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2009 Archives http://www.dbacksvenom.com/table/2009-articles/october/ Tue, 22 Jul 2014 09:17:16 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb 2010 Diamondbacks Position Battles - Centerfield http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/october/2010-diamondbacks-position-battles-centerfield.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/october/2010-diamondbacks-position-battles-centerfield.html Offensively, Centerfield was the Diamondbacks' worst position in 2009, with a .219/.293 OBP/.379 SLG line. Chris Young was the primary CF, starting 121 games, while Gerardo Parra took over while Young was demoted to AAA for a month. Both players will be back in 2010 - will one of them be the starting CF in 2010, or will the Diamondbacks look outside the organization? Let's start with an overview of the offensive stats for Young and Parra. Chris Young (26), RHB 2009: 501 PA, 212/311/400, 15 HR, 42 RBI, 54R, 11/4 SB, 59 BB/133K 2008: 699 PA, 248/315/443, 22 HR, 85 RBI, 85R, 14/5 SB, 62 BB/165K 2007: 624 PA, 237/295/467, 32 HR, 68 RBI, 85R, 27/6 SB, 43 BB/141K Gerardo Parra (22), LHB 2009: 491 PA, 290/324/404, 5 HR, 60 RBI, 59R, 5/7 SB, 25 BB/89K 2009 (AA): 130 PA, 361/469/491, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 23R, 7/4 SB, 22 BB/13K 2008 (AA-A): 526 PA, 286/358/416, 6 HR, 52 RBI, 61R, 28/13 SB, 47 BB/65K 2007 (A-A+): 597 PA, 313/357/425, 8 HR, 71 RBI, 75R, 26/11 SB, 34 BB/68K Chris Young came to the Diamondbacks from the White Sox in December 2005 as the prime component of the Javier Vazquez trade. Since becoming the full time starter in 2006, he has seen his HR and SB totals decline for three consecutive years. After a 2 for 27 stretch brought his average down to .194, Young was sent back to AAA on August 9th. When he returned to the majors in September, he started off 1 for 17, but then caught fire, going 299/382/598 with 8 HR over the final 25 games. There are many interesting aspects to Young's 2009 season. Among players with over 500 plate appearances, Young had the highest fly ball percentage in the majors at 55.6% (data from Fangraphs). What was worse for Young was that of these fly balls, 22.4% were infield pop-ups, by far the highest rate in the majors (no one else was even over 18%). The culprit for Young was the high fastball; Young swings at high pitches out of the strike zone almost 10% more than average, and too many of these are resulting in pop-ups and weak fly balls. It remains to be seen if Young and the Diamondbacks can improve this part of his swing. Gerardo Parra made the jump from AA to the Majors during the 2009 season. Parra is a well-rounded player with good bat speed, defensive instincts, and baserunning ability. The only aspect of his game that is missing is power. Although Parra hit for a much higher average than Young (.290 vs .212), their on-base (.324 vs. 311) and slugging percentages (.404 vs .400) were much closer. In the minors, Parra had only struck out only about 30% more than he walked, but that turned into a 3.6 ratio in the majors. Part of this was probably due to his jump all the way from AA. Both players showed very large platoon splits in 2009. Parra hit 310/345/456 against RHP, but only 220/250/220 in 106 PA against LHP. Young had a 196/277/362 line against RHP, but hit 262/406/514 against LHP. There is a lot of disparity in the rating of Chris Young's defense. Stats such as UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) at FanGraphs rate Young as below average, while scouts and fans generally rate him higher. In Tom Tango's "Scouting Report by the Fans", Young was rated "Good" or "Great" by 77 of 110 voters (70%). There seems to be general agreement that Young's arm is below average. Parra was rated higher by UZR, but only 43 of 80 voters (54%) rated Parra as "Good" or "Great", but with a strong throwing arm. So what will happen in 2010? It looks like Chris Young will get the first chance to claim the CF job. His strong finish from 2009, as well as his 5yr/$28M contract, give the Diamondbacks reasons to want Young to succeed. Parra certainly showed that he can play at the play at the ML level, but would the D'Backs want him to be a part-time player at the age of 23, or a starter at AAA? Parra could also be in the mix for the LF job, but his speed and lack of power make him better suited to CF than LF. He would be an excellent 4th OF for the team, but he could still develop into more than that.]]> amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) October Sat, 31 Oct 2009 20:03:08 +0000 2010 Diamondback Position Battles - First Base http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/october/2010-diamondback-position-battles-first-base.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/october/2010-diamondback-position-battles-first-base.html [/caption] Here are the stats for the eight players who played 1B in 2009 for the D'Backs.
