The latest on D-backs top prospects

October 1st, 2022

Welcome to the D-backs prospect update, where you’ll find news, promotions and standout performances, all year long.

D-backs top prospect: Rankings | Stats | Box scores

Aces hit jackpot, claim 2022 PCL crown (Sept. 30)
LAS VEGAS -- Jake Hager is right at home in Sin City.

The D-backs Minor Leaguer grew up here. He played the better part of three seasons in the visiting dugout at Las Vegas Ballpark.

And on Friday, Hager’s affinity for playing in Nevada was on full display as his home run keyed Triple-A Reno’s 6-2 victory over El Paso in the Pacific Coast League championship as part of the Triple-A Triple Championship Weekend.

“I love playing here,” he said. “It's always nice playing at home, and then getting that big hit was amazing, especially to do it here. It's very special.” Full story »

Duzenack plays all nine positions for Aces (Sept. 26)
Camden Duzenack is no stranger to playing catcher, or toiling at first base or even stepping on the rubber. But to play all nine positions in one game?

Well, the Arizona farmhand can cross that off his bucket list as well.

Duzenack played an inning defensively at each position before entering in the ninth inning to pitch during Triple-A Reno's 7-2 win over visiting Tacoma. The Texas native didn't forget about his offense either, finishing with an RBI triple among his two hits in what has been a strong final month of the season.

His ability to play multiple positions has been a staple of Duzenack's five-year professional career, although he was primarily a middle infielder after his selection in the ninth round of the 2017 Draft out of Dallas Baptist. Full story »

Alexander continues to display power at Triple-A level (Sept. 25)
New level, same Blaze Alexander power.

The No. 15 D-backs prospect has only played in five Triple-A games, yet he homered in his second straight game as he went 2-for-5 with three RBIs in Triple-A Reno’s 11-3 win over Las Vegas.

The 23-year-old has been tested at a few Minor League levels and continues to show that he can play at every level, crushing a three-run shot to left field in the second inning on Sunday. Alexander finished off the game with a single in the eighth.

The shortstop's long ball brought his homer tally to 20 and improved his slash line to .305/.392/.549 between Rookie Level, Double-A and Triple-A. -- Edwin Perez

Pfaadt puts exclamation point on MiLB strikeout lead with 10 K's (Sept. 24)
Could Brandon Pfaadt's 2022 regular season have ended any other way? 

The No. 4 D-backs prospect struck out 10 to boost his campaign total to 218 -- the most strikeouts in the Minors in over 20 years -- while allowing two runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings in Triple-A Reno's 10-3 win against Las Vegas.

The gaudy total, amassed over 167 innings between Double-A Amarillo and Reno, is two shy of the high mark for any Minor Leaguer in the 21st century. There have been 12 campaigns with more than 200 strikeouts in the Minors since the year 2000, with Matt Moore pulling it off in consecutive seasons. The totals are:

220 - Brandon Claussen, 2001 (187 IP)
218 - Brandon Pfaadt, 2022 (167 IP)
217 - Edwar Cabrera, 2011 (167 IP)
214 - Clint Nageotte, 2002 (164.2 IP)
210 - Matt Moore, 2011 (155 IP)
208 - Matt Moore, 2010 (144.2 IP); Trevor May, 2011 (151.1 IP)
204 - Francisco Lirano, 2005 (167.2 IP)
203 - Josh Beckett, 2001 (140 IP)
202 - Brandon McCarthy, 2004 (172 IP)
201 - Dave Williams, 2000 (181 IP)
200 - Yusmeiro Petit, 2004 (139.1 IP)

Pfaadt, MLB's No. 91 prospect, also finished with an 11-7 record, a 3.83 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. The 2020 fifth-round pick has notched 378 strikeouts in 298 2/3 innings across two Minor League seasons.

Kyle Harrison, the Giants' No. 2 prospect and MLB's No. 21, stands to finish second in the Minors this year with 186 strikeouts. -- Josh Jackson

19-year-old De Los Santos hits first Amarillo homer (Sept. 14)
The rise of Deyvison De Los Santos has officially reached Double-A.

The No. 6 D-backs prospect went 3-for-5 with a home run in Amarillo's 9-5 win over San Antonio. The blast, a go-ahead three-run dinger in a tie game in the top of the ninth, was his first in seven games since being promoted to the Sod Poodles.

De Los Santos became one of two 19-year-olds in the Texas League, joining No. 3 Arizona prospect Jordan Lawlar, who also had three hits in the game. De Los Santos, playing in just his second professional season, began the year at Single-A Visalia and hit .329 with 12 home runs in 78 games to earn a bump up to High-A Hillsboro. Strong play there granted him the opportunity to finish out the season with Amarillo, where he's posted a trio of multihit games thus far. -- Jacob Resnick

Pfaadt fans 11 batters at Triple-A (Sept. 11)
Batters who've faced Brandon Pfaadt this season have mentally prepared themselves to return to the bench.

