple rough reads, but his speed let him correct.

Jack Hurley, OF — Hillsboro Hops

Hurley was the Diamondback’s 3rd round pick in 2023, and there are plenty of athletic tools to buy.

Hurley showed his upside by blasting two fastballs over the fence in the second game I watched, and his speed was on display multiple times on the base paths. However, he also showcased an immature approach that doesn’t project well long-term.

Hurley went down whiffing on three secondaries out of the zone multiple times. He struggled to adjust to secondary stuff and do any kind of damage to them.

The upside and athleticism is still there. However, the swing-and-miss put into jeopardy whether he could succeed in a full-time role at the major league level.

Also, Hillsboro had some other arms that piqued my interest. Kyle Amendt is an over-the-top reliever who sits low-90s with carry and two nice breaking balls.

Ricardo Yan is a sidewinding righty who got up to 92 MPH. He worked east-west with a sweeping slider in the 72-75 MPH range and an occasional 80 MPH changeup.

Finally, Peniel Otano got up to 95 MPH out of the bullpen. It was a straight fastball, but he has a 60-grade slider/cutter that could carry him to the big leagues.

Oliver Boctor

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