Arizona Diamondbacks Spring Training: 5 Players Who Are Sure to Shine
5 Arizona Diamondbacks Who Should Hit The Ground Running In Spring Training
More than a quarter century has passed since Kirk Gibson hit a heroic pinch-hit walk-off home run for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. More than a few things have changed since then, including the name on the front of Gibson's No. 23 jersey. Gibson, now serving as the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, will instead be gunning for his former team in 2014.
The star-studded Dodgers have spent a lot of dough on their team in recent years, and it has paid off. The Dodgers have emerged as an NL West powerhouse, and they are favorites to win the division once again in 2014. However, Gibson will be fielding a team that could very well give Don Mattingly's Dodgers a run for their money.
Moreover, a brawl broke out between the Diamondbacks and Dodgers in June of 2013, and it is important to note that a rivalry has seemingly begun to brew between the two teams as well. The Diamondbacks-Dodgers rivalry will likely be a hot topic during the 2014 season.
In 2011, during Gibson's first full year as the Diamondbacks manager, he led the team to an NL West title and won manager of the year. However, he has since had back-to-back 81-81 seasons, so he will be looking to remedy that fact in 2014 -- and he most certainly has the pieces to do so.
There are a few questions lingering about the 2014 Diamondbacks, such as whether or not Aaron Hill can hit like he did in 2012, or if Trevor Cahill can ever be the same dominant pitcher he was back with the Oakland Athletics in 2010. However, the Diamondbacks have at least a handful of players who appear to be set to have stellar 2014 seasons.
Without further ado, here are five Diamondbacks who are sure to hit the ground running in Spring Training, have great seasons in 2014, and help Gibby chase down the Dodgers.
5. Mark Trumbo
Mark Trumbo is coming off of a season in which he posted his best power numbers to date by launching 34 home runs and driving in 100 runs. However, he hit just .234 and struck out at an alarming rate. He has something to prove in 2014, so look for him to have a strong spring and start the season off on the right foot. Look for his batting average to hover around the .250 mark, with 35-40 homers and 100 or more RBIs by the time the leaves turn brown next fall.
4. Paul Goldschmidt
Paul Goldschmidt broke out in 2013 and hit .302/.401/.551 with 36 home runs and 125 RBIs. He ended up leading the NL in multiple offensive categories. He can be expected to pick up where he left off and have a great spring. Furthermore, he will have better protection in 2014 as Trumbo is slated to bat behind him, so look for him to have another monster year.
3. Wade Miley
Wade Miley had a wonderful rookie season in 2012. He posted a 16-11 record with a 3.33 ERA, made an All-Star team and finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. However, he had a bit of a sophomore slump in 2013, but still posted a 10-10 record with a 3.55 ERA. This spring, look for him to figure out what went wrong in 2013 and end up posting numbers in 2014 that are more akin to his 2012 numbers.
2. Patrick Corbin
Patrick Corbin burst onto the scene in the 2013 season by posting a 14-8 record and recording a 3.41 ERA in spite of having a rather rough finish to the season. Look for him to wipe his slate clean, forget about the final two months of last season, and pitch great this spring. Corbin is projected to be the Diamondbacks' no. 1 starter, and he can be expected to rise to the occasion.
1. Addison Reed
Addison Reed is still only 25 years of age, and his best baseball is ahead of him. He is a hard thrower and saved 40 games last season for the last-place Chicago White Sox. He appears to be ready to start the next chapter of his career, so look for him to have a great spring and be a crucial part of the Diamondbacks' success in 2014.