Arizona's No. 4 prospect, the Minor League leader in strikeouts, eclipsed 200 for the season in Triple-A Reno's 4-2 win over Salt Lake.

The fifth-round (149th overall) selection in the 2020 Draft tossed eight innings, allowing two runs on four hits while fanning 11 batters. This was the fourth time this season that the right-hander reached double-digit strikeouts, giving him 202 in 2022.

The 23-year-old began the year with Double-A Amarillo before being promoted to the Aces on Aug. 2. Since joining his new team, Pfaadt has a 2.52 ERA and a 4-0 record over eight starts. -- Ethan Sands

Lin is adjusting to the pros (Sept. 8)
Yu-Min Lin is starting to get the hang of the next level.

After being promoted to Single-A on July 26 and allowing two or more runs in three of his first four outings with Visalia, Arizona's No. 16 prospect has settled down and owned the mound.

His latest performance came in the Rawhide's 7-4 win over Inland Empire. The 19-year-old tossed six scoreless innings, giving up just two hits and three walks while fanning a career-high 10 batters. This marked his third straight start where he's given up only one run.

The Taiwan native was signed to a Minor League contract with the D-backs on Dec. 15, 2021. In his first professional season, Lin has started 14 games, compiling a 2.97 ERA and striking out 91 batters over 56 1/3 innings. -- Ethan Sands

Walston continues strong stretch with 6 scoreless (Aug. 24)
Blake Walston is surging at the right time for Double-A Amarillo.

The No. 5 Arizona prospect continued a solid run of starts with perhaps his best one yet. Walston worked six shutout innings and struck out six in the Sod Poodles' 11-3 win over Corpus Christi. He allowed four hits but just one went for extra bases as he avoided damage.

It was Walston's sixth straight start with at least five innings pitched and two runs or fewer allowed. Over that span, he has a 2.16 ERA with 44 strikeouts and 12 walks in 33 1/3 innings. -- Jacob Resnick

Pfaadt continues to deal since being promoted (Aug. 20)
Brandon Pfaadt
is on his "A" game.

The D-backs’ No. 4 prospect has impressed since being called up to Triple-A Reno, having posted a 2.37 ERA and striking out 23 in his first three starts. The 23-year-old continued to deal as he allowed one hit while striking out four in seven scoreless innings of work in Reno’s 4-2 win over Salt Lake.

The righty was dealing throughout his start, as he retired 19 of the 22 batters he faced. Pfaadt finished the night with 92 pitches – 62 of them strikes – in his start.

He lowered his ERA to 3.97 and brought his K tally to 170 in the 131 1/3 innings he has pitched this season. -- Edwin Perez

Pfaadt eclipses double-digit K's at Triple-A (Aug. 14)
Brandon Pfaadt notched his second win in just three starts at Triple-A. 

Arizona's No. 4 prospect was promoted to Reno on Aug. 2. Since joining the team, he's been stellar. His success continued in the Aces' 5-1 win over Albuquerque. 

The fifth-round (149th overall) selection in the 2020 Draft tossed six innings, surrendering one run on one hit and two walks while fanning 10 batters, eclipsing double-digits for the first time since his elevation. The 23-year-old is still atop the leaderboard of the Texas League with 144 strikeouts, even after moving up over 10 days ago. The right-hander has sat down 166 total batters this season. 

In merely his second professional season, Pfaadt has shown composure under the bright lights as he's risen through the ranks and looks to only improve as he inches towards his Major League debut. -- Ethan Sands

Melendez records first pro home run (Aug. 13)
The NCAA Division I home run leader has claimed his first victim in the professional ranks.

After swatting 32 long balls for the Texas Longhorns during the spring, Ivan Melendez, the D-backs’ second-round pick in last month’s Draft, connected on his first pro home run for Single-A Visalia in a 2-1 win over Modesto. At the plate in a scoreless game in the second inning, the third baseman lifted a pitch on the outer edge of the plate over the wall in deep left-center.

Melendez was named the Golden Spikes Award winner for hitting .387 with a 1.371 OPS at UT this past season. He checked in at No. 99 on MLB Pipeline's Top 250 Draft prospects list and was selected by Arizona 43rd overall. Melendez played in four games in the Arizona Complex League before joining the Rawhide. -- Jacob Resnick

Druw Jones to have left shoulder surgery (Aug. 2)
After meeting with Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles on Monday, D-backs first-round Draft pick (No. 2 overall) Druw Jones will undergo surgery on his injured left shoulder, farm director Josh Barfield said. -- Steve Gilbert