Baseball America recently released its top 100 potential customers for the 2021 season, and the state of Arizona is well represented. Whether it’s the Arizona Diamondbacks, former Sun Devils or Wildcats or natives of State 48, the list is full of state connections.
Let’s take a look:
Nr. 5 – Spencer Torkelson – 1B / 3BDetroit Tigers
The first overall spot of the MLB Draft in 2020 would have shattered almost every power-related record in Arizona State had college baseball not been put on hold last year. “Tork” leaves Tempe with a career .337 hits with 54 home runs, 152 runs scored, 130 RBI and 0.729 slugging percentage. Baseball America compares him to Paul Goldschmidt and Paul Konerko, and he could see time in Detroit in the not-so-distant future.
42 – Corbin Carroll – OF – Arizona Diamondbacks
Carroll was the first choice in a stacked D-back 2019 draft class. The prep player is undersized, but does just about everything right. Baseball America ranks him as the best hitter for the average and fastest base runner in the Diamondbacks system. In his first pro ball season, he hit a combined .299 with nine doubles, seven triples and two home runs in 154 bats between the short season and rookie ball.
46 – Matthew Liberatore – LHP – St. Louis Cardinals
The talented pitcher out of Mountain Ridge High School was considered by many to be the best left in the 2018 draft. He was drafted by the Rays before being traded to the Cardinals in a package that took outfielders José Martínez and OF Randy Arozarena to Tampa Bay. The deal reunited him with his best friend and Nolan Gorman of Arizona (more on him later). In a season-plus, Liberatore threw 111 laps and posted a 2.59 earned run average, hitting 113.
Nr. 51 – Nick Gonzales – IF – Pittsburgh Pirates
The Tucson native was a hit machine in New Mexico State, averaging 399 with a 1,249 OPS, 37 home runs and 152 RBIs in Las Cruxes. After a strong Cape Cod League campaign, he jumped up draft boards and was elected with the No. 7 choice in the 2020 draft by the Pirates. Pittsburgh has had success with Arizona players with Cole Tucker, Kyle Newman and Trevor Williams on the Major League list.
Nr. 54 – Nolan Gorman – IF – St. Louis Cardinals
While the Liberatore was at the top left in the 2018 draft, Gorman was one top power bat. The best friends made headlines as the top 20 picks a few years ago, and are now teammates in the Cardinals’ system. In 188 Minor League matches, Gorman has hit 32 bombs and run in 106 races with a slugging percentage of .483.
Nr. 67 – Daulton Varsho – C / OF – Arizona Diamondbacks
Varsho saw some time at the Major League level in 2020. While his defensive position is still up in the air, he has been a top prospect in the Arizona system for a few years now. He was the ability to stand behind the dish and the athletics to play outfield.
Nr. 75 – Geraldo Perdomo – SS – Arizona Diamondbacks
Perdomo stands at 6 feet 3 and 184 pounds and is known for his good defensive skills. Offensively, he can be a table setter and strike for contact. In three seasons he has cut a .275 / .364 / .761 and drawn 172 trips in 236 games.
Nr. 90 – Bobby Dalbec – IF – Boston Red Sox
The former Arizona Wildcat bogs. He was a 4th round in the 2016 draft and has beaten 79 home runs in four seasons. He has spent some time at the big league level, and the key to success will also be to strike for contact.
Nr. 93 – Kristian Robinson – OF – Arizona Diamondbacks
Robinson impressed early in its time with Diamondbacks since signing in 2017. The Bahamian native brings athletics and power to the equation. He has transformed his body thanks to a Paleo diet, but has had limited reps due to the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on Minor League Baseball.
Nr. 94 – Alek Thomas – OF – Arizona Diamondbacks
Like Corbin Carroll, Thomas’ framework may not be overwhelming, but his power is. Baseball America sees similarities between the games of Adam Eaton and Brett Gardder. In two years, Thomas struck. 312 with 37 doubles, 13 triples, 12 home runs, 82 RBIs and 27 stolen bases in 170 games. Thomas comes from a baseball family. His father has been the Chicago White Sox’s strength and fitness coach for 17 years.