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2019 Diamondbacks MVP nominations

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The final award is up for voting

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

There were four players whose names turned Sedona Red in the nominations thread, so I’ve taken them. For the fifth spot, I also added the man who won our Rookie of the Year award earlier in the month, and who was fifth in the team’s ranking by WAR. Seems legit. Here are quick cases for each of the men in question, in alphabetical order, along with a poll to determine who was the 2019 Arizona Diamondbacks’ Most Valuable Player.

Nick Ahmed

There’s never been any question about his defense, and winning a second consecutive Gold Glove demonstrate that this aspect of his game is as good as ever. The highlight reel shown above - which could easily have been ten times the length - show he was a worthy winner, and his status as the best defender on the team this decade seems assured. But in 2019, his offense also took a significant step forward. He came in to the season with a career OPS+ of just 69, but massively outperformed that, posting a figure for the year of 93. He had career highs across the board, including BA, OBP, SLG, HR, BB, RBI and even SB. That all translated into 4.5 bWAR. That’s 73% more than his total from 2014-17 combined.

Eduardo Escobar

A surprise contract extension early last off-season. Escobar showed exactly why Mike Hazen inked him long-term. His power numbers exploded, hitting more than half as many home-runs again as in any previous season, and his ten triples led the National League. He took over from Jake Lamb as the everyday third-baseman, and started 122 games there, but also 31 at second-base. This positional flexibility was particularly helpful in the absence of Wilmer Flores. Eduardo’s 35 homers and 118 RBI led the team. They were the most for Arizona at the 3B position respectively since 2009, when Mark Reynolds had 44 HR, and 1999, when Matt Williams drove in 142 runs.

Zack Greinke

[Copy... paste...] The importance of Greinke’s best spell in a Diamondbacks uniform can’t be over-stated. For it paved the way for a deal to Houston in July, where the return proved far greater than almost everyone expected. That came both in terms of the quality of prospects received by Arizona, and the relatively small amount of cash which had to be sent with him. After a rough start, getting shelled on Opening Day in Los Angeles, Greinke settled down. Over his final 20 appearances for the D-backs, Greinke lost only three times, with a 2.36 ERA and a K:BB ratio above six (113:18). We can’t ignore his prowess at the plate, on the bases or with the glove, winning a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger.

Ketel Marte

Remember when we were worried about Marte being able to make the transition from second to center? How silly those concerns seem now. Marte filled in more than admirably in the outfield, and it clearly did not affect his ability at the plate. For Ketel came within a whisker of winning the NL batting title. Both he and Christian Yelich hit .329, but in the fourth decimal the latter actually batted .32924, compared to Marte’s .32865. Throw in 32 home-runs for a 149 OPS+, and you’ve got one of the best seasons ever by a Diamondback hitter up the middle (regardless of whether you consider Ketel a 2B or a CF!). His first All-Star appearance and fourth place in league MVP voting were both entirely justified.

Christian Walker

Stepping into the biggest position player shoes ever in franchise history is a thankless task. But Walker did better than anyone would have predicted in taking over from Paul Goldschmidt at first-base. Since making his major-league debut in 2014, Walker had managed a total of fewer than a hundred PA, having been blocked everywhere he went. But given an opportunity, he seized it with both hands, his 29 home-runs among the most ever for an Arizona rookie. In many ways, his season was almost inseparable from the one posted by Goldschmidt in St. Louis. Both men even ended up nominated for the Gold Glove: for Goldy, that’s business as usual, but it was an expected cherry on the year for Walker.

Poll

Who was the 2019 Diamondbacks MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Nick Ahmed
    (21 votes)
  • 9%
    Eduardo Escobar
    (19 votes)
  • 4%
    Zack Greinke
    (8 votes)
  • 72%
    Ketel Marte
    (142 votes)
  • 3%
    Christian Walker
    (7 votes)
197 votes total Vote Now