© Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

2017 Arizona Diamondbacks Team Outlook

Senior Fantasy Baseball Expert Shawn Childs previews Paul Goldschmidt and the 2017 Arizona Diamondbacks!

Arizona Diamondbacks

For the second time in three seasons, the Diamondbacks won fewer than 70 games. They allowed 890 runs, which was 177 more than 2015. Arizona finished last in the National League in ERA (5.09) while also having one the worst bullpen in ERAs (4.94 – 27th) in the majors. Their relievers had 23 wins, 24 losses, and 31 saves. On the offensive side, they score 32 more runs than 2015 (720) and 137 more than 2014 (615). The Diamondbacks were 5th in the NL in runs scored (752) and 7th in home runs (190).

In the offseason, Arizona lost C Welington Castillo, OF Rickie Weeks, and RP Daniel Hudson to free agency. The acquired SP Taijuan Walker and SS Ketel Marte from the Mariners from the Mariners for SS Jean Segura, OF Mitch Haniger, and RP Zac Curtis. The Diamondbacks signed C Chris Iannetta, IF Daniel Descalso, and RP Fernando Rodney. They made two minor deals with the Pirates and Royals resulting in the loss of IF Phil Gosselin and OF Pete O’Brien. OF Jeremy Hazelbaker was claimed off waivers.

Arizona will be anchored again on offense by 1B Paul Goldschmidt. They have developing talent at 2B (Brandon Drury), 3B (Jake Lamb), and LF (Yasmany Tomas). The key to 2017 will be a healthy season from OF A.J. Pollock and OF David Peralta. If healthy, this offense should rank in the top third in the league in runs scored.

The starting rotation isn’t dead in the water, but it needs SP Zack Greinke to pitch like an ace plus their young pitchers need to pitch at a high level. They have talent at four other spots in the rotation with youth being the biggest hurdle.

Fernando Rodney is expected to be the closer followed by some questionable options in the bullpen. It would take a lot for this bullpen to rank in the top half of league.

The Diamondbacks have a chance to make a run at .500 with more upside if their pitching staff improves greatly.

1. OF A.J. Pollock

2016 was a lost season for Pollock. He suffered a broken right elbow at the end of spring training that required surgery, which crushed Fantasy owners due to his high draft slot. He returned to the majors in late August, but a groin injury derailed his September (missed the last three weeks of the season). Here’s a look at his 2016 profiles: Pollock finished 2015 as the most valuable outfielder in Roto Leagues. A.J. set career highs in almost offensive categories. His K rate (13.2) was a career best with growth in his walk rate (7.9). In comparison to 2014, Pollock maintained a high CTBA (.369) with some regression in his AVH (1.578). His game reached a higher level over the last three months of the season (.335 with 62 runs, 11 HRs, 41 RBI, and 23 SBs in 316 at bats). His bat had plus success against RH (.312 with 15 HRs and 58 RBI in 474 at bats) and LH (.326 with five HRs and 18 RBI in 135 at bats) pitching. His HR/FB rate (13.2) was a career high with two straight years of improvement. A.J. tends to be a ground ball hitter (50.3) with a fading FB rate (29.0). 2015 was by far Pollock's best season at any level in professional baseball. His success in speed was supported by his minor-league resume (67 SBs in 1285 at bats). With a short resume of success, A.J. could be overvalued in 2016. The Diamondbacks have talent behind in the starting lineup so his runs should continue to be a strength and I expect him to run. His biggest area of regression will come in HRs and RBI due to his slot in the batting order and GB swing path. .300+ hitter with a chance at 100+ runs, mid-teens in HRs, 60+ RBI, and 30+ SBs. His projections for 2016 should apply for 2017. He’s being drafted as the 9th outfielder with an ADP of 35 in 15 team leagues. For me, he's overpriced.

