D-Backs' Chasing Playoff Berth, Farm System Seeking League Titles

(David Calvert)

By Jake Trybulski / Reno Aces | September 10, 2019 1:33 AM

 In the Big Leagues

If you're like us, you can not wait for Aceball at Greater Nevada Field in 2020.

Need something to hold you over for the time being; how about an update on the teams still playing under the Diamondbacks' umbrella in 2019? 

Our parent club in Arizona (75-69) is currently 2.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs (77-66) for the National League's second Wild Card position with 18 games remaining. The D-backs have been hot as of late, winners of 11 of their last 14 games. 

One of the reasons the team remains in contention is left-hander Alex Young. Looking for starting rotation stability, the southpaw got the call-up from Reno on June 27 and has been stellar since. He's tied with Robbie Ray for the team-lead in wins with seven and his 66.2 innings pitched, .208 average against, 3.38 ERA, and 1.05 WHIP are all tops on the squad over that span. 

Click here for a full list of former Aces contributing for Arizona at the Major League level this year.

The D-backs' push for the playoffs will conclude on September 29 in the desert. Prior to then, the club will face off against the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Miami Marlins, San Diego Padres, and conclude with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Padres once again at home. 

Arizona's remaining opponents currently hold a combined record of 338-378, or a .472 winning percentage. That's a slightly easier schedule by the numbers compared to Chicago. The Cubs will face the San Diego Padres, Pittsburgh Pirates (2x), Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals (2x) over the next few weeks; a combined record of 277-287 or .491 winning percentage.

The Washington Nationals currently cling to a three-game lead (79-63) over the Cubs in the National League Wild Card race. The Los Angeles Dodgers (93-52), Atlanta Braves (90-55), and St. Louis Cardinals (81-62) all lead their respective divisions.   

The last time Arizona made it to the playoffs came in 2017. That season, they beat the Colorado Rockies by a score of 11-8 at Chase Field in Phoenix during the National League Wild Card game. The Los Angeles Dodgers would go on to beat the Diamondbacks in the National League Division Series three games to none a few days later ending the club's championship run.

On the Farm

Three Arizona affiliated teams are knocking on the door of a league championship. 

Double-A Jackson has advanced to the Southern League finals for the second consecutive season to face the Biloxi Shuckers (Milwaukee Brewers). 

The Generals defeated the Shuckers in the championship series three games to one in 2018 highlighted by a Domingo Leyba MVP performance. The switch-hitting infielder recorded hits in three of the four games in the series going 6-for-18 overall with a home run, two doubles, two runs scored, four RBIs, and a .368 on-base percentage. 

Leyba followed up his MVP performance with an awesome year for the Biggest Little City. Overall, he batted .300 in 112 games tallying 19 home runs, 77 RBIs, 85 runs scored, and a team-leading 37 doubles.

In 2019, the best-of-five Southern League Championship will get underway on September 10 in Biloxi and conclude on September 15 in Jackson if necessary. Neither team has announced a game one starter for Tuesday. The Generals are 7-3 this season against the Milwaukee Brewers Double-A affiliate.

D-backs' No. 5 prospect, Daulton Varsho, has been the offensive catalyst all season for the Generals. He leads the team in average (.301), home runs (18), OBP (.378), SLG (.520), runs (85), stolen bases (21) and total bases (206). Righty Matt Peacock has been the ace on the mound compiling an 8-4 record and 2.97 ERA over 115.1 IP to go with a .231 BA against. If you have a "2020" vision, expect to see the duo in Reno at some point next season.

High-A Visalia will also get their championship series started September 10 in Lake Elsinore, CA against the Storm. The Padres Single-A affiliate holds a 6-3 season series advantage over the Rawhide this season. Neither team has announced a starter for game 1 of the California League Championship series.

The Diamondbacks' No. 1 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, Alek Thomas, currently resides in Visalia. He was solid in the CAL League division finals against San Jose last week. The outfielder was 5-for-13 with two doubles, two RBIs, three runs scored and reached base at a .429 mark during the Rawhide's three-game sweep over the Giants. Keep an eye out for the lefty in years to come. 

Lastly, the Hillsboro Hops, Arizona's Class-A Short Season affiliate of the Northwest League are currently locked in a championship battle with the Tri-City Dust Devils (Padres). Our friends from Oregon currently hold a 2-1 series advantage with games four and five scheduled for Sept. 10 and 11. 

The D-backs first selection in the 2019 MLB draft (No.15 overall), Corbin Carroll has been a spark in just 11 games with the Hops since joining the team. The 19-year-old hit .326 with six RBIs, 13 runs scored, a .408 OBP, three doubles, and four triples during the regular season. 

Power-hitter Kristian Robinson has been fun to watch this season for the Hops as well. Signed out of the Bahamas in 2017, Robinson is the D-backs No. 2 prospect. He hit .319 in 44 regular-season games with Hillsboro this year with nine homers, 35 RBIs, and 29 runs scored.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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