The Arizona Diamondbacks sure turned some heads this season with some stellar play. They were in the Wild Card race deep into September, finishing the season 85-77. Despite being in a rebuilding stage, the Dbacks were able to hang with the dominating Dodgers. With the stock trending up, Arizona reflects on an encouraging 2019 season.
Young Core – Positive
This season the Diamondbacks made like a snake and shed some of their players in trades and free agency. Leaving a wide open door for the young core to shine, and they didn’t disappoint.
Eduardo Escobar (3B) had a huge breakout season in Arizona leading the team in both home runs and runs batted in. He has terrific flexibility in the lineup on both offense and defense, which proved very helpful for the Dbacks this year.
Ketel Marte (2B) led the Dbacks in batting average and played great defensively. After back-to back seasons of hitting .260, Marte squashed the league average to rise to a .329 average. Ketel was also voted as an MLB starter in this years All-Star game, as he led the Diamondbacks’ offense this season.
Christian Walker – Positive
Christian Walker (1B) had big shoes to fill following the loss of Paul Goldschmidt. A stat line consisting of .259/.348/.476 is pretty impressive for his first full year. He also hit 29 home runs with 73 RBIs. The emergence of Walker was a huge success not only for this year, but into the future.
Questionable Rotation- Negative
For the Diamondbacks to carry the record they did was amazing and all, however can the rotation retain that success next season? Looking at the current depth chart, Arizona’s ace next season is likely going to be Robbie Ray.
Ray held up at average stats this year carrying an ERA of 4.34. Not a bad ERA given the division and the hitter friendly ballparks he spent most of the time in. However, if the Diamondbacks want to compete, you have to think they will be willing to make some moves.
The pitching rotation can make or break your season each year. Thus making this the biggest problem of the franchise as of right now. They offloaded Zack Greinke at the deadline. Their ERA as a starting staff is very mediocre, as well as the bullpen ERA, sitting at 4.23 and 4.26 respectively. Every year someone could breakout and have a career year. However, it could all be for nothing if the team isn’t picked up by the rotation and bullpen.
One Big Question
As the offseason rolls in, Arizona should look to make the most of it. With the departure of Zack Greinke, the Dbacks have some room in which to work.
The most likely move would be to beef up the rotation, to get really serious into contending for their division. Some possible targets could be Jake Odorizzi (Twins), Zack Wheeler (Mets), Madison Bumgarner (Giants). Bigger name starters on the market include Gerrit Cole (Astros), Dallas Keuchel (Braves), and even Dodgers star pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu.
It will be interesting to see if the Diamondbacks are truly ready to make some big moves and push this team ahead. Or, sit back another year or two and wait it out.
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