The 2021 Arizona Diamondbacks Team Preview

  • 2021 MLB season
  • Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Arizona Diamondbacks preivew
  • D-backs
  • Ketel Marte
  • Maddison Bumgardner
  • MLB
  • NL West
  • Zac Gallen
By Natalie Urquiza March 26, 2021 0 Comment
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The Arizona Diamondbacks: Preview for the 2021 Season

With the smell of cut grass (through the mask), fans cheering in the stands (limited amount), and the sounds of cleats hitting the pavement (players staying six feet apart) it is time for baseball! Yes, baseball is back into our lives, even though it is a bit different this year. The Arizona Diamondbacks are also looking a bit different this year.

On paper, the D-backs look and sound great. Without looking at numbers and only at names, the team sounds as if they are contenders for the NL West. To name a few players, the team has Madison Bumgarner, Ketel Marte, David Peralta, and Kole Calhoun. So far, sounds as if it is a pretty great team. Right? Well, let’s break it down a little bit more.

 Starting Pitchers

Starting pitchers for the D-backs have been interesting to watch over the years. The D-backs had big names on the team in past seasons; such as, Randy Johnson, Kurt Schelling, Brandon Webb and Zack Grienke. Now they have Maddison Bumgardner, whom last season didn’t expect to pitch the way he did.

Last season, Mad-Bum posted a 6.48 ERA. with a WHIP of 1.440. He only won one game in the nine games he started. Clearly, not the same Bumgarner that pitched for the Giants. To be a bit fair, 2020 was a year that was clearly weird for almost everyone. Hopefully, this season, Bumgarner will go back to his normal self. Plus, with the NL not bringing back the DH, D-backs fans will hopefully see him hit dingers inside Chase Field.  Who doesn’t love pitchers who can rake?

Second in command is going to be Zac Gallen, who has proven to be a number two guy. The D-backs received Gallen from the Miami Marlins in 2019. Last season, he finished with a 3-2 record, a 2.75 ERA and 1.111 WHIP. He is a pitcher who has a remarkable talent. If he continues to pitch as if he did in 2020, he could find himself in CY Young talks. Maybe, he could earn the number one spot in the rotation in the near future.

The rest of the starting rotation will probably be Merrill Kelly, Luke Weaver, and Caleb Smith. Last season, Kelly pitched a 2.59 ERA with three wins and two losses. While Luke Weaver didn’t pitch his best in the twelve games he played last season. Weaver pitched a 6.58 ERA, earning himself only one win with nine losses. As for Caleb Smith, he pitched a 2.45 ERA in four games that he played. Although, Smith battled with COVID-19 which limited his playing time. Hopefully this season, D-backs fans are able to see Smith pitch more.

Around the Infield

Taking a look along with the diamond, there are a few players who don’t come to mind right away. Although once the season starts, the players will remind fans of who they are and what they hope to accomplish this year.

Starting off at the catching position, Carson Kelly shared playing time with Stephen Vogt and performed well as a batter. Last season, Kelly batted a .221 with five home runs and 19 RBI’s. Although, behind the plate, he had three passed balls, and 19 players steal basses on him. He has a ton of potential, and will probably continue to share playing time with Vogt.

Next at first base, there’s Christian Walker who has been a great fill-in after the D-backs lost Paul Goldschmidt to St. Louis. Walker batted a .271 with seven home runs and .459 SLG. This year, he will probably bat even better and perform well defense-wise.

With the signing of free agent Asdrúbal Cabrera, it will probably push Ketel Marte into the outfield, back to playing center field. The third base will most likely be Eduardo Escobar. Shortstop, without hesitation, will be Nick Ahmed.

Ahmed is a great defensive player, who is quickly becoming a great offensive player as well. He may not be flashy as some of the other shortstops around the league but he plays the small ball; producing the runs.

D-backs in the Outfield

The outfield is pretty easy to name except for a minor adjustment to right field for the time being. Right field was supposed to be Kole Calhoun, who really felt at home with the D-backs. Last season, he was diving and sliding everywhere in the outfield, making some incredible plays. As for his hitting, he batted a .226 with 16 home runs and 40 RBI’s. Not to mention, he hit an inside-the-park homerun last season against the Houston Astros.

Unfortunately, D-backs fans won’t be able to see him start the season because of a knee surgery for a torn meniscus. To take his place, might be Tim Locastro. Locastro is a great utility player and probably the fastest player in MLB right now. In 2019, his stolen base percentage was at 100%, part of which was caused being hit by a pitch 22 times. As for last season, he was hit four times, batted a .290 with two home runs and seven RBI’s. As we move across the outfield, Ketel Marte will probably play center and there is so much to say about this player. He is hands down the best player on the D-backs. Needless to say, he is going to have another incredible batting year. Lastly, David Peralta will be in left field. Last season, Peralta batted a .300 with five home runs and 34 RBI’s.

 What to expect for this season

When breaking down the D-backs a little bit more it shows the team is not really horrible but yet not really great.  Yes, they don’t have pitchers like Bauer or Kershaw; nor, do they have hitters like Machado or Tatis Jr. Although, the D-backs have a team who will produce the wins.

The team has players who might be overlooked this season because of having the Dodgers and Padres in the same division, aka Marte.  Maybe the D-backs will be contenders this season, battling alongside the Dodgers and Padres. It’s not too crazy to say because realistically, on paper, they are a good team. The 2021 season will show the fans if that paper is right or not, it will be a fun season to watch this year.

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