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Arizona Diamondbacks All-Time Top 50: Position players

You voted, we counted. These are the 25 moving on to the ranking stage.

World Series GM7 X

To avoid skewing the final rankings, I won’t be providing full details of the order in which players finished in this qualifying round. Instead, I’ll divide the candidates into five blocks, and list each category in alphabetical order. The cut-off came just below the half-way point you might expect. 48% was the percentage of votes necessary to make the top twenty-five and progress to the ranking section.

In by a landslide (90%+)

  • Jay Bell
  • Steve Finley
  • Paul Goldschmidt
  • Luis Gonzalez
  • A.J. Pollock
  • Justin Upton
  • Matt Williams

There were no unanimous selections. Not even Goldy: we wait for those responsible to explain themselves. However, I suspect there may have been an element of tactical voting here. Knowing that Goldschmidt was certain to qualify anyway, perhaps the recalcitrant voter or voters opted to use their 25 spots for other, fringier candidates. There was a tie at the very top of the leader-board, with two players coming within one vote of appearing on everyone’s ballot. But all of the above are absolutely no surprise: five were in the top six by bWAR, though Jay Bell climbed up from 12th by that metric, and Matt Williams was 15th.

Solid selections (75-90%)

  • Craig Counsell
  • Stephen Drew
  • Aaron Hill
  • Orlando Hudson
  • Jake Lamb
  • Miguel Montero
  • Gerardo Parra
  • David Peralta
  • Mark Reynolds
  • Chris Young

The next tier has a lot of names familiar to Diamondbacks’ fans, all appearing in at least three seasons with Arizona. I was perhaps a little surprised Young - fifth all-time by bWAR - didn’t get more love. But not many surprises here. All told, while the ordering saw some radical changes, the top two groups were very much in line with the sabermetric rankings. Of the 17 players listed to this point, all but two were in the top 17 by bWAR. [The exceptions were Jake, who came 19th there, and Mark, 21st]. The players not listed so far? Inciarte and Miller, both of whom had below-average offensive production (OPS+ of 95 and 93 respectively).

The fringe (48-74%)

  • Eric Byrnes
  • Tony Clark
  • Erubiel Durazo
  • Mark Grace
  • Ender Inciarte
  • Damian Miller
  • Chris Snyder
  • Chad Tracy

This is where things likely get most interesting, with two players ranked outside the sabermetric top 40 moving on to the final stage. Going by the comments on the poll, some people won’t be happy that one of those is Grace, 43rd by bWAR. But further down that list, we find at #46, Clark. He proved that “Anybody, anytime” was not just a cool T-shirt slogan, and will become part of the final fifty. Also outside the top 25 in bWAR, but qualifying for the ranking section, were Durazo and Byrnes. They replace Segura, Roberts, Johnson and Spivey, who were all in the bWAR top 25, but will not be moving on.

Just missing out (20-45%)

  • Tony Batista
  • Greg Colbrunn
  • Troy Glaus
  • Conor Jackson
  • Kelly Johnson
  • J.D. Martinez
  • Augie Ojeda
  • Chris Owings
  • Martin Prado
  • Ryan Roberts
  • Reggie Sanders
  • Jean Segura
  • Junior Spivey

These are the players who won’t be qualifying, but who still received a significant level of support. Segura is the highest bWAR non-qualifier, coming 20th - his candidacy was likely hurt by having only played 153 games. Glaus is another “one-season wonder” who falls into this category - as, of course, does Martinez. It’s startling to realize that a player who appeared in only 62 games for Arizona received a decent level (35%) of support with regard to being among our top 50 players in franchise history. Of course, that’s partly the result of our short history, but even if you think of it as the best players in the past twenty years, it’s still striking.

Thanks for showing up (< 20%)

  • Nick Ahmed
  • Welington Castillo
  • Alex Cintron
  • Brandon Drury
  • Andy Fox
  • Didi Gregorius
  • Chris Iannetta
  • Chad Moeller
  • Cliff Pennington
  • Cody Ross
  • Kelly Stinnett
  • Devon White

Everyone got votes. Indeed, everyone got multiple votes, so there’s no shame even in being at the very bottom of the list (I won’t say who came last). They are still among the top fifty players to pull on the Sedona Red (or, purple pinstripe, depending on era) uniform. Ahmed, and perhaps, Iannetta, if we resign him, still have a chance to move further up the list and may end up improving their position when we revisit this again, after the 2027 season!