Arizona Diamondbacks Top Prospects 2024
Arizona Diamondbacks top prospects for dynasty fantasy baseball, including Jordan Lawlar, Druw Jones, Tommy Troy and more.
Welcome to our team prospect rankings. Over the next two months, I will be pumping out team top 30 prospect rankings and evaluations for dynasty baseball. These reports are generated from live looks, film study, and advanced data analysis to bring you in-depth fantasy scouting reports on every player you need to know, with today’s being the Arizona Diamondbacks Top Prospects.
Not all 30 players in each writeup will be dynasty relevant, but many will, and if you play in a deep league, certainly most of the names will be worth knowing.
You can check out our previous Top Prospect Rankings:
Each player has a detailed write-up on each. The top 10 rankings and writeups are free for all, but the rest of the top prospects are for paid subs. Get an edge in your dynasty leagues and get in on some of these players first! Let’s get to it, our Diamondbacks Top Prospect list.
Top Prospect Glossary
FFG = Future Fantasy Grade - essentially, what is the likely long-term outcome for the prospect? This is always going to be more conservative. Handing out ace tags is not something I like to do. So this is a realistic outcome.
90th Peak = If the player hits their best-case outcome, what does it look like?
Variance = How risky is this player’s profile, and how likely are they to hit their likely outcome? Low variance is good; high means more risky.
Arizona Diamondbacks Top Prospects for Dynasty
1. Jordan Lawlar, SS, 21, 6’2”/185
Lawlar went from being selected sixth overall in 2021 to a top 10 overall prospect rather quickly. He has stayed in that range throughout his career due to solid performance, even making it to the Majors this season as a young 21-year-old.
Lawlar slashed .278/.378/.496 between Double-A and Triple-A this season with 20 home runs and 36 stolen bases. Through the season's first two months, Lawlar was slashing just .165/.299/.339 with a 68 percent contact rate. After that, Lawlar posted a 78 percent contact rate and saw the slash line jump to .325/.416/.565.
Lawlar controls the barrel and the strike zone well. The increase in the contact rate throughout the season was a significant step in the right direction. He also has shown respectable chase rates, which lead to walks and higher OBPs.
From a power standpoint, Lawlar’s exit velocities took a step forward this season from being below average to being slightly above average for his age and level this year. His 103 mph 90th percentile exit velocity sits right around the MLB average.
Speed is Lawlar’s best asset, checking in with 70-grade run times and a strong ability to steal bases. In his MiLB career, Lawlar has stolen 76 bases and been caught just 11 times.
Getting Major League experience was huge for Lawlar as he likely begins the 2024 season as the Diamondbacks starting shortstop. While the numbers may not be elite next year, we could see plenty of 20 home run/30 stolen base seasons with solid batting averages and on-base percentages.
FFG: Top-10 SS
90th Percentile Peak Outcome: .275/.365 OBP/20 HR/30 SB
2. Druw Jones, OF, 19, 6’4”/180
Jones is one of the harder players to evaluate in all the minors after being selected second overall in 2022 and struggling with performance during his pro career. Jones did miss time in 2023 due a right quad strain and a right hamstring strain as well. Jones slashed just .238/.353/.327 with two home run and nine stolen bases across 173 plate appearances.
Jones has tools for days, starting with elite centerfield defense and speed for days. As the son of one of the best centerfielders in recent memory, it is no surprise that Jones is also a natural like his father.
At the plate, Jones has shown plenty of raw power, but his game power sits closer to average right now, but with his projectable frame, you can expect him to grow into more power. When he did make contact, Jones put the ball on the ground at a relatively high rate, 60 percent. Some have wondered if his swing can work against advanced pitching and, if it does, can generate enough lift to get to in-game power.
From a contact standpoint, Jones posted a sub-70 percent contact rate, leaving plenty to be desired, but you have to wonder if injuries played a part. On the base paths, Jones swiped nine bases in 12 attempts.
From a pure upside standpoint, Jones has the tools to be one of the top prospects in baseball. Health will be a huge factor for him moving forward and working out the kinks in his swing. If it all clicks, Jones will be a fun player to watch.
FFG: Speedy Outfield with some pop
90th Percentile Peak Outcome: .275/.350 OBP/25 HR/30 SB
Buy/Sell: Buy..ish(His value may never be lower)
3. Tommy Troy, SS, 21, 5’10”/197
Troy has a smaller frame but packs a punch and has hit everywhere he has been. This year, he slashed .394/.478/.699 with a 14 percent strikeout rate. After just seven home runs in 2022, Troy hit 17 this season. He mashes fastballs, and despite some swing and miss against breakers, he still posted a contact rate north of 70 percent against them while posting a 92 percent contact rate against fastballs.
