MiLB.com's Road to the Show Scouting Report series spotlights players who are just starting their professional careers, focusing on what the experts are projecting for these young phenoms. Here's a look at second-ranked D-backs’ prospect Tommy Troy. For more player journeys on The Road to The Show, click here.
Tommy Troy transitioned from college All-American to one of the game’s best prospects in 2023. But what’s most impressive was that he did it on one foot.
Well, one healthy foot at least.
Shortly after the start of the college season, the Stanford product was hit by a pitch and suffered a fracture in his left foot. Troy played through the injury as he led the Cardinal to its second consecutive Pac-12 title and third consecutive College World Series appearance. Troy was drafted by the D-backs at No. 12 overall and played 27 games in the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League and with High-A Hillsboro before undergoing season-ending surgery in mid-September.
Although he entered his first professional offseason having to rehab an injury -- which has become something of a rite of passage for D-backs’ first-rounders -- he rose to No. 74 in MLB Pipeline’s new Top 100 prospects list.
Underlined by the toughness it takes to play through an injury of that nature, the 22-year-old profiles as a skillful hitter with a well-developed understanding of the strike zone and a strong ability to handle high-velocity pitching. He may not necessarily possess prolific power, but he can certainly run into one and impact the baseball with some consistency.
Troy batted .271/.374/.469 with four homers, 21 RBIs and nine stolen bases across both levels in his first Minor League stint, all but four games of which came with Hillsboro. During his time in the Northwest League, Troy ranked fourth on the circuit in steals (eight), fifth in RBIs (16), sixth in extra-base hits (nine) and eighth in total bases (38).
Defensively, he played exclusively at shortstop in the Minors, a position that he played only sparingly at the amateur level.
“We're really excited about the bat,” D-backs scouting director Ian Rebhan told MLB.com after the Draft. “He's had a lot of success in the [Cape Cod] and the wood-bat leagues. We think he profiles really well as a hit and power defender up-the- middle player. He's super athletic, I think he's a plus runner and there's just a lot of conviction from both our scouting group and our analysts group on that bat.”
Troy enjoyed a decorated career at Los Gatos HS in California. Like many in his class, he was a candidate to be drafted out of high school but went unselected in the pandemic-shortened Draft. He honored his commitment to Stanford, which was less than an hour away from his home, and was a three-year starter for the program.
Before he got started with the Cardinal, Troy was invited to play with the Traverse City Pit Spitters of the Northwoods League, which had been one of the few collegiate summer leagues that still operated in 2020. Troy more than held his own against some of the best prep players in the country, batting .318 with five doubles and 14 RBIs in 21 games.
By the next spring, Troy was an everyday player for Stanford. He mostly played second base but also saw time at third and shortstop, and played nine games in left field. He hit .247 with an .831 OPS over 49 games his freshman season. He also drove in 28 runs and clubbed 10 homers -- the last of which came against Arizona in Stanford’s only College World Series victory during Troy’s tenure.
Once again, Troy was able to elevate his play against advanced competition in a collegiate summer league. Playing with the Wareham Gatemen in the Cape Cod League, Troy batted .299 with 10 extra-base hits, including four homers, and 19 RBIs.
He started to look like a potential first-round talent when he returned to Stanford the following spring. Troy batted .339 with a .939 OPS, 25 extra-base hits, including seven homers, and 23 RBIs.
He returned to the Cape, this time putting together an All-Star campaign with the Cotuit Kettleers. Troy improved at the plate from his first tour of the circuit, batting .310 with a .917 OPS, five homers and 20 RBIs in 30 games. He also played in 20 games at shortstop, which he would not do again until after he was drafted.
Troy’s final season at Stanford left little doubt that he would not only be a first-rounder, but that he could be selected within the top 15. He won the Pac-12 batting title and was named to the All-Conference team and Perfect Game’s All-America team. He was also named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive team during a season in which he played exclusively at the hot corner.
Troy batted .394 and finished fifth in the conference in slugging (.699) and seventh in on-base percentage (.478). He also hit 17 homers, collected 17 doubles, 58 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. He improved his walk rate to nearly 12 percent while slashing his punchout rate to 14.3 percent.
Troy, who had spent time in Phoenix and played travel ball games at Chase Field in high school, was the first of 20 college players the D-backs selected with their 21 picks in this summer’s Draft. A week later, Troy signed for a reported $4,400,000 bonus, which fell below the $5,043,800 pick value.
He quickly proved to be dominant in the ACL in his first assignment after the Draft. Troy collected five hits in 11 at-bats over four games and was promoted to Hillsboro at the start of August.
Troy got into his power a bit for the Hops, recording four homers and five doubles while driving in 16 runs. He batted .247 with a .790 OPS and his strikeout rate got a bit high (26.3 percent). Troy made five errors in nearly 90 total chances at shortstop before the surgery ended his season.
Reports indicate that Troy should be healthy for the spring. He was not among the reigning National League champions’ list of non-roster invitees. But if he can start the year healthy, he should be able to reach the upper Minors fairly quickly.
Here's what the experts at MLB Pipeline have to say about Troy:
Scouting grades (20-80 scale)
“A strong commitment to Stanford and the shortened Draft kept Troy from being selected in 2020, but he quickly became a regular contributor for the Cardinal. He truly broke out as a sophomore in the spring of 2022 and then carried that to the Cape Cod League (where he also appeared in 2021) as the circuit’s best prospect with a .310/.386/.531 line. He posted a .394/.478/.699 line with 17 homers (equal to his totals from the previous two years) over 58 games in his final season on campus in 2023 and went 12th overall to the Diamondbacks in July. Troy appeared in 23 games for High-A Hillsboro last summer but needed surgery in September to address a fracture in his left foot. He has earned strong reviews for the way he’s tackled rehab work and is expected to be good to go for 2024.
Troy caught pre-Draft attention from evaluators for his improved ability to drive the ball from the right side, and his bat-to-ball skills, pitch recognition and overall discipline all took nice steps forward. He continued to show quick hands in pro ball and sent nine of his 21 hits with Hillsboro for extra bases, aiding the belief that he’ll hit for at least average power by the time he reaches the Majors.
The California native has above-average speed and started stealing more bases in 2023 -- a trend that could continue as he puts the foot issues in the rearview. Troy played second, short and third base in college, but he saw the six exclusively in pro ball with Arizona officials taking away that he could at least handle himself there. Even if he needs to move to second -- and that’s a possibility with Jordan Lawlar also in the system -- Troy has upside as a multiskilled talent up the middle.”
Gerard Gilberto is a reporter for MiLB.com.