The Arizona Diamondbacks have quietly built up a good, young nucleus of talent just sitting in their pipeline. Whenever people frame their predictions for the NL West, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres come to mind as the two top dogs. While the Diamondbacks are definitely not knocking on the doorstep of the consistent contenders in the National League, I can assure you they will soar over FanDuel’s projected 75.5 wins for the 2023 season.
Arizona Diamondbacks Win Totals
Right before the start of the season, the Diamondbacks inked young prospect, Corbin Carroll, to a team-friendly contract of eight years and $111 million. He’s rated first in the Diamondbacks system and second in all of baseball. This deal ensures Carroll gets his money now while allowing the team to get a phenomenal homegrown player at a discounted price.
Despite a small sample size of 32 games; Carroll posted an .830 OPS while being in the 100th percentile of sprint speed. With the new bases being implemented, I wouldn’t want to be a pitcher dealing with this guy on the bases.
Speaking of pitching, the Diamondbacks have A LOT of it. Their pipeline of young pitching will be featured heavily in 2023.
Brandon Pfaadt, 24-year right-hander, is a part of the Triple-A club with the team envisioning of him making the bigs this upcoming season. Pfaadt features a mid-90s fastball complimenting his great slider and changeup. Pfaadt led the Diamondbacks system in walk rate; he only gave free passes to 4.8% of hitters faced. Despite throwing everything in the zone, this guy remains dominant: over 200 strikeouts in Double-A, followed up by 167 once he made the jump up to Triple-A.
Ryne Nelson and Drey Jameson are two guys that saw some major league time late last season with the club. Unlike Pfaadt, these guys are Major League locks for 2023. Nelson and Jameson, two 25-year-olds, rank sixth and seventh respectively in the Diamondbacks system.
Albeit a small sample size, opponents hit .111 off of Nelson’s four-seam fastball in the 18.1 innings pitched last season. According to Baseball Savant, this pitch is in the 71st percentile of fastball velocity.
Jameson’s repertoire showcases a four-seam, sinker, slider, changeup, and curve. While he also only posted a small sample of 24.1 innings, he’s in the 75th percentile of fastball velocity; the other four pitches will build off of his heater. The Diamondbacks win totals over the last few years were 74 and 25 in the 60-game-shortened season. This young major league-ready corps of players should springboard them to success in the foreseeable future.
The Major League Talent is Formidable
The Diamondbacks win totals have been so low over the past few years. They have tried to piece their talent together but it just never seemed to materialize; that is until last season. Their major league guys truly broke out in 2022 and these don’t feel like flukes.
Right-hander Zac Gallen had a very dominant stretch in the second half of last season. He led the league in ERA in the second half at 1.15, aiding to his 2.54 season ERA. The 26-year-old led the entire National League in WHIP at 0.913 paired with 192 strikeouts. All career highs in a season that resulted in a top five NL Cy Young vote for the young ace.
Very quietly, Christian Walker had a great season at first base. He is by far the best defensive first baseman in baseball posting 17 defensive runs saved and 14 outs above average, leading the position in both categories. This guy can hit too. The gold glover finished the 2022 season with 36 home runs, 94 runs batted in, and a very solid .804 OPS. Expect another big year from Walker in 2023.
Ketel Marte, while inconsistent, can still be a key contributor with his versatility. Marte can play both second base and the outfield which allows manager, Torey Lovullo, the flexibility to either sit or DH a guy without losing a step in the lineup. Marte finished with a.981 OPS in a breakout 2019 season and followed it up with a .909 mark during the next full season in 2021. He is a very good player, and still relatively young at 29.
These guys, along with their aforementioned young nucleus should elevate them to that 82-87 win. FanDuel most overlooks these guys when putting together Diamondbacks win totals. This team has producers.
The Diamondbacks win totals were very low over the past few years. This was in part to the fact that they had to play some tough NL West teams over the course of the past few seasons.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have a plethora of expensive, high-end talent that routinely wins north of 100 games. The San Francisco Giants are no joke either, as they have seen regular-season and post-season success over the last decade. The Padres general manager has adopted a new philosophy of throwing money at anything that moves. They now boast a four-headed monster of Xander Bogaerts, Fernando Tatis Jr, Juan Soto, and Manny Machado. One may argue they have the best infield in baseball.
Luckily for the Diamondbacks, THEY DONT HAVE TO WORRY. Well, kind of.
The league has now spread the schedule out. This means the Diamondbacks don’t have to play their NL West opponents anywhere near as much as they used to. Gone are the days of losing 16 of 19 games to the Dodgers or Giants.
There are a lot of bad baseball teams with owners who choose not to field major league talent on their rosters. The Diamondbacks are a solid team that has been built up over the last few years. They should be the positive beneficiary of opposing teams’ ineptitude.
They say great teams beat up on bad ones. Well, good ones can also beat up on them too.
Diamondbacks Win Totals
FanDuel seems to be rather conservative when it comes to this underrated ball club. This team just seems to have everything pointing upward in terms of talent and circumstances. A young superstar position player, two very good veteran position players, and a glut of great young pitching prospects anchored by a young proven ace.
This team just doesn’t have the ineptitude to dip below the 75.5 mark. There’s too much good, solid, productive major league talent that they should bypass 80 wins for the first time since 2019.
And who knows, Corbin Carroll might be even better than forecasted. This team could be in contention. The NL is crowded, but this team can’t be slept on.
75.5 wins according to FanDuel, HIT THAT OVER! THIS TEAM IS GOOD!
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