Troy runs well and makes strong contact, and even if his power lands around average, the bat will play very nicely at 2B, which seems like where Troy will end up long-term as a professional.
A dominant Cape Cod League in 2022 with wood bats gave scouts confidence that the power can translate as a professional. Troy is a very solid, high-floor bat for dynasty leagues.
Troy is an excellent fit in Arizona with their timeline of other top prospects. His pro debut was solid as well, slashing .271/.374/.469 with four home runs and nine stolen bases, and could move quickly through the system.
FFG: Starting MI
90th Percentile Peak Outcome: .275/.370 OBP/18 HR/20 SB
4. Jansel Luis, 2B, 18, 6’0”/170
The Diamondbacks signed Luis for $525k in January 2022 and after a strong debut in the Dominican Summer League, Luis came stateside and displayed a strong hit tool and blossoming power at the complex in 2023, earning a promotion to Single-A. Luis slashed .269/.335/.441 between both stops with seven home runs and 23 extra base hits across 62 games. Additionally, he stole 16 bases on 20 attempts.
Luis has a robust approach at the plate and picks his spots well. As a switch hitter, Luis has shown strong contact ability from both sides of the plate and has shown gap-to-gap power but saw some of those leave the yard at a higher rate in 2023.
The concerns in the profile were exposed a bit upon his promotion to Single-A as he chased more and made contact less than 70 percent of the time. Regardless, it was a strong season for a young 18-year-old playing in his first season stateside. If Luis continues to develop, he could end up being a plus hitter with average game power and above-average or better speed.
FFG: Hit Tool First MI
90th Percentile Peak Outcome: .285/.340 OBP/18 HR/30 SB
5. Jack Hurley, OF, 21, 6’0”/185
The biggest question surrounding Hurley is whether he can hit enough to where his tools can shine. He is highly athletic and handles all pitch types well, but he is pretty aggressive at the plate, leading to some swing-and-miss.
A strong career at Virginia Tech saw Hurley post a career slash line of .321/.411/.603 with 37 home runs and 18 stolen bases in 154 career games. Upon being drafted in the third round of the 2023 draft, Hurley hit the ground running, spending time at three levels, with the majority of his games coming in High-A, where he slashed .293/.341/.415 with a home run and six stolen bases.
Despite being somewhat aggressive, Hurley only chased 25 percent of pitches in 2023 and made contact on 75 percent at Virginia Tech. In his small sample in pro ball that number dropped to below 65 percent which is somewhat concerning, but it was his first taste of professional pitching.
The power is there as Hurley posted a 93 mph average exit velocity in college and a 109 mph 90th percentile with a 55 percent hard-hit rate.
If Hurley sees improvement in the contact department, he could be a potential 25 home run/10 stolen base type but has work to do to get there, especially against breaking balls and high velocity.
FFG: Power/Speed OF w/Hit Tool questions
90th Percentile Peak Outcome: .270/.340 OBP/20 HR/15 SB
6. Gino Groover, 3B, 21, 6’2”/212
Groover was one of the college analytic darlings in the 2023 MLB Draft that led Arizona to select him in the second round. After beginning his career at Charlotte, Groover spent two seasons at NC State, where he posted a slash of .349/.435/.555 with 24 home runs in 114 games.
From an analytics standpoint, Groover posted a 92 mph average exit velocity and a 108 mph 90th percentile, both are high-end for his class. The power did not show up as much in his small pro sample, as Groover posted just one home run and a .394 slugging percentage.
The contact skills were high-end as well and Groover made contact on 92 percent of pitches in the zone while chasing at a low 23 percent clip. The contact skills carried over to professional ball as Groover made contact on 85 percent of pitches he saw overall.
Groover is a high floor bat that had potential to be more if the power development continues. There is minimal speed in the profile, but if he can post high enough batting averages and OBPs it will play.
FFG: Hit Tool First CI
90th Percentile Peak Outcome: .285/.350 OBP/22 HR/3 SB
7. Yu-Min Lin, LHP, 20, 5’11”/160
Looking at the surface numbers, Lin has been nothing short of dominant his entire career, and 2023 was no exception. Lin posted a 3.43 ERA and a 32.1 percent strikeout rate in High-A earning the promotion to Double-A as a 20-year-old. The results were inconsistent in Double-A where Lin showed his first bumps in the road as a professional pitcher in which he posted a 4.28 ERA and struck out just 24.7 percent of hitters across 61 innings.
