clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Arizona Diamondbacks Unsung Hero: Poll

An interesting selection of candidates on this year’s ballot

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Arizona Diamondbacks Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

This was an open-nomination category, with the candidates being selected based mostly on those put forward and recommended in our nominations thread. Four candidates received enough recs to turn Sedona Red, and they all have made it onto the final ballot, along with the most rec’d non-red candidate.

Mike Butcher

It’s hard to know who deserves credit for the remarkable turnaround in the team’s pitching staff this year. It could be the catchers. It could be scouts like Dan Haren. But what makes Butcher stand out is the turnaround. Last season, he was likely among the most despised men on the franchise, with many (myself included) stunned that he was not part of the post-season purge. But, as usual, the new front-office knew better, and if we blamed Butcher for the dreadful pitching in 2016, then we should give him credit for the awesome results in 2017. At the very least, he was clearly not the problem, and he’s certainly unsung: below is the only clip I could find of Butcher as a Diamondback!

Patrick Corbin

Corbin had a wretched 2016, which ended up with him losing his starter’s spot and being shunted to the bullpen. But he reclaimed his job in the rotation after a spring where he had an 0.93 WHIP, and went on to post a solid 2017 campaign. He was second on the team for innings pitched behind Greinke and set career bests in ERA+ (119), bWAR (2.9) and strikeout rate (8.4/9 IP). He was particularly good after the break, going 8-4 with a 3.26 ERA. The culminated in his August 17th outing (below) where he blanked the future World Champion Astros - and in Minute Maid Park, no less - coming within one out of his first career shutout and holding them to four hits.

Daniel Descalso

Arizona’s Swiss Army Knife this year, Descalso appeared at six different positions, plus as designated hitter. That includes pitcher, where he twice performed emergency mop-up - and did so perfectly well, retiring all six batters faced. And he was incredibly clutch: far and away the best on the Diamondbacks there, he was third in the NL among all hitters. His first hit of the year tied the Opening Day game against the Giants with two outs in the ninth, and he also had walk-off hits for Arizona in the 11th and 13th innings. 60% of his regular season home-runs came in the seventh inning or later, and he added two more HR in four post-season games, including the one below.

Zack Godley

Godley did not even make the roster on Opening Day, and was only called up after Shelby Miller’s season-ending injury. But Godley seized his opportunity, posting a sub-two ERA over his first five games, and becoming a crucial part of the team’s rotation. He was remarkably efficient: he never threw even 110 pitches in a game, and averaged fewer than 97, but still gave the Diamondbacks more than six innings per start. Despite making one appearance in the first 34 games, Godley ended up second on the team by fWAR, at 3.5 wins, and bWAR rated him even better, at 4.4 wins. Not bad for a 10th-round pick earning league minimum!

Ketel Marte

Like Godley, Marte wasn’t on the Opening Day D-backs, and had to wait even longer for his chance. Ketel’s first game wasn’t until June 28, following Shortstopocalypse 2017. As we lost both Nick Ahmed and Chris Owings for the season, Arizona could have faced disaster at the SS spot. But Marte proved more than capable, and was an essential component in the second half, starting 53 games after the break and hitting .266/.358/.397 for a .755 OPS, while providing solid and sometimes spectacular defense at his position. He ended the year with more playing time there than anyone else, and put up 1.1 bWAR in little more than one-third of a season.


Who was the Arizona Diamondbacks’ unsung hero of 2017?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Mike Butcher
    (11 votes)
  • 6%
    Patrick Corbin
    (9 votes)
  • 25%
    Daniel Descalso
    (34 votes)
  • 45%
    Zack Godley
    (61 votes)
  • 14%
    Ketel Marte
    (19 votes)
134 votes total Vote Now