As I do at the beginning of every baseball season, I become so excited that I start parsing through data left and right once again. I start to memorize how many home runs this player hit, how much WAR that guy was worth, and who had the lowest ERA in a given year. The obsessively analytical side of my brain is excited to see so many numbers floating around, and I start to dream about what numbers the coming season might bring us. As part of this “numerical obsession” that I’m sure many of you can empathize with, I often times like to see what milestones might occur in the season that is about to unfold. So let’s take a look and see what Diamondbacks milestones we might be so fortunate to witness this fine baseball season, shall we?
Per the rules of my official man crush, I am required by mandate to start with one Paul Goldschmidt. Don’t look now, but Goldy has now been crushing bombs into the depths of our hearts at the major league level for six major league seasons, and is starting his seventh. How time flies, am I right? Now, most players don’t stay half this long with one franchise, and when you mix that with the fact that the Diamondbacks are barely 20 seasons old, you would expect to see some records approaching. For the sake of this exercise, let’s assume that Goldschmidt’s season plays out to the tune of the following:
This type of season would not only be rather feasible for Goldy, but it would probably be considered another “down” year. But, if these numbers come to be, he would reach the following ranks among all Diamondbacks position players:
- 2nd place in Home Runs (Passing Steve Finley, and trailing Luis Gonzalez) and 150 for his career.
- 2nd place in Stolen Bases (Passing Chris Young, and trailing Tony Womack) and 100 for his career.
- 2nd place in Hits (Passing Steve Finley, and trailing Luis Gonzalez) and 1,000 for his career.
- 1st place in bWAR (Passing Luis Gonzalez) and 35.0 for his career.
- 2nd place in Total Bases (Passing Steve Finley, and trailing Luis Gonzalez). See a theme here?
- 1st place in Intentional Walks (Tying with Luis Gonzalez) and 94 for his career.
Needless to say, there are a bevy records and milestones that await Pauly G this year. But what about some of the other players? There are also plenty of milestones within reach in 2017, whether they are Dbacks specific, or career thresholds. Here are some of the others:
- 30+ Stolen Bases and 76 more hits from A.J. Pollock gives him 100 and 500 for his career, respectively.
- Both David Peralta and Yasmany Tomas will be looking for their 1,000th At Bat.
- 163 strikeouts from Robbie Ray will give him 500 for his career, and put him into 6th or 7th on the Dback’s list (depending on what Patrick Corbin does).
- Speaking of strikeouts and Corbin, 97 K’s from him will propel him past Dan Haren into 5th place on the all-time Diamondbacks list. And 10 wins will do the same.
- 15 wins for Zack Greinke will tie him with famous pitchers like Dizzy Trout and Ron Guidry. While passing others such as Bret Saberhagen, Dave Stewart, Sandy Koufax, Roy Oswalt, and Addie Joss.
- 200 strikeouts for Greinke will put him in the top 40 all time, passing the likes of Luis Tiant, Sandy Koufax, Juan Marichal, and Dwight Gooden, among others
- 43 appearances from Randall Delgado will put him in 2nd place on the all-time Diamondbacks list behind Brad Ziegler.
- Probably not possible, but 39 saves from Fernando Rodney makes him the 27th player with 300 saves in a career.
These milestones are merely one of the many reasons that I love watching baseball. The endless ties to history invoke memories of legends past, and reminds us of those feelings that we felt when we were young. That feeling of when you first learned of Babe Ruth, or the shock and awe that you felt when you first learned that Bob Gibson’s ERA was 1.12 in 1968. These statistics are more than just numbers aggregated together on some piece of paper or in some database. They are an emotional set of connections that each of us develops, whether it is early on in life or as an adult. But it is these connections that transforms a sport that we are watching today into a timeless event that is passed on from generation to generation. Win or lose, enjoy the season fellow Dback’s fans, because you never know when you might witness history!