2011 MLB Predictions - Team Predictions: Arizona Diamondbacks Lineup
2010 Season Recap
The Arizona Diamondbacks 2011 MLB Season couldn't be any worse than their 2010 season, could it? See where they stack up in the National League West in my predictions for the 2011 MLB Season - National League.
The 2010 MLB Season marked the second consecutive year the Arizona Diamondbacks finished with a losing record (65-97) and in last place in the National League (NL) West.
The team's slow start resulted in manager AJ Hinch and general manager Josh Byrnes losing their jobs midway through the season.
Hinch was replaced by the legendary Kirk Gibson while Jerry Dipoto filled in for Byrnes on an interim basis before Kevin Towers was hired in the off-season.
To make matters worse, the 2010 Arizona Diamondbacks set the all-time MLB Team Record for strikeouts by a hitters with 1,529 with Adam LaRoche (172) and Mark Reynolds (211) both leading the charge.
LaRoche was not resigned and Reynolds was traded to the Baltimore Orioles during the offseason. The Diamondbacks also made various moves for the 2011 MLB Season to improve their bullpen's league worst 5.47 ERA, including the signing of veteran closer JJ Putz.
After trading tenured veterans and fan favorites, Chad Qualls, Dan Haren and Reynolds, along with hiring Gibson and Towers, the 2011 MLB Season is certainly a new beginning for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Here are the 2011 Arizona Diamondbacks Predictions:
Lineup Stat Key:
GP: Games Played
AVG: Batting Average
R: Runs Scored
HR: Home Runs
RBI: Runs Batted In
SB: Stolen Bases
OBP: On Base Percentage
2011 Arizona Diamondbacks Lineup
1) Chris Young - CF
Chris Young was one of the few bright spots in the Arizona Diamondbacks season. Young set career highs in SB (28), R (94), RBI (91) and AVG (.257) while surpassing 25 HR for the first time since his 2007 rookie season. Entering the prime of his career, expect both his SB and R to increase if he bats leadoff in 2011, while the RBI totals might tail off.
GP: 158 AVG: .260 R: 105 HR: 28 RBI: 75 SB: 34
2) Stephen Drew - SS
Stephen Drew had perhaps the best season of his career in 2010, although there is still room for improvement. His 10 SB and 62 BB were both career highs, while his 15 HR, 61 RBI and .278 AVG failed to match his impressive 2008 stats. If his best OBP (.352) continues to rise, Drew should fit in nicely batting second in the Diamondacks lineup.
GP: 156 AVG: .280 R: 90 HR: 17 RBI: 70 SB: 8
3) Kelly Johnson - 2B
Kelly Johnson had the best year of his career in almost every statistical category, including R (93), HR (26), SB (13) and RBI (71), after coming to the Arizona Diamondbacks from the Atlanta Braves. Chase Field (4th best hitters park) probably didn't hurt matters and you can expect much of the same with Johnson in the prime of his career batting third in the lineup.
GP: 160 AVG: .280 R: 85 HR: 24 RBI: 88 SB: 10
Justin Upton - Right Field
4) Justin Upton - RF
Justin Upton had a disappointing, 2010 MLB Season, with every major stat besides strikeouts (152) lower than his 2009 performance. At 23 years old, Upton is already the face of the franchise after the trades of both Haren and Mark Reynolds. The Diamondbacks will need a major rebound from their RF for any chance to succeed in the 2011 MLB Season.
GP: 140 AVG: .285 R: 90 HR: 24 RBI: 96 SB: 22
5) Miguel Montero - C
Miguel Montero played in only 85 games in 2010, thanks in large part to a major knee injury suffered in early April. With Chris Snyder now on the Pittsburgh Pirates, Montero should see a significant increase in ABs in the 2011 MLB Season and plenty of RBI opportunities batting fifth.
GP: 130 AVG: .275 R: 58 HR: 22 RBI: 70 SB: 1
6) Melvin Mora - 3B
Melvin Mora joined the Arizona Diamondbacks in the off-season from the Colorado Rockies where he was largely a platoon player in the 2010 season. Mora will be the team's primary third basemen and, if healthy, could see close to 200 more ABs in the 2011 MLB Season. At 39 years old, Mora is unlikely to have a breakout season, but he should offer solid contributions across the board.
GP: 130 AVG: .288 R: 55 HR: 10 RBI: 60 SB: 3
2011 MLB Season Predictions
- 2011 MLB Predictions - American League
The 2011 MLB Season is upon us. How will your team do? Who will win in the AL? Find out in my 2011 MLB Predictions - American League.
- 2011 MLB Predictions - National League
Who will win in the NL in the 2011 MLB Season? Does your favorite baseball team have what it takes to go all the way? Find out in these 2011 MLB Season Predictions - National League.
7) Brandon Allen - 1B
Brandon Allen should become the starting first baseman in spring training. 2011 isn't expected to be a competitive season for the Diamondbacks and it is likely the team will give Allen every opportunity to win the job and the majority of ABs at the position.
GP: 115 AVG: .255 R: 44 HR: 13 RBI: 55 SB: 5
8) Gerardo Parra - LF
Gerrardo Parra should face RHP throughout the season while making a majority of his starts in left field. An inability to reach base will hamper his SB and R opportunities.
GP: 130 AVG: .272 R: 55 HR: 5 RBI: 40 SB: 6
Brandon Allen - First Base
2011 Arizona Diamondbacks Bench
Tony Abreu - SS/INF
Tony Abreu will spell Stephen Drew at SS from time to time throughout the season while providing infield depth and pinch-hitting opportunities late in games.
Henry Blanco - C
Henry Blanco is a long-time veteran of the NL and should see one to two starts a week. Depending on Gibson's managing style, Blanco could be brought in late in games as a defensive replacement.
Willie Bloomquist - OF
Willie Bloomquist can play both corner outfield positions and could see some time in the starting lineup, replacing Parra against LHP and he adds a veteran presence to the outfield.
Geoff Blum - 3B/1B
Geoff Blum saw time as a starter and bench player for the Houston Astros the past three seasons. He should bring a veteran presence to the dugout and the field, sparingly.
Cole Gillespie - OF
Cole Gillespie started 26 games in the outfield for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010, including games at each position in the outfield. He should see starts against LHP in left field from time to time.
Xavier Nady - 1B/OF
Xavier Nady should see the most playing time off the Diamondbacks bench, spot starting for Brandon Allen at 1B as well as Parra and Upton in the corner outfield positions.
Ryan Roberts - 2B/INF
Ryan Roberts played in 110 games for the Diamondbacks in 2009, but he is unlikely to play in half that amount of games in 2011 based off of the success of Kelly Johnson last season. Don't expect many starts for Roberts, barring injury.
How do you think the Arizona Diamondbacks will do in the 2011 MLB Season? Will Justin Upton join other elite baseball players? Can Chris Young join the 30/30 club? Share your comments below: