By Scott Barzilla

Before we start diving into each team we need to go over some ground rules. When you view each team’s table you will notice some players that are no longer with the team. In fact, some players were gone before last season even ended. The goal for this particular episode is to show the players that garnered the most innings at each position for each team. The idea is to look at how each team did last season.

That way, we can look at each position to see what each has done to improve or what they can do to improve. The Diamondbacks were a good team overall defensively, but they have already made some changes. They weren’t good at every position and their moves will hopefully make the difference next season.



Miguel Montero



Montero signed a long-term extension before the 2012 season, so he’s going nowhere.
1B  Paul Goldschmidt



Goldschmidt got off to a slow start, but picked things up down the stretch.
2B  Aaron Hill



Hill has always had a superlative defensive reputation, but 2012 was a renaissance year for him.
3B  Ryan Roberts



Roberts was traded to the Rays before last season’s deadline but still logged the most innings at third.
SS  Willie Bloomquist



Bloomquist was only supposed to hold down the fort for a couple of months, but it turned into four months.
LF  Jason Kubel



Kubel turned in a very good offensive campaign, but is the poster child for adding the DH to the NL.
CF  Chris Young



The Dbacks traded the struggling outfielder to the Athletics this offseason.
RF  Justin Upton



Upton has been rumored to be on the block this winter, so he is a name to watch for this next week



Improvement at short will hopefully offset a step back in the outfield.

Immediately, you notice that Ryan Roberts and Chris Young are bolded and in italics. They were either dealt last season or during this offseason. Both players were positive impact performers, but that is only on the defensive end. Obviously, there is more to consider than just fielding. However, let’s take a look at the Dbacks position by position.


Miguel Montero is one of the top ten catchers in all of baseball when all things are considered. He seemed destined to be a mediocre catcher overall until he turned things around in 2011. Last season he continued that level of production even if his counting numbers weren’t quite as good. He’s not a gifted defender on the same level as Yadier Molina, but every other catcher in the game can say that.

First Base

Paul Goldschmidt is one of those players I can’t help but like. He isn’t superlative in any particular category but he is average or better in all of them. He might be the best base running first baseman, but we are getting ahead of ourselves. Defensively he is closer to average than anything else, but average is okay. As long as you are contributing something to the situation you can be average in a major category.

Second Base

Aaron Hill wasn’t supposed to be this good and that is a bit disconcerting for the future. After all, how can we expect him to reproduce any of these numbers next year. Still, he has a history as a plus defensive player at least, so we can expect him to be better than average. However, regression is the name of the game here.

Third Base

Going from Ryan Roberts to Chris Johnson is a bit puzzling to me. Roberts was struggling some offensively, but there is no way that Kevin Towers can think he made an upgrade here when all was said and done. Furthermore, he gave up more to get Johnson than he got back for Roberts. He says he is looking to upgrade this spot this winter, so it will be interesting to see what he does during the Winter Meetings.


Willie Bloomquist was never supposed to be a regular, so we can forgive the Dbacks woeful production at shortstop. The long-term question is whether Cliff Pennington can ever produce enough at the plate to justify keeping him in the lineup. +9.8 defensive runs is impressive in comparison with the paltry total Bloomquist put up. If that total continues it might be enough to offset the losses from Hill and the outfield.

Left Field

This one still puzzles me. Gerardo Parra was the best defensive left fielder in 2011. He may not have been a gifted offensive player, but he was certainly a middle of the pack one. So, Towers went for a slight offensive upgrade, but went with someone that would be a bottom tier defensive player at best. The end result is that he replaced an above average overall left fielder with an average one.

Center Field

Chris Young was supposed to be the Justin Upton of 2012, but something happened on the way to super stardom. The Dbacks have both Parra and Adam Eaton to take his place, so getting a Cliff Pennington makes a lot of sense given the state of their roster. Parra would likely produce Young’s defensive numbers if given a full season in center. Eaton might produce better offensive numbers, so he appears to be the favorite to take over for now.

Right Field

Justin Upton was the second best player in the National League in 2011. He was the main reason why they took the AL West and given his youth you would have thought they would have done it again. All told, he wasn’t awful but he was disappointing. The Dbacks are considering dealing him if they get the right package in return. He will start getting expensive as he gets into the meat of that long-term extension. If he can find 2011 again they won’t mind, but you can’t afford to pay the 2012 Upton a ton of money.






Scott Barzilla

Scott Barzilla is the editor in chief at He is also the author of four books, including The Hall of Fame Index. The Hall of Fame Index was nominated for the Sporting News Award for statistical innovation in 2011.

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