The Arizona Diamondbacks are not going to set the baseball world on fire in 2014. They will be very competitive and finish with a record north of .500 based on the amount of young talent they currently have on their roster.
Young talent on a team like the Arizona Diamondbacks doesn’t always translate to great fantasy baseball statistics. Of course, the Diamondbacks have some very bright spots on their roster.
Projected 2014 Diamondbacks Offense
|1. Gerardo Parra||CF||27||L||548||75||9||50||14||.280|
|2. Aaron Hill||2B||32||R||453||63||16||58||6||.275|
|3. Paul Goldschmidt||1B||26||R||556||90||30||99||14||.300|
|4. Miguel Montero||C||30||L||457||54||12||60||0||.253|
|5. Mark Trumbo||LF||28||R||594||77||33||96||5||.249|
|6. Martin Prado||3B||30||R||597||72||11||73||5||.287|
|7. Cody Ross||RF||33||R||408||50||15||55||3||.272|
|8. Didi Gregorius||SS||24||L||501||54||9||51||4||.256|
- Crackerjack Fantasy Options: Paul Goldschmidt, Aaron Hill, Mark Trumbo
– Paul Goldschmidt: Paul Goldschmidt broke out in a major way, finishing second in the 2013 National League MVP voting. In my opinion he was the most valuable hitter out of the National League from a fantasy baseball standpoint.
Barring injuries, his numbers are sustainable going into 2014. His BABIP of .343 does not show he was an extremely lucky hitter last season. His walk rate improved by 4% over his 2012 number and his strikeout % actually decreased.
These types of numbers aren’t the type of statistics that are one-year wonders. His minor league numbers are very similar to what he showed us in 2013.
His statistics have the markings of a player who will remain one of the very elite players in baseball for a very long time. He will not turn 27 years old until next September.
– Aaron Hill: More on Aaron Hill in a little bit.
– Mark Trumbo: Mark Trumbo is a great addition for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Paul Goldschmidt now has a legit power hitter who can protect him in the lineup.
Mark Trumbo has one major flaw in his offensive game. His strikeout percentage continues to increase along with his home run numbers. He is a very undisciplined hitter and he will not hit for a high average. He hit a career low .234 last season while striking out 27% of the time.
With that being said, with Trumbo on your fantasy team, runs, home runs, and RBI will not be a problem in your lineup. You will need to make sure you have players who hit for a high average to make up for his shortcomings.
Projected 2014 Diamondbacks Pitching
Their pitching staff will hold them back once again in 2014. The amount of walks, unearned runs and high contact rates their pitching staff will allow this season will continue to plague this team on a weekly basis.
They do have a good arm in Patrick Corbin at the top of the rotation. Archie Bradley, the top-pitching prospect in baseball will make his debut by midseason.
These two players should make the Arizona Diamondbacks competitive once again in the National League West.
- Crackerjack Fantasy Options: Patrick Corbin, Addison Reed
– Patrick Corbin: Patrick Corbin was one of the best pitchers in baseball through the first half of last season. He flashed a 9-0 record with a 2.35 ERA before the All-Star break, making him one of the hottest transaction commodities in fantasy baseball.
Then, the second half of the season began and the wheels started to fall off of the wagon. His 5.13 ERA in the second half of the season was a major reversal from the flash of brilliance he showed in the first few months.
I don’t believe the 2.35 ERA or his 5.13 ERA are indications of what kind of pitcher Patrick Corbin will become as he enters his second full season in the major leagues. I believe his numbers will lie somewhere in the realm of a 3rd league starter. He should display an ERA in the mid to high 3’s with a WHIP around 1.25.
He is a good strikeout pitcher but not anything great. His K/9 from last season of 7.69 will be close to what he shows for the 2014 season.
He is a good pitcher but not a great one. He will give your fantasy pitching staff some value but don’t count on him to carry the load in 2014.
– Addison Reed: Addison Reed was acquired in a trade from the Chicago White Sox to become the Arizona Diamondbacks closer.
Arizona is the type of team that you want to consider when drafting a closer. They are going to score enough runs to have a large amount of save situations but they won’t blow teams out with a prolific offense.
Most owners don’t realize he had 40 saves with the Chicago White Sox last season. He is more than capable of matching that number for Arizona. He will have an ERA that is a little high for a closer because of the amount of walks he allows. He gave up 2.90 BB/9 last season.
This should not scare you away from him. Yes, he will have some blown saves because of the walk total but his fastball will bail him out of tense situations.
- Crackerjack Fantasy Star: Paul Goldschmidt
You can count on one hand the number of players that have more upside than Paul Goldschmidt. He has already shown that he will be a perennial MVP candidate for years to come in the National League. The only thing that can limit his upside would be a major injury.
Your fantasy team will always have a chance when he is on your team. He is a talent that does not come along very often for a franchise. I expect even better things to come in the next few seasons.
- Fantasy Bust & Sleeper: Aaron Hill
The rare player who’s got equal sleeper and bust potential.
We all want a second baseman than can provide 20+ home run power on a consistent basis. Aaron Hill hit 26 home runs in 2012 and followed that up with a whopping 11 home runs in an injury shortened season.
Anytime a player is susceptible to the injury bug you have to be prepared to have someone take his place. In 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013 he has had injuries take away at-bats.
Yes, he is capable of putting up some of the best second base offensive numbers in the game, but he is also capable of being injured at any given time. It’s not a matter of can he put up big numbers? It’s a question of can he stay healthy?
I expect him to have a major rebound if he doesn’t get injured yet again in 2014. Make sure you have another player stashed away on your bench that won’t embarrass your fantasy team if goes down.
I believe he will be underrated this year because of the missed playing time. He could be a great bargain. Draft him and make sure you have a backup plan.
- Crackerjack Fantasy Prospect: Archie Bradley
Archie Bradley can be a legitimate top ten pitcher in future fantasy league drafts. You probably won’t see complete dominance from him his first season in Arizona but this is the kind of talent he possesses.
He is compared to Justin Verlander because of a fastball that he establishes in the low to mid 90’s. It has the same kind of sinking action and missed bat potential that Justin Verlander shows in Detroit.
His fastball is a dominant plus pitch that is setup by an equally impressive knuckle curve that he commands with outstanding breaking action that buckles the knees of most hitters he faces. He strikes out a batter an inning and allows very little hard contact.
As with most young pitchers who possess two outstanding pitches, he sometimes has issues with walks. It is not a major concern but it is the difference between an excellent pitcher and one of the best in baseball.
Without a doubt you will see him by the All-Star break. I think there is a distinct possibility he makes the starting rotation out of spring training replacing Randall Delgado as the Diamondbacks fifth starter.
Archie Bradley is a definite draft and stash on your fantasy league roster for 2014.