Chad Tracy 63 204 23 45 4 28 21 29 .221 .291 .348
Josh Whitesell 30 93 7 20 1 13 23 23 .215 .376 .312
Brandon Allen 30 103 13 21 4 14 12 39 .204 .287 .388
Mark Reynolds 27 93 17 30 6 20 11 33 .323 .400 .591
Tony Clark 16 50 4 8 3 6 8 17 .160 .276 .380
Rusty Ryal 7 18 4 4 1 6 1 8 .222 .286 .556
Conor Jackson 6 20 3 4 0 1 2 4 .200 .273 .250
Chris Snyder 1 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 .500 .500 1.00
Team Total 162 583 72 133 19 88 78 153 .228 .321 .396
From this group, only Mark Reynolds hit well, but he is probably locked in as the 3B next year.  Chad Tracy, who played the most games at 1B in 2009, will probably not be back in 2010.  The D'Backs have a $7M option for Tracy or a $1M buyout, and all indications are that Tracy will not be back.  Tony Clark is also no longer an option as a starter, while Chris Snyder and Rusty Ryal are in the mix at other positions.  So, that leaves Brandon Allen, Conor Jackson, and Josh Whitesell as the top internal options at 1B for 2010. Brandon Allen (23), LHB 2009 (AZ):  116 PA, 202/284/385, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 13R, 0/0 SB, 12BB/40K 2009 (AAA): 228 PA, 306/373/563, 13 HR, 40 RBI, 39R, 6/0 SB, 20BB/38K 2009 (AA): 274 PA, 290/372/452, 7 HR, 35 RBI, 39R, 1/2 SB, 30BB/47K 2008 (AA): 173 PA, 275/358/615, 14 HR, 31 RBI, 30R, 3/1 SB, 19BB/41K 2008 (A): 366 PA, 279/372/527, 15 HR, 44 RBI, 57R, 14/3 SB, 41 BB/83K Brandon Allen was drafted by the White Sox in the 5th Round of the 2004 draft, and was ranked as the #4 prospect in the White Sox organization by Baseball America last year. Allen came to the D'Backs from the White Sox in the Tony Pena trade last summer, and immediately became the D'Backs' best hitting prospect. After the 2009 season, he was ranked as the #14 prospect in the AAA Pacific Coast League by BA. Allen's strongest skill is his power, as he led the Carolina League in slugging in 2008, and then followed that up with 14 HR in 41 games for AA Birmingham, including two off the Rays' David Price in his first AA game.  In 2009, he slugged 24 HR between four different teams across three levels. Along with the power, Allen, a former high school linebacker, has pretty good speed for someone 6'2" and 235 lbs.   One potential negative for Allen is one that is too familiar to D'Back fans - strikeouts. He averaged 125 strikeouts per season between 2007 and 2008, but showed significant improvement in 2009, with only 85 strikeouts to go with 50 walks between AA and AAA.  In the majors however, he struck out 40 times in 102 At Bats, including 11 in 22 AB against LHP. Defensively, Allen is still a work-in-progress.  He's shown improvement over the last two years, but still has suspect hands and can look tentative on throws. Allen is currently playing in the Arizona Fall League, and is off to a slow start - 212/369/327. Conor Jackson (27), RHB 2009 (AZ): 110 PA, 182/264/253, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 8R, 5/0 SB, 11 BB/16K 2008 (AZ): 612 PA, 300/376/446, 12 HR, 75 RBI, 87R, 10/2 SB, 59 BB/61K 2007 (AZ): 477 PA, 284/368/467, 15 HR, 60 RBI, 56R, 2/2 SB, 53 BB/50K 2006 (AZ): 556 PA, 291/368/441, 15 HR, 79 RBI, 75R, 1/0 SB, 54 BB/73K 2009 was a wasted season for Conor Jackson, as he only managed 28 games before going on the Disabled List with pneumonia and Valley Fever.  He finally appears to be healthy, and is hitting well in the Dominican Winter League - 333/523/567 through October 28. The three years from 2006-2008 were remarkably consistent, with Jackson putting up averages around .290 and an OPS above .800.  Jackson is still unsigned for 2010, and is arbitration-eligible.  He signed for $3.05M in 2009, and would probably sign for a comparable amount next year. At this point, indications are that the D'Backs will bring Jackson back in 2010. He should be a starter for the D'Backs in 2010, although where he plays (LF or 1B) probably depends on the progress of Brandon Allen. Josh Whitesell (27), LHB 2008-2009 (AZ): 142 PA, 200/352/313, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 8R, 0/0 SB, 25 BB/31K 2009 (AAA): 274 PA, 293/398/471, 8 HR, 5 RBI, 35R, 1/1 SB, 40 BB/48K 2008 (AAA): 560 PA, 328/425/568, 26 HR, 110 RBI, 86R, 1/2 SB, 74 BB/136K 2007 (AA): 487 PA, 284/425/512, 21 HR, 74 RBI, 78R, 6/2SB, 87 BB/107K Whitesell was a disappointment at the major league level in 2009, and at 27 already, his window of opportunity as a major league 1B may be closing with Brandon Allen coming on strong. He has hit well in the upper minors, but has always been a little old for his league.  