2017 Fantasy Recap: Arizona Diamondbacks
The Arizona Diamondbacks went 11-8 against the Los Angeles Dodgers this season, the best record of any team. They led the majors in slugging percentage pct (.484), HRs (47), and extra-base hits (109) against pitches thrown 95 MPH or faster.
However, none of that meant a thing when they played Los Angeles in the National League Division Series, after the Dodgers rudely dismissed the Diamondbacks via a three-game sweep.
When the pain of the way it ended finally fades, Arizona will realize just how successful their season was. They literally flipped their record, from 69-93 in 2016 to 93-69 this year, third-best in the National League. Outscored by 138 runs in 2016, Arizona outscored opponents by 153 this year. Manager Torey Lovullo and general manager Mike Hazen both said they are still processing the previous season but there also won’t be time to waste before addressing the 2018 roster.
Zack Greinke, in the second season of a six-year, $206.5 million contract he signed with the previous regime, went 17-7 with a 3.20 ERA but faded down the stretch. He was yanked in the fourth inning of the wild-card win over the Rockies, replaced by Robbie Ray, thereby ruining plans to start Ray in Game 1 against the Dodgers. He made it through five innings in the NLDS but racked up 105 pitches and walked a season-high five hitters. However, his enormous contract almost certainly means he isn’t going anywhere.
Ray had a breakout season and stands as one of the biggest hopes for the future. The 25-year-old left-hander went 15-5 with a 2.89 ERA and 218 strikeouts in 162 innings.
Paul Goldschmidt, twice a runner-up in the voting, had another MVP-caliber season, hitting .297 with 36 home runs and 120 RBIs, but he was just 1-for-11 in the NLDS, the lone hit a two-run homer to open Game 2. With a runner on second, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen struck out Goldschmidt to complete the playoff sweep Monday night.
Then there was J.D. Martinez. Acquired from Detroit before the trade deadline, the slugger went on a power-hitting tear, batting .302 with 29 home runs and 64 RBIs in 62 games with Arizona. He hit a National League-record 16 home runs in September, four of them on one memorable night at Dodger Stadium.
The four-homer game came during a franchise-record 13-game winning streak that included a pair of three-game sweeps of the Dodgers.
Martinez is a free agent and he would like to stay with the Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks, though, are a low-payroll team that probably can’t afford to keep him.
Archie Bradley developed into one of the best relievers in the league (1.73 ERA, 79 strikeouts in 73 innings), blowing opponents away with his electric fastball and baffling them with his knuckle curve. Outgoing and highly quotable, he emerged as the No. 1 fan favorite. His thick, bushy beard was his trademark. Fans bought fake beards to don whenever he entered the game. His triple in the wild-card game is one of the signature moments of the Diamondbacks’ season.