Ari­zona Di­a­mond­backs

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - NL WEST -

Im­proved de­fense is earn­ing

the la­bel “catcher of the fu­ture.”

Base­ball Amer­ica, cit­ing his im­proved foot­work and throw­ing, named Varsho the farm sys­tem’s top player at the sea­son’s mid­way point.

The left-handed hit­ter had a .300 bat­ting av­er­age through 107 ca­reer games. In the high Class A Cal­i­for­nia League this year, he was at .290 with eight homers in 57 games be­fore break­ing the ha­mate bone in his right hand.

Varsho, whose fa­ther, Gary, was an eight-year ma­jor league out­fielder, has been im­pres­sive as a de­fender as well.

“He’s a le­git, ev­ery­day ma­jor lea­guer,” farm di­rec­tor

said. “He’s ath­letic, ex­plo­sive. He has power and speed. He’s a good framer, and ev­ery­thing he does be­hind the plate is solid. He’s got the whole pack­age — as a catcher.”

❚ A re­hab as­sign­ment for pitcher will be set this week. Man­ager

told MLB.com that Buch­holz, who went on the dis­abled list June 25 be­cause of a strained mus­cle in his side, is pro­gress­ing well.

Daulton Bell Lovullo Varsho Clay Buch­holz Mike Torey

JOE CAMPOREALE/USA TO­DAY SPORTS

San Diego first base­man Eric Hos­mer’s power is down this sea­son. Af­ter hitting 25 home runs each of the past two sea­sons, he has nine through 87 games.

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