2. 2B Brandon Drury

Drury worked his way into starting at bats in May (.283 with four HRs and eight RBI over 106 at bats) after playing well in April (.294 with four HRs and 10 RBI over 68 at bats). He wandered his way through the next three months (.238 with two HRs and 16 RBI over 189 at bats) as a part time player. The Diamondbacks gave him another opportunity to start in September, and he responded with an explosive showing (.357 with 22 runs, six HRs, and 19 RBI over 98 at bats). Brandon has almost equal success against RH (.283) and LH (.280) pitching. His K rate (20.0) came in at about league average (20.4) with a below par walk rate (6.2). Over seven seasons in the minors, Drury hit .285 with 69 HRs, 363 RBI, and 17 SBs over 2501 at bats. He had a lower K rate (15.5) in the minors with almost the same walk rate (6.0) as he did to start his career in the majors. His AVH (1.623) shows more upside in the minors, so 25+ HRs look to be on the horizon. I expected his batting average to be an asset based on his history with his contact batting average (.360 in 2016). His swing path did deliver a high volume of ground balls (50.1) to start his major-league career. His HR/FB rate (14.8) should have growth with more experience in the majors. Solid .280+ hitter with a 20/80 skill set. His approach isn’t ideal to bat second, but the Diamondbacks don’t have many options better than him. If he hits in front of Goldschmidt for the whole year, I expect 90+ runs with minimal value in steals.

3. 1B Paul Goldschmidt

Paul lost his power stroke in 2016 leading to a fewer HRs (24) and RBI (95) than expected. He had almost the same RBI chances (426) as 2015 (433), but his RBI rate (17) slid back to a career low while remaining in a favorable area. For the third straight year, Goldschmidt had a CTBA (.401) over .400. His K rate (21.3) was slightly better than his career average (22.0) for the second straight year. He continues to have an elite walk rate (15.6). Paul offset his step back in HRs by running more (32 SBs on 37 attempts). This is a huge edge for his position. His swing was very good against lefties (.352 with six HRs and 24 RBI over 125 at bats). Goldschmidt hit .297 before and after the All-Star break with no defining month in HRs (season high in April – six HRs and 16 RBI). The fade in power was tied to a weaker swing path leading to a career low FB rate (28.8 – 33.6 in his career). His HR/FB rate (19.0) has been in a tight range over the last four seasons (2013 – 22.5, 2014 – 19.4, and 2015 – 22.3). Pure stud with expected rebound in power in 2017. A healthy A.J. Pollock will help his RBI chances as well. One of the better floors in the game – .300 with 100+ runs, 35+ HRs, 110+ RBI, and 20+ SBs.

4. 3B Jake Lamb

Lamb had a nice step forward in 2016. He had a big move in his AVH (2.046) leading to his spike in HRs (29). His minor-league resume supports his success in HRs while also offering more upside in his CTBA (.352 in the majors in 2016 – .443 in the minors in 2014 and .434 in 2013). His one glaring negative is his lack of success against lefties (.164 with four HRs and 16 RBI over 110 at bats). With continued failure, Jake could turn into a platoon hitter. His K rate (25.9) does invite in batting average risk with a downturn in his CTBA. I like his growth in his walk rate (10.8). Lamb played extremely well over the first three months of the season (.288 with 17 HRs, 55 RBI, and three SBs over 260 at bats) highlight by a plus June (.297 with nine HRs and 27 RBI over 91 at bats). Arizona gave him starting at bats over the last two months of the year, which led to two poor months in batting average (August –  .182 and September – .198). His HR/FB rate (21.2) moved into an elite area. Over four seasons in the minors, Jake hit .321 with 37 HRs, 195 RBI, and 10 SBs over 931 at bats. Last year wasn’t a fluke, and I expect his batting average to move into the neutral area in 2017. Let’s set the bat at 25/90 while understanding hitting behind Goldschmidt does create a huge number of RBI chances. Lamb needs to improve vs. lefties.

