The Arizona Diamondbacks Best Hitters (1998 – 2013): Part 2 Of A 3 Part Series
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By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
The Arizona Diamondbacks have been one of the better franchises in the last 15 years, despite being one of the newest teams.
Unlike their expansion cousins the Tampa Bay Rays, that went through 9 years, before reeling off 5 straight winning seasons, the DBacks won the World Series in just their 4th year of existence.
The team has been able to make 5 playoff years in their 14 years. This year, they are right in the thick of the race, so they could possibly add a 6th Post Season Birth to their resume.
The team has lacked a lot of long – term hitters for the club, however they have had their share of big seasons.
From “Gonzo” to “Goldy”, we will honor all of these guys in this post.
For Part 3 Of the 3 Part Series: The Franchise Pitchers – click here
Luis Gonzalez 1B: 1999 – 2006: GP .298 – 224 HRs and 774 RBI. Between the years of 1999 – 2004, there were not many better hitters in the National League than this man.
He had 4 of 5 years over a .300 BA, scored 528 Runs, collected 921 Hits, with 168 HRs and 573 RBI.
In 2001, he led the NL in PA with 728. He also played in 162 Games for both of the 2000 and 2001 seasons.
Gonzo had an OPS of .919 with Arizona.
Aside from his Game Winning hit off of Mariano Rivera (A guy who has a 0.70 ERA in 142 Post Season IP), Gonzalez hit a HR in every series for that 2001 championship team, collecting 10 RBI in 17 Games Played.
He is the franchise leader in BB, Runs, GP, AB, PA, 2B, HR, RBI, Hits, Slugging, OBP and OPS.
Greg Colbrunn 1B/PH: 1999 – 2002, 2004: GP – 324, .310 – 34 HRs and 127 RBI. This man is severely underrated by anyone outside of Phoenix. He has an OPS of .911.
Colbrunn was 4 – 14, with only 1 SO during the Post Season for the Snakes. He was a key PH contributor. The man from Fontana, CA could spell any team for Limited AB.
The former OF was also a 3 time Gold Glove Winner for the franchise, and he made one ALL – Star selection.
Finley made a huge contribution during the 2001 World Series Title Run, he went 19 – 52 (.365) with 9 RBI and 7 Runs Scored in 17 Games Played.
He is 2nd in most offensive categories for the franchise to Gonzalez – and had a Slugging % of .500 for his Dbacks career.
Mark Reynolds 3B: 2007 – 2010: GP – 563, .241, 121 HRs and 346 RBI. Reynolds was about as all or nothing as it came for his tenure in Arizona.
His best year came in 2009, where he clubbed 44 HRs and knocked in 102 RBI. He also showed great versatility by Stealing 24 Bases as well.
Reynolds is 4th ALL – Time in franchise HRs, but he also set the MLB Record by Striking out 223 times in 2009 as well – and led the NL for his 3 full seasons with the team.
Justin Upton RF: 2007 – 2012: GP – 731, .275, 124 HRs, 408 RBI and 86 SB. Justin Upton is a 5 tool player that has only realized his potential in a couple of seasons.
The man helped the club secure the NL West Division Title in his 2011 campaign. He had 75 XBH (31 HRs, 39 – 2B and 5 Triples), with an OPS of .898, with 107 Runs and 21 SB.
Upton then clubbed 2 HRs in a 5 Game NLDS to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Matt Williams 3B: 1998 – 2003: GP – 595, .278, 99 HRs and 318 RBI. While the greater part of his awesome play came earlier in his career, Williams provided veteran leadership – and great defense for the DBacks.
He came up huge in the 2001 World Series, collecting RBI in 5 of the 7 games, and brought in a total of 7 games overall.
The big 3rd Baseman finished in 3rd in MVP Voting in his 2nd year with Arizona, crushing 35 HRs and driving in a franchise tying 142 RBI for the campaign (later tied by Gonzalez in his 2001 year).
