The 2105 Diamondbacks finished in the Top 3 in the NL for batting average (.264), on-base percentage (.324) and slugging percentage (.414). This marked only the second time in franchise history this was accomplished (2002; 1st in OBP, 3rd in AVG & SLG).
Individually, we had four of the league's top ten for average among qualified hitters. Paul Goldschmidt (3rd), A.J. Pollock (5th), David Peralta (8th) and Ender Inciarte (9th). The last team to match that were the 1988 Cubs, with Rafael Palmeiro, Andre Dawson, Vance Law... and current Arizona assistant hitting coach, Mark Grace [source: FSAZ]. Here's the full top ten for 25, along with their ages and teams:
- Dee Gordon,. 333, 27, MIA
- Bryce Harper,. 330, 22, WSN
Paul Goldschmidt,. 321, 27, ARI
- Buster Posey,. 318, 28, SFG
A.J. Pollock,. 315, 27, ARI
- Joey Votto,. 314, 31, CIN
- Yunel Escobar,. 314, 32, WSN
- David Peralta,. 312, 27, ARI
Ender Inciarte,. 303, 24, ARI
- DJ LeMahieu,. 301, 26, COL
The team whizzed around the bags, perhaps most demonstrated by a club-record 48 triples, which ranked third in the Majors. They finished second in the Majors for stolen bases, with 132, just two behind the Reds (though having Billy Hamilton was obviously helpful!). That was also the third most in club history, trailing the 1999 (137 steals) and 2011 (133) clubs. The D-backs tied with Miami for second in the Majors with a club-record 31 bunt hits, behind Texas (39), and were fifth with 146 infield hits.
Speaking of base-running, Arizona were merely average at taking an extra base, doing so 40% of the time. Perhaps surprisingly, Nick Ahmed had the highest rate there among regulars, at 57%, ahead of Pollock's 52%. The lowest score was a tie between Welington Castillo and... sigh... Yasmany Tomas, at 27%.
On the negative side, we were second in the NL at getting picked-off (16 times), but were basically at league average among other TOOTBLANs, with 52. In particular, a Diamondbacks was thrown out at home-plate on 17 occasions, which is exactly at NL average. I think that's probably one of the cases where we remember the failures much more than the successes! We finished fourth in the league for double-plays, at 134, an increase of 19 on last season.
Notable was the team's success with two outs, where the D-backs ranked second in the NL with a .262 average and fourth with 264 2-out RBI. That was a sharp increase in the figures over the past two seasons, where we managed only 201 and 213. Our .262 average with two down was the second-highest all-time after the 1999 team hit .268. Just imagine how many we could have scored if we'd hit like that with nobody out...
Split PA AB R H HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS 0 outs 2149 1939 146 512 50 138 36 14 158 420 .264 .319 .407 .726 1 out 2048 1843 297 493 59 278 48 16 136 406 .267 .315 .431 .745 2 outs 2079 1867 277 489 45 264 48 14 196 486 .262 .337 .406 .743
Arizona pinch-hitters batted .261 (62-for-238), its highest mark since 2003 (.263) and fourth-best overall: only the 1999 (.319), 2001 (.278) and 2003 clubs were better. Jarrod Saltalamacchia tied for 10th in the NL with a .308 (8-for-26), while Aaron Hill was 12th (.300; 9-for-30). Obviously, small sample size applies significantly to both!
We got particularly strong production from the outfield, where the Diamondbacks .299 BA was best in the majors and the highest for five years, since the Texas Rangers OF collectively hit .308 in 2010. They were second in OPS to Washington (.830 to .815) and led the majors in both hits and total bases. Thanks largely to Pollock and Inciarte, the .298 aerage from the leadoff spot was a club record, smashing the previous best of .291 in 2009.
Goldschmidt and Pollock were the first set of D-backs teammates to join the 20 homer, 20 stolen base club since 2011, when Justin Upton and Chris Young did it, making the fourth time overall (also 2007 and 2009).
The good news is, the team may have scored the second-most runs in the National League, but this was not driven by an over-reliance on clutch hits. They actually were bellow league average in terms of OPS with runners in scoring position (.726 vs. .729), which should be fairly sustainable. They were above average for BABIP, at .316 compared to .302, but this was driving by a higher figure for ground-balls and bunts, and in both of these, the speed mentioned above is likely a significant factor.
Remember all those times we struggled to get the runner home from third with less than two outs? Well, yes... and and no. Our OPS in that scenario was tied for 13th in the league, at .761. But, curiously, in those situations, we scored a total of 221 times, which is most in the league, and 18 more than the next best team. I'm presuming this is likely because a lot of times, we also had runners on second and first. All told, we got that runner home 54.1% of the time, third-best among NL clubs.