Ranking the Rattlers: #8 Ryan Roberts

Starting today, for the next couple of weeks, I’ll give you my ranking of the Diamondback’s eight positional starters–from glorified utility man to MVP candidate.  I probably just gave #8 and #1 away there…oops.

Oct 7, 2011; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Ryan Roberts hits a single in the second inning of game five of the 2011 NLDS against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

These will be my rankings of the eight position players–minus pitcher–who I project will be the opening day starters for the D-Backs.  You could almost consider this an unbiased view of how the D-Backs are viewed nationally, since until recently I had no allegiances to the Diamondbacks.

Among the names that have intrigued me the most on the D-Backs is Ryan Roberts.  I’m a sucker for a good story and the heavily tattooed former utility man has found his niche with the D-Backs.  A middling prospect–he peaked as the #10 Blue Jays prospect by Baseball America in 2006–Roberts has been good enough to fight off all competitors for the starting third base job over the last 1 1/2 season.  He will enter 2012 after coming off an outstanding NLDS that saw him hit .350 with 2 HR and 7 RBI and will be expected to improve upon his 2011 stat line: .249/19/65 in a more regular role than he saw in 2011 after seeing sporadic playing time early thanks to the failed Melvin Mora experiment.

The gritty, likable Roberts is a good story, but as an everyday player he is simply average.  While he had a career high 18 stolen bases in 2011 and is an above average defender, he won’t hit for a high average and at 31 years old he may have peaked in his development.  Teams need guys like Roberts–fan favorites with a team-first mentality–but it won’t help him in these rankings and of the eight players likely to be position starters for the D-backs, Roberts comes in eighth.

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Topics: Arizona Diamondbacks, D-backs, Dbacks, Ryan Roberts

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  • http://calltothepen.com/ SorianoJoe

    I think you are underrating Ryan Roberts, because he is an above-average 3 WAR player who is better than former Jays players Lyle Overbay and Aaron Hill. He is also better than Jason Kubel, still don’t know why they signed him or why they are starting him, and he is definitely far better than Overbay. I mean, Overbay is just terrible. Roberts is more than a super-utility player and is a legit starting third baseman in a league where the position is at a dearth of quality. By the way, use AVG/OBP/SLG as the triple slash next time, as they are better indicators of performance.

    http://www.calltothepen.com

  • http://calltothepen.com/ SorianoJoe

    I think you are underrating Ryan Roberts, because he is an above-average 3 WAR player who is better than former Jays players Lyle Overbay and Aaron Hill. He is also better than Jason Kubel, still don’t know why they signed him or why they are starting him, and he is definitely far better than Overbay. I mean, Overbay is just terrible. Roberts is more than a super-utility player and is a legit starting third baseman in a league where the position is at a dearth of quality. By the way, use AVG/OBP/SLG as the triple slash next time, as they are better indicators of performance.

    http://www.calltothepen.com

    • detsportsczar

      @SorianoJoe

      Some considerations. This si just the guys I vew as the starters. Overbay isn’t a starter, it’ll be Goldschmidt. I also think Parra starts in left over Kubel. Not to ruin the suspense…lol…but I’m basically ranking Hill, Drew, Roberts, Goldschmidt, Montero, Young, Parra and Upton from 8-1. Roberts reminds me of Ryan Raburn on the Tigers, who also has a good WAR. Excellent utility guy, adequate starter.

      • detsportsczar

        @SorianoJoe

        Some considerations. This is just the guys I view as the starters. Overbay isn’t a starter, it’ll be Goldschmidt. I also think Parra starts in left over Kubel. Not to ruin the suspense…lol…but I’m basically ranking Hill, Drew, Roberts, Goldschmidt, Montero, Young, Parra and Upton from 8-1. Roberts reminds me of Ryan Raburn on the Tigers, who also has a good WAR. Excellent utility guy, adequate starter.

        • http://calltothepen.com/ SorianoJoe

          @detsportsczar Thanks for the clarificartion, it all makes sense now. Why did I mention Overbay?

        • roberts_843

          I agree with you on that Chris, as you might have already noticed by my post on Goldschmidt earlier in the week and Joe I think the Kubel signing only gives them more depth and a decent bat coming off the bench. He can also play to give any of the other outfielders a day off. Just some thoughts.

