Feb 24, 2012; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Josh Collmenter (55) throws during a workout at Salt River Fields. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Arizona Diamondbacks-2012 Fantasy Baseball Preview

The Arizona Diamondbacks were in the hunt last year under their new manager Kirk Gibson, and they look to take on his personality and remain resilient. They were able to taste post season play but were ultimately knocked out by the Milwaukee Brewers. That series came down to who could produce more runs at the opposing teams stadium as each game was won at home.

The Diamondbacks were top 10 in the league in run producing and HR’s and had some help from players unknown like Paul Goldschmidt and Gerardo Parra. Their pitching was middle of the pack and they had a stellar bullpen in which all the pieces still remain in place. The starting rotation was under rated and will be individually under valued this year in most drafts. The star of this franchise, Justin Upton, is going top 3 for OF’s in most drafts and deservingly so. They have a lot of big bats and Justin Upton could be due to leave his mark among the leading HR hitters in the league this year as he slugged 31 just last season. I look for two breakout potential players which I will touch on below,  one on the pitching staff, the other a position player.

Mar 17, 2012; Surprise, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks left fielder Jason Kubel (right) is congratulated by third base coach Matt Williams after hitting a home run during the fourth inning against the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Key Additions

Jason Kubel- OF : He was signed as a free agent from the Minnesota Twins and his numbers are deceiving as the Twins did not posses a bat for most of the season. He is a guy who will continue to bring runners in, as long as they can get on base. The Twins were without both Morneau and Mauer for most of the season so I cant read too much into his number. He did belt 12 HR’s and have a .434 OBP which is better than both Chris Young and Ryan Roberts who he will help by getting on base for them to get RBI’s. He will play LF primarily and DH he will probably bat in the bottom third of the order behind either Paul Goldschmidt or Miguel Montero.

Trevor Cahill- SP : The key aqusition this offseason for the starting rotation as the D-backs looks to solidify their two potential aces in Ian Kennedy and Cahill. He did not have the best season last year but he is another guy that is hard to gauge based on the run production the A’s were able to provide. Coming over from a lowly AL WEST team to the NL should benefit him. He will be in a pitcher friendly ballpark and the division is relatively weak as they were able to finish first last season. His ERA balloned to a 4.16 last year following a 2.97 in 2010 which we would expect a much more comparable performance this year.

Mar. 19, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton bats in the third inning against the Oakland Athletics during a spring training game at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Key Losses:

Nothing notable.

Projected Lineup:

SS Willie Bloomquist

2B Aaron Hill

RF Justin Upton

C Miguel Montero

1B Paul Goldschmidt

LF Jason Kubel

CF Chris Young

3B Ryan Roberts

DH Stephen Drew

Mar 15, 2012; Mesa, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Ian Kennedy (31) during the second inning against the Chicago Cubs at Hohokam Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

Projected Rotation:

1. Ian Kennedy

2. Trevor Cahill

3. Daniel Hudson

4. Joe Saunders

5. Josh Collmenter

Projected Closer

JJ Putz

Most Overrated Fantasy Player

Paul Goldschmidt- The Diamondbacks are happy with him as he is a significant upgrade at first base for them. The thing is he will still be adjusting to the league and the league will conversely make a point to adjust to him. He will take his bumps and this means there will be slumps the question is how does he respond to that, does he try and fight it and try to hard? Or does he remain patient and be a contact hitter that we all know he can be. He will kill you in AVG. but will contribute in HR power with 20+ HR as a reasonable projection.

Mar 1, 2012; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero (26) during photo day at Salt River Fields. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Most Underrated Fantasy Player

Miguel Montero-He has the feel of a top NL catcher and he will be forgotten until those teams are looking to grab a catcher in the later rounds. Anyone not named Carlos Santana, Buster Posey or Brian Mccann may be taken early, but my advice is not to let Montero slip because he is due for a big season after returning from injury late last season. More value than Mccann at a cheaper price.

Potential Fantasy Sleeper

Josh Collmenter- Hes looked at as a guy who may not make it through the season, where a Trevor Bauer prospect may take his spot in the rotation. Im thinking he has something to prove and his stuff is not just “lucky” like last year. He will have more help offensively and his sutff keeps guys swinging and missing also his BB % is relatively low. 10+ wins and 100+ K’s is a reasonable projection.

Tags: 2012 Spring Preview Arizona Diamondbacks Fantasy Baseball Jason Kubel Josh Collmenter Miguel Montero Paul Goldshmidt Trevor Cahill

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