The Arizona Diamondbacks have navigated their way through the first quarter of the season with a mix of impressive hitting and young talent on the mound. While not a traditional report card, let’s dive into their strengths and areas needing improvement.
With the Suns’ season now concluded, it’s time to catch up on the latest from the D-Backs.
If we had to assign a grade, it would be an A-, though there’s room for growth, particularly in pitching where a couple of standout performances could elevate their rating beyond this level.
This youthful team is captivating audiences with its journey of learning to conquer baseball challenges at the major league level.
Arizona Diamondbacks’ First Quarter of the Season
Following a victorious series against the San Francisco Giants over the weekend, the D-Backs find themselves at a respectable 23-18 after 41 games. Sporting a 3-game winning streak, they trail the Dodgers by merely 3 games in the NL West race.
Should the season conclude today, the team would secure a wildcard playoff spot comfortably, boasting a 4-game division lead over their NL West counterparts.
In the broader National League context, the Diamondbacks hold the fourth-best record, trailing behind the Brewers, Braves, and the formidable Dodgers.
Thriving at the Plate
The Arizona Diamondbacks have emerged as one of the most formidable hitting teams in the NL. They stand at the top of the charts for hits, tallying an impressive 373, and they boast a league-leading batting average of .270.
Moreover, their standing in key hitting categories reflects their prowess: second in doubles (83), second in runs scored (209), first in triples (10), eighth in home runs (42), and third in stolen bases (33). Notably, they also rank third in on-base percentage (.331), slugging percentage (.435), and overall OPS (.767).
It’s intriguing that they manage to maintain this performance even while being the team with the second-highest number of strikeouts (303) in the league.
Interestingly, much of the offensive production comes from fresh faces like Carroll, Moreno, Guriell, among others. However, the backbone of the team, consisting of players like Marte, Walker, and the astute manager Lovullo, has consistently delivered standout performances.
Christian Walker emerges as the team leader in home runs with a total of 9. His batting average of .264 and impressive slugging percentage of .507, along with an OPS exceeding .800, reinforce his impact. Several other players are also enjoying career-best starts to the season.
The emergence of Gabriel Moreno, with a batting average of .320, solidifies his role as a future top-tier catcher, shining especially on the defensive end. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has been a sensation since joining Arizona, boasting a batting average of .308 and driving in 21 runs.
Perdomo has proven his value with a batting average of .329, seizing opportunities when presented. Emanuel Rivera, in his 42 plate appearances, boasts an impressive .341 batting average.
A notable newcomer, Dominic Fletcher, has made a splash since his debut earlier this year. In just 13 games, he’s hitting an astonishing .429, accompanied by 13 RBI’s and 2 home runs. His staggering OPS of 1.145 is indeed a testament to his potential.
In the pitching department, the Diamondbacks boast key assets in the form of Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly, supported by a pool of promising young talent. While the last few pitchers in the rotation and a significant portion of the bullpen are relatively inexperienced, their potential shines through.
Envisioning a successful season for the Diamondbacks isn’t far-fetched. Their bats have consistently shown an ability to find ways to score, making them a formidable force.
For a championship pursuit to materialize, certain developments are necessary on the pitching front. Ideally, both of the following scenarios would contribute to their success.
Zac Gallen’s name deserves recognition in the Cy Young conversation after his exceptional performance in the initial 40 games. Merrill Kelly follows closely, maintaining his consistent and impactful presence on the mound.
Notably, four rookie-season pitchers round out the rotation: Ryne Nelson, Tommy Henry, Brandon Pfaadt, and Drey Jameson. Two of these pitchers must reach their potential by July’s end, capable of delivering quality starts that would be crucial come playoff time.
Alternatively, the Diamondbacks could consider acquiring an ace from a struggling team, bolstering their starting rotation with a formidable trio.
In essence, either scenario would significantly enhance the team’s prospects. The potential combination of both elements could truly set this team apart and mark a special chapter in their journey.