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Snake Bytes, 1/17: Call to the Hall approaches

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The Hall of Fame ballot results will be out tomorrow at 3pm Arizona time. How many new Cooperstown residents will we see?

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Team news

[FanRag] Burkhart: Arizona Diamondbacks Top 15 Prospects In 2017 - Calling the shots now is former Red Sox GM Mike Hazen, who inherits a farm system that became arguably the worst in baseball after the Miller trade exported a potential franchise player in Dansby Swanson. In last year’s draft, the old regime targeted players who agreed to sign for slot or just slightly above pick value and handed out $6.1 million in signing bonuses, the fourth-smallest amount among all the teams. The club also sharpened its focus north of the border, drafting three players from Canada inside the top 11 rounds.

[Arizona Sports] Dave Stewart looks back at his time with the Diamondbacks - During the interview, Stewart said that he learned a few things at his time with the Diamondbacks. "Probably the person that’s hiring you, you also want to interview them as well," Stewart said. "I think it’s important for anyone entering into that position, you shouldn’t only be interviewed but you should also put yourself in a position that you’re interviewing the people that are interviewing you."

[dbacks.com] D-backs prospect Banda focused on consistency - "Your routine is going to develop into your strength," Banda said. "It's going to increase your play, whether it's your velocity, or your power or your speed. Everybody's training to get better at something, and I'm just trying to train to get better at being consistent and staying healthy... For any starting pitcher, you want to be able to get deep into ballgames. You want to get your men off the field, get them back on track with their hitting and let them do their job while you do your job."

[AZ Central] Veteran Chris Iannetta to join Diamondbacks' catching mix - Mike Hazen believes Iannetta’s potential on-base ability would help strengthen the bottom of the lineup. "He has a really good eye and good knowledge of the strike zone. That can really be a good complement to our team... He took a big step forward in 2015 defensively," Hazen said. "We talked, he and I, and we really want to focus on getting back to that. He’s always been a good defensive catcher, but he was a really, really good defender that year. We talked about that being sort of the goal."

[MLB Trade Rumors] Diamondbacks, J.J. Hoover Agree To Minor League Deal - Hoover did have a nice track record with the Reds before his troublesome 2016 campaign, and he pitched well in his time at Triple-A Louisville. Hoover logged a 3.52 ERA and a 50-to-11 K/BB ratio in 38 1/3 minor league innings this year. And, prior to 2016, he’d notched a 3.34 ERA with 9.1 K/9 against 4.1 BB/9 in 223 2/3 career innings with Cincinnati. Hoover will join a crowded but unsettled bullpen mix with the D-backs and compete for a job in Spring Training. If he wins a spot in the ’pen and rebounds from his disastrous 2016 results, the Snakes will be able to control him through the 2019 season via the arbitration process.

[ESPN] Top lineups: Which batting orders provide the most pop? - "In time, we’ll know if the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks have enough pitching to challenge the preeminence of the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants at the top of the National League West. Arizona's young arms are good enough to hold up the back end of the Diamondbacks’ rotation if Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller are capable enough of leading the way. Regardless of whether they are contenders for the playoffs, however, the Rockies and Diamondbacks will make existence in the NL West difficult for the Dodgers and Giants, based on the strength of their offenses." [See also Arizona Sports]

[GlendaleStar] Outgoing Maricopa Board of Supervisors chairman responds to Diamondbacks Chase Field lawsuit - Hickman, in one of his final statements as chairman, said, "The Diamondbacks have expressed dissatisfaction with county ownership over the past year, yet when presented with a potential buyer last summer, the team didn’t have the courtesy to meet with them. It seems the team just wants a new stadium now. Maricopa County is committed to keeping the Diamondbacks at Chase Field through the term of the contract. That is good for the taxpayers who made the investment that brought Major League Baseball here."

[Inside the 'Zona] The Hardest of the Hard-Hit Baseballs of 2016 - We’ve done this before, recapping the hardest hit baseballs of 2015. Mark Trumbo won the award, hitting a baseball 117mph off of Nick Martinez on a single that was absolutely scalded up the middle. This time around, the marks are lower, though shedding Trumbo in that process seems like a fair trade off (even if he is about to land a big contract with an AL club). So let’s take a look at the ten hardest hit baseballs of the 2016 season by Diamondbacks hitters. The results are, perhaps, intriguing.

And, elsewhere...

Couple of things I found on Reddit that might be of interest. At 9am Arizona time, former D-back Curt Schilling will be having a Q+A [or "AMA" in Reddit-speak, as in "Ask Me Anything"] there and on Periscope. I'm not sure this is perhaps the wisest of choices for everyone involved, and the potential for this to become an epic train-wreck, given the combination of Schilling's strong views colliding with an anonymous Internet forum... On a more pleasant note, I discovered Baseball GM, an entirely free, browser-based baseball GM simulation. It doesn't have the rights to use player likenesses, so I am currently managing the Phoenix Vultures. :) [More information here]

[SI] How I decide who gets my Hall of Fame vote, and why steroid users don't belong - It's easy to dismiss the likes of Murray Chass as an out of touch dinosaur. But Tom Verducci? Probably not, in an extended piece which makes a number of, to me, compelling points. "The most ridiculous new narrative is that because this committee voted Bud Selig into the Hall of Fame, now we must vote in steroid users. This is laughable on so many levels, starting with the concept of chucking your voting standards to adopt those of this committee. Do you know what percentage of Hall of Famers have been voted in by the BBWAA? Just 38.8%."

[Fangraphs] Relocation Less Common in MLB Than NFL, Other Leaguess - Ultimately, moving a franchise is about profits, and MLB teams have had little reason to move of late. The league has legal precedent on its side, and local governments keep providing piles of cash for new stadiums. NFL teams can more easily rely on the spigot that is national television money, as all games are broadcast as part of a deal. MLB teams are much more reliant on their local market — from the revenues provided from ticket sales (which isn’t to be overlooked, given MLB’s relatively busy schedule) and television contracts. A stadium alone isn’t enough, and attempting to build a new audience is likely much more difficult.