After a disastrous 2016, a strong Spring Training would be enough for some folks to take fliers on Shelby Miller. Unfortunately, he's posted a 7.36 ERA over 11 innings pitched with a 1.45 WHIP. On the bright side, he's recorded 18 strikeouts over that period. All that said, the best advice is likely to avoid Miller for the entirety of the draft. If you want to make a flier in the last round, that's fine I guess. Miller's impressive 2015 year had some issues with it - he was fortunate by giving up just 0.57 HR/9. The move to Arizona certainly would put that irregularity under a microscope, but what we saw in 2016 went substantially beyond just that: his velocity was down as was his SwStr%. I see no reason to expect a "bounce back" campaign. Reports from Spring Training are that he has a better mindset this year, but it's going to take a lot more than that to return value for fantasy owners.
The only definite starter in the Diamondbacks rotation is Zack Greinke, and there are 206.5 million reasons why that is. But does he deserve to be on merit alone? The answer is yes. Greinke's 2016 was less than ideal for the Diamondbacks, but FanGraphs did a great job of pointing out that a large portion of his poor performance came in four starts where he allowed 7+ earned runs in each. Now that doesn't necessarily matter when you're sending him out there each and every week, but clearly the big time struggles were more of an anomaly. Greinke's HR/9 ballooned to 1.30 last season, partly due to pitching in Arizona, but partly due to misfortune as he actually allowed 3 more HR on the road in nearly the same number of innings. So what should we expect from Greinke? I think if you average how he did in 2015 with 2016, you'll be pretty close. Fortunately that's a valuable starter, albeit coming off a bad season.
Unlike Miller, a potential worthwhile flier in late rounds is Archie Bradley. The Diamondbacks have a glut of mediocrity in their rotation so it's possible that Bradley may not make the rotation, so only grab him in the final round or two. Bradley clearly has the potential as he was taken seventh overall in 2011. Last year yielded poor results (5.02 ERA), but solid peripherals with a 9.08 K rate and a 4.10 FIP. Control has long been an issue for Bradley as he walked four per 9 innings last season, but that's an issue that has followed him his entire career. Bradley will return more value in NL-only leagues than shallow leagues obviously, but keep an eye on him. He could make a few small adjustments that improve command as he's just 24 years old.
Jake Lamb is flying under a lot of radars in 2017. He posted a respectable 114 wRC+ last season, a large improvement from 2015's 91 wRC+. It's worth noting that Lamb absolutely crushed the ball in the minors, with wRC+ of 156 and 162 in 2013 and 2014 minor league ball. The 29 home runs he hit last year seems attainable to repeat since he's only getting better. Lamb's kryptonite is left handed pitching, which if he can improve upon, will pay big dividends in 2017. His BABIP against lefties the last two seasons has been a paltry .164 and .197 - horrible numbers, but very easy to improve upon.
Also vying for a rotation spot is Patrick Corbin. Corbin is best known for his excellent 2013, but didn't really return to the mound until last year at a full capacity, where he had mixed results. Now that Corbin is well beyond post-injury mechanical issue, I'm willing to keep my eye on him. He still has not been announced as a member of the rotation, making him difficult to draft, but pay close attention early in the year on the waiver wire. Pitching in Arizona is no easy task, but he generated ground balls at a 53.8% clip last year, making success in Arizona a possibility. He's still on an uphill climb towards success, but he's just 27 years old.
AJ Pollock was poised for a breakout 2016 before his spring training injury derailed the high expectations. 2017 is off to an unfortunate start as well as Pollock was removed from a March 12 game with groin tightness. For this reason - and for the fact that Pollock just hasn't played that much baseball in a year - I'm cautious on Pollock. It may be unfair to label him as injury prone since his major injuries (elbow and fractured hand) weren't trauma related as opposed to nagging hamstrings/groins. But the fact is that he's played limited baseball in all but 2015, so if you're going to draft him in the third round, you'd better be certain that the rest of your roster doesn't have any question marks. Fortunately Pollock is back in a limited capacity, but I don't see any plausible expectation that he plays 155+ games.
All of the **top prospects** are included in the 2017 Fantistics Software. To see them in order, **sort by the Notes** Column for both **Hitters and Pitchers.**