Jarred Ball: Back with the Diamondbacks

Jarred Ball: Back with the Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed Jarred Ball to a minor-league contract. Ball had played in the Diamondbacks organization from 2001-2007 before playing in the Houston organization last season.

Jarred Ball was among the fastest players in the Diamondbacks organization prior to signing with the Houston organization as a six-year free agent in 2008. In 52 games with Huston's Double-A affiliate, Ball swiped 14 bases in 16 attempts and reached base a healthy 36% of the time. He re-signed with the D-backs this February and turns 26 in April.

Between 2001 and 2004, Ball's batting average, home runs, RBI, runs scored, and walk totals increased every year. FutureBacks ranked him as the 22nd-best prospect in the organization after the 2005 season, and the Diamondbacks' front office was even higher on him than that.

Knee injuries caused Ball to lose a step, however, and it became apparent that his long swing was a liability at higher minor league levels. Even at lower levels, Ball whiffed too frequently for someone whose best asset is his speed.

Ball appears to be a longshot to make the majors in a Diamondbacks uniform, but his excellent defense should aid the development of Arizona pitching prospects in the upper levels. For his seven-year minor league career, Ball is a .267 hitter that has stolen 126 bases in 173 attempts, a 73% success rate.

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