MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks Slated to Become 2019’s Cinderella Squad
Let’s go through the list of all the stars the D-Backs lost, just for fun, Patrick Corbin, A.J. Pollock, and the hardest loss of all Paul Goldschmidt. That’s three all-stars this team has lost in just one offseason. Does that mean they’re signaling for a rebuild? Not exactly. Sure, an ace and the face of the franchise for the longest time does hurt the Diamondbacks, but the thing is, they’ve got a lot of players that fly way under the radar due to them being a smaller market team.
The D-Backs don’t have that many big names left outside of Zack Greinke, but maybe that’s a good thing. Sometimes it’s good to be that Cinderella story that people look at and go, wow, where the heck did they come from. The Arizona Diamondbacks have the ability to be that team because of these two reasons.
1. An overlooked lineup
Outside of the hardcore baseball fan and Arizona Diamondbacks fanbase, there are a few guys that sit in their lineup that have quietly been doing stellar. Even with the loss of Corbin, Pollock, and Goldy. Arizona still has a gold glover and a silver slugger on their squad in Nick Ahmed and David Peralta. Also per the team’s website, they still have players such as Steven Souza Jr. and Eduardo Escobar. These players are overlooked because Souza spent most of last season on what is now called the IL, and Escobar was a late addition. When Escobar came on, he was supposed to be a last-minute addition to help with a push to the playoffs. In his time as a Dback, he batted with a .268 average, which at the time was one of the best on the team.
There’s also another player that many overlook that may help this squad, Ketel Marte. Fangraphs currently has Ketel Marte as a “guaranteed starter” for the 2019 fantasy baseball season. Another difference maker for this team is Jake Lamb coming back. Prior to his injury, Jake Lamb was an All-Star in the last full season that he played. Last but certainly not least, is, of course, David Peralta. As previously mentioned he won the silver slugger award last season. Peralta is a “freight train” that has shown he can be deadly in the batters’ box, on the base paths, and of course defensively in the outfield, he is one player that is “must-see” baseball in 2019.
2. Defense wins championships
On top of those accolades, last season the Diamondbacks had the league’s fourth-best pitching staff and fourth best fielding percentage. Therefore, on the defensive side of the ball, they’re already one of the tops of the league. The loss of Corbin does hurt them in this category. Although, even with Corbin out, the D-backs starting rotation still has Greinke, Robbie Ray, and Zack Godley. They go along with a couple of projected wildcards in Luke Weaver and Merrill Kelly.
The first three players are difference makers when it comes to this team. Godley has had a lot of low points in his career as have Ray and Greinke early on. However, when these guys are on, the Dbacks had one of the deadliest starting rotations at the beginning of the 2018 season. The bullpen is one thing that they have made some changes to in the offseason that may end up paying off in 2019. The Dbacks got rid of some of their problem children. In doing so, they added in some low risk, low reward players to help supplement pitchers such as Yoshihisa Hirano and Archie Bradley.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not a team that is going to take the division from the Rockies or Dodgers. Nonetheless, they have the ability to possibly be a wildcard going into the 2019 season. They could end up being this year’s Braves. Meaning a team that no one sees coming and ends up blowing everyone out of the water and making the postseason. With top ten defense and dark horse players, the Arizona Diamondbacks are going to be a team to keep an eye on in the 2019 season.
How do you feel about the 2019 Arizona Diamondbacks? Leave a comment below.
Stay with IroniqMedia for all of your MLB coverage.
Follow Corey on Twitter @Cdecker96
Photo Credit: Getty Images