5. OF Yasmany Tomas

One of the better high stakes baseball owners in the country identified Tomas a breakout power hitter in 2016. Yasmany responded with a huge step forward in his HRs (31) with growth in his AVH (1.868). This number was supported by his success in Cuba in 2012 (1.951) and 2013 (1.863). Tomas has a high K rate (24.2) with improvement from 2015 (25.8) while having a low walk rate (5.5). His best value came against LH pitching (.364 with 11 HRs and 24 RBI over 129 at bats - .690 SLG). Yasmany only hit .242 vs. righties with 20 HRs and 59 RBI over 401 at bats. Over the last four months of the season, he hit .274 with 25 HRs and 65 RBI. His best month in power came in August (.232 with 10 HRs and 20 RBI over 82 at bats). Tomas improved his swing path leading to fewer ground balls (47.6 percent – 54.9 in 2015). His HR/FB rate (25.0) was nearly double his rookie season (13.0). On the rise with a free swing approach. His CTBA (.365) has been in a tight area over the last five years. Next step: full time at bats leading to an 80/40/90 type season with a neutral batting average. I’d like to see him become a better run producer while hitting a few more fly balls.

© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

6. OF David Peralta

After a flat April (.255 with two HRs and nine RBI over 102 at bats), Peralta only had 69 at bats over the last five months of the season. He battled a right wrist injury in May leading to a DL stint followed by a back issue in June and another trip to the DL. His wrist injury reemerged in August leading to surgery. Headed into 2016, his outlook looked like this: Peralta had short at bats in April (44) of 2015. The Diamondbacks gave him more playing over the last five months of the year, but he never had a full-time job. His best success came in July and August (.354 with eight HRs, 39 RBI, and one SB in 175 at bats). He hit .337 in September with short production (three HRs and seven RBI). David had plus success against righties (.325 with 16 HRs and 64 RBI in 382 at bats). Arizona hit .250 vs. LH pitching with one HR and 14 RBI in 80 at bats. His walk rate (8.5) was much higher than his rookie seasons (4.6) with decline in his K rate (20.7). Over two seasons in the minors, Peralta hit .322 with 14 HRs, 88 RBI, and three SBs in 410 at bats. His HR/FB rate (17.7) gained 8.1 percentage points from 2014. His swing delivers a high volume of ground balls (52.1) with a decline in his FB rate (26.6). David had growth in his AVH (1.674) with a spike in his contact batting average (.406). Interesting player in 2016 with a developing skill set and some clutch ability. The trick to his upside is his possible playing time and upside against lefties. His swing path will limit a spike in power and his K rate is a bit high to maintain a .300+ batting average with a drop in his contact batting average. With 500 at bats, David should be in line for a .280/80/20/80/10 type season. The change in roster headed into 2017 does point to a better chance at full time at bats. The Diamondbacks expected him to be healthy at the start of spring training.

7. SS Chris Owings

After three seasons in the majors, Owings has yet to live up to his minor-league resume (.294 with 48 HRs, 230 RBI, and 55 SBs over 2038 at bats). Even with short HRs (6, 4, and 5) over his three years in the majors, his AVH (1.504) isn’t that far off his 2012 year in the minors when he posted an AVH of 1.558. Chris had growth in his K rate (18.7) and his RBI rate (17). He takes minimal walks (4.3 percent). Over his first 163 at bats in the majors last year, he hit .288 with two HRs, 17 RBI, and seven SBs. Owings suffered foot injury in June (plantar fasciitis) leading to a DL stint and a lost opportunity for starting at bats. In June and July, he hit .178 over 45 at bats with no HRs, five RBI, and two SBs. Arizona moved him back in the starting lineup over the last two months of the season (.288 with three HRs, 27 RBI, and 12 SBs over 229 at bats). He had more success against lefties (.306 with two HRs and 15 RBI over 108 at bats). His HR/FB rate (5.3) remains in a weak area while his swing path delivered too many fly balls (49.7). I’m not sure he’ll start at short with Ketel Marte added to the roster, but his overall game has more upside. It wouldn’t surprise me if he hit 15 HRs if given 550 at bats while offer value in speed as well. Solid backend flier with his batting average expected to be an edge with a baseline of a 10/20 skill set. Chris could be a super utility player in 2017 for Arizona.

