Any professional scout who gets to spend a few days watching the Mobile BayBears is certainly going to get his money's worth.
Four of the D-backs' Top 10 prospects are on that roster, including a pair of pitchers in the top 25 of the overall Top 100. That doesn't count Patrick Corbin and Adam Eaton, both in Arizona's Top 20, who have since been promoted.
Trevor Bauer is No. 9 overall and sits atop the organization's list. The No. 3 overall pick from the 2011 Draft has been largely unhittable in his first full season, keeping opposing batters to a .211 average against and striking out 12.1 per nine innings. But while his 2.36 ERA is sixth lowest in the Double-A Southern League and he tops that circuit in strikeouts, he's also third in walks and has a 5.2 BB/9 ratio to date. The scout MLB.com spoke to, however, doesn't see it as a long-term problem.
"The only thing I'm really concerned with is he can get up in the zone," the scout said about Bauer, who had his worst outing of the season on Tuesday, allowing five earned runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. "He's getting strikeouts on hitters chasing up and away. I think he's going to be a 'one step forward, two steps back' guy, then he'll settle into what he is. The pitches hitters are chasing now, they're not going to chase [at the next level]. He'll have to come back in the zone. He's going to have to get the fastball command down."
"But it's going to be Orel Hershiser pitchability with Roy Oswalt stuff."
The scout was equally impressed with lefty Tyler Skaggs, No. 21 on the Top 100 and No. 3 on the D-backs' list. The scout didn't even see a strong Skaggs start -- the southpaw allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits over six innings -- but was still very impressed with the pure stuff and how Skaggs handled himself on the hill.
"He was as outstanding as can be with his stuff," the scout said. "He probably has the best curve in Minor League Baseball. He's a top-of-the-rotation type, even though he got beat around. His stuff is outstanding, he's confident on the mound."
On the other members of the D-backs' Top 10:
Matt Davidson (No. 5): "He's very offensive. I don't know if he can stay at third [base], but let him play his way off there. You put him in the Draft this year and he's a top-five pick [Davidson was taken in 2009 out of high school]. There's a little more average than power. He's 21 in Double-A, and he's doing it. The body's not great, so he takes a little beating on that. He's not a great defensive third baseman. Those things aside, when you look at the bat potential, you have to love this guy."
Evan Marshall (No. 10): "He's tough as nails, a gritty guy. He pitches to contact and doesn't have overpowering stuff. He's a young guy in Double-A, but he's not afraid and attacks the zone. He's going to take a little bit of a beating as he learns to make better pitches, but he looks like a quality sixth- or seventh-inning guy [in the big leagues]."