David Peralta really impressed in 2014 Photo Courtesy of Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
With the World Series coming to a close, I continue to look back at the Arizona Diamondbacks 2014 season. We have already reviewed the starting rotation, bullpen, and infield. Today we put a close on the Dbacks historically disappointing season by taking a look at the outfield, which is the last part of this series. With that in mind, lets dive in!
Mark Trumbo: The first thing I would say to Diamondbacks fans about Trumbo’s 2014 season is that you need to give him the benefit of the doubt. Trumbo finished the season with a batting average of .235, 14 HR, and 61 RBI’s. His HR and RBI totals were all career lows minus the 2010 season in which he played in only eight games. His OBP of .293, slugging percentage of .415, and OPS of .707 were all career lows.
There will be discussion about trading Mark Trumbo in the off-season, but I just don’t see it happening. Trumbo is arbitration eligible for the first time this off-season. I think Pollack is a lock in the outfield, and I think Trumbo will be in left-field on Opening Day.
He proved in 2013, that when he can stay healthy, he can be a impact bat in the middle of the lineup. I think the Dbacks will see what Trumbo can do over a full season of work, and if he cant stay healthy, then I think you pull the plug on him next winter.
A.J. Pollock: Pollock is yet another case where you cant look at the final numbers, because his season was ruined by injuries. In just 75 games, he hit .302 with 7 HR and 24 RBI’s.
Despite this, his OBP of .353, SLG percentage of .498, and an OPS of .851 were all career highs. On May 31st, Pollock was hit on the hand by Reds starter Johnny Cueto. On June 2nd he underwent surgery, and he didn’t play again till September 2nd.
At the time of his injury he was having a career year at the plate and in the outfield. The 26 year old was hitting .316/.366/.554 with 6 home runs, 15 RBI’s, and eight stolen bases. He also was becoming one of the best center-fielders in the game. Pollock posted 23 defensive runs saved, and a UZR/150 (Ultimate Zone Rating) of 25.5. At that point, only Carlos Gomez of the Brewers had put up better numbers as a center-fielder.
Pollock is a lock to be the Diamondbacks center-fielder next season, and if he can stay healthy, who knows what he can become.
David Peralta: Peralta came out of nowhere in 2014, and by the end of the year he was in the conversation for National League Rookie of the Year. Part of that was because the field itself was weak, but the biggest reason is that he had a great rookie season.
If you told me that Peralta would be starting consistently for the Dbacks in 2014, you probably would have called me crazy. However, that is what injuries do to teams.
Thanks to Pollock’s injury, Peralta was called up on June 1st, and he made an immediate impact. I actually saw his first game against the Reds. In his first game he went 2 for 4, and his impact continued.
In 88 games, Peralta hit .286 with 8 HR and 36 RBI’s. He might finish in the top five in rookie of the year voting, and he will be in the conversation for one of the Dbacks outfield spots which is going to be crowded once again in 2015.
Ender Inciarte: Just like Peralta, Inciarte got the chance to make an impact at the plate and in the outfield, and he had a great rookie season.
Inciarte was called up at the end of April to replace struggling OF Rodger Kieschnick, and he stayed for the rest of the year.
In 118 games he hit .278 with 4 HR and 27 RBI’s. It didn’t start out well for him, but he got hot.
An eighth inning double in the Diamondbacks 5-4 loss to the Nationals on August 18th pushed his hitting streak to 18 games, which is the longest in club history.
Before the streak he looked like a rookie, and after that double he still owned a .266 batting average. During the streak he was hitting .316 and showed potential for next season.
Like Peralta, he will probably be in contention for Rookie of the Year, and he will defiantly be in the mix in 2015.
Cody Ross: Cody Ross also was hurt by the injury bug, but the difference is he is getting older, and his production probably wont get any better. To me, if there is any odd man out in the Snakes outfield its Ross.
In just 88 games, he hit .252 with 2 HR and 15 RBI. His production has been significantly declining since the 2011 season, and he is in the last year of his 3 year 26 million dollar deal.
There is a team option for 2016, but this is probably his last year in Sedona Red if he even survives this winter.
I think the only way he sticks around is if he backups Peralta, Inciarte, Pollock, or Trumbo.
The Diamondbacks have made it clear that they want to reduce their payroll to somewhere in the 80-110 million dollar range, and Ross seems like a perfect candidate to get his contract dumped.
Don’t be surprised if Ross is with another team come Spring Training.