Williams had a tough time staying healthy after 2000, but was a great piece of that club – and has remained with the team in a front office level job for the last decade with Arizona.
He is a partial owner, and works as the 3rd Base Coach for Kirk Gibson.
Jay Bell SS/3B: 1998 – 2002: .263, 91 HRs and 304 RBI. Like Williams, Jay Bell had tasted playoff defeats several times as a member of the early 90’s Pirates.
With the DBacks, he had his best year as a professional in the MLB in 1999. As a Second Baseman, he had a 3 Slash Line of .289/.374/.935 – with 38 HRs and 112 RBI, plus a franchise record 132 Runs for a single season.
He was an ALL – Star in 1999. While he was not a key factor of the 2001 World Series run, he was in the lineup when the game ended.
Miguel Montero C: 2006 – Present: .268, 81 HRs and 367 RBI. In 2011 and 2012, this Catcher was one of the premiere offensive threats from the position for these seasons.
In 2011, Montero made his only ALL – Star Appearance so far, with a /.282/.351/.820 – with 18 HRs and 86 RBI. Montero also added 36 Doubles. He even garnered some votes for NL MVP.
In 2012, the 30 Year Old man from Venezuela, hit for a 3 Slash of .286/.391/.829.
Montero is not doing as well this year, but Catchers have the odd bad year thrown into their totals. He has logged a lot of time behind the plate. He is signed through the year 2017 by the franchise.
Chris Young CF: 2006 – 2012: .239, 132 HRs and 408 RBI. Chris Young burst onto the scene in the 2007 – almost coming up with a 30/30 campaign – with 32 HRs and 27 SB in 148 Games Played.
Young finished 4th in Rookie of the Year Voting that season.
The OF put up back to back 20/20 seasons in 2010 (plus he made his only ALL – Star team in this year) and 2011. He is 2nd ALL – Time for the club with 112 SB
Young has shown a penchant for big hits, collecting 5 HRs and 9 RBI in 43 AB split between 2007 and 2011 – including 3 HRs in 5 Games versus the Brewers in the 2011 NLDS.
Chad Tracy 3B/1B/PH: 2004 – 2009: .280, 78 HRs and 318 RBI. Tracy is 4th in Franchise Doubles with 153. His best overall year with the club was 2006 – where he hit 41 – 2B, clubbed 20 HRs, scored 91 Runs and drove in 80 RBI.
In 2005, he actually had a 3 Slash Line of .308/.353/.911. He was caught in a numbers game mostly after that year, but he still carried a career .792 OPS for the team during his stay there.
Tony Clark 1B: 2005 – 2008, 2009: .255, 59 HRs, 178 RBI. The big 1B hit a HR for every 14.08 AB in his time with the club. He only had 831 AB.
His RBI prodcuction was also driving in a guy once every 5 AB or so.
Eric Byrnes OF: 2006 – 2009: .261, 61 HRs, 88 SB and 216 RBI. This OF put up a most unlikely season in 2006, with a 3 Slash Line of .286/.353/.813 – and 21 HRs, 50 SB and 103 Runs Scored. He finished in the top 11 for MVP Voting that year.
Byrnes unfortunately will be remembered for as the guy who never lived up to billing after he signed a 3 YR/$30 MIL contract extension midway through the 2007 year.
He was hurt most of the time after that, and was out of baseball a few years later, with the Dbacks eating $11.27 MIL left on his deal, when he hit under the Mendoza Line after inking that deal.
Stephen Drew SS: 2006 – 2012: .266, 72 HRs and 333 RBI. From 2008 – 2010, Drew was one of the best all around Shortstops in the game of baseball.
Drew has 189 Extra Base Hits in that time (106 – 2B, 35 – 3B and 48 HRs).
The new Boston Red Sox Shortstop is the career Triples leader for the franchise – and is in 3rd place for Doubles with 176.
His best year came in 2008, where he crushed 44 – 2B, 11 – 3B and 21 HRs for the Arizona squad.
