Amidst all of the Justin Upton rumors this offseason the Arizona Diamondbacks may be losing sight of all the leadoff woes that plagued the third place team in 2012. As of now Cody Ross is set to lead the club off when they host the St. Louis Cardinals on MLB opening day April 1st, 2013. In my mind, Ross is a suspect leadoff hitter at best and the club must solve this problem before it is too late.
Eight different Diamondbacks hit leadoff for the club last year and none of them did a great job. Willie Bloomquist was the opening day leadoff hitter and spent the more time their than any player with 58 games at the spot. He played in 84 games last season and spent over a month of the season on the shelf with lower back stiffness.
Bloomquist is an 11-year veteran in the league however, he isn’t an ideal leadoff hitter drawing just 12 walks and striking out 55 times last year.
The leadoff position is increasingly important in the MLB as it is a spot that hinges on the ability to get on base and score runs for the bigger hitters in the middle of the lineup. I would much rather have a player like Michael Bourn leading off for me than a player like Cody Ross who has struggles to get on base his entire career.
With an 81-81 record in 2012 the Diamondbacks obviously were not where they needed to be in terms of offensive production however, if they can solve the leadoff mystery they will definitely make noise in the NL West this season.