The Diamondbacks seem to be a team that is consistently undercovered and underrated. Paul Goldschmidt, who could be seen as the case in point as one of the most underrated players in baseball throughout his career, graces this edition of the stats preview, as is another undervalued Diamondback infielder.
Descalso on the DL: Daniel Descalso has quietly put together a productive season at the plate for the Dbacks. His .267/.364/.515 slash line has carried out to a .313 TAv and 1.6 WARP, which are both good for third on the team among position players.
Dealing Descalso: When you chose to read this stats preview on the Diamondbacks, you probably did not expect to see two highlights of Daniel Descalso. Heck, you may not have even known Descalso played for the Diamondbacks. And if you knew he doubled as a dominant pitcher on the side, you may already know this next part. Among all Diamondback pitchers (yes, Descalso’s 0.2 innings pitched is a laughably small sample size, but humor me), Descalso leads in K% (50%), FIP (0.10) and DRA (0.95) among other categories. The sample size is obviously way too small to draw any conclusions, but it is fun to see Descalso’s name atop many Arizona pitching leaderboards.
Goldy’s Awakening: Up until a few weeks ago, Paul Goldschmidt’s season had gone abysmally. In May, he hit .144 with only six extra base hits, but in June, he has hit .477 with 12 extra base hits already. Much has been written about his struggles with top velocity, and his swing numbers on fastballs paint a similar picture. Goldschmidt’s swing percentage on fastballs has not really changed in June, but his success on them has. He is only swinging and missing on 5.2% of fastballs this month, compared to 10.9% in May and his whiffs per swing rate has almost been cut in half as well, from 21.3% in May to 11.8% in June. Perhaps something in Goldy’s approach has changed that has allowed him to start mashing again, but whatever it is, baseball just feels better with Goldschmidt terrorizing the National League.
The Good: Clay Buchholz has been worth half of a win in his five start return from injury, and the peripherals back up his results (3.96 FIP, 3.45 DRA, 4.4% BB%).
The Bad: The Mets’ catchers are not the only ones with offensive struggles. The Dbacks’ team catching slash line is .192/.281/.341. (The Mets’ is .188/.292/.318).
The Ugly: The Diamondbacks have the worst team batting average (.225), but also the fourth worst team BABIP (.276). The Mets are at third (.228), and second (.275) worst, respectively.
The Mets current 1-10 stretch has been matched by only one team with a winning record at this point in the season: the Diamondbacks.
Photo credit: Steven Branscombe – USA Today Sports