Strengths: Goldy. If the Arizona Diamondbacks had sniffed the playoffs last season, Paul Goldschmidt likely would have won NL MVP. He hit over .300, got on base at better than a .400 clip, launched 36 dingers, and drove in 125 runs…decent. The team also has an athletic outfield, a young defensive wiz at short, a future mainstay at third in Matt Davidson, and a veteran duo at second base. Miguel Montero does an excellent job handling an above average, but nothing special starting staff.
Weaknesses: A second power hitter. The Diamondbacks really don’t have one. Martin Prado was second on the team in home runs with just 14. The Eaton/Pollock/Parra trio in the outfield is good, but all three are relatively light hitting center field types. The outfield range and defense is excellent, but they could use a better hitting outfielder and turn Pollock and Parra into a platoon.
Off-Season Needs: The D-Backs need to add another power bat, and could use another arm. Lucky for them they have a great trade chip in shortstop prospect Chris Owings, who is currently blocked by Didi Gregorius, who could net them one of those two needs. Here is another spot Mike Morse would fit well, this time in right or left field, and they could also use another arm in the bullpen.
2014 Projection: The Diamondbacks are just a couple moves away from challenging the Dodgers for the division title. They will never be the favorite in the division, but much like the Oakland A’s in the AL West the past two years, the lower payroll, less flashy team might be able to rise above the rest.