The more significant issue with Lin is his stuff and frame, as his fastball sits at 89 mph and tops at 91-92 mph. Lin was able to fool hitters at the lower levels with a dominant changeup, which is his best pitch, firmly plus on the scouting scale. But look at the success of changeup-heavy guys at the lower levels, and as they move up, the results typically take a step backward, especially lacking a strong fastball. Lin does not have a breaker that is his go-to swing-and-miss pitch either.
The arsenal plays up due to high-end command, which is essential considering most of his pitches are average across the board, with the exception of his changeup.
I won’t rule out Lin adding some velocity, but his smaller frame does not suggest that will be the case. If we filter MLB starting pitchers that average below 91 mph and are under 6’0”, the results are few and far between. I won’t rule out that Lin can be a backend starter, but right now, it is hard to project him for more.
FFG: Command Specialist Backend SP
90th Percentile Peak Outcome: 150 IP/3.90 ERA/150 K
8. Dylan Ray, RHP, 22, 6’3”/230
Ray, a former fourth-rounder in 2022 out of the University of Alabama, took a huge step forward in 2023. Ray tossed 99.1 innings over 22 starts in High-A, posting a 3.81 ERA with 123 strikeouts and 32 walks. In three starts in Double-A to end his season, Ray had one bad outing where he allowed nine earned runs that really inflated his ERA.
Ray features a mid-90s fastball that sometimes fluctuates in velocity from start to start. His slider is his best secondary, sitting near 90 mph, and the changeup also took steps forward, showing nice fade and depth.
Ray’s strike-throwing improved in 2023 as he posted a 65 percent strike rate and a 31 percent CSW. He has a starter’s build and has the arsenal to stick in the rotation long-term. For a detailed breakdown of Ray, check out the article below.
FFG: Backend SP/Long Relief
90th Percentile Peak Outcome: 150 IP/4.00 ERA/160 K
9. Deyvison De Los Santos, 1B, 20, 5’11”/185
Big-time power led the Diamondbacks to sign De Los Santos back in 2019 for $200k, and it appeared that De Los Santos was ready to do full breakout mode after a strong showing in 2021 and then an even better performance in 2022 that saw De Los Santos hit .306/.348/.499 with 22 home runs and 106 RBI. There were more profound issues, such as a very high chase rate and an aggressive approach. That continued into 2023, when he swung at 57 percent of pitches and made contact on just 67 percent.
2023 was a tale of two halves as De Los Santos was sent to the development list mid-season where he made a swing change that paid off in big ways. Before the development list, he was slashing just .206/.269/.308, but after coming back De Los Santos slashed .322/.340/.596 with 14 home runs in 238 plate appearances. Should it be concerning that he posted just a 2.5 percent walk rate? Absolutely. But as we have discussed, De Los Santos is hyper-aggressive and things were just working with the swing change.
Despite having big-time power, De Los Santos has limited the game power by pounding the ball into the ground far too often, and his 53 percent clip in 2023 was the lowest of his career. It will be interesting to see if De Los Santos’s swing changes stick into 2024 and what results we get. He has always been very young for each level and will likely start the 2024 season as a 20-year-old in Triple-A.
FFG: Power Hitting DH
90th Percentile Peak Outcome: .260/.310 OBP/30 HR/2 SB
Buy/Sell: Sell on the 2nd Half Performance
10. Ivan Melendez, 1B, 23, 6’3”/225
The “Hispanic Titanic” has been mashing home runs his entire career, posting high exit velocities and even reaching 32 home runs in 2022 at the University of Texas, winning him the Golden Spikes award for best player in the country.
After being selected in the second round of the 2022 draft, Melendez had a massive year in 2023, working his way to Double-A and hitting 30 home runs across 96 games. The biggest issue is that he struck out 146 times to just 31 walks.
The power is easily plus or better as Melendez has posted exit velocities as high as 115.5 mph and posts 90th percentile exit velocities near the top of all minor leaguers. The more significant issue is that he had just a 64.5 percent contact rate this season. Some power hits can make those contact rates work, but you certainly want to see that number trend closer to 70 percent.
You worry about a potential platoon, and in Melendez’s case, it would be on the weak side. While he did post a .823 OPS against righties, he struck out 37 percent of the time against them. Against lefties, Melendez posted a 1.327 OPS with just a 25 percent strikeout rate.
FFG: Power Hitting Platoon 1B
90th Percentile Peak Outcome: .260/.335 OBP/30 HR/3 SB
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