Wednesday, March 21, 2012

2012 MLB Preview #17: Arizona Diamondbacks

Greetings... we're getting better here...


C - Miguel Montero
1B - Paul Goldschmidt
2B - Aaron Hill
SS - Stephen Drew
3B - Ryan Roberts
LF - Gerardo Parra/Jason Kubel
CF - Chris Young
RF - Justin Upton

This is an underrated lineup. Justin Upton is a legitimate superstar after posting a .900 OPS with 30 homers, 21 steals, and elite defense in right field, anchoring this lineup at just 24 years old. Miguel Montero is a big-time bat from the catcher spot capable of .800+ OPS and 20 or so homers, which is huge from that position. You know what you're getting from Chris Young in good defense, .250 average, some power, some speed, and he'll play every day. One curious move from the off-season was the acquisition of Jason Kubel. He's certainly a better bat than Gerardo Parra, but Parra may be the best defensive left fielder in the major leagues and he actually hit pretty well (.789 OPS) in 2011 while Kubel is a trainwreck out there, and with no DH spot, I didn't get it. I think this lineup probably swings on the production of Aaron Hill and Paul Goldschmidt. Both guys are batting average risks with big-time power, and while Hill has been wildly inconsistent from year to year, I think it's safe to think he'll 20 homers, while Goldschmidt is getting full-time playing time for the first time.

Starting Rotation

1 - Ian Kennedy
2 - Daniel Hudson
3 - Trevor Cahill
4 - Joe Saunders
5 - Josh Collmenter

Ian Kennedy is one of the most divisive guys in the majors from "expert" to "expert". He had a fantastic year in 2011 with 21 wins, a 2.88 ERA, 198 Ks and a 1.09 WHIP. His FIP and xFIP show that he was pretty lucky last year, but there's no denying he's taken a big step forward and is an above-average option. Daniel Hudson is the best pitcher on this roster IMO for 2012. He's on the upswing after a big-time rookie year, and with the expected Kennedy regression, and his improvement, I think they switch places. I thought they violently overpaid for Trevor Cahill, who's never impressed me, and Joe Saunders is due for a big-time downgrade as well. Collmenter was dominant early in the year last year with that really weird armslot, but I think he comes back to earth.


JJ Putz and David Hernandez battle it out for the closer spot. Putz has always been a good pitcher who can't stay on the field, and Hernandez had a nice year in 2011. Ziegler and Breslow anchor the rest of the pen, and even Takashi Saito is on this roster at 41 years old. Boom.


80-82, 3rd in NL West

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