8. C Chris Hermann

Over eight seasons in the minors, Hermann hit .262 with 35 HRs, 240 RBI, and 27 SBs over 2065 at bats. His K rate (17.0) was above the league average while showing the ability to take a walk (11.3 percent). As a backup player in 2016 with Arizona, Chris flashed some upside in May (.377 with three HRs and 14 RBI over 53 at bats). He suffered a hamstring injury in July, which led to a DL stint. When he returned to the roster in September, Hermann broke two bones in his left hand after four days of action. He hit .268 against RH pitching with five HRs and 26 RBI over 127 at bats. His swing wasn’t dead against lefties in his limited at bats (21 – .381 with a HR and two RBI while taking five walks). Chris should be in the lineup on most days against RH pitching, which gives him a chance at 400+ at bats. His AVH (1.738) is strong enough to deliver double-digit home runs. Decent flier as a C2 in deep leagues.

BN: C Chris Iannetta

Chris has a fading CTBA (.292) while delivering a weak season in his RBI rate (10). Iannetta continues to have a high walk rate (11.2). His K rate (24.6) has been above his career average (23.3) in each of the last five seasons. His swing had losing value against righties (.185 with four HRs and 11 RBI over 178 at bats). The Mariners gave him 205 at bats over the first half of 2016, but he only hit .224 with seven HRs and 20 RBI. Pretty much a platoon hitter with minimal chances at bats against righties. Weak catching option in all formats.

BN: SS Ketel Marte

Marte will compete for the starting shortstop job in the Diamondbacks this year. Over six seasons in the minors, Ketel hit .289 with 11 HRs, 170 RBI, and 102 SBs over 1777 at bats. His walk rate (5.7) was below par with a low K rate (12.1) in the minors. In his two seasons with the Mariners, he hit .267 with three HRs, 50 RBI, and 19 SBs over 656 at bats. He did strike out more (18.0 percent in 2016) with a shallow walk rate (3.9) in the majors. Marte suffered a thumb injury in May leading to a DL stint. Seattle placed him on the DL again in July with due to a battle with mono. Judy type hitter with enough speed to steal 30+ bases. His batting average should come in above the league average.

Bench Options

IF Daniel Descalso – Over seven seasons in the majors, Daniel hit .242 with 23 HRs, 171 RBI, and 20 SBs over 1658 at bats. Last year he set a career high in HRs (8) with growth in his walk rate (11.8). Descalso will be the utility infielder for the Diamondbacks in 2017.

SS Nick Ahmed – In 2016, Nick earned a starting job out of spring training. Over 82 at bats in April, he hit .183 with three HRs and eight RBI to push his way toward the bench. With semi starting at bats over the next two months, Ahmed hit .256 with one HRs, 11 RBI, and three SBs over 160 at bats. His season ended in July due to a hip injury that required surgery. Nice glove with a low upside bat.

OF Jeremy Hazelbaker – After spending eight seasons in the minors (.265 with 82 HRs, 370 RBI, and 241 SBs over 2774 at bats), Hazelbaker finally had his chance in the majors at age 28. Over 200 at bats, he hit .235 with 12 HRs, 28 RBI, and five SBs. Jeremy struck out 28.6 percent of the time with a league average walk rate (8.0). He’ll compete for a backup outfield job in 2017.

OF Socrates Brito – Over seven years in the minors, Brito hit .288 with 33 HRs, 287 RBI, and 125 SBs over 2447 at bats. His K rate (19.8) came in at the league average with below par walk rate (6.0). In 2016, he broke a toe in his right foot leading to a trip to the DL. Over the winter, Socrates broke a bone in his right hand that required surgery. He’s expected to be ready for spring training. Over 128 at bats in the majors, Brito hit .211 with four HRs, 12 RBI, and three SBs. Getting closer to being part of the major-league team.

