MLB Pre Season Power Rankings: #18 Arizona Diamondbacks

Projected Record:79-83 4th in the NL West

Potential Lineup: CF Pollock #11, 3B Lamb #22, 1B Goldschmidt #44, RF Peralta #6, LF Tomas #24, 2B Drury #27

SS Owings #16, C Iannetta #8

Potential Rotation: 1.Greinke #21, 2.Walker #99, 3.Ray #38, 4.Miller #26, 5.Corbin #46

Potential Bullpen: CL Rodney, 8th Barnett #33, 7th Delgado #48, Burgos #36, Chafin #40, Hataway #56, Jones

Potential Bench: C/OF Herrmann #10, C Mathis, IF Amhead #13, IF/OF Gosselin #15, OF Hazelbaker

   Despite a  huge spending spree in free agency this time last year the Diamondbacks are coming off another rough season. Heading into 2017 Arizona has a bit of a different look and a no manager in Torey  Lovullo. In 2016 the Diamondbacks finished 10th best in baseball. Paul Goldschmidt had another all star season batting .295 with 24 Home Runs and 95 RBI’s. The D Backs also got great production from former big money international free agent signee Yasmany Tomas. Tomas batted .272 with 31 Home Runs and drove in 83 runs. With David Peralta and A.J. Pollock who both had big 2015’s but missed most of 2016 with injury set to return to play  the full season this Diamondback team should again finish in the top 10 in runs scored in 2017. The starting pitching was surprisingly disappointing for Arizona in 2016. After signing former Cy Young award winner Zack Greinke and trading for 2015 All Star Shelby Miller it seemed Arizona was going to have a great starting staff. To say those two underperformed would be an understatement and the team finished second worst in baseball when it came to starting staff ERA. Zack Greinke who pitched to a 1.66 ERA in 2015 for the Dodgers had a terrible 2016 in Arizona. Greinke pitched to 4.37 ERA nearly three runs higher than his 2015 ERA which was good enough to give him the starting nod for the National League in the all star game. Shelby Miller was also an al star in 2015. While with the Braves in 2015 he pitched to an ERA of 3.02. In 2016 with Arizona his ERA was 6.15 and was sent down to the minors to try to refind his once dominant self. In order to improve the Diamondbacks will need Greinke and Miller to return to their 2015 selves. As for the rest of the rotation Arizona did bring in once top Mariners prospect Taijuan Walker who pitched to a 4.22 ERA in 25 starts for Seattle in 2016. They also still have Patrick Corbin who was at one point an All Star. This rotation has tons of potential. Potential to be among baseballs best, but if it performs like it did last season it will again be among the worst in baseball even with the addition of Walker. The Diamondbacks bullpen finished fourth worst in the majors in bullpen ERA a year ago. Heading into 2017 it’s nearly the same group but the team does at least finally have a solid closer. Fernando Rodney a 2016 all star who pitched to a 0.31 ERA in 17 outings with the Padres before being traded to Miami is now in town to close. The fact he was so brilliant in the NL West with San Diego should suit him very well returning back to the NL West in Arizona. The Diamondbacks will need Randall Delgado and Jack Barnett to pitch well enough to give Rodney chances to close games out. All in all this Diamondback team should put up plenty of runs but it does not appear they will be able to keep teams off the scoreboard enough to win games.

Image result for Shelby Miller Zack Greinke

The Diamondbacks will need both Shelby Miller and to improve greatly in 2017 ( Photo by Brian Kreps)

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