Thursday, 22 March 2012

2012 Previews: Arizona Diamondbacks

The real catching Montero.

The Majors
Well, they have a shitload of young, talented pitchers and position players.  They also have Aaron Hill.  Win some, lose some.  This team isn't nearly as good as advertised, but in a weak division, they should still be plenty good enough to contend.  They won 6 games more than their Pythagorean record would have suggested, powered by a 24-9 finish to the season.

The young core of this franchise is comprised of guys like Justin Upton, Stephen Drew, Paul Goldschmidt, Miguel Montero (I'd re-sign him before this offseason, please), and pitchers Dan Hudson and Ian Kennedy, and Trevor Cahill, so in theory, it should be all about supplementing that core with some good veterans.  Jason Kubel seems fine, especially in that park (though it kind of suppresses the use of Gerardo Parra), but the other offseason acquisitions are headscratchers. Obviously, they needed somebody to take over for Stephen Drew, based on the lack of certainty when it comes to his health, so they answered by giving John Mcdonald, Willie Bloomquist, and Geoff Blum 2-year contracts for some reason.  They also guaranteed Aaron Hill 2 years, which, if we can be serious for a second, is a goddamned joke.

This might be Kevin Towers' version of Moneyball, and taking 4 separate fliers on 2-year deals seems pretty ridiculous to me, but I guess if he can find some semblance of value (through playing time or trade) out of one of them, it won't be completely awful given their financial position, and more importantly, their position on the win curve.

The Minors
Usually, I like to look at the entire system when I talk about farm systems, but uhhh, Trevor Bauer.  Now obviously, one player doesn't make the whole system, and players, especially pitchers, can fizzle out or get hurt or just never fully hit their potential, but I think I'd feel as good about Bauer getting there as just about anybody in the game.  Beyond Bauer, they had a few nice draft picks in the last few years, and have made some trades in recent years when they were worse at the MLB level, so they've really infused their system with a lot of nice arms.  They move Jarrod Parker (and more) to Oakland to get Trevor Cahill, so that obviously hurt the system a bit, but they were deep enough that it shouldn't be a big problem.

The Verdict
I dunno, I'm just not overly fussy about this team.  Sure, they can contend in the NL West, because the NL West isn't very good, but they can just as easily fall flat on their faces, given all of the random background players filling out the rest of the roster.  I'm really surprised that they didn't sell out this offseason in order to secure themselves as the best team in the division, but maybe they're waiting for the extra arms in the minors to come up.

Projection: 89-73, 2nd in the NL West

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