The walk numbers have been decent, but the power dropoff last year is a concern. Whitesell is nothing special defensively or on the bases.  Platooning with Allen is not an option since they both hit left-handed.  His best bet for playing time will be if the D'backs decide to start Allen in AAA next season, but even then, his likely role would be as a backup player. Summary Going into 2010, the Diamondbacks lineup seems to be set at RF (JUpton), C (MMontero), 3B (MReynolds), and SS (SDrew). The battle for 2B was discussed here, while the battles for 1B/LF/CF involve Conor Jackson, Brandon Allen, Josh Whitesell, Gerardo Parra, and Chris Young (and maybe Eric Byrnes?).  The best case scenario for the D'Backs should be a healthy Jackson in LF and Allen at 1B, with Whitesell as a reserve.  If the D'Backs decide to start Allen in AAA, their best option would be to bring in a free agent 1B/LF to upgrade from Whitesell or Parra. Options here include players such as Nick Johnson, Adam LaRoche, or Hank Blalock.]]>
amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) October Thu, 29 Oct 2009 23:58:52 +0000
2010 First Base Candidates http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/october/2010-1b.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/october/2010-1b.html amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) October Thu, 29 Oct 2009 23:17:45 +0000 2010 Second Base Candidates http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/october/2010-2b.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/october/2010-2b.html amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) October Tue, 27 Oct 2009 23:23:00 +0000 2010 Diamondbacks Position Battles - Second Base http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/october/2010-diamondbacks-position-battles-second-base.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/october/2010-diamondbacks-position-battles-second-base.html Ryan Roberts, Rusty Ryal, Tony Abreu Stats: Batting Average/On-Base Percentage/Slugging Percentage, HR, RBI, R, SB/CS, BB/K Ryan Roberts (28) 2009: (AZ) 351 PA - 279/367/416, 7 HR, 25 RBI, 41 R, 7/3 SB, 40 BB/55K 2008 (AAA): 300/388/464, 10 HR, 66 RBI, 71 R, 15/3 SB, 67 BB/78K 2007 (AAA): 249/355/409, 12 HR, 47 RBI, 46 R, 1/2 SB, 55 BB/85K Roberts is a useful player to have on a roster, because he can play virtually anywhere in the infield or outfield. In 2008, he even caught twice for AAA Syracuse. He had been primarily a utility player, but at the age of 28, Roberts became the primary 2B after the Lopez trade, and continued to show good contact, walk rate, and gap power. He may have had the inside track for the starting job in 2010 until the last month of the season, when he faded to .232/.300/.329 after September 1st. Even if he's not the starter, Roberts' versatility should keep him on the major league roster in 2010. Rusty Ryal (26) 2009: (AZ) 68 PA - 271/353/593, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 11 R, 0/0 SB, 6 BB/21 K 2009 (AAA): 290/347/527, 17 HR, 70 RBI, 65 R, 5/3 SB, 33 BB/94 K 2008 (AA): 274/334/443, 16 HR, 66 RBI, 65 R, 4/3 SB, 35 BB/96 K 2007 (A/AA): 277/331/462, 17 HR, 67 RBI, 64 R, 6/7 SB, 24 BB/89K Ryal showed good power in AAA in 2008, and continued in the Majors with 11 extra base hits after his call up. On the down side, Ryal's been striking out three times for every walk, and his batting average is a little low for the PCL. Ryal's 2009 AAA stats translate to only .227/.283/.429 in the majors. Defensively he has questionable range and an average arm at best. He's planning to play the outfield in Winter Ball this year to increase his versatility. He'll be 27 next year, and hits lefties well, but looks to be a utility player at best. Tony Abreu (24) 2009 (AAA): 