Arizona Diamondbacks 2020: Scouting, Projected Lineup, Season Prediction

How will things shape up in the NL West?

The Diamondbacks made a late run at a Wild Card spot last season and could do it again in 2020. Switch-hitters Ketel Marte and Eduardo Escobar enjoyed career years, and even a slight regression would still make them two of the most productive players in the league. The D-backs added Madison Bumgarner to lead the rotation after trading Zack Greinke last summer, and if he is the MadBum the baseball world has come to know and respect, watch out. Adding another big bat in Starling Marte should boost the lineup as well.

 

Opposing Scouts Size Up the Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks logo“Madison Bumgarner goes to the top of a surprisingly deep rotation. Zac Gallen showed me a lot more than I expected after they got him from the Marlins — more velo than you’d think and a really good cutter and changeup. Archie Bradley struggled early in the bullpen but worked really hard to add a changeup, and Junior Guerra was a smart pickup; he’s got a great arm and he’s going to pitch a lot in high-leverage spots. Ketel Marte was the star of the season; I don’t know if he’ll hit 30 homers again, but he murders lefties when hitting from the right side, and he’s revamped his left-handed swing so he looks to do damage instead of slapping the ball around. Carson Kelly took a nice first step to being a regular catcher. Christian Walker is a really cerebral hitter, maybe not a first-division starting first baseman, but he became a lot more selective in the second half. Nick Ahmed is the best defensive shortstop in the league and a better hitter than you’d think.”

 

Beyond the Box Score

 

Turf Talk The Diamondbacks played their first season on the state-of-the-art Shaw Sports Turf B1K synthetic grass surface in 2019, becoming the only team in the National League to play on an artificial surface. The dual-fiber system is especially beneficial in Arizona, where the 100-degree summer weather and a domed stadium make growing grass an unenviable task. Montreal (2004) was the last NL team to play home games on artificial turf.

 

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 Kind Words Part of the Giants’ statement after Madison Bumgarner signed with the Diamondbacks read: “We are deeply grateful for the success, excitement and memories he created over a remarkable 11-year period in a Giants uniform. ... We will always cherish his epic 2014 postseason run when he earned both NLCS and World Series MVP honors by carrying the team and all of Giants nation toward a third and historic world championship. He will be forever recognized as one of the greatest pitchers in the 138-year history of the Giants. He is truly a forever Giant.”

 

Strikeout Artist With 235 strikeouts in 174.1 innings, Robbie Ray joined Chris Sale as the only pitchers in major league history to have at least 200 strikeouts in fewer than 175 innings in three different seasons. Ray also did it in 2016 and 2017.

 

Dynamic Duo Switch-hitters Ketel Marte and Eduardo Escobar became the second pair of teammates in major league history to have three games in which they homered from both sides of the plate in the same season. The only previous teammates to do that were Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira with the 2009 Yankees, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

 

Even More Dynamic Escobar and Marte were the first pair of switch-hitting teammates in the National League to hit 30 homers in the same season and the second such duo in the majors. Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez did it in 2018. Escobar and Marte were the first set of teammates to hit at least 10 homers from each side of the plate in the same season.

 

So Close Marte finished second to Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich in the NL batting race in 2019. Yelich hit .3292, edging out Marte by .0006 points. No Diamondback has ever won a batting crown.

 

Outreach The Diamondbacks drew 1,125 players and 75 teams from 23 different Native American tribes when they hosted the 21st annual Inter-Tribal Youth Baseball and Softball Tournament from May 29-June 1. Tribes from Arizona, California, New Mexico, South Dakota and Utah attended.

 

Projected Lineup

 

LINEUP

2B    Ketel Marte (S)

CF    Starling Marte (R)

3B    Eduardo Escobar (S)

LF    David Peralta (L)

1B    Christian Walker (R)

RF    Kole Calhoun (L)

SS    Nick Ahmed (R)

C     Carson Kelly (R)

 

BENCH

C      Stephen Vogt (L)

INF   Jake Lamb (L)

UT    Tim Locastro (R)

INF   Ildemaro Vargas (S)

OF    Josh Rojas (L)

 

ROTATION

LHP     Madison Bumgarner

LHP     Robbie Ray

RHP     Luke Weaver

RHP     Zac Gallen

RHP     Mike Leake

 

BULLPEN

RHP     Archie Bradley (C)

LHP     Andrew Chafin

RHP     Yoan Lopez

RHP     Junior Guerra

RHP     Kevin Ginkel
RHP     Hector Rondon

RHP     Stefan Crichton

RHP     Merrill Kelly

 

2020 Prediction: 2nd in NL West

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