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Diamondbacks positives: A 2015/2016 Review/Preview

This week's round-table comes in two parts. Firstly, we asked contributors to tell us the good things that came to mind when they thought about the 2015 Diamondbacks, and why they were hopeful for 2016. Pessimism will show up on Friday. :)

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
What was the main positive you took from from the 2015 season?

Piratedan7 - This was a year to determine what the last moves from the FO showed and how the youngsters had progressed. We know these things... Goldy is awesome when healthy. AJ is blossoming, Enciarte and Peralta really are big leaguers. We have "solved" our catcher issues. The youngsters are progresing and offer hope that they may yet be even better. The FO is willing to do things. Looks like Huddy and Corbin have recovered are ready to help us compete next year.

Makakilo - The Diamondbacks improved from last place to become a fun-to-watch and fun-to-cheer team. Go Diamondbacks!

Clefo -

  • Vast improvement from the team as a whole. Granted, there was nowhere to go but up from 2014, but still...
  • Paul Goldschmidt is still a demi-god
  • A.J. Pollock's emergence
  • Mark Trumbo not being there anymore
  • The Diamondbacks finished ahead of the Padres in the standings. The Padres, who were rebuilt in one offseason simply by signing a pitcher and trading for outfielders you had heard of. The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, had the offseason philosophy of dumping as much cargo out of the plane as possible so as to save fuel to make the runway. And the Diamondbacks were better. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha x1,000

Steven - Despite having one of the youngest rosters in the MLB last season, the team improved and showed they can contend with any team. Breakout seasons from unexpected players coupled with excellent health has this team ready to surprise in 2016.

I Suppose I'm a Pessimist - Offense was exactly what I hoped for. One of the best in baseball, and really kept the Diamondbacks in relative contention all year long. The young pitchers showed some good signs throughout the season. And really - How was Ziegler not an All star this year?

Jim McLennan - I was really impressed with how the outfield came together. I was concerned about Inciarte and Peralta, who had barely 200 games in the majors between them, and Pollock missed half the previous season. But they all stepped up in various ways: Inciarte really redeveloped in the lead-off spot, improving his discipline significantly. Peralta was a much less easy out for lefties, and destroyed right-handed pitching. And Pollock gave Goldie a real run for MVP, something few would have predicted before Opening Day. There's a reason we had the best outfield in the major leagues by fWAR. Or rather, three reasons...

Why are you hopeful for next season?

Jim McLennan - In one word? Youth. We outscored every team in the National League bar the Rockies, and did it with the youngest roster in the league. There's hardly anyone on the wrong side of the aging curve, bar Aaron Hill and Brad Ziegler, and I'm not sure how the long the former will be around. There are plenty of young players, across the entire roster, who should be all the better in 2016, due to the experience they gained in 2015, such as Drury, Tomas, Ray, Bracho. Hopefully a couple more of our starting pitcher prospects can blossom effectively, in the way the Mets enjoyed this season, and boost that side of the scales as well.

I Suppose I'm a Pessimist - Pitching is at least average, add a front line this off-season. Imagine this lineup for 2016 (barring any sort of trade) at its full potential

  1. Ender - .300 Ave.
  2. Owings/Gooselin - .260-.270 Ave.
  3. Pollock
  4. Goldy
  5. Peralta
  6. Lamb - .270 Ave., 15 homers
  7. Castillo/backup - Could have over 20 homers in a full year
  8. Ahmed - .240-250 Ave. with great defense

That would, without question, be the best lineup in the NL, and maybe all of baseball. Heck, Tomas could be considered if he comes back strong next year. So much depth.

As for the bullpen, while Chapman may not be worth the farm, I do hope we could add more pieces. Perhaps put RDLR in and let him throw 100 mph for an inning?

Steven - Luckily for the team, they shed payroll and are expected to be players in a stocked pitching free agency period. Signing one dependable, top of the rotation starter should be the priority while the offense needs just general housekeeping issues to take care of before starting 2016.

Clefo - There is marked improvement in the pitching staff, either through development of existing guys, or a FA signing or trade. Guys like Aaron Blair and Archie Bradley make a good impression and stick in the rotation.

  • Paul Goldschmidt finds yet *another* gear
  • The people who yell in TrueBlueLA's twitter feed actually take control of the Dodgers somehow and run the franchise into the ground.

Makakilo - Will the Diamondbacks use their resources wisely in the free-agent and trade markets? Wisdom requires balancing post-season play in 2016-2017 and keeping the team young so the years beyond look bright.

Piratedan7 - Our pitchers do a better job of pitching to contact.  Bradley recovers and gains some of his old mojo back.  Ahmed gets a couple of hits a series instead of a couple of hits a week.