50 Prospect Profile: Corey Myers
||Catcher/1st Base/3rd Base
||Hi-A Lancaster JetHawks (California League)/AAA Tucson
Sidewinders (Pacific Coast League)
The Diamondbacks first round pick in the 1999 draft out of Desert Vista High
School in Phoenix, Myers came with much hype and has journeyed all over the
diamond looking for a way to get to the big leagues. The answer appeared
to come very near the end of Spring Training in 2004, when the Diamondbacks
asked the former shortstop who was converted to third base, who was converted to
first base to become a catcher. Myers spent the entire first half of the
2004 season in extended spring training and the Arizona Instructional League
working on his catching skills with Bill Plummer and Damon Berryhill, and then
stopped off in Hi-A Lancaster before a spot at Triple-A Tucson was cleared for
Myers correctly asserted that he is "not at prospect status
anymore" but that doesn't necessarily mean things are going to be smooth
sailing for him. The Diamondbacks traded for Koyie Hill and promoted Chris Snyder, a Double-A prospect, to catch, leaving Myers in Triple-A Tucson.
The fact that he has been moved around so much might actually end up being the
reason he gets to the big leagues. With the Hillenbrand trade now
official, Myers could make the squad as the right handed part of the first base
platoon, or as a utility man who could back up Troy Glaus at third, Chad Tracy at first, and be the third catcher. Expect
the Diamondbacks to give him a shot early in 2005, and then see if he has enough
to stick around the big league club.
#14--A. J. Shappi
Prospect Profile: A.J. Shappi
||Short Season A Yakima Bears (Northwest League), Hi-A
Lancaster JetHawks (California League)
Shappi is a smart guy, and not just on the diamond. He was a Rhodes
Scholar candidate at UC Riverside, as well as being the staff's Ace. In
addition to going 5-1 between Yakima and Lancaster he has a ridiculous strikeout
to walk ratio. Shappi rarely has to challenge hitters because he seems to
always be ahead in the count, but on the rare occasions when it calls for it,
Shappi will come right after guys. He was a Northwest League All Star and
is an innings eater because his control allows him to keep his pitch count low.
50 Prospect Profile: Bill Murphy
||Double-A Carolina Mudcats (Southern League), Double-A El
Paso Diablos (Texas League)
The principal in the deal that sent Steve Finley to the Dodgers, this left hander is as hot a prospect as there is.
Coming out of the Oakland organization (3rd round, 2002) Murphy was highly
touted, and considered a jewel in the Marlins system after he was moved there in
late 2003. The Diamondbacks wanted him so bad they forced the Dodgers to
trade for him, simply so they could ship him to Arizona for Finley. He's
impressed everywhere he's gone, and drawn attention for both his game on the
field, and his habit of writing in the dirt on his way off it.
Murphy has a fastball in the low 90s, and a changeup that is mandatory for
every pitcher who gets into Oakland's system, but the jewel of Murphy's
repertoire is a big sweeping curveball. It's his best pitch and Murphy
likes it a little too much sometimes, accounting for his high walk totals.
Gosling's biggest attribute is his ability to change speeds with his fastball
and curveball, and to throw both those pitches, and his changeup, for strikes.
When he's right he hits his spots and needs a good defense behind him because
hitters will put the ball in play, when he's not right he doesn't have the
velocity to get away with mistakes.
Nippert might be the steal of the 2002 draft as the Diamondbacks grabbed him
in the 15th round out of
West Virginia. An imposing
presence on the mound at 6'7" he uses that height to maximum effect
especially when working with his power curve, a pitch with so much movement one
scout referred to it as 'unhittable.' Had a benign tumor removed from his
armpit in June of 2003, and missed the rest of the season because of it, but
came back to dominate the
Arizona Fall League that year, skyrocketing his stock with the organization.
Nippert was moved up to the Diamondbacks 40 man roster in mid November to
protect him from the Rule V draft. He has been working on a changeup to
combat left handed hitters and if it becomes a plus pitch could very well become
a front of the rotation starter for the Diamondbacks as early as '06.