1. SP Zack Greinke

The Diamondbacks didn’t to feel good about their $205 million investment after Greinke had his worst season in ERA (4.37) since 2005 (5.80). His walk rate (2.3) was just below his career average, but a step below his elite success in 2015 (1.5). He struggled with HRs (23 over 158.1 innings) with regression in his K rate (7.6). Zack suffered an oblique injury in late June, which led to almost six weeks on the DL. Late in the season, he had a minor right shoulder issue. Over his first 11 starts, he had a 4.71 ERA with 60 Ks 70.2 over 70.2 innings. Greinke rebounded with a strong June (4-0 with a 1.63 ERA and 31 Ks in 38.2 innings). Over his last nine starts of the season, he had a 6.02 ERA. He allowed seven HRs over 22.2 innings in September while having two disaster outing during his failed two months (8/14 – nine runs and 13 base runners over 1.2 innings and 9/5 – eight runs, nine base runners, and five HRs over 4.2 innings). His AFB (92.3) was in range of his last four seasons, but it lost its value in the strike zone (four-seam – .322 BAA and sinker – .396 BAA and .625 SLG). His secondary stuff remained in a winning area (changeup – .238 BAA, curveball – .222, and slider – .180 BAA). With a 155-100 career record in the majors with a 3.42 ERA, a Fantasy owner should give him a pass in 2016. More of an SP2 than an ace due to lower upside in Ks. Possible 15 wins with a sub 3.50 ERA and 200 Ks.

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

2. SP Taijuan Walker

The Mariners bailed on Walker after two subpar seasons in the majors. Over 65 games in the majors, Taijuan has 22-22 record with a 4.18 ERA and 322 Ks over 357 innings. His walk rate (2.5) came in a favorable area with a step down from 2014 (2.1). His K rate (8.0) continues to point to upside. Homeruns (1.4 per nine in his career) have led to disaster downside. Taijuan did battle an ankle issue, which resulted in surgery in October. Walker was exceptional over his six starts (1.97 ERA and 29 Ks over 32 innings) before losing his rhythm in his next five games (17 runs and 41 base runners over 27.1 innings). His failure was due to an increased walk rate (4.0) and struggles with HRs (9). He rebounded in his next four starts (1.59 ERA with 23 Ks over 22.2 innings). After a bad start (five runs, six base runners, and three HRs over four innings), Taijuan was placed on the DL with his ankle/foot injury. When he returned, his arm had losing value in his next four outings (18 runs and 29 base runners over 17.2 innings). Walker at least had a pulse over his last five starts (2.94 ERA and 30 Ks over 30.2 innings) despite walking 13 batters and allowing four home runs. His AFB (94.6) offers upside with batters hitting .276 against his four-seam fastball with 16 HRs allowed. He had success with his curveball (.212 BAA) and split-finger fastball (.229). Unfortunately, he made too many mistakes with his split (nine HRs over 131 at bats). His ride had plenty of peaks and valleys in 2016 while much of his struggles can be attributed to his ankle issue. The move to the NL should treat him well. On the verge of being a front-line starter, but he needs to stay healthy. I could see him posting a sub 3.00 ERA with 200+ Ks. He will be a target if his ADP (231) stays in a favorable area. I’d prefer him as SP4 in 15 team leagues.

3. SP Shelby Miller

For the life of me, I can’t understand how this (2013 to 2015 – 3.27 ERA over 561.2 innings) turns in his putrid 2016 season (6.15 ERA). Over the last two seasons, Shelby has 9-29 record. His walk rate (3.7) was the worst of his career while not being far off his major-league resume (3.3). His K rate (6.2) matched his career low. Early in the year, Miller was scraping his knuckles on the ground after throwing a pitch. This led to a finger injury and a trip to the DL in May. He had no answer for lefties (.329 and .541 SLG) with losing value against RH batters (.285). Over 19.2 innings in April, Shelby allowed six HRs leading to an 8.69 ERA. After 14 starts, he had 6.79 ERA and a ticket back to AAA. His stuff looked fine in the minors over ten starts (7-1 with a 3.30 ERA and 74 Ks in 62.2 innings) while showcasing excellent command (1.6 walks per nine). Over his last six starts in the majors, Miller had a 3.98 ERA with 20 Ks over 31.2 innings. He went 0-8 at home with a 7.39 ERA. His AFB (94.1) was one mph lower than 2015 (95.1). Shelby has a long enough resume in the majors to expect a bounce back season. I fully expect an ERA under 3.50 with a chance at 175 Ks if he throws 200+ innings. His failure was mental, which led to lost confidence.

