2016 Fantasy Baseball Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks
For the first time in a while, the Diamondbacks made a big splash in the free agent market this off-season, signing Zach Greinke. Also, they also traded for Shelby Miller, putting an emphasis on pitching this season. Both of these two are likely to regress since both exceeded expectations last year.
As for their lineup, Paul Goldschmidt leads the way, while A.J. Pollock and David Peralta look to continue to improve on stellar good 2015 seasons. Yasmany Tomas, Welington Castillo, and Jake Lamb are also candidates to perform well.
- A.J. Pollock – CF
- David Peralta – RF
- Paul Goldschmidt – 1B
- Welington Castillo – C
- Yasmany Tomas – LF
- Jake Lamb – 3B
- Jean Segura – 2B
- Nick Ahmed – SS
There’s a lot of excitement for this rotation with newly added Greinke and Miller. However, both players had career years in 2015, and will regress to some extent.
After injuries that delayed his start of the season, Corbin pitched well to a 3.36 ERA in the second half of the season. De La Rosa is still young but showed some promise in 2015.
Stud: Paul Goldschmidt (1B)
His ADP is sitting at two this year, and he typically has been drafted within the top four spots. Goldschmidt has immense power, especially against lefties, but what makes him great are his baseball IQ and his speed. Goldschmidt stole 21 bases in 2015 and also saw a career-high in BB% (17%) and isolated slugging (.249).
I could go on and on about just how good Goldschmidt is, but I don’t want to bore you. You should just know that since his rookie season, Goldschmidt has gotten better and better.
Bounce Back: Yasmany Tomas (3B, OF)
I’ve read a lot of hatred towards Yasmany Tomas this season, and rightfully so. His high strikeout rate (25.8%) was nearing the likes of Adam Dunn and (gasp) Wily Mo Pena. Tomas’ walk rate (4.0%) was actually less than Pena. Unlike the aforementioned Dunn and Pena, Tomas hit for a respectable .273 average. Tomas was also able to hit both lefties (.279) and righties (.271).
Tomas did struggle in the second half, batting just .208, as he saw inconsistent playing time. With Ender Inciarte now in Atlanta, Tomas should be guaranteed a spot in the starting lineup on most nights. He should also be in better condition this season to play out an entire 162 game season for the first time.
Sleeper: Jake Lamb (3B)
I’ve seen multiple projected lineups that include Lamb at the second spot, but I do believe he will be placed near the bottom of lineups. He hit .280 with four home runs in 182 plate appearances in the sixth hole last season. Lamb also saw a .339 on-base percentage against righties in his rookie season.
He struggled in the second half as he hit just .253 compared to his .280 first half average. Many experts are very so-so about Jake Lamb’s potential in 2016, but he has a lot of opportunity to excel here. If he does bat sixth, he should have plenty of opportunities to drive runners in.
Bust: Shelby Miller (SP)
Despite only winning six games for the Atlanta Braves, Miller had a career year in 2015. In 33 starts, he compiled a 3.02 ERA with two complete game shutouts, both career-highs. His 2.43 ERA at Turner Field is one reason he could be in line for some regression.
He still had a respectable 3.67 ERA on the road, but pitching his home games at Chase Field is very concerning. Also, Miller owned a 3.83 ERA in the second half, including a 7.11-ERA in the month of September. Miller will probably end the 2016 season with an ERA hovering around 4.00, which is a far cry from his 2015 performance.
Late-Round Flier: Welington Castillo (C)
This guy is the real deal against lefties, with a .778 OPS and a .228 ISO against lefties. He does struggle against righties, but looks to be the D’backs will give him the majority of starts, regardless of that day’s opposing starting pitcher.
He’s coming off a career high in home runs (19) and RBI (57). With a packed offense, he could be put in good opportunities to succeed.
Prospect to Watch: Brandon Drury (3B)
Drury split time between third and second base last year in the minors. He’s a contact guy who really hasn’t shown much pop but might come as he matures as a hitter. He will probably start in Triple-A/Double-A, but could come up soon if someone (i.e., Chris Owings or Ahmed) falters.
More Advice: View Bounce-Back Candidates for 2016