For the final installment of the Diamondbacks roster breakdown, we’ll take a look at the D-backs new and improved (?!) outfield sans JD Martinez.
David Peralta– Left Field
The Steven Souza trade is good but gets even better with it’s effect on David Peralta. Peralta played both left and right field last season, thanks to the midseason acquisition of Martinez. Peralta had three defensive runs saved from each corner position, despite playing 260 fewer innings in left, per Fangraphs. Furthermore, Peralta had a 5.5 Ultimate Zone Rating per 150 games in left, compared to a -0.9 UZR/150 games rating in right last season, also according to Fangraphs.
Expect Peralta to hit around .300 with above 50 RBIs and around 15 home runs. He’s a career .293 hitter with a career high .312 batting average in 2015. If he can stay healthy and find consistency in left field, there’s no reason he should hit much lower than that .312. Last season he saw most of his at bats in either the leadoff or two hole in the lineup. He hit .267 leading off, but he hit .324 batting second. Where he hits will depend on how well Ketel Marte and AJ Pollack hit.
AJ Pollock- Center Field
Pollack is entering his age 30 season, three seasons removed from his personal best, when he hit .315 with 20 home runs and nearly 40 stolen bases. He then broke his elbow the year after and dealt with a groin injury last year. If he can play close to 150 games with minimal DL stints, he very may well return to his 2015 self.
Going back to 2015, he primarily hit leadoff and second, much like Peralta. And like Peralta, he hit better in the second spot, protected by Paul Goldschmidt. However, he still hit .302 in 48 games leading off. That year he also was 12-17 stealing bases when leading off. Arizona manager Torey Lovullo likes to be aggressive on the base paths, as evidence by Arizona being in the top ten for stolen bases last season. It’ll be interesting to see if he uses a fully healthy AJ Pollack liberally on the bases.
Steven Souza, Jr. – Right Field
Remember that Rays outfielder with several highlight catches in the span of like two weeks? Yeah, that’s not Souza. Either way, he’s a great addition to this D-backs roster. The biggest thing he brings to the roster is that the Snakes no longer have to rely on Yasmany Tomas.
Souza is very much an American League player. He has high home run and strike out numbers, but a low batting average. Souza batted primarily in the fifth spot in Tampa Bay, which shows that he’s comfortable providing protection for other power hitters. That’ll show more in Paul Goldschmidt’s stats than Souza’s which is another huge asset he brings to Arizona. Additionally, he hit better against lefties than he did righties, which will help when Jake Lamb inevitably goes 0-fer against southpaws.
The Souza trade initially appeared to be an overcompensation for not re-signing JD Martinez. However, after diving into Souza as a player, it makes a lot of sense. Props, Mike Hazen.
Dyson is the quintessential fourth outfielder. He’s fast, good defensively, struggles with his batting, and is a veteran. Dyson’s a career .250 hitter. Last year, he started 99 games, and came off the bench in 12. He hit .251 as a starter, and .273 as a pinch hitter, in 12 plate appearances and 11 at-bats, according to Baseball Reference. That’ll be his primary role on the D-backs this year. Also, he’ll make cameos as a pinch runner, as well.
Dyson will take over Gregor Blanco’s role last year. Blanco played in 90 games, 31 in left, 33 in center field and five in right. Blanco was able to hit at least .250 at each position. However, Blanco was hitless in 13 at bats as a pinch hitter. Those are all marks that Dyson should be able to hit and surpass. Also, Dyson is a lot faster than Blanco. He should be a great option off the bench.