4. SP Robbie Ray

Ray packed a plus fastball (95.3) in 2016, which made its second straight season of improvement (2014 – 92.4 and 2015 – 94.2). The added life led to batters hitting .230 against his four-seamer and a career high K rate (11.3). Robbie still walks too many batters (3.7 per nine) while being too easy to hit (.267). His slider (.209 BAA) graded as plus pitch as well as his curveball (.115 BAA). Ray has failure risk due to his sinker (.383 BAA and .575 SLG) while his changeup (.472 BAA and .889 BAA) isn’t where it needs to be. In 2015 with less velocity, his sinker (.232 BAA) was a winning pitch. Robbie had an ERA over 4.35 in every month except August (2.70 ERA with 38 Ks over 30 innings). His HR/FB rate (15.5) is much too high. Upside arm with improving K ability, but he needs better command of strikes and pitches within the strike zone. With a 3.0 walk rate and the same K rate, Ray could post a sub 3.00 ERA. Player of interest at the right price point – ADP of 218. If the Diamondbacks have a winning attitude in 2017, Robbie will be much improved.

5. SP Archie Bradley

Bradley threw the ball well at AAA (5-1 with a 1.99 ERA and 47 Ks over 40.2 innings) in 2016, but he still walked too many batters (18 – 4.0 per nine). His improvement led to a call up to the majors where he delivered a poor season (5.02 ERA and 1.560 WHIP) while showing glimpses of star ability. With Arizona, Archie issued 4.3 walks per nine with batters hitting .276 against him. He had success vs. righties (.235), but Bradley had no answer for LH batters (.318 with 10 HRs allowed over 277 at bats – .523 SLG) with a poor strikeout to walk ratio (1.39). After struggling over his first three starts in the majors (6.11 ERA), Archie was serviceable in June and July (3.64 ERA) while still having WHIP risk (1.399). His arm had no value over the last two months of the season (6.18 ERA with 64 Ks over 59.2 innings). His AFB (93.4) was expected to have more velocity. Bradley throws a plus curveball (.215 BAA) and developing changeup (.237 BAA) while batters crushed his fastball (four-seam – .312 BAA and .532 SLG and sinker – .394). Over six seasons in the minors, he had a 35-19 record with 472 Ks over 443 innings. Strikeout ability for sure, but his lack of command with the fastball invites to much disaster risk. Losing bet until he figures out lefties and improves his first strike rate (57.2). I’ll pass and it wouldn’t surprise to see him get beat by Patrick Corbin for the 5th starting job.

6. SP Patrick Corbin

Over the first five months of the season, Corbin offered losing value in every month (April – 4.88 ERA, May – 5.03 ERA, June – 5.04 ERA, July – 6.30 ERA, and August – 7.80 ERA). The Diamondbacks finally demoted him to the bullpen in September where Patrick saw the light (two runs and eight hits allowed over 15 innings with three walks and 18 Ks). On the year, he had success against lefties (.241) while losing all confidence against RH batters (.300 with 18 HRs allowed over 474 innings). He allowed 47 of his 66 walks to righties. Corbin did induce more ground balls (53.8 percent) with a huge HR/FB rate (18.3). His AFB (92.7) was slightly below his previous two seasons (2014 – 93.0 and 2015 – 92.9). His slider (.170 BAA) remains a plus pitch. Batter crushed every other offering (four-seam – .313, sinker – .307, and changeup – .379). Much of his regression can be tied to his inability to throw strikes (3.8 walk rate – 2.3 in his 2013 season). Not a long resume of success, but Corbin did have a 3.47 ERA over 48 starts in 2013 and 2015 (missed 2014 due to TJ surgery). Pretty much a freebie on draft day (ADP of 476 in the early draft season in 15 team leagues). Viable flier and I expect him to show improvement this spring. My only fear is that his left arm in the bullpen may become too viable.

