Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Dan Uggla, All Star

Well, a small bit on

Who'd have thought that a 26 year old rookie playing in AA ball taken in the Rule 5 draft would up end up an all star that same year? Who'd have thought he'd be the best second baseman in the NL? I certaintly didn't. All though his performance in AA and the Arizona Fall League looked very good, his age relative to the rest of the league made me doubt his performance.

It's stories like these that make me think that the Diamondbacks future in very good hands as long as Mike Rizzo is the Scouting Director, and they use their talent intelligently. This means recognizing when a player's value is the highest at the time before trading them. This means buying low in trades on players. This means signing players to smart contracts, buying out arbitration years.

Anyway, Mike Rizzo has developed some very good talent. Let's take a look at how the minors are doing.

Waiting down at the Tucson Sidewinders is a lot of good talent. Stand out offensive seasons from Alberto Callaspo, Chris Carter, Scott Hairston, Stephen Drew, Chris Young, and Carlos Quentin show that there is a lot of talent bubbling very close to majors right now. Our biggest weakness has lead to a high turn over of siderwinders pitching but Enrique Gonzales and Edgar Gonzales have contributed to MLB team. Dustin Nippert is having a decent season considering the hitter friendly confines. Tony Pena has emerged has a unhittable reliever. Not mention Micah Owings emergiong from the college world series to being lights out in the minors and slowly climbing the ladder of top pitching prospects.

In Tennesse, Catcher Miguel Montero Has had a solid season considering the not so hitting friendly context of the southern league. Pitcher Garret Mock hasn't had the break out season that every one expected, but he still has an impressive strike to walk ratio, and has improved every month. Starting pitcher Ross Ohlendorf has had a break out season, and has been lights out for the smokies.

In Lancaster, Carlos Gonzales was expected to put up MVP type numbers. He's having a solid season, considering his age(20). He went to the futures game along with Stephen Drew. The real story here has been that of two players. pitcherGreg Smith who was promoted to AA a few weeks ago, and Mark Reynolds who was promoted at the end of the first half. Greg Smith was out right DOMINATING the California League, known as one of the most hitter friendly leagues in the pros. Mark Reynolds has come out of no where and is leading the league in just about every offensive statistical category.

And down in South Bend, Justin Upton is hitting very poorly against left handers, even though he's right handed. One explanation? Coming right out of highschool, he may have not see many left handers. I expect his second half performance to be a lot better, as he becomes acclimated to facing lefties, and starts getting more loosk at them. Overall, he hasn't put up the superstar numbers every one was expecting after seeing his performance in spring training, but I honestly think he'll be fine. I'd cut him some slack personally. He's younger than me(i'm 19), and playing in a full season league for the first time, and he's playing a new position. Be patient.

I didn't go over every prospect, but just going over the system and looking at the stats, you'll realize the future is very bright for the Diamondbacks. If only they can get rid of Gonzo and Green.

1 comment:

unnamedDbackfan said...

I like this site better. Hope you keep it up!

With recent news I've read from the GM not willing at all to trade away our best prospects, I'm finally starting to feel pretty good about the long term outlook for this team. I am indifferent about the Melvin extension, but felt one of two things were in the works. Either we were going to sell off the farm for some of the proven vets Melvin seems to like. Or, (and this appears to be the case now), bring up the kids that are ready and have a manager inplace for stability and one who isn't always looking over his shoulder wondering if his pink slip is in the mail. Now, Melvin, and the team can afford to give the kids the playing time they deserve. I have heard rumors on a couple of different sites saying Clarks playing time over Conors earlier this season wasn't all Melvins choice. Maybe the FO seeing if Clark was hot like last season to trade him? I remember the cubbies being interested in him, briefly. I'm willing to give Melvin the chance. With the current makeup and last seasons make up of underacheiving vets, Melvin wasn't exactly set up for success.
Best performers of the first half?
Webb, Julio, and Estrada/Byrnes, imo.
On to the second half.