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Hillsboro, Oregon —— Entering play on Monday night, Arizona Diamondbacks catching prospect Daulton Varsho is slashing .314/.371/.504/.875 over his first 121 professional at-bats for the Northwest League‘s Hillsboro Hops, with ten doubles, two triples, three home runs, ten walks, and just 16 strikeouts over 30 games played. I observed the 21-year-old University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee product in the first week of August during a home series against Vancouver; below is Baseball Census‘ full Daulton Varsho scouting report, including several videos.

Daulton Varsho Scouting Report — Video

Our first video of Arizona Diamondbacks catching prospect Daulton Varsho shows his at-bats on August 3, 2017 against the Vancouver Canadians at Ron Tonkin Field in Hillsboro:

And our second Daulton Varsho video shows a deep look at his work behind the plate that week against Vancouver — receiving, framing, blocking, and throwing as a catcher for Hillsboro:

For more baseball prospect videos, please click here and subscribe to the Baseball Census YouTube channel. For more Arizona Diamondbacks scouting reports, news, interviews, and videos, please click here to go to Baseball Census’ Diamondbacks team landing page.

Daulton Varsho Scouting Report — Notes

At the plate, Daulton Varsho has a short, quick left-handed stroke and goes the other way very well with authority. He’s built to hit line drives and may never produce a ton of over-the-fence pop, but with above-average foot speed (especially relative to most catchers) and a gap-to-gap swing, he could be a doubles machine one day. He’s surprisingly discerning at the plate, too, with a very good understanding of the strike zone. There’s a comfort and a patience in Varsho at bat; he’s content to work deep counts and comfortable hitting down in the count and with two strikes. Good contact skills help with that, too, and he takes a specific two-strike approach to put the ball in play that’ll serve him well down the line. The Arizona Diamondbacks catcher has a shot to hit for average because of all this, and could become an above-average offensive threat because of his mature approach and ability to dictate at-bats. Broadly speaking, Varsho is too advanced for this level right now and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him in Low-A Kane County briefly at the end of the year, and ideally High-A Visalia to begin 2018.

Defensively, Daulton Varsho reminds me a lot of Texas Rangers catching prospect Jose Trevino — hard working, extremely competitive, good fundamentals, and a knack for back picking and challenging base runners while being unafraid of taking the risks involved when throwing to bases with runners on. Varsho is a good pitch framer and a very good, fundamentally sound blocker. His raw arm strength is probably average at best—his one notable departure from a guy like Trevino, who has a cannon—but good footwork and quick, efficient actions will help the Arizona Diamondbacks prospect behind the plate. I mentioned a moment ago he’s a good runner for a catcher, and that carries over into his overall athleticism behind the plate. Some have mentioned left field as a long term possibility on account of his arm strength, but I’m not that low on him defensively, and I don’t think there’s any reason to believe he can’t stay behind the plate as his career continues, whether as a platoon/backup guy or an everyday starter.

Overall, along with his Hillsboro teammate Pavin Smith, Daulton Varsho gives the Arizona Diamondbacks an impact prospect look coming through short-season ball right now. He (and Smith) should move relatively quickly on account of their ages and college backgrounds, and Varsho is advanced enough that I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in Visalia to start 2018 as the everyday catcher for the Rawhide. I really like his game, and more specifically his intensity and competitiveness, and I wish I’d gotten the chance to sit on him longer this summer because I think the Arizona Diamondbacks have a better prospect here than maybe most people realize. He’ll get every opportunity to prove himself behind the plate, and a ceiling of an everyday catcher is still well within reach, coupled with a floor of a platoon/back-up catcher that could see short spurts in the outfield, too, to get his strong bat in the lineup.


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Bobby DeMuro

Bobby DeMuro is the founder of Baseball Census. A former college and independent league baseball player, he now watches more than 200 games a year working full time for the site. You can follow him on Twitter @BobbyDeMuro for more.

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