7. SP Anthony Banda

Over five seasons in the minors, Banda has 32-27 record with a 3.46 ERA and 509 Ks over 522.2 innings. In his first season at AAA, he went 4-4 with a 3.67 ERA and 68 Ks in 73.2 innings. His walk rate (3.3) is below major league expected value with a playable K rate (8.8). He throws a low 90s fastball with more upside when he gets stronger. His curveball could develop as plus pitch while his changeup needs more consistency. Anthony will start the year in AAA, and he should make his major-league debut in 2017. His lack of command with lead to some disaster ability early in his career.

CL Fernando Rodney

For 30 appearances, Rodney was one of the better relievers in baseball. He converted all 17 save chances with the Padres while allowing only one runs and 13 hits over his first 30.2 innings. From July 4th to August 5th, he allowed 11 runs and 24 base runners over 13.1 innings. When given a chance to close for the Marlins in August, Fernando allowed one run over 12 innings with eight save conversions. His arm lost value again in September (11.57 ERA and 2.571 WHIP) while pitching as a setup man. In Miami, Rodney had a 5.89 ERA and 1.800 WHIP. I don’t know if it was lack of focus, but his first pitch rate was 52.6 percent with the Marlins compared to 64.5 percent in San Diego. Fernando had an edge over RH batters (.215) with reasonable success against lefties (.241). His AVB (96.1) remains an area of strength even at the age of 39. He throws a plus changeup (.165 BAA) as his out pitch. Not the best option for save for a Fantasy owner, but Rodney does still have a live fastball, one edge pitch (changeup), and 261 saves on his resume. The key to him having success is his walk rate (4.4 in his career, 6.1 in Miami, and 3.8 in San Diego). Backend stop gap for saves, but insurance almost looks like a must.

Steve Mitchell / USA TODAY Sports

RP Jake Barrett

Over five seasons in the minors, Barrett has a 3.31 ERA with 185 Ks and 79 saves over 187.2 innings. His walk rate (3.4) in the minors has been more of an issue at AAA (4.6) leading to a drop in Ks (7.7). In 2016, Jake pitched just about the whole season in the majors. He walked more batters (4.2 per nine) with some value in his K rate (8.5). He had two poor stretches in 2016 (June 24th to June 26th – five runs and nine base runners over 2.1 innings and July 30th to August 23rd – 12 runs and 24 base runners over 9.1 innings), which hurt his chance at closing for the Diamondbacks. Barrett pitched his best ball of the season in September (no runs and one hit allowed over 9.2 innings with seven Ks and one walk). His AFB (96.0) screams 9th inning. He throws an edge slider (.126 BAA) while trying to develop a split-finger fastball (.444 BAA). Closing resume with command issues pushes him into a setup role again in 2016. If he improves his mechanics, Jake could steal the job from the old man.

RP Silvino Bracho

Over five years in the minors, Bracho has 2.13 ERA with 254 Ks over 182 innings. He’s had an excellent walk rate (1.7) with explosive K rate (12.6) while posting 79 saves. His arm looked close based on his success in the majors in 2015 (two runs allowed over 12.1 innings with four walk and 17 Ks), but he lost his way when given a chance in the majors last year (7.30 ERA, 1.662 WHIP, and seven HRs allowed over 24.2 innings). Silvino walked 3.9 batters per nine with a short K rate (6.2) in the majors in 2016. His AFB (94.0) is a step down from Barrett, but he does have more upside in command. His slider and changeup project as league average pitches with his edge coming in the location of those pitches. If you are looking for a dark horse for saves later in the year, I’d place my bet on Bracho in this bullpen.

References

Baseball America Prospect Handbook. (n.d.).

Baseball-Reference. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.baseball-reference.com/

Brooksbaseball.net. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.brooksbaseball.net/

Fangraphs. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.fangraphs.com/

Roster Resource. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.rosterresource.com/mlb

Rotowire. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.rotowire.com/

RotoWorld. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.rotoworld.com/

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