The Detroit Tigers Have Top Prospects. Now What?
The 2006 Arizona Diamondbacks
Prospects (BA/MLB): Justin Upton (2/7), Stephen Drew (5/9), Conor Jackson (17/20), Carlos Quentin (20/22), Chris Young (23/27), Carlos Gonzalez (32/41), Dustin Nippert (67/NA)
The Diamondbacks went 77-85 in 2005, and these lists were published prior to the 2006 season, when the team finished 76-86. But the following year Arizona won their division with Drew, Jackson, and Young all serving as regulars. Nippert (36G), Quentin (81G), and Upton (43G) saw time with the 2007 team as well, but they combined for -1.6 WAR. Arizona did win the NLDS that year, with strong contributions from Drew, Upton, and Young, but they were then swept by the Rockies in the NLCS.
The D-backs didn’t return to the playoffs until 2011, by which point Gonzalez, Jackson, Nippert, and Quintin had all been traded. Drew and Young were traded in 2012, and Upton was moved early in 2013. Carlos Gonzalez never played for Arizona, but he was a big part of the trade that brought Dan Haren to town. Quentin and Nippert didn’t bring back much in return, and Jackson unfortunately came down with a rare disease. All things considered, this is a pretty disappointing group. The Diamondbacks did land three solid regulars, with Upton and Young making All-Star teams, and they used their prospect depth to trade for a starter who gave them 12.6 WAR over two seasons. But in the end all they have to show for it is two division titles.