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Arizona Diamondbacks: Yasmany Tomas makes highlight reel play

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Yasmany Tomas has worked hard on his outfield play recently. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Yasmany Tomas has worked hard on his outfield play recently. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /
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Arizona Diamondbacks slugger Yasmany Tomas has improved defensively in left field this season

Arizona Diamondbacks left fielder Yasmany Tomas is usually not known for solid defense, but made a highlight real play against the Colorado Rockies Friday night at Chase Field.

With one out in the second inning, Rockies catcher Dustin Garneau hit a 0-1, 84 mph slider from Arizona starter Robbie Ray. The ball was hit on a line with authority out to Tomas in left.

Off the bat, the ball was ticketed to go off the wall. Tomas was behind the ball initially. But, the La Habana, Cuba native took an efficient route, stretched out his glove and made the play.

After spending five seasons with Industriales in the Cuban Serie Nacional, Tomas entered his third season with the Diamondbacks in 2017. Heading into the 2015 season, Baseball America ranked Tomas as Arizona’s No. 4 prospect and the organization’s best power hitter.

Run production has not been an issue for Tomas. Last season, “El Tanque” led the majors with seven multi-homer games and collected at least 5 RBI in four different games.

Tomas’ hot bat has carried over to 2017. The left-handed hitter came into Saturday night tied for second in the majors with 10 multi-hit games.

Off to a horrid start in spring training, and at one time, was 1-for-17, Tomas has displayed the kind of power and production the Diamondbacks would need should they make a move toward the National League West Division title. His effort caught the attention of manager Torey Lovullo, who told Venom Strikes the club clearly needs Tomas’ bat.

"(Tomas) has come a long way. In spring training, he was behind because of a long off-season and injuries. We need him to have a very productive bat and be the impact player we think his is."

Offensive prowess coincided with shaky defense in 2016. Tomas’ .966 fielding percentage last season was tied for the lowest in the majors with Angel Pagan of the Giants.

Tomas’ .966 fielding percentage last season was tied for the lowest in the majors with Angel Pagan of the Giants. The 26-year-old committed 7 errors in 131 games started, which tied him with Max Kepler of the Minnesota Twins for the fourth most in baseball.

So far, so good defensively for Tomas this season. In 168.2 innings, Tomas has not committed an error and has converted all 25 of his putout opportunities. Tomas has also done a great job of backing up the centerfielder on balls off the 407′ centerfield wall.

Statcast has never treated Tomas kindly, but Tomas displayed great route efficiency on the Garneau line drive. Tomas compiled a -2.4 dWAR in 2016 and had a negative WAR overall. So far this season, Tomas has been worth 0.3 wins to the Diamondbacks. The dWAR is still in red figures but has improved to -0.3.

Diamondbacks’ outfielders combined for a .974 fielding percentage in 2016, the second-worst in the majors behind the Minnesota Twins. If Tomas continues to limit fielding blunders the whole outfield should perform better.

Statistical Notes:

  • Diamondbacks’ pitchers have recorded 11-plus strikeouts in a franchise-record 6 straight games. Arizona became the first NL team in history to accomplish such a feat. The 2014 Cleveland Indians were the first.
  • Arizona has five hitters in the senior circuit’s top 25 in average and 7 in the top 50, which is one ahead of the Nationals. David Peralta (.333) and Chris Owings (.318) lead the way, followed by Brandon Drury (.316), A.J. Pollock (.311) and Paul Goldschmidt (.310).
  • Coming into Sunday’s game, the pitching staff had punched out 235, which was the most in the majors. Arizona pitchers’ 51 strikeouts against the Padres set a single series franchise record.
  • The Diamondbacks came into Sunday ranked first in the majors in stolen bases with 32. The team’s 12 stolen bases against the Padres were the second most in a single series. The 2016 club recorded 13 SB in Aug. 2016 against the Mets.
  • Paul Goldschmidt’s bat has come to life on the homestand. The first baseman came into Sunday13-for-28 (.468) with 3 2B, 2 HR and 13 RBI.

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Following Friday’s loss to the Rockies, the Diamondbacks were 11-4 in their last 15 home games against N.L. West opponents. Arizona looked to even up the series with the Rockies and move back into first place in the division.

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