clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The 2015 Diamondbacks First-half Awards

New, comments

Since we're still without major-league games, let's award some half-season 'Pitties, for the best performances up until the All-Star break.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

I'm doing the same categories as for our regular AZ SnakePit awards, but since this is only a four-day break, I'm not bothering to do the whole call for nomination. poll, etc. thing. This is a unilateral declaration, since this site is not some kind of anarcho-syndicalist commune, where we take it in turns to be a sort of executive officer for the week. It's more of a miltary Jimta. :) Anyway, enough political philosophy.

Best play: Danny Dorn, May 9 vs. San Diego

We were down to our final out, and trailed by two, going up against Craig Kimbrel, a closer who had made the All-Star Game the four previous seasons and since the start of 2012, had converted 148 saves in 159 attempts. Our last hope was Dorn, a 30-year old career minor-leaguer, with two major-league hits to his name. Oh, and Danny fell 0-2 behind in the count: to this day, hitters who go 0-2 against Kimbrel in his career, then hit .090, with a .224 OPS. In other words: it was hopeless. Of course, Dorn promptly rapped a two-run, game-tying double. Unfortunately, we lost in 11 innings, but it was still the most unexpected and glorious moment - and remains Kimbrel's only blown save of the season.

Honorable mentions: 4/16 Ahmed diving stop and throw; 5/22 Goldie game-tying homer in 10th; 6/6 Pennington to Tomas to Goldschmidt double-play

Single-game performance: Chase Anderson, June 12 vs. San Francisco

Anderson took a no-hitter into the seventh, and out-dueled the Giants' ace, Madison Bumgarner, as the Diamondbacks prevailed by the narrowest possible margin, 1-0, a second inning RBI single by Ender Inciarte being all the run support Chase would get or need. The no-hit bid ended when the evil Buster Posey deliberately and maliciously hit Anderson's calf with a comebacker for an infield single. Anderson said, "'I was just hoping it would go to someone so we could get him out.. 'I was kind of looking for it. I looked over and it looked too far away - he's going to beat that out, I wish it would have went to somebody.'' It was the only hit allowed by Anderson, who walked one and K'd two over his seven innings.

Honorable mentions: 4/17 Josh Collmenter complete game; 5/30 Goldschmidt two-homer game.

Best game: June 3 vs. Atlanta

6-0 down by the middle of the second, you'd have been forgiven for giving up on this one. The Diamondbacks' hitters? Not so much. Beginning in the bottom of the second, they started chipping away: a run there, a couple in the third, another in the fifth and one in the sixth, to bring Arizona within striking distance, amid rising concern in the Atlanta dugout. A three-run seventh inning gave the D-backs the lead, and a vital insurance run was added in the eighth, before Ziegler closed it out, despite allowing a home-run to make it a one-run game [Brad hasn't given up a run in 13 appearances and innings since]

Honorable mentions: 4/11 Blanking Kershaw; 5/12 Bombing Strasburg; 5/22 Walking off the Cubs

Rookie: Nick Ahmed

This scenario seemed very, very unlikely early on. On May 11, after 27 games, Ahmed's line was .130/.221/.143. Sure, his defense had lived up to expectations, but how far would that go, when his offense was so far sub-marginal? On May 17, Tony La Russa said, "Ahmed is making a real positive effort with Turner and Mark to build a stroke that he can repeat, that's gonna make him an offensive plus. We believe in him because we know the talent, we know the work ethic. But you don't just flip the switch. He's making adjustments and he'll continue to adjust." Seems TLR was right, for since. Ahmed's line has been a thoroughly acceptable .285/.339/.456, while continuing to dazzle with his defense.

Honorable mentions: Yasmany Tomas, Robbie Ray

Unsung Hero: David Peralta

Third by fWAR (behind Goldschmidt and Pollock), fourth by bWAR (those two plus Ahmed), Peralta is currently on pace for close to a four WAR season by either metric. His .816 OPS trails only Goldie among D-backs with 100 PA, and Peralta has made particular strides against left-handed pitching, something he has seen more of since the injury to Inciarte and trade of Mark Trumbo. Last season, David had a .510 OPS against them, but in 2015, he has a .729 OPS (admittedly with BABIP in his favor this year). He said. "I've got the opportunity to start against lefties and I've been seeing the ball really well. I'm just going to keep taking advantage of the opportunity." Now, about Jake Lamb...

Honorable mentions: Ender Inciarte, Andrew Chafin

Pitcher: Brad Ziegler

Normally, a relief pitcher wouldn't have much chance of this award, but Ziegler has been far and away the most effective pitcher on the roster this year. Even though he has only pitched 38 innings, his 1.8 bWAR is easily the highest of any Diamondbacks' hurler [Ray's 1.5, in 50 innings, is next]. Only two other pitchers in franchise history have thrown 25 innings in the first half, with an ERA below two. Matt Reynolds in 2013 (ERA 1.98); Randy Johnson in 2000 (ERA 1.80). Ziegler's ERA to date? 1.18. The only closer in the majors currently with a lower figure is the Marlins' A.J. Ramos (1.11), and there's a real case Ziegler was unjustly overlooked for an All-Star spot.

Most valuable player: Mark Trumbo

Oh, who am I trying to troll. You knew, even before opening the article, who'd get this. The man who trails only Bryce Harper and Mike Trout in the entire major leagues for bWAR so far, and will be 5th on the single-season franchise list if he doesn't play another game this year. The first major-leaguer since Lance Berkman in 2008, to reach the break with 20+ home-runs, 10+ stolen-bases and hitting .340. The batter who has already been intentionally walked this season, more times than any National Leaguer since 2011, bar Giancarlo Stanton. The semi-deity who became the first D-back in team history to be voted twice into the starting line-up for the All-Star Game. Well, done Paul Goldschmidt.

Honorable mention: A.J. Pollock.