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Projections for the 2011 Diamondbacks' Batters | March
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With the roster and playing time battles almost sorted out, it's time for my projections for the Diamondbacks' batters in 2011. Starting with the catchers...

Catcher

Miguel Montero AB R H HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG
2009 425 61 125 16 59 1 38 78 .294 .355 .478
2010 297 36 79 9 43 0 29 71 .266 .332 .438
2011 475 63 133 18 72 1 43 91 .280 .341 .465

Montero should back from his injury-plagued 2010 season with a solid 2011 campaign. It is likely that he will bat in the middle of the lineup against RHP, which should give him plenty of RBI opportunities.

Henry Blanco AB R H HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG
2008 120 15 35 3 12 0 6 22 .292 .325 .392
2009 204 21 48 6 16 0 26 50 .235 .320 .382
2010 130 10 28 2 8 1 11 26 .215 .271 .300
2011 115 12 26 1 11 0 14 28 .226 .310 .330

If all goes well, Blanco should not see significant playing time in 2011. He should get a start or two per week, preferably against LHP, but will often be pinch-hit or pinch-run for in the late innings even when he does start. If an injury occurs to Montero, the team would probably bring up Konrad Schmidt or John Hester to play every day over Blanco.

First Base

Russell Branyan AB R H HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG
2009 431 64 108 31 76 2 58 149 .251 .347 .520
2010 376 47 89 25 57 1 46 131 .237 .323 .487
2011 320 43 79 19 59 1 45 129 .247 .340 .488

In Spring Training, Branyan has shown that he can still hit for power. There are still some concerns about his defensive ability, related to his back injuries in 2010. And the team does want to see what Juan Miranda can do, so Branyan may not see as much playing time as his bat deserves.

Juan Miranda AB R H HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG
2009-AAA 438 74 127 19 82 1 55 101 .290 .369 .498
2010-AAA 295 52 84 15 43 1 33 71 .285 .371 .495
2010 64 7 14 3 10 0 7 12 .219 .296 .422
2011 272 34 72 13 42 1 30 61 .265 .338 .471

Miranda should get plenty of chances to play this year, since his defense at 1B has looked much better than Branyan's, and Miranda has also shown good power and patience in Spring Training. Since he is out of options, he will probably stay on the Major League roster all season, but he needs to hit well enough to hold off Brandon Allen.

Second Base

Kelly Johnson AB R H HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG
2008 547 86 157 12 69 11 52 113 .287 .349 .446
2009 303 47 68 8 29 7 32 54 .224 .303 .389
2010 585 93 166 26 71 13 79 148 .284 .370 .496
2011 574 92 157 21 72 11 77 139 .274 .359 .458

Johnson had an excellent season in 2010, and should put a similar season in 2010. He should be batting in the upper half of the batting order, and should get the vast majority of playing time at 2B.

Willie Bloomquist AB R H HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG
2007 173 28 48 2 13 7 10 35 .277 .321 .329
2008 165 32 46 0 9 14 25 29 .279 .377 .285
2009 434 52 115 4 29 25 27 73 .265 .308 .355
2010 187 31 50 3 17 8 9 28 .267 .299 .380
2011 191 33 49 2 16 14 14 31 .257 .307 .361

Bloomquist should see occasional time all over the diamond. If Tony Abreu is not on the roster, Bloomquist becomes the primary backup SS, and he will also fill in at 2B, 3B, LF, and CF. Bloomquist is the fastest player on the bench, and should be some pinch-running duty for players like Branyan or Blanco.

Shortstop

Stephen Drew AB R H HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG
2008 611 91 178 21 67 3 41 109 .291 .333 .502
2009 533 71 139 12 65 5 49 87 .261 .320 .428
2010 565 83 157 15 61 10 62 108 .278 .352 .458
2011 551 84 154 15 63 8 64 97 .279 .354 .463

Drew will be expected to play lots of innings at SS for the Diamondbacks, as there is really no true backup SS on the roster right now. Unfortunately, Drew has been bothered by abdominal soreness during Spring Training, but the team hopes he will be ready for Opening Day.

Geoff Blum AB R H HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG
2007 330 34 83 5 33 0 32 52 .252 .319 .367
2008 325 36 78 14 53 1 21 54 .240 .287 .418
2009 381 34 94 10 49 0 33 61 .247 .314 .367
2010 202 22 54 2 22 0 15 33 .267 .321 .356
2011 215 23 56 4 21 0 17 36 .260 .315 .372

If Blum is healthy, he will be the backup to Stephen Drew, and should also get considerable playing time at 3B. But Blum has had knee problems all spring, and will probably start the year on the DL. There is a small chance that Blum could be out for the entire season. 

Third Base

Melvin Mora AB R H HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG
2008 513 77 146 23 104 3 37 70 .285 .342 .483
2009 450 44 117 8 48 3 34 60 .260 .321 .358
2010 316 39 90 7 45 2 31 53 .285 .358 .421
2011 413 41 110 8 48 2 38 62 .266 .328 .373

Mora should be the starting 3B for the Diamondbacks. He does not have anywhere near the power of Mark Reynolds, but he should play solid defense and get on base at a respectable rate.