Paul Goldschmidt 1B: 2011 – Present: .291, 50 HRs, 75 – 2B and 191 RBI in 1042 AB. Paul Goldschmidt is currently leading the NL in RBI with 83 (as of July.24th) – and he just came back from his 1sr ALL – Star Game.
“Goldy” has to be the frontrunner for the NL MVP at this time as well. He has an OPS of .962, has whacked 47 XBH – and has even Stolen 10 Bases.
The big 1st Baseman is a huge clutch hitter, with a 3 Slash Line in his Career of .333/.420/1.023 – with 15 HRs and 139 RBI in 267 AB.
His 2013 RISP Line is .414/.500./1.316 – with 9 HRs and 60 RBI in just 87 AB. This guy has a chance to be the best Right Handed Batter in team history.
Tony Womack 2B/SS/OF: 1999 – 2003: .269, 21 HRs, 200 RBI and 182 SB. Womack wasn’t a world beater by any stretch, but he is the franchise leader in SB.
In Womack’s first year with the clubs in 1999, he stole 72 Bases (Led NL) and Scored 111 Runs for the club. His 72 SB are a team record for a single season.
The OF then led the NL in Triples in 2000 – while scoring another 95 Runs with the aid of 45 SB.
Womackhad 17 Hits – and scored 8 Runs in the 2001 run to the World Series.
Gerardo Parra OF: 2009 – Present: GP – 619, .280, 30 HRs and 199 RBI. Parra is one of the best defensive OF in the NL that no one knows about.
He burst onto the scene in 2009, where he finished 8th in NL Rookie Of The Year Voting – with his .290 BA and .724 OPS.
In 2011, he took home a Gold Glove Award.
This year he looked to be replaced as a Starting OF – before a rash of injuries has kept him in the lineup. Some even say that he was ALL – Star Worthy until recent play.
Junior Spivey 2B: 2001 – 2003: GP – 321, .279, 34 HRs and 149 RBI in 1066 AB. the Second Baseman came up for the half of the year in 2001 – to warrant a World Series Ring as part of the team.
In 2002, he put up a massive year, hitting for a 3 Slash Line of .301/.389/.865 – with 103 Runs Scored and 58 XBH (36 – 2B, 6 – 3B and 16 HR.
For some reason, this happens a lot with the franchise, with a guy charging out of the gate for his career, and not being able to sustain it.
Orlando Hudson 2B: 2006 – 2008: GP – 405, .294, 33 HRs and 171 RBI. The former DBack had a great 3 year run in Arizona, where he collected 2 Gold Gloves.
The O’Dog was a great player for the Dbacks during his time there. He had an OPS of ,814, with 91 Doubles, 21 Triples and 33 Home Runs in just 1503 AB. This is great production.
Hudson made an ALL – Star Squad with the Dbacks in the 2006 year.
Not on the list, but honorable mentions go out to Aaron Hill, Jason Kubel, Troy Glaus and Shawn Green. Of these players, Aaron Hill and Jason Kubel still have a chance to make this squad after another few years.
For Part 3 Of the 3 Part Series: The Franchise Pitchers – click here
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Chuck Booth – Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner and author of the Fastest 30 Ballgames: To learn more about my “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book” and how to purchase it, click here .
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Posted on July 26, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, Players: Fantasy Baseball Articles, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 1999 NLDS, 2001 NLCS, 2001 world series, 2007 NLDS, 2011 NLDS, @chuckbooth3024 on twitter, aaron hill, arizona diamondbacks, chad tracy, chase field, chris young, Chuck Booth, cleveland indians, cliff pennington, derrick hall, eric byrnes, gerardo parra, heath bell, jay bell, junior spivey, justin upton, kirk gibson, luis gonzalez, mariano rivera, mark reynolds, matt williams, miguel montero, milwaukee brewers, new york yankees, nl west, orlando hudson, paul goldschmidt, san francisco giants, stephen drew, steve finley, tony clark, tony womack, travis fryman, troy glaus. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.