2020 MLB Power Rankings: 15. Arizona Diamondbacks


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Brendan Murphy

We’re officially halfway through the power rankings which means Major League Baseball (MLB) Opening Day is just over two weeks away.

The Arizona Diamondbacks quietly had a good year in 2019 even after trading Zack Greinke to the Houston Astros. It was tough to rank the Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres, so I decided to put them back-to-back. I think either team could finish second in the NL West division, but I’m giving the Diamondbacks a slight edge and ranking them at number 15.

The Diamondbacks have a solid all-around lineup, led by newly acquired center fielder Starling Marte. Marte should pair well with Ketel Marte, who has blossomed into an MLB star over the last two seasons. Eduardo Escobar is also a very good three hole batter who really found himself after being traded to Arizona in 2018. Escobar hit a career high 35 home runs last season as well as driving in 118 runs. The Diamondbacks also brought in former Los Angeles Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun who can be a productive batter further down in the order.

The prize of the offseason for the Diamondbacks was Madison Bumgarner, who signed a five-year $85 million deal to become the ace the team lacked following the Zack Greinke trade at the 2019 trade deadline. They also made a very savvy move by acquiring righty Zac Gallen from the Miami Marlins that same week. They did have to give up a promising prospect in Jazz Chisholm, but I really think Gallen can be a good number two or three starter in this rotation. Robbie Ray has been a mainstay in Arizona for the last five seasons and should continue to improve going into his age 28 season.

The Diamondbacks’ farm system is also very good, ranked eighth in baseball by Bleacher Report. Most of their best prospects are still a few years away, so I’ll focus on the two prospects who are closer to making an impact.

Let’s start with Seth Beer. Beer has done nothing but hit since he made the leap from Clemson to pro baseball. He has good raw power and a good eye at the plate. Beer could make an impact in the big leagues by midseason, but he’ll need to find a position since he has struggled defensively pretty much everywhere he’s played.

The other prospect I want to talk about is J.B. Bukauskas. Bukauskas has great potential, but had a forgettable 2019 season. With an earned run average over five, Bukauskas saw his starts turn into relief appearances near the end of last season. Hopefully this is only just a road bump for the 23 year-old since he still has what it takes to be a big league starter, but most projections see him as a reliever who could dominate in short stints.

The main reason why I put the Diamondbacks ahead of the Padres was solely based on experience. Since I could see either one of these teams coming in second, I decided to give the higher ranking to the team who had the better 2019 record, which was the Diamondbacks. The team has a lot of potential with their rotation and lineup continuing to improve. The NL West may be the Los Angeles Dodgers’ division, but the Diamondbacks sure won’t go down without a fight.


Top Acquisition – Starling Marte

Biggest loss – Taijuan Walker

MVP – Ketel Marte

Projected Finish – 2nd in NL West


Projected Lineup:

  1. Ketel Marte, 2B
  2. Starling Marte, CF
  3. Eduardo Escobar, 3B
  4. David Peralta, LF
  5. Christian Walker, 1B
  6. Kole Calhoun, RF
  7. Nick Ahmed, SS
  8. Carson Kelly, C
  9. Pitcher

Projected Rotation:

  1. Madison Bumgarner
  2. Robbie Ray
  3. Luke Weaver
  4. Zac Gallen
  5. Mike Leake

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Twitter: @B_Murphy_MU