Arizona Diamondbacks in a Fantasy Nutshell
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C-Carson Kelly — Kelly arrives in Arizona in the deal that sent Paul Goldschmidt to the Cardinals. He should be the starter this season and has shown a decent enough bat at Triple A to be somewhat relevant in NL only leagues. I don’t expect much but a season of 8/50 is a possibility.
1B-Jake Lamb — Lamb was injured for most of 2018 but hit 59 HRs in 2016-17. Lamb crushes RHP but struggles against LHP so expect that he will lose at bats to Wilmer Flores on days that LHP are on the mound. If he gets off to a strong start, I think a season of 20/80 is certainly doable.
2B-Wilmer Flores — Between sharing time at 1B and 2B this season, Flores might have a real chance to get 500 at-bats. He’s known for pummeling LHP, but will he be exposed if he plays every day? I am willing to find out, as I think there are seeds here of a player who could produce 25/75 if given a shot to play daily.
SS-Nick Ahmed — I can almost guarantee that Ahmed will be overlooked in most every draft, but he is slowly coming of age. His power showed up in 2018 (16 HRs) and I think he has a real shot at 20 HRs this season. Ahmed needs to cut down on his strikeouts and could steal 10 bases if given the green light. He is also a fantastic fielder which guarantees him a spot in the lineup even during cold streaks.
3B-Eduardo Escobar — Escobar came over from Minnesota mid-season last year and proved valuable enough that the team signed him to a three year contract. He qualifies at SS and 3B and he will go under the radar in most deep leagues. He should hit .250 with 20/75 this season if he can stay healthy.
OF-David Peralta — I have always liked Peralta (especially in DFS when a RHP is on the mound) and last year he finally showed his power hitting 30 HRs. He also is great for solidifying your team’s batting average. Expect .290 with 20/80 and you will not be disappointed.
OF-Ketel Marte — With A.J. Pollock off to LA, Marte is going to get the first opportunity to be the starting CF. While he may struggle a little bit defensively, I think he is a good enough athlete to pull it off. What I like most about Marte is that I think there is more to his game offensively than we have seen thus far (especially in steals). Additionally, he qualifies at two different positions (and soon to be OF as well), which makes him extremely valuable in draft champion formats.
OF-Steven Souza — Souza is a bit of a mess as he strikes out close to a third of the time at the plate and always seems to be injured. However, if you are willing to take a chance on him, the skills are there for a 30 HR/ 10 SB type of season. His batting average is never going to be above .240 but with those potential counting stats, he might be worth the risk late in drafts.
U-Christian Walker — If Lamb turns out to be a bust, and/or if Wilmer Flores can’t figure out how to hit RHP, there is a chance that Walker gets an opportunity to start. Right now, he is a Quad A player who has never succeeded in the majors, but he could be a decent source of power if the opportunity presents itself.
SP-Zack Greinke — Greinke is 35 years old and his recent dip in velocity scared a ton of Fantasy Baseball owners (including myself), but he has figured out how to become more of a pitcher and was incredibly effective in 2018. In a time where fewer and fewer pitchers are throwing 200+ IP, Greinke is still capable of hitting that amount and getting close to 200 Ks. While he is no longer a SP1, I just drafted him as my SP2 and felt good about it especially when I saw the guys at Baseball HQ drafted him in the 4th Round at the FSTA Draft in February.
SP-Robbie Ray — Ray only had 24 starts last year and threw 123 IP. Even with those paltry numbers he did have 165 Ks, which only proves that if he can get 180 IP under his belt in 2019, he could be back over 200 Ks. I don’t think he will ever replicate 2017 again, but I do expect an ERA of under 3.80 which makes him a solid choice as a SP3.
SP-Zack Godley — Godley is little more than an innings eater and with the D’Backs looking like they might not win more than 75 games all season, I doubt that he will come close to the 15 games that he won last season. The Ks are still there (which is his only saving grace) but I certainly would not want him as anything more than a SP5 in a mixed league.
SP-Luke Weaver — I loved Weaver coming into last season and was very disappointed to see how poorly he performed. He was so bad that he had to be moved to the bullpen. That said, Weaver has a new lease on life in 2019 as he was part of the huge Paul Goldschmidt trade. Now in Arizona, Weaver should be able to pitch every 5th day with limited expectations. I am not sure that he will win more than 10-12 games this season or have an ERA under 4.00, but I do expect him show that he belongs in a MLB rotation.
RP-Archie Bradley — I am very tepid on Bradley for several reasons. Firstly, I think the team is willing to use him in multiple inning situations, which could limit his save total. Also, the team’s signing of Greg Holland signifies that perhaps they think Bradley doesn’t have the makeup to be a closer. Either way, I will project Bradley for about 10-15 saves and hope for more.
RP-Greg Holland & Yoshihisa Hirano — Both Holland and Hirano will se a lot of innings this season. The team likes Hirano late in games where he can get a big out in the 7th and 8th innings when the opposing team’s best hitter is at bat. Holland has a ton of closing experience and if the team wants to use Bradley for two-inning stints, it is quite possible for Holland to get a decent number of save attempts this season.