With the departure of J.D. Martinez to the Boston Red Sox, the Arizona Diamondbacks were left with a hole to fill in the middle of their order and in right field.

Martinez clubbed 29 home runs and batted .302 in only 62 second-half games last season. That meant Arizona’s front office had to get creative when tasked with replacing him. Especially because the team doesn’t have the money or assets to pull off monster signings or trade acquisitions.

Enter Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Steven Souza Jr.

When placed next to Martinez’s .302/.366/.741 slash line with the Diamondbacks, Souza’s line of .239/.351/.459 doesn’t jump off the page. But a closer look shows just how productive Souza was for the Rays.

The batting average isn’t fantastic, but his on base percentage displays his above-average skills when it, obviously, comes to getting on base. He ranked 57th in all of Major League Baseball in the statistic.

Although his previous career high was .318 in 2015 and there’s no guaranteeing he’ll be able to keep up that kind of pace, Souza is moving to a hitter-friendly ballpark. That gives him a good opportunity to maintain a respectable OBP at the very least.

As far as his slugging percentage is concerned, Souza fell into the middle of the pack for that statistic, but his 30 home runs are promising. As previously mentioned, Chase Field is historically a hitter’s ballpark. Even with the new humidor being installed this year, batters will still be able to mash, and balls will be flying over the walls more than at a lot of other stadiums.

Souza does strike out at a high clip. His 179 punch outs in 2017 ranked eighth-highest in the game, but the balls go a long way when he gets a hold of them.

He also stole 16 bases last year and has a .981 career fielding percentage, so he won’t be a liability on the base paths or defensively.

All in all, is Souza going to be as productive as Martinez was? Probably not.

That’s okay, however, because, while Martinez will be missed, the Diamondbacks don’t need him.

Souza will fit nicely into the middle of the order with Paul Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb. Arizona should be poised to follow up 2017 with another strong campaign.

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Author Details
Content Creator at Armchair Arizona Diamondbacks , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I have loved baseball my entire life. From the time I was four years old and my uncle introduced me to Sammy Sosa and the Chicago Cubs to now, baseball has occupied my thinking every day for the past 15 years of my life. Although I don’t play anymore, writing allows me to stay connected with the game I love and provide insight to and spark discussions with others who love the game as much as I do. As for my fandom, I grew up a Cubs fan watching them on WGN and praying for the year when they’d finally break through and win the elusive World Series. November 2, 2016 will go down as one of the best days of my life. Everything is right in the world when pitchers and catchers report to Arizona and Florida in mid-February.
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Content Creator at Armchair Arizona Diamondbacks , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I have loved baseball my entire life. From the time I was four years old and my uncle introduced me to Sammy Sosa and the Chicago Cubs to now, baseball has occupied my thinking every day for the past 15 years of my life. Although I don’t play anymore, writing allows me to stay connected with the game I love and provide insight to and spark discussions with others who love the game as much as I do. As for my fandom, I grew up a Cubs fan watching them on WGN and praying for the year when they’d finally break through and win the elusive World Series. November 2, 2016 will go down as one of the best days of my life. Everything is right in the world when pitchers and catchers report to Arizona and Florida in mid-February.

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