3 Players To Watch Series
LOD’s 3 Players to Watch: Arizona Diamondbacks
After 13 games of the season, the Arizona Diamondbacks sit at 8-5 and surprisingly atop the NL West. Yes, it’s early and the Padres and Dodgers are strong favorites in the division. But, this strong start should be encouraging for Dbacks fans. Arizona hasn’t reached the postseason since 2018, but perhaps a new young core and key pickups have them positioned to make an impact. The Diamondbacks have an interesting mix of young and veteran players, most of whom are not well known to the average baseball fan. The lack of attention given to the club could be a major advantage, as they look to make a splash this season.
Corbin Carroll, OF
Carroll has been ranked near the top of the MLB prospect list heading into the 2023 season. And by many accounts, he’s expected to have a breakout season. The 22 year old Leftfielder was the 16th overall pick of the 2019 Draft. In 2022, Carroll came up in time to garner 104 at-bats, including 4 HR / 14 RBI / .260 BA / .830 OPS. In 47 at-bats already this season, he has 3 HR / 6 RBI and also has 5 stolen bases (tied for most in NL). The Dbacks are committed to making him an important part of their future, as they recently locked him in to an 8 year / $111 million contract. It’s already starting to look like this could be paying off. Expect his name to soon enter Rookie of the Year discussion if he continues at this pace.
Incredibly honored to call the valley my home for the foreseeable future. We are building something special. 🐍🐍🐍 https://t.co/sOW8cSxq3u
— Corbin Carroll (@corbin_carroll) March 12, 2023
Zac Gallen, SP
In his third start of the 2023 season, Zac Gallen looked like the Ace the Diamondbacks need him to be. Gallen struck out 8 batters, giving up just three hits in 7 innings on Tuesday. He led the Dbacks to a shutout victory over Milwaukee. The 27 year old righthander had a very strong season in 2022. He posted a 12-4 record / 2.54 ERA / 0.913 WHIP (NL Leader) / 192 strikeouts. With those kind of numbers, his name should have easily been higher up in the Cy Young discussion. Arizona is going to need strong performances from Gallen and Merrill Kelly in the rotation, if they’re hoping to compete out west.
Players’ choice award finalist but not a Cy Young finalist… 🤔 https://t.co/eEQSCr9Qqw
— Zac Gallen (@zacgallen23) November 12, 2022
Ketel Marte, 2B
The one time All-Star second baseman remains a staple in the Dbacks starting lineup. Marte had an incredible year in 2019 hitting 32 HR / 92 RBI / .260 BA / .981 OPS. He’s not been able to capture that kind of magic since, but still has the ability to perform as a solid everyday player who can provide some leadership in the clubhouse This will especially be important as Arizona continues to elevate some of the top prospects in their system.
Dbacks to the Future
The Arizona Diamondbacks are an interesting team. They’ve been almost been completely forgotten in the mix of teams on the rise. This year’s Dbacks include include veteran pickups like Evan Longoria and Lourdes Gurriel Jr.. There is also be a lot of hype about players in their farm system like shortstop Jordan Lawler and outfielder Drew Jones. The question will be, can the Diamondbacks win now? In a division with loaded teams like the Padres and Dodgers at the top, competition will be challenging. It doesn’t mean this upstart Arizona club can’t put together a strong season and quietly win games that on paper, maybe they shouldn’t.