Arizona Diamondbacks Top 30 Prospects

February 19, 2024

The 2024 Preseason Top 30 lists are built around the idea of certainty and future Role. Similar to industry projection systems such as Future Value (FV), Overall Future Potential (OFP), and Grade, Role is a way to describe to what degree a player will add value to his organization at peak.

Our scale is a bit more conservative than other grading systems. We take into account recent seasonal performance, proximity to impact, metric/data analysis, and industry conversations to build a case for the most likely outcome for any given player.

It is important to note these Role labels are fluid and can change as a player moves up the developmental ladder. It is not uncommon for a player to change his role projection over even one month. Players jump from a Role 35 to a Role 40 quite quickly.

Things like mechanical adjustments and physical maturation can alter a player’s projection seemingly overnight. Players change. Keep that in mind.

Below is our Role chart used to place future projection on players.

20No organizational value. Non-prospect.
30Organizational value, filler. Likely peaks at Triple-A or below.
35Potential up-and-down, Quad-A prospect. Has some tools. Development necessary to secure prolonged MLB role.
40Back-up at MLB level. No. 5 starter on non-competitive team. Depth.
45Potential starter on contender. Bench player for championship-level team.
50Starter on a championship-level team. Lacks star ceiling. Steady. Potential No. 4 starting pitcher.
55Potential all-star. Some impact. Above average big-league regular. Mid-rotation starter on a contender.
60All-star level player. Impact. Middle-of-the-order bat. No. 2 starter on good team.
70Perennial all-star. Will contend for seasonal awards. Potential MVP/Cy Young upside. No. 1 starting pitcher. Ace.
80Hall of Fame upside. Generational. MVP/Cy Young Favorite some years. Organizational pillar who can carry an entire franchise at times.

You will not find players with a sub-50 Role on our Top 100 Prospect List. You are also unlikely to find any sub-35 Role players on a Top 30 board. Generally, organizations will have at least 30 players with big-league projection.

All rankings and roles by Joe Doyle
Player notes by Jason A. Churchill

Arizona has a strong system right now led by upside plays, depth, and back-end starters/bullpen arms with leverage capability.

1Jordan LawlarSS55
2Tommy Troy2B50
3Druw JonesOF50
4Ivan Melendez1B50
5Jansel Luis2B45
6Dylan RayRHP45
7Cristian MenaRHP45
8Ruben Santana3B45
9Gino Groover III3B45
10Blaze AlexanderSS45

Jordan Lawlar made his big-league debut last summer at age 20 following a season in the minors that saw him push back hard against the hit tool questions.

It’s at least 60 speed and a chance at elite shortstop defense, and if he can hit .260 with reasonable strikeout rates he’s a star.

He may not quite be ready for the show, however, but it won’t be long.

Tommy Troy draws Bret Boone comps from Future Star Series president of baseball operations Jeremy Booth, and one round of BP is all it takes to see it.

He has power to all fields and it’s plus to his pull side, despite deploying a relatively compact stroke. He can play third, has college experience at shortstop, but may be an ideal fit at second where the bat is a major plus.

He will have to be careful not to get too long; at times his load will get deep and throw off his timing, creating difficulties getting to velocity, which can up all kinds of potential issues with offspeed, but the foundation is pure enough to project an above-average regular, even if he doesn’t play shortstop.

Druw Jones, the son of should-be Hall of Famer Andruw Jones, is the baseball definition of a lottery ticket.

The tools are plus to plus-plus, including raw power, speed, and arm strength, but bat speed alone won’t allow him to maximize his offensive potential, and it was always believed it would take time and some swing adjustments before Jones would hit.

It’s been a year and a half since Jones went No. 2 in the 2022 Draft and he’s played just 41 games. He’s now 20 and still has a long road ahead, but the payoff for Arizona is enormous if they can turn tools into skills.

Gino Groover has good bat speed and a pretty right-handed swing projecting 25-homer pop and a chance to make plenty of contact if stays short to the ball and handles breaking stuff OK.

He should be playable at third in time and he runs well enough to be an asset on the bases even though he’s unlikely to be much of a stolen base threat.

11Blake WalstonLHP45
12Jack HurleyOF45
13Caden GriceLHP40
14Landon SimsRHP40
15Yu-Min LinLHP40
16Bryce JarvisRHP40
17A.J. Vukovich3B40
18Yilber DiazRHP40
19Cristofer TorinSS40
20Slade CecconiRHP40
21Grayson HittLHP40
22Adriel RadneyOF35
23Jorge BarrosaOF35
24Justin MartinezRHP35
25Yassel Soler3B35
26Tristin English1B35
27Nate SavinoLHP35
28Adrian Del CastilloC35
29Tim Tawa2B/OF35
30Joe ElbisRHP35

Jack Hurley boasts tools that scream fringe-regular, but if he can stick in center there’s enough raw power to suggest a Role 45.

To be anything more, he’ll have to make more contact (30% K rate in 150 PAs last season after showing similar vulnerability at Virginia Tech), without sacrificing power production.

Yu-Min Lin is an undersized lefty with a plus changeup he sells with arm speed, and above-average command.  It may be a reliever profile in the end, but his slider took a step forward in 2023, and despite a lack of ideal velocity he gets fastball value at 90 mph from deception.

He also has a good curveball and average slider, suggesting a No. 4 starter.

Grayson Hitt was on track to be a top 60 pick, perhaps as high as the middle of Round 1, when he had UCL surgery and missed his junior season at Alabama. The D-Backs picked him up in the fourth round.

Prior to being shut down, the lefty was sitting 93-95 mph more consistently, better complimenting his plus cutter which allows him to work in on right-handed batters. His slider is at least average and he also has a curveball with a chance to develop.

Adrian del Castillo is a hit-over-power bat with little chance to be even average defensively behind the plate, but lacks the power to profile anywhere else.

He’s swung and missed in pro ball more than expected, perhaps to drive the ball with more authority, but he had a solid 2023 and reached Triple-A at age 23.

Joe Doyle
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