This offseason, they once again completed one of the biggest offseason trades. They landed outfielder Mark Trumbo and closer Addison Reed, but had to give up one of the top outfield prospects Adam Eaton.
The NL West is improved with the Dodgers becoming a powerhouse and the Giants have all their guys back from injury. It will be difficult for Arizona to hang with those clubs.
Can manager Kirk Gibson push his team and overachieve?
Can Martin Prado bounce back from a ho-hum 2013 campaign?
Here is the 2014 MLB season preview for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
2013 Win/Loss Record: 81-81
Key Additions: OF Mark Trumbo, SP Bronson Arroyo, RP Addison Reed & SP Alex Sanabia
Key Losses: OF Adam Eaton, RP Heath Bell, 3B Matt Davidson, RP Tony Sipp & SP Tyler Skaggs
Interleague Schedule: AL Central + Houston Astros
Projected Starters: Miguel Montero, Paul Goldschmidt, Aaron Hill, Martin Prado, Cliff Pennington, Mark Trumbo, A.J. Pollock & Gerardo Parra
Projected Starting Rotation: Wade Miley, Bronson Arroyo, Brandon McCarthy, Trevor Cahill & Josh Collmenter
Closer: Addison Reed
Fantasy Sleeper: OF A.J. Pollock – The Diamondbacks traded Adam Eaton, so Pollock will now get regular at-bats. He doesn’t have much power, but he has speed and should have an improved batting average. He was a .300+ hitter in the minors and averaged 28 steals in Double-A & Triple-A. He only had 12 steals in the Majors last year, but with 600+ at-bats, he should have 15-20 steals in 2014. Gerardo Parra could have better overall season, but Pollock is a guy you can steal late in deep leagues and stream in standard leagues.
Prospect To Keep Your Eye On: SP Archie Bradley – He is the consensus top pitching prospect in baseball. He had a 1.97 ERA in Double-A last season. He will start the season out at Triple-A. If he dominates early and Arizona has a need in their rotation, they will be forced to call him up.
Team Analysis: Arizona turned over most of their roster before last season. They were trending up, but hit a 81-81 plateau the last two seasons. The addition of Mark Trumbo will give them much-needed power. They are filled with guys who get on base, but Paul Goldschmidt and Trumbo are their two lone sources of power. Martin Prado did not have the kind of impact they were hoping for, so a bounce back season is needed.
The loss of their ace Patrick Corbin may be too difficult to overcome. He was their best pitcher last season. The addition of Arroyo helps, but he’s not at Corbin’s level.
The NL West is a tough division, so I expect them to come near that 81-81 record again, but not exceed it. They still need a few pieces if they want to compete for a playoff spot.
2014 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 81 (Prediction: UNDER)
2014 Projected Win/Loss Record: 77-85 (4th in NL West)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.