Arizona Diamondbacks: Projecting the 2018 Starting Lineup
The Arizona Diamondbacks 2018 projected starting lineup looks very familiar. So familiar because it will be the same as 2017. The Dbacks had a great season, with lots of power from some places we didn’t expect it in the lineup. Going forward the lineup will continue to produce at a high level. They could very well be in contention for an NL West title come seasons end.
1) AJ Pollock CF: While I would rather put David Peralta in the leadoff position Pollock has this spot on lockdown. Pollock had an average year for his standards in the 2017 season, but could greatly benefit from Peralta having a huge year behind him, Pollock only hit for a .266 average with, 14 round-trippers, and 49 runs batted in. That stat line is solid but with a higher batting average, Pollock is a perennial All-star. Now if Pollock can stay healthy for a full season will be the true test.
2) David Peralta LF: The top two spots in the lineup are interchangeable. With Peralta having the higher OBP of the two and Pollock the higher OPS I wouldn’t mind seeing a switch there. But nonetheless, Peralta will be a big part of this offense. He will be in charge of setting the table for slugger Paul Goldschmidt. Peralta had one of his best statistical seasons to date last year. Hitting .298, driving in 57 runs, and adding 14 home runs to that. Peralta may be the most underrated player on this team, but he thrives in the big moments.
3) Paul Goldschmidt 1B: Goldschmidt again was in the MVP discussion a season ago.The elusive title that he has yet to win. Goldy helped lead the Arizona Diamondbacks back to the Postseason for the first time since 2011. He also had a monster season. He hit for a .297 average, with 36 home runs, and drove in 120 runs. He’ll easily continue his success into 2018, and maybe finally win an MVP.
4) Jake Lamb 3B: Jake Lamb, AKA Rake Lamb, had his best year to date. On top of that, it made it harder for opposing pitchers to pitch around Goldy. While not hitting for a high average he had 30 home runs and 105 RBI’s in the clean-up spot. Watch for Lamb to continue to set the league on fire.
5) Brandon Drury 2B: Drury was another player that had a good year. He benefited from players around him producing. Drury hit for a .267 average, with 63 runs batted in and 13 round-trippers. Not far from his career best. Drury has the potential to surpass that stat line, and be even better for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
6) Chris Owings RF: Chris Owings will take over as the everyday right fielder as Yasmany Tomas has never lived up to the hype. Owings will have another solid season now that he has a consistent spot. In recent seasons he had to battle with Ketel Marte and Brandon Drury for playing time. Owings had a solid .268 batting average in 2017, adding 12 home-runs, and 51 RBI’s. I fully expect those numbers going up with a consistent spot to play.
7) Ketel Marte SS: Ketel Marte could be a sleeper in this lineup. Marte was at one time a part of the trade that sent Jean Segura to Seattle and hasn’t exactly lived up to that hype. Marte adds great speed in the seven spot and could cause havoc. He only hit for a .260 average and didn’t add much else. Watch for Marte to try to swipe more bags this season and boost that average.
8) Jeff Mathis C: Mathis may be the one weak spot in this entire lineup. But there really aren’t many better options out there for an everyday catcher, and with no immediate help from the farm system, Mathis will be the guy. Thus, his .215 batting average a season ago doesn’t look too promising. Mathis has been a career backup so stepping up to an everyday guy will be huge for him. That’s if the Diamondbacks don’t go out and bring in another catcher.
While we have a copy and paste job from a year ago, this team is loaded. From the leadoff hitter to the nine hitter there is potential. Hence, the Arizona Diamondbacks are on the verge of being relevant for years to come.
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