Ryan Roberts AB R H HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG
2009 305 41 85 7 25 7 40 55 .279 .367 .416
2010 66 8 13 2 9 0 3 17 .197 .229 .348
2011 123 18 30 3 20 3 11 21 .244 .306 .398

Roberts had a red-hot Spring Training with the bat, and is expected to be the 13th position player on the Opening Day roster. I am a little skeptical that he can keep it up during the regular season, but he has been showing improved plate discipline. Defensively, Roberts has been a little shaky at 3B, so he really needs to hit to keep his roster spot.

Outfield

Justin Upton AB R H HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG
2008 356 52 89 15 42 1 54 121 .250 .353 .463
2009 526 84 158 26 86 20 55 137 .300 .366 .532
2010 495 73 135 17 69 18 64 152 .273 .356 .442
2011 522 81 148 25 84 22 65 149 .284 .363 .498

Upton had a disappointing 2010 season, but should return to form in 2011. He did set a career high in walks in 2010 and play better defensively, but for some reason slumped against LHP.

Chris Young AB R H HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG
2007 569 85 135 32 68 27 43 141 .237 .295 .467
2008 625 85 155 22 85 14 62 165 .248 .315 .443
2009 433 54 92 15 42 11 59 133 .212 .311 .400
2010 584 94 150 27 91 28 74 145 .257 .341 .452
2011 575 92 145 25 89 25 69 144 .252 .332 .456

Young rebounded from a disastrous 2009 campaign to put up the best season of his career in 2010. The Diamondbacks need him to play at a high level, and to improve his hitting on the road (.675 OPS in 2010).

Xavier Nady AB R H HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG
2006 468 57 131 17 63 3 30 85 .280 .337 .453
2007 431 55 120 20 72 3 23 101 .278 .330 .476
2008 555 76 169 25 97 2 39 103 .305 .357 .510
2009 28 4 8 0 2 0 1 6 .286 .310 .429
2010 317 33 81 6 33 0 17 85 .256 .306 .353
2011 323 39 79 9 40 1 22 77 .245 .293 .368

The Diamondbacks need Nady to return to the skills he showed in 2008. But in Spring Training, he still showed the effect of Tommy John surgery in 2009 - struggling with throws in the outfield, and not showing any power.  Edit: Nady just hit a Grand Slam in Tueday's exhibition game against the Cubs! If Nady doesn't show something quickly, he could be replaced on the roster by Brandon Allen or Wily Mo Pena.

Gerardo Parra AB R H HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG
2009 455 59 132 5 60 5 25 89 .290 .324 .404
2010 364 31 95 3 30 1 23 76 .261 .308 .371
2011 295 29 84 5 28 4 21 55 .285 .332 .427

Parra could be beneficiary of more playing time if Nady continues to struggle. He's the best defensive LF on the club, and has looked good with the bat in Spring Training.  But since he doesn't draw many walks or hit for power, his offense will still probably be below average for a LF.

Brandon Allen AB R H HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG
2009-AA/AAA 447 78 133 20 75 7 50 85 .298 .373 .503
2009 104 13 21 4 14 0 12 40 .202 .284 .385
2010-AAA 371 72 97 25 86 14 83 95 .261 .405 .528
2010 45 5 12 1 6 0 10 20 .267 .393 .400
2011 167 21 42 8 23 3 22 51 .251 .339 .473

It appears that Allen will not be able to win a roster spot coming out of Spring Training. Many analysts feel that Allen has nothing left to prove in the Minors, but I think he needs to build on the .261/.405/.528 line he put up for Reno last year. In the context of the PCL, that is not a very impressive season, and I think Allen can improve on that and find his way to the big leagues later in 2011.

Here is the summary for the projections for the team's primary batters:

Player AB R H HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG
Young 575 92 145 25 89 25 69 144 .252 .332 .456
Johnson 574 92 157 21 72 11 77 139 .274 .359 .458
Drew 551 84 154 15 63 8 64 97 .279 .354 .463
Upton 522 81 148 25 84 22 65 149 .284 .363 .498
Montero 475 64 133 18 72 1 44 91 .280 .341 .465
Mora 413 41 110 8 48 2 38 62 .266 .328 .373
Nady 323 39 79 9 40 1 22 77 .245 .293 .368
Branyan 320 43 79 19 59 1 45 129 .247 .340 .488
Parra 295 29 84 5 28 4 21 55 .285 .332 .427
Miranda 272 34 72 13 42 1 30 61 .265 .338 .471
Blum 215 23 56 4 21 0 17 36 .260 .315 .372
Bloomquist 191 33 49 2 16 14 14 31 .257 .307 .361
Allen 167 21 42 8 23 3 22 51 .251 .339 .473
Roberts 123 18 30 3 20 3 11 21 .244 .306 .398
Blanco 115 12 26 1 11 0 14 28 .226 .310 .330
Total 5131 706 1364 176 688 96 553 1171 .266 .337 .440


When you add in the numbers for pitchers and various minor league callups, the team should score around 750 Runs in 2011, up considerably from the 713 the team scored in 2010.  Next up will be the projections for the pitching staff.