09/06/12 10:00 AM ET
New prospect rankings released; D-backs are No. 3
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
There are many ways to measure success in the Minor Leagues, and while winning percentage is not the major one for D-backs farm director Mike Bell, it is one of his yardsticks.
"I don't know if there's a correlation between winning in the Minor Leagues and Major Leagues ... but I think it's important for our guys to experience what that's like," Bell said.
There's been plenty of winning down on the farm for Arizona, with four teams qualifying for their league playoffs.
The system has also provided help at the Major League level, with pitchers Patrick Corbin and Tyler Skaggs -- along with position players like Jake Elmore and Adam Eaton -- contributing.
"We have prospects scattered throughout the different levels," Bell said.
If MLB.com's prospect rankings are any indication, the D-backs' farm system is among the best in the game.
Left-hander Wade Miley was ranked No. 12 on the list this spring when he seemed to be a long shot to make the big league team. Miley wound up grabbing the final spot on the staff, and after a few relief appearances, he was moved into the rotation and has not looked back.
Miley was Arizona's lone All-Star representative this season, and his strong performance has made him a front-runner for the National League Rookie of the Year Award.
Outfielder Bobby Borchering was the team's top pick in 2009, but he struggled to find a position defensively. The team tried him at third and first before moving him to the outfield.
With the D-backs trying to plug an immediate need at third base, Borchering was dealt to the Astros in July in exchange for Chris Johnson.
The D-backs jumped at the chance to draft high school catcher Stryker Trahan with their first pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. Trahan is advanced as a hitter, so much so that he probably could have handled Class A pitching this year. He showed good defensive improvement and became more comfortable in his stance/setup, and he was throwing and blocking balls better by the end of the Arizona Rookie League season.
Chase Anderson is another newcomer to the list. The right-hander dealt with some elbow issues during the year, but when healthy, he was outstanding for Double-A Mobile. He'll get more of an opportunity against even better competition in the Arizona Fall League.
d-backs' top prospects
Outfielder Adam Eaton jumped 10 spots. The undersized outfielder was a 19th-round pick in 2009, so he had to prove himself at every level. He has done just that, and after being named the Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year in the Pacific Coast League, the D-backs gave him a September callup.
With center fielder Chris Young battling a bad quadriceps muscle, Eaton should get a chance to show what he can do. A solid September could force the D-backs to make room for him in the outfield next season.
Top 100 representation
The D-backs have four players listed in the Top 100: Trevor Bauer (No. 6), Skaggs (No. 10), Archie Bradley (No. 19) and Matt Davidson (No. 48).
Even with the graduations of top prospects such as Miley and fellow left-hander Corbin, the D-backs moved up in the prospect point rankings.
Entering this season, the D-backs ranked fifth with 253 points, and they now finish No. 3 on the list with 321 points.
"The only way we're able to do that is to draft and develop quality players," Bell said. "It's a credit to our scouting department, our scouts and our staff in the system."