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Breaking down the D-backs' 2016 Top 30 Prospects

Shipley overtakes Bradley for No. 1 ranking in farm system
MLB.com @JonathanMayo

From a prospect and player-development standpoint, the D-backs might be known for a while as the organization that traded away the first selection in the Draft in the offseason following the Draft. It marked the first time that has happened and was allowed to happen due to a change in the rules.

The D-backs dealt Dansby Swanson to the Braves because they are clearly in win-now mode, bringing in Shelby Miller via that trade to pitch behind Zack Greinke, their big free-agent acquisition. While the Miller deal shed two Top 100 Top 100 players (right-hander Aaron Blair joined Swanson) from the D-backs' system, leaving just two Top 100 prospects remaining in the system in Braden Shipley and Archie Bradley, the cupboard is far from bare.

From a prospect and player-development standpoint, the D-backs might be known for a while as the organization that traded away the first selection in the Draft in the offseason following the Draft. It marked the first time that has happened and was allowed to happen due to a change in the rules.

The D-backs dealt Dansby Swanson to the Braves because they are clearly in win-now mode, bringing in Shelby Miller via that trade to pitch behind Zack Greinke, their big free-agent acquisition. While the Miller deal shed two Top 100 Top 100 players (right-hander Aaron Blair joined Swanson) from the D-backs' system, leaving just two Top 100 prospects remaining in the system in Braden Shipley and Archie Bradley, the cupboard is far from bare.

D-backs' 2016 Top 30 Prospects list

Yes, it's thin in terms of elite talent, but there is some depth to be found, particularly in terms of pitching. Exactly half of the new Top 30 are right-handed pitchers, starting of course with Shipley and Bradley, who flip-flop as the Nos. 1 and 2 prospects in the system from a year ago. The list is full of intriguing righties, many of whom are in the bullpen -- or perhaps headed there -- but also several of whom should be ready to contribute within the next year.

Ironically, given the attention paid to the Miller for Swanson and Blair swap, one of the biggest reasons for the D-backs having any depth in their system is because of trades that brought young talent in instead of sending it out. A dozen members of the Top 30 began their careers in other organizations.

Team Top 30 Prospects lists

Biggest jump/fall
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2015 preseason list to the 2016 preseason list.

Jump: Wei-Chieh Huang (2015: NR | 2016: 6)
Fall: Sergio Alcantara (2015: 12 | 2016: NR)

Best tools
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average.

Hit: Socrates Brito (50)
Power: Peter O'Brien (60)
Run: Colin Bray (70)
Arm: Gabriel Guerrero (65)
Defense: Bray (55)
Fastball: Adam Miller (80)
Curveball: Archie Bradley (60)
Slider: Alex Young (60)
Changeup: Wei-Chieh Huang (60)
Control: Silvino Bracho (60)

Top 10 Farm Systems

How they were built
Draft: 13
International: 5
Trade: 12

Breakdown by ETA
2016: 11
2017: 7
2018: 10
2019: 2

Breakdown by position
C: 1
2B: 2
3B: 1
SS: 2
OF: 5
RHP: 15
LHP: 4

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow @JonathanMayo on Twitter.

Arizona Diamondbacks