The Diamondbacks plan to promote an outfield prospect Corbin Carroll for Monday’s game, reports MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. Carroll is not currently on the club’s 40-man roster, although they already have a vacancy there. A corresponding move will be required to get him onto the active roster.
This will be a belated birthday present of sorts for the youngster who just turned 22 a week ago. Selected with the 16th overall pick in the 2019 draft, Carroll has been one of the most intriguing prospects in Arizona’s system since then. Baseball America ranked him 5th in the organization and 90th in all of baseball in 2020, before Carroll jumped to Arizona’s No. 1 slot in 2021. He is currently ranked 5th overall by B.A3rd of FanGraphswhile ESPN and Keith Law of The Athletics consider him the best prospect in the sport.
The fact that Carroll is so highly regarded is hardly surprising, given his tremendous performance on the field so far in his career. After being drafted in 2019, at just 18 years of age, he logged 42 games between rookie ball and low-A, hitting .299/.409/.487 in that span. The pandemic wiped out the minors in 2020, but Carroll reportedly continued to impress at the club’s alternate training camp that year. 2021 was largely a lost season, as Carroll tore the capsule of his non-throwing shoulder, ending his campaign after just seven games.
However, Carroll was back here in 2022, showing no ill effects from the shoulder surgery he underwent last year. Through 58 Double-A games, he hit 16 home runs, stole 20 bases and walked in 14.8% of his plate appearances. His .313/.430/.643 batting line was 66% better than league average as measured by wRC+. He was promoted to Triple-A and has played 33 games there so far, hitting seven more long balls, swiping 11 more bags and hitting .287/.408/.535, a wRC+ of 135.
Defensively, Carroll primarily played center field in the minors, although with some time in the corners as well. It’s unclear where the Diamondbacks intend to play Carroll in the majors, but they’ll have an embarrassment of young talent in the outfield on either side. Alec Thomas, himself a highly regarded prospect coming into the year, was promoted in May and received most of the playing time at center. He hit just .243/.294/.369 through his first 92 MLB games for an 84 wRC+, though his glove work was highly rated across the board.
Alongside Carroll and Thomas, the club has plenty of options to fill out the rest of its outfield picture. Daulton Warsaw and Jake McCarthy both are having strong seasons as well and each comes with at least four years of club control beyond this one. Stone Garrett was also recently called up, having hit very well in a five-game show so far. Jordan Luplow is also on hand for his strong numbers against lefties. He has declined somewhat in that regard this season but could be retained by arbitration for another two seasons if he still fits into Arizona’s plans. Assuming Carroll sticks with the big league club the rest of the season, he’ll earn just over a month of service time, putting him on track to reach free agency after the 2028 campaign, unless future optional assignments end up pushing that back.
It’s been a rough few years in the desert, with the D-Backs currently 59-67, likely to finish below .500 for a third straight season. However, they have already guaranteed themselves a record well ahead of last year’s 52-100 mark, with plenty of reasons to be excited about the future. Their stockpile of young, cheap and verifiable outfield talent is perhaps the best reason to feel hopeful, with Carroll considered by many to be the most exciting of the bunch. For the remaining few weeks of the schedule, the club will give him a chance to showcase his skills on the sport’s biggest stage and potentially lock down a spot on the grass for years to come.
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.