2016 Fantasy Baseball: Arizona Diamondbacks Team Preview
Arizona has been busy this offseason, bringing in Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller to make a formidable top three in its rotation along with Patrick Corbin. They did lose one intriguing offensive fantasy asset in Ender Inciarte, whom they traded for Miller, but the D’Backs just brought in Jean Segura to try and recoup some of that lost offense. That won’t happen, but the desert is a bit-more fantasy-friendly this year than in years past.
- Catcher: Welington Castillo
- First base: Paul Goldschmidt
- Second base: Jean Segura
- Third base: Jake Lamb
- Shortstop: Nick Ahmed
- Left field: David Peralta
- Center field: A.J. Pollock
- Right field: Yasmany Tomas
Goldschmidt is currently being drafted ahead of Bryce Harper in NFBC drafts, and his aggregate ranking at Fantasy Pros is also just ahead of Harper’s. Even factoring in positional scarcity I can’t get on board with that. Harper is five years younger than Goldschmidt, and he’s already had a better season than Goldschmidt ever has. Harper’s 42 home runs last year are six more than Goldschmidt’s ever hit. Yeah, Goldschmidt will get more steals, but it’s not like he’s a 40-steal guy. His steals can be made up by grabbing a cheap steals guy later on.
Pollock should continue to produce, as his home run rate, walk rate and strikeout rate are all very good/not fluky. Even if his home run or steals totals drop some, he’ll still score a ton of runs hitting atop a good lineup. I like him in the middle of the second round.
Peralta had a strong 8.5 percent walk rate last year, and he was one of only three players to have double-digit triples (10) and homers (17). Triples totals are always a bit fluky, but in this ballpark I think they’re repeatable for someone with Peralta’s profile.
Tomas really cratered in the second half, and his plate discipline stats are ugly. He’s not worth more than a bench pick. Castillo has the eighth-most home runs among catchers in the past two years, despite ranking only 19th in plate appearances. He’s currently going/ranked 14th and 13th, respectively, in NFBC and Fantasy Pros data, and while I’d take Yasmani Grandal and maybe Francisco Cervelli over him he’s still a very good pick as long as you’re fine with a bad OBP.
Greinke is seventh from both sites above, being drafted/ranked behind Kershaw, Arrieta, Sale, Scherzer, Bumgarner and Price/Fernandez. Those are the only guys I’d take over him, as his home still being in the National League is a tiebreaker for me over the similar AL guys. Corbin pitched 85 innings last year and had very similar if not better numbers than his 2013 breakout. His velocity was also up a tick across the board, and at 26 he’s still got some room to grow. His draft spot/rank is in the mid-50s on both sites, but he should be in the mid-40s. If you can get him later than that you should be happy. Miller’s usage of a two-seamer last year should help him now that he’s in a new, offense-friendly home park. He raised his ground ball rate from the high-30s to 47 percent last year, and he’s always done well keeping the ball in the park. I would take Corbin over him, but he should be able to round out your rotation or be a strong top option off your bench.
Zeigler had his first extended run as closer in 2015, and he saved 30 games. He did only strikeout 36 batters in 68 innings, but he only gave up three home runs thanks to a crazy 72 percent ground ball rate. In his four full seasons with Arizona he’s had an ERA under 2.5 in three of them. He won’t help you anywhere but saves for the most part, but he’s worth taking as a late-round closer. Hudson was the top setup man last year, securing 20 holds and a career-high 9.44 K/9. Bracho made his MLB debut last year and in 12.1 innings struck out 17 and walked four. His minor-league numbers back that performance up: 12.8 K/9, 1.6 BB/9, 1.52 ERA, 0.87 WHIP. If you’re looking for a late-round flier for saves Bracho could help you as a setup man before he possibly could take over as a closer.
There are two names to know here: Braden Shipley and Archie Bradley. Both have a lot of potential and could contribute to a team’s success in the coming years, but with the reinforcements brought in this offseason extended time in Arizona may be delayed now. Shipley is more refined and probably the safer option, while Bradley has more upside.