        • http://calltothepen.com/ SorianoJoe

          @roberts_843 Kubel has a good bat, but how much did htey pay him again? It seems like he might actually start, which would be a huge mistake. However, it isn’t out of the question given the fact that they paid him starter’s money. I’m not the biggest Kubel fan, so there’s definitely some bias there. Roberts is better than Kubel, because I would rather have an above-average third baseman than a mediocre left fielder.

        • roberts_843

          @SorianoJoe @roberts_843 True, I don’t like the fact that they paid him starter money either. They should have tried to give him less because I believe he is at best a pinch hitter off the bench or a guy to give upton, parra , or young a day off.

        • detsportsczar

          @SorianoJoe

          Lol, you had me worried for a minute. I thought I missed breaking news that the D-Backs traded Goldschmidt and announced Overbay as the starter. haha

        • detsportsczar

          @SorianoJoe @roberts_843

          I’m a Kubel fan from seeing him crush the Tigers chances so often. He’s capable of 100 RBIs and is only 29. I actually just covered the salaries of the top 4 free agent outfielders. Kubel got 2 years $15 Million. Seems to be market value. IMO it’s far better than the 3 years, $31 Million the Rockies paid Cuddyer.

        • roberts_843

          @detsportsczar @SorianoJoe I agree that it is a steal especially when compared to the cuddyer deal, but it just seems like alot to pay a guy to sit on the bench because I really don’t see him starting over parra on opening day.

  • detsportsczar

    @SorianoJoe

    Some considerations. This si just the guys I vew as the starters. Overbay isn’t a starter, it’ll be Goldschmidt. I also think Parra starts in left over Kubel. Not to ruin the suspense…lol…but I’m basically ranking Hill, Drew, Roberts, Goldschmidt, Montero, Young, Parra and Upton from 8-1. Roberts reminds me of Ryan Raburn on the Tigers, who also has a good WAR. Excellent utility guy, adequate starter.

  • detsportsczar

    @SorianoJoe

    Some considerations. This is just the guys I view as the starters. Overbay isn’t a starter, it’ll be Goldschmidt. I also think Parra starts in left over Kubel. Not to ruin the suspense…lol…but I’m basically ranking Hill, Drew, Roberts, Goldschmidt, Montero, Young, Parra and Upton from 8-1. Roberts reminds me of Ryan Raburn on the Tigers, who also has a good WAR. Excellent utility guy, adequate starter.

  • http://calltothepen.com/ SorianoJoe

    @detsportsczar Thanks for the clarificartion, it all makes sense now. Why did I mention Overbay?

  • roberts_843

    I agree with you on that Chris, as you might have already noticed by my post on Goldschmidt earlier in the week and Joe I think the Kubel signing only gives them more depth and a decent bat coming off the bench. He can also play to give any of the other outfielders a day off. Just some thoughts.

  • http://calltothepen.com/ SorianoJoe

    @roberts_843 Kubel has a good bat, but how much did htey pay him again? It seems like he might actually start, which would be a huge mistake. However, it isn’t out of the question given the fact that they paid him starter’s money. I’m not the biggest Kubel fan, so there’s definitely some bias there. Roberts is better than Kubel, because I would rather have an above-average third baseman than a mediocre left fielder.

  • roberts_843

    @SorianoJoe @roberts_843 True, I don’t like the fact that they paid him starter money either. They should have tried to give him less because I believe he is at best a pinch hitter off the bench or a guy to give upton, parra , or young a day off.

  • detsportsczar

    @SorianoJoe

    Lol, you had me worried for a minute. I thought I missed breaking news that the D-Backs traded Goldschmidt and announced Overbay as the starter. haha

  • detsportsczar

    @SorianoJoe @roberts_843

    I’m a Kubel fan from seeing him crush the Tigers chances so often. He’s capable of 100 RBIs and is only 29. I actually just covered the salaries of the top 4 free agent outfielders. Kubel got 2 years $15 Million. Seems to be market value. IMO it’s far better than the 3 years, $31 Million the Rockies paid Cuddyer.

  • roberts_843

    @detsportsczar @SorianoJoe I agree that it is a steal especially when compared to the cuddyer deal, but it just seems like alot to pay a guy to sit on the bench because I really don’t see him starting over parra on opening day.