D-backs Outfield Should Make A Lot of Noise in 2012

By Scott Allen

The Arizona Diamondbacks outfield was already considered pretty strong defensively and for the most part offensively in 2011.  That was before the arrival of Jason Kubel.  With Gerardo Parra in left field, Chris Young in center field, Justin Upton in right field, and now Kubel, the D-backs have a fairly good balance between offense and defense from the outfielders.  How they mix it up will be up to spring training performances and match-ups with others.  Kubel is now the assumed starter in left over Parra, you know, the guy that won the Gold Glove.  That’s how deep this outfield is.

Upton in right should be enough on the offensive end to still forgive the missteps on defense, although he is getting better in right.  He will still continue to make errors from time to time, but you have to admit that J-Up has come a long way from being a converted infielder from several years ago.

Young is the wild-card.  He has power, but doesn’t hit for average.  I think it will always be that way with him.  He can hit the ball a mile, but more often than not, he hits it a mile straight up and not out.  He drops his should constantly and it is something that gives fans fits.  Then you stick him in center and he makes some of the most amazing plays.  It’s enough to drive you crazy.  I would not be surprised to see Parra get a lot of time in center if Young struggles.

As for that left-field, you do lose something on the defensive end with Kubel.  He had an off-season in 2011 and the D-backs are expecting a quick comeback to provide the offense the D-backs feel they are still missing from Parra, although Parra hit .292 in 2011.  Go figure.

The pitching may get a lot of the publicity in 2012, but the outfield will be right behind.