Marcos Diplan Scouting Report: Texas Ranger minor league pitcher Marcos Diplan ranked #20 on the LSB Community Prospect Rankings.
In the days leading up to Opening Day, I'm going to offer write-ups on the 31 players who made the Rangers' LSB Community Prospect Rankings Top 31. I've done this the last couple of years, and I don't want to re-invent the wheel, so some of this will be a repeat of what I've written before, particularly regarding draft history or performance pre-2013. Also, this is not based on my personal observations -- I'm not a scout, and haven't seen most of these guys. I'm just aggregating the numbers and what others say about these players.
So, with that out of the way, let's take a look at Marcos Diplan...
Marcos Diplan is a 5'10", 160 lb. 17 year old righthanded pitcher who signed with the Rangers on July 2, 2013, for a signing bonus of $1.3 million. Baseball America had Diplan ranked as the #6 prospect in the 2013 J-2 class, and the #1 pitching prospect. While BA acknowledged that Diplan is undersized, he garnered praise for a fastball that could reach 94 and good feel for pitching. His curveball and changeup are considered very advanced, compared to most J-2 guys.
Diplan was ranked #11 in the Rangers' system by Baseball America this past offseason, and Ben Badler wrote in BA's chat session that he touched 96 mph in the Instructional League, and that "I wouldn't be surprised if he were throwing even harder" a year from now.
Jason Parks also has praised Diplan, saying this in a January, 2014, chat session at BP:
Jason Parks: I've seen Diplan. Impressive stuff. Really liked the delivery. It's more short-burst right now, but with added strength he should be able to hold velocity in a rotation. He has a solid arsenal. He's going to jump in 2014. I bet the Rangers push him.
The Rangers put 17 year old Martin Perez, another undersized pitcher with an advanced feel for pitching, in the Northwest League in 2008, so given that, and Parks' comments, it wouldn't surprise me if Diplan ended up being assigned to Spokane and gets his first taste of organized professional ball in short-season A.
Its hard to project ceiling with a pitcher so young, but if he can throw mid-90s with an above-average curveball and an average change, that's a potential #2/#3 starter. Diplan is a long, long way away, but he's someone who will be exciting to watch going forward.