Diamondbacks’ all-time lineup
By Jake Lieberman
Since Opening Day on March 31, 1998, the Diamondbacks have been a fairly inconsistent team. They have finished in first and last place five times each in the National League West, and their overall record is 1434-1482. In their first 18 seasons, they made the postseason 5 times and won World Series title in 2001. This makes the Diamondbacks the fastest National League expansion team to win a World Series title. Another bright spot was the 100-win season in 1999.
Now for the all-time starting lineup. These decisions were made based on statistics accumulated with the Diamondbacks.
Randy Johnson – 5 time All-Star, 4 time Cy Young winner.
- GS – 232
- W – 118
- ERA – 2.83
- K’s – 2077
- OBA – .221
Randy Johnson was absolutely dominant as a D-Back. He is the franchise leader in strikeouts, wins, ERA, and games started. He won four consecutive Cy Young awards between 1999-2002, and he was a five-time All-Star. Not to mention, he was 35 in his first season with the D-Backs. He came back later in his career at the age of 43, and he had a 30-start and 11-win year at 44. He also had dominating performances in a perfect game against the Braves and a 20-strikeout game against the Reds.
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Honorable Mentions: Brandon Webb, Curt Schilling, Dan Haren, Ian Kennedy, and Miguel Batista
Miguel Montero – 2 Time All-Star
- GP – 906
- HR – 97
- AVG/OBP/SLG – .264/.342/.421
- RBI’s – 448
Miggy played in 9 seasons for the Diamondbacks and was a two-time All-Star. His two best seasons came in 2011 and 2012 where he had an average of 87 RBI and batted .284. Fans have missed his play on the field as well as his entertaining walk-up song (which you can listen to below).
Honorable Mention: Chris Synder, Damien Miller
Paul Goldschmidt- 3 consecutive All-Star, 2 time Silver Slugger, 2 time Gold Glover
- GP – 621
- HR – 116
- RBI’s – 412
- AVG/OBP/SLG – .299/.395/.535
- SB – 67
This seems to be a fairly easy choice with the four great seasons he has put together. Paul smashed the unforgettable grand slam against the Brewers to take a 7-1 lead in Game 3 of the NLDS which showed how special he really is for the D-Backs. Since then, he has finished second in the MVP voting twice, and he has really carried the team the past couple of years. His rare combination of power, contact, fielding skills, and speed is something special, and D-Backs nation can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.
Honorable Mention: Connor Jackson, Tony Clark, Mark Grace
Jay Bell- 1999 All-Star, 13th place in MVP Voting
- GP – 616
- HR – 91
- RBI’s – 304
- AVG/OBP/SLG – .263/.355/.458
Bell played a pivotal role in the team’s early days, and he showed tons of power his first two seasons with 20 and 38 dingers. His monster 1999 campaign led to an All-Star appearance and a 13th place finish in the MVP voting. That year he had 38 homers, 112 RBI’s, and a batting average of .289/.374/.557. Some of the highlights of his D-Backs career include a grand slam that won a million dollars for a fan and scoring the series-winning run in Game 7.
Honorable Mention: Craig Counsell, Orlando Hudson, Junior Spivey
Matt Williams- 1999 AS, MVP 3rd place
- GP – 595
- HR – 99
- RBI’s – 381
- AVG/OBP/SLG – .278/.327/.471
Williams was helping a new franchise begin at the end of his career. He joined the team in its first year at age 32, and he earned an All-Star appearance the next year while finishing third in the MVP voting with 35 homers and 142 RBI. He started only 99 games in the 2001 season, but still put together a solid year. His leadership and outstanding play in his first four seasons with the D-Backs was extremely valuable.
Honorable Mention: Mark Reynolds, Chad Tracy
- GP – 629
- SB – 182
- AVG/OBP/SLG – .269/.314/.362
- Triples – 37
Tony Womack was a fan-favorite and a scrappy player. At 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds, he didn’t have much power, but man was he fast. He holds the club record for stolen bases with 182, and had 72 in 1999. His speed led to the second-most triples in franchise history as well. Stephen Drew made this one of the hardest decision in this lineup, but sadly injuries really held him up in his final seasons with the Diamondbacks.
Honorable Mention: Stephen Drew, Willie Bloomquist
Luis Gonzalez- 5 time All-Star, one-time Silver Slugger, third in MVP voting in2001
- GP – 1194
- HR – 224
- RBI’s – 774
- AVG/OBP/SLG – .298/.391/.529
- Walks – 650
- SO – 580
No. 20 is one of the two numbers retired for the Diamondbacks. He exploded in his career year in 2001 with 57 home runs and 142 RBI. He is the franchise leader in games played, home runs, runs batted in, walks, doubles, and hits. One of the most incredible stats he has is that he walked more than he was struck out as a D-Back. Craig Counsell is the only other guy that can say he came close to that (276 walks and 294 strikeouts). And no one will ever forget the walk-off single to beat the Yankees and Mariano Rivera in Game 7.
Honorable Mention: Gerardo Parra, Eric Byrnes
Steve Finley- 2000 AS, 2 time GG
- GP – 849
- HR – 153
- RBI’s – 479
- SB – 70
- Triples – 34
- AVG/OBP/SLG – .278/.351/.500
Finley was an all-around player. He hit for power and average while playing incredible defense. He has the second-highest defensive (behind Eric Byrnes) and overall position player (Luis Gonzalez) WAR. He stole bases as well and showed off speed with 34 triples. His two Gold Gloves and one All-Star appearance are very impressive as well. I am sure Finley is nervous to lose his spot in this lineup if A.J. Pollock continues to put up numbers like he did last year.
Honorable Mention: AJ Pollock, Chris Young
Justin Upton- Two-time All Star, one Silver Slugger
- GP – 731
- HR – 108
- RBI’s – 363
- SB – 80
- AVG/OBP/SLG – .278/.357/.475
It seemed like fans were getting very impatient with Upton in his final season although he just came off an All-Star and Silver Slugger year. His 17 homers and 67 RBI’s just weren’t enough for first overall pick in his fifth full year. But he was a 20-20 threat, and he reached that eclipse twice. He had a monster season at the age of 23 with 31 homers and 88 RBI.
Honorable Mention: Danny Bautista, David Dellucci, Shawn Green
Jose Valverde- 2007 AS
- Saves – 98
- ERA – 3.29
- OBA – .203
“Papa Grande” was one of the most exciting Diamondbacks. His confidence and swagger was unsurpassable. He didn’t fully take over the closer role until his fifth and final season when he had 47 saves. He had 33 saves two years prior. I think what puts Valverde over the edge to get this recognition is the opponents batting average and amount of saves. The battle between Byung-Hyun Kim and Jose Valverde is the tightest battle in this lineup. Valverde is the saves leader in the franchise, and Kim has the fourth-most with 70. The one knock on Valverde and Kim was their control because they both walk tons of batters. Kim’s walks per inning was nearly .5, and Valverde’s was .42. With Kim and Valverde at the same mark of.203 for OBA, I give Valverde the edge with more saves and a better walk ratio.
Honorable Mention: Byung-Hyun Kim, Brad Ziegler, JJ Putz
The Batting Order
2. Steve Finley
3. Paul Goldschmidt
4. Luis Gonzalez
5. Justin Upton
6. Matt Williams
7. Miguel Montero
8. Jay Bell
9. Randy Johnson/Jose Valverde