Who takes over in left field for the Arizona Diamondbacks?

With Lourdes Gurriel Jr. likely departing in free agency, who takes over in left field for the Arizona Diamondbacks next season?

World Series - Texas Rangers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Three
World Series - Texas Rangers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Three / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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Free Agents

The Diamondbacks could lean into their outfield's defensive ability by looking into the free-agent market. Adam Duvall is looking to continue being both a productive hitter and a great corner outfielder in 2024. Duvall bated .247/.303/.531. The slugger has always been one to hit a ton of home runs but never hit for a great average or walked enough for a strong OBP. Last year, he had just a 6.2% walk rate and 31.2% strikeout rate but went yard 21 times with a .284 isolated slugging percentage. Duvall finished the year with a 116 wRC+.

Duvall mostly played center field for Boston, but his work in left field is where he plays best. He has +56 defensive runs saved and +22 outs above average in left throughout his career. Duvall can still cover ground and is an above-average runner with a 27.6 feet/second sprint speed. His arm is also strong and was in the 76th percentile of average outfield throw velocity.

Jason Heyward would be a potential platoon option to go after. After years of struggling with the Chicago Cubs, Heyward signed a one-year deal with the LA Dodgers and had his best season since 2015. In 377 plate appearances, Heyward batted .269/.340/.473 with a .348 wOBA and 121 wRC+. Heyward's .204 isolated slugging percentage was his best rate since 2012. He also only had a 17% strikeout rate and a 9% walk rate. The only thing is he may need a platoon partner. Of Heyward's 377 trips to the plate, just 28 were against lefties. 

Heyward would definitely add another Gold Glove-caliber outfielder to the mix. One thing that has stayed constant throughout the years is his right field defense. Heyward had +5 DRS and +5 OAA in just 624 innings out in right. Heyward still has one of the strongest arms in baseball and was in the 87th percentile of outfield throw velocity. Plus, he had about an average 27.1 feet/second sprint speed.

Aaron Hicks represents another potential corner outfield option. After getting released from the NY Yankees and signing with the Baltimore Orioles, Hicks rediscovered himself and batted .275/.381/.425. Hicks hit for below-average power with a .150 isolated slugging percentage, but he struck out at just a 20.8% rate and combated that with a strong 14.8% walk rate. All told Hicks had a 129 wRC+ in Baltimore.

The only thing is Hicks' defense is not what it once was. He had -8 DRS and -1 OAA in the outfield. -4 of those runs came in center field, and his left field defense was nothing special either, with -3 DRS and -2 OAA. He was slightly better in right field, with -1 DRS and zero OAA, albeit in just 123.1 innings. Hicks is still about an average runner with a 27.3 feet/second sprint speed and still has an absolute cannon, averaging 93 MPH on his outfield throws.

If the Diamondbacks really, and I mean really, wanted to lean into their outfield defense, they could always kick the tires on a center field option and move them to one of the corners or move Alek Thomas to a corner. Kevin Kiermaier, Harrison Bader, and Michael A. Taylor are fantastic defenders but are regulars based on their outfield defense, specifically in center field. Of course, the D-Backs could get crazy with it and go after Cody Bellinger, which would be a massive roster reinforcement.