Arizona Diamondbacks (81-81) – 3rd Place NL West
The Arizona Diamondbacks were delightfully average in 2012. Their .500 record was accompanied by a team that finished 13th in the league in team ERA and 15th in the league in batting average. The most fun that fans had at Chase Field this year was while soaking in the hot tub in right center field. However, the future is bright in Arizona, as they have some very good young players, especially in the starting rotation. Patrick Corbin (23 years old), Tyler Skaggs (21), and Trevor Bauer (21) all contributed some in 2012, and all are expected to be mainstays in the rotation for years to come.
Pitchers- In addition to Corbin, Skaggs, and Bauer, the D’backs also have good young arms with Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, and surprising rookie Wade Miley. While Hudson struggled mightily in 2012 before getting hurt, Miley was a rock, garnering 16 wins and pitching to an ERA of 3.33. Miley finished 2nd in the National League rookie of the year voting, and this blogger believes that he should have won over phenom Bryce Harper. While Kennedy couldn’t repeat his 2011 success of 22 wins, he was still solid, winning 15 games and striking out over 180 batters. Skaggs and Bauer both took their lumps, but look for both to bounce back strong in either AAA or in the big leagues in 2013. The bullpen was very good for the D’Backs. Closer JJ Putz converted 32 of his 37 save opportunities. Setup man David Hernandez struck out almost 100 batters in just under 70 innings. Specialists Brad Ziegler and Craig Breslow were also able to keep batters in check, contributing to a very successful Diamondbacks bullpen.
Infield- 2nd baseman Aaron Hill was the talk of the infield in 2012. Hill hit 26 home runs and drove in 85, while hitting over .300, earning him the silver slugger award. Paul Goldschmidt had a very good sophomore campaign, hitting .286 with 20 home runs and 18 stolen bases. The team started the year with Ryan Roberts, also known as “The Tatman” at 3rd, but after trading him to Tampa Bay, they acquired Chris Johnson from Houston. Johnson provided some much needed pop at the hot corner, hitting 7 home runs in just 44 games. Catcher Miguel Montero continued his strong hitting behind the plate, hitting .286 while driving in 88 runs.
Outfield- The far and away most talented player in the Diamondbacks outfield is right fielder Justin Upton. Upton didn’t repeat his ridiculous 2011 campaign, but by most standards, Upton had a decent 2012. He hit .280 with 17 home runs. His slight down season led to trade rumors galore throughout July. Chris Young (now in Oakland) and Gerardo Parra shared the at bats in center field for the D’backs, mostly because of Young’s struggles. Parra was better with the bat, and plays gold glove caliber defense in both center and left field. The contract to Jason Kubel in the off-season raised some eyebrows, but Kubel eliminated all doubt with his 2012 season. He led the team in home runs with 30 and RBIS with 90. Kubel, who was expected to split time in left with Parra, played the majority of the games because of his enormous success.
Twitter Account of the Day- Chris Johnson @C_Johnson28
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