353/385/615, 11 HR, 53 RBI, 47 R, 3/3 SB, 13 BB/49K 2008 Missed due to injury 2007 (AAA): 355/399/517, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 48 R, 5/0 SB, 14 BB/34 K 2007 (LA): 178 PA - 271/309/404, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 19 R, 0/0 SB, 7 BB/21K Of the three candidates, Tony Abreu is the youngest, and has the best minor league track record. Abreu came to the D'Backs in the Jon Garland trade. He has missed a lot of time over the last few years with a variety of injuries (hip, groin, hernia surgery) but when he has played, he has hit. His AAA line in Albuquerque translates to .282/.315/.518 in the majors, and his batting stroke should work well in Arizona. The walk rate is a little low, and he's not really a base stealing threat, but offensively, he should hit for a good batting average with decent power. Defensively, Abreu should be above-average, with a strong arm and good range. In addition to 2B, he also played 7 games at SS last year and has played extensively at 3B in both the majors and AAA. Most likely, spring training results will play a factor in determining the starting 2B for the D'Backs in 2010. But of the three candidates, Tony Abreu is the youngest, the best defender, and has the better minor league hitting resume. He should be the starter in 2010.]]> amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) October Tue, 27 Oct 2009 05:28:17 +0000 Brandon Webb's Option and the 2010 Diamondbacks Starting Pitching http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/october/brandon-webbs-option-and-the-2010-dbacks-starting-pitching.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/october/brandon-webbs-option-and-the-2010-dbacks-starting-pitching.html Dan Haren (28) 14-10, 3.14 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 229 IP, 8.8 K, 1.5 BB, 1.1 HR/9, 24/33 QS In Dan Haren, the DBacks have a second Cy Young caliber starting pitcher. Haren finshed 2009 at 14-10 with a 3.14 ERA, 2nd in the NL in IP, 1st in WHIP, and 1st in K/BB. Although the overall numbers were very good, Haren faded significantly in the 2nd Half for the 4th straight year: 2009: 1st Half, 2.01 ERA, Second Half: 4.62 ERA 2008: 1st Half, 2.72 ERA, Second Half: 4.18 ERA 2007: 1st Half, 2.30 ERA, Second Half: 4.15 ERA 2006: 1st Half, 3.52 ERA, Second Half: 4.91 ERA Strangely, Haren's peripherals (K/9, BB/9, HR/9) have stayed solid in the 2nd Half, but his hits allowed and BABIP (batting average on Balls in Play) have gone way up in the 2nd Half. Max Scherzer (24) 9-11, 4.12 ERA, 170 IP, 9. K, 3.3 BB, 1.0 HR/9, 14/24 QS Max Scherzer should be the #3 Starter for the Dbacks. Scherzer's mid-90s fastball and deceptive delivery lead to a lot of strikeouts, but his change-up and slider still need some work. In 2009, he had trouble pitching deep into games, usually reaching 100 pitches by around the 6th inning. Many feel Scherzer's future is as a closer, but in 2009, Scherzer showed the potential to be a quality starter. Billy Buckner (25) 4-6, 6.40 ERA, 77 IP, 7.4 K, 3.4 BB, 1.4 HR/9, 5/13 QS Buckner's overall numbers weren't very good, but the 2009 DBacks Minor League Pitcher of the Year was quite effective in his 2nd stint with the DBacks, going 3-3 with a 3.93 ERA and 31K and only 2 HR in 36.2 IP. Buckner also pitcher well in the PCL (9-3, 3.32 ERA, 8.4 K/9, 2.2 K/BB) and was named the Diamondbacks Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Yusmeiro Petit (24) 3-10, 5.82 ERA, 90 IP, 7.4 K, 3.4 BB, 1.9 HR/9, 5/17 QS Petit had decent strikeout and BB numbers, but was plagued by the Home Run ball in 2009. There were some promising starts, including 7 IP of no-hit ball against the Pirates, but he'll have to show more consistency to be in the 2010 rotation. EDIT: Petit was claimed off waivers by Seattle on 11/4/09. Kevin Mulvey (24) 0-3, 7.04 ERA, 1.685 WHIP, 7.0K, 4.7 BB, 2.0 HR/9, 1/4 QS Mulvey came to the DBacks in September as part of the Jon Rauch deal, and had previously been traded to the Twins in the Johan Santana trade. He did not pitch well in his DBacks audition, but had pitched well in AAA with good command and location, if not great velocity. He'll get