The Arizona Diamondbacks look primed to breakout in 2017 with their up and coming offense and pitching staff of quality veterans.
The Diamondbacks fell far below the preseason expectations set for them, after the addition of 2015 NL Cy Young Zack Greinke, posting a 69-93 record. Their season wasn’t completely lost as their offense proved to be the calling card for the D’Backs future.
Paul Goldschmidt was able to recover from a slow start to the season and finish with 24 home runs and 95 RBIs with a .297 AVG. Well into his prime, the question still remains if the D’Backs can put the right supporting cast around him to afford him the opportunity to play in the postseason.
One player the D’Backs have high hopes for is A.J. Pollock. Pollock had an injury riddled 2016, missing all but 12 games last season. At his best in 2015, Pollock emerged as one of the best center fielders in the game posting a 7.6 WAR in 2015, good enough to compare him with the likes of Bryce Harper and fellow teammate Paul Goldschmidt. A return to form from the elbow and groin injuries will be much needed with the loss of hot hitting Jean Segura.
Yasmany Tomas picked up the slack last season for Pollock as he boasted career bests with 27 homers and 83 RBIs. Consistency will be the key as he will most likely be hitting behind Goldschmidt, who is unlikely to see any pitches, especially in the homer-friendly Chase Field. His development into an All-Star will depend on whether or not he can man a position defensively. In his first two years, he has played in both corners of the infield and outfield and struggled to find a niche at any position.
The D’Backs were expecting the NL Cy Young winner along with an underrated Shelby Miller to breathe life into their pitching staff last season. A rocky start from Greinke and an even rockier start and finish by Miller delayed the D’Backs growth last season. Despite that, Greinke and Miller are too good a pair of aces to make a combined 10 ERA a constant throughout their tenures in Arizona.
The D’Backs have put nearly all the pieces in place to compete in 2017. The Jean Segura trade may take away from their offense but, the acquisition of Taijuan Walker may be a low-risk high reward trade that allows them to further close the pitching gap between them and both the Giants and Dodgers heading into 2017.
- I'm a 19-year old sophomore dual major in Journalism and Sports Management at Eastern Nazarene College. Born in Boston, MA raised in Brockton, and just happy to be here at NGSC Sports.