The Los Angeles Dodgers dropped five of their first eight games against the Arizona Diamondbacks to open the season, and they have quickly learned their division rivals aren’t the same club they can push around anymore.
After a multi-year rebuild, the D-Backs now have some young talent on their Major League roster. Most notably, Zac Gallen is among the top young pitchers in baseball and they have one of the top catching prospects in Gabriel Moreno, who they acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays over the offseason.
But perhaps the most exciting part of their team is their outfield which features Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas and Jake McCarthy. The group is a dynamic trio with high expectations, and they caught the eye of Dodgers manager Dave Roberts for their defensive ability, per Bob Nightengale fo USA Today:
“I’m telling you, as far as run prevention,” Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts tells USA TODAY Sports, “this as good as an outfield as I’ve ever seen. These guys are better than that Expos’ outfield. These guys are freakin’ unbelievable. You hit the ball in the air, it’s an out. They’re scrappy. It’s fun watching these guys run. Hopefully, the industry will start getting guys like that.”
Carroll is regarded as the best of the bunch, coming in as the No. 2 prospect in baseball according to FanGraphs, and Thomas was not far behind him at No. 21. Although McCarthy was never highly ranked, his rookie season in 2022 provided a lot of hope for Arizona moving forward.
All three are plus-runners, with Carroll ranking just behind Bobby Witt Jr. as the fastest player in baseball. Thomas is the 19th-fastest runner this year, while McCarthy ranks ninth since dating back to last season.
The potential in the Diamondbacks outfield is off the charts, and they could provide problems for Roberts and the Dodgers for years to come.
Dodgers lead Diamondbacks in outfield defensive metric
The D-Backs currently rank sixth in outfield outs above average with one and a 1% added success rate, while Roberts’ own team ranks tied for the first spot with three and adding a 5% success rate.
Overall, however, the Diamondbacks are the No. 2 team in total outs above average thanks to their infield with four, behind only the Milwaukee Brewers’ six.
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