a chance to earn a starting job in 2010. Bryan Augenstein (22) 0-1, 7.94 ERA, 17 IP, 3.2K, 3.2BB, 1.1 HR, 0/2 QS Augenstein pitched well in AA (5-0, 0.99 ERA), but struggled when called up to the Majors. He's likely to start in AAA in 2010. Pitching in the Arizona Fall League. Cesar Valdez (24) AAA Stats, 7-6, 4.78 ERA, 5.6 K, 2.8 BB, 1.5 HR Baseball America #7 Diamondback Prospect entering 2009. Valdez has a very good sinker, curve, and changeup, but not a great fastball. He needs to get ground balls to be successful. Pitching in the Arizona Fall League. Hector Ambriz (25) AAA Stats, 9-9, 5.57 ERA, 7.3K, 2.8 BB, 0.8 HR Ambriz's peripherals were much better than his actual results; his Fielder Independent ERA was only 3.80, but Ambriz was plagued by an unusually high BABIP and a low LOB%. He's not considered a great prospect, and he's had some weight issues, but there is some potential here. Other Possibilities Daniel Cabrera (28), Seth Etherton (32), Tony Barnette (25). The top 2 prospects in the minors for the DBacks, Jarrod Parker and Wade Miley, are still a few years away. Parker will miss 2010 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, while Wade Miley will probably start in High-A or AA next year. ]]> amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) October Sun, 25 Oct 2009 03:52:39 +0000 Diamondbacks 2009 Season Review http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/october/diamondbacks-2009-season-review.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/october/diamondbacks-2009-season-review.html Games Above .500[/caption] What were the bright spots for the 2009 Diamondbacks? On offense, Justin Upton overcame a very slow start to turn in an outstanding season for a 21 year old. 3B Mark Reynolds continued to improve and finished 4th in the NL in home runs and 10th in RBI. Miguel Montero took over the starting catching job after Chris Snyder's back injury, and put up a strong .294/.355 OBP/.478 SLG batting line. On the mound, Dan Haren was the best pitcher in the league for the 1st Half of the season. Max Scherzer showed great stuff with 174 Ks in 170.1 IP. But there were a lot more negatives than positives in 2009. The biggest was Brandon Webb's shoulder injury on Opening Day, wiping out the entire season for a pitcher who had finished 1st or 2nd in the Cy Young voting for three consecutive seasons. On offense, the D-Backs had disastrous offensive seasons from Chris Young, Conor Jackson, Eric Byrnes, and Chad Tracy. The bullpen struggled for most of the year, and newcomers Tom Gordon and Scott Schoeneweis were never a factor. By mid-season, the D-Backs were clearly "Sellers" and traded away pitchers Jon Garland, Jon Rauch, and Tony Pena for prospects. In the minor leagues, the team's #1 prospect, Jarrod Parker, injured his elbow in July and will probably miss all of 2010 after Tommy John surgery. Despite the down year in 2009, things look a little better for 2010. It appears that the team will pick up Brandon Webb's option for 2010, and he should be healthy. Conor Jackson looks to have recovered from the Valley Fever that wasted his 2009 season, and is hitting well in the Dominican Winter League. Brandon Allen and Tony Abreu, picked up during the summer trades, will be battling for starting jobs in the infield. Chris Young hit much better after returning from his demotion to the minors, hitting .299/.382/.598 over the final 30 days. Rookies such as Esmerling Vasquez, Juan Gutierrez, Clay Zavada, and Daniel Schlereth showed flashes of ability to help closer Chad Qualls in the bullpen. In the next few posts, we'll look at the Diamondbacks lineup and pitching in more detail, catch up on the latest offseason news, and check in on the D-Backs minor league prospects in the Fall and Winter Leagues.]]> amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) October Fri, 23 Oct 2009 03:50:25 +0000 2009 NL West http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/october/2009_gb.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2009-articles/october/2009_gb.html amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) October Thu, 22 Oct 2009 23:16:19 +0000