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Predicting the 2019 Arizona Diamondbacks infield

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And finally, who do we think will make the Opening Day roster here?

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Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

We had 142 people tell us the infielders they though would be on the roster come Opening Day next month for the Diamondbacks. As we did with the ranking phase, I’ve broken them down into the positions, so we can see who’s most likely at each spot around the diamond. For each player, you’ll see the percentage who said they would make the Opening Day roster, and the figure in brackets after their name is the average ranking they received in that part of the poll. But let’s start with an overall ranking, regardless of position

  1. 100% Eduardo Escobar (2.0)
  2. 99.3% Nick Ahmed (2.1)
  3. 98.6% Jake Lamb (3.3)
  4. 95.1% Wilmer Flores (4.5)
  5. 88.7% Carson Kelly (6.1)
  6. 76.8% Alex Avila (8.6)
  7. 69.7% Christian Walker (7.5)
  8. 57.7% John Ryan Murphy (10.1)
  9. 38.0% Ildemaro Vargas (11.8)
  10. 23.2% Kelby Tomlinson (13.4)
  11. 21.8% Caleb Joseph (N/R)
  12. 10.6% Kevin Cron (9.7)
  13. 7.7% Domingo Leyba (12.2)
  14. 5.6% Jazz Chisholm (9.0)
  15. 3.5% Daulton Varsho (12.6)
  16. 3.5% Andy Young (14.6)
  17. 1.4% Tyler Heineman (13.3)
  18. 1.4% Wyatt Mathisen (14.8)
  19. 1.4% Juniel Querecuto (15.2)

We see our first unanimous selection, with everyone agreeing the Escobar is going to be on the Opening Day roster. Hardly any less unanimity about Ahmed (one person disagreeing there) and Lamb (three). Flores, Kelly and, interestingly, Avila round out the top half dozen, each being named on three-quarters or more of the ballots. These seem all but certain to make it. The question of how many spots we have is still open. Presuming a five-man rotation and seven relievers, we would either have a five-man outfield and an eight-man infield, or a four-man outfield and nine on the infield. The former seems more likely, though “outfielder” Ketel Marte may well end up flexing between the two groups.

However, the problem is that, along with the three catchers, would appear to leave no room for generic backups like Vargas or (if we want more experience) Tomlinson. With five starters around the infield, plus two catchers on the bench, there would be only one spot left for any backups. Marte originally said he just wanted to play a single position, but earlier this week, seemed to have changed his tune - or, perhaps, had it changed for him!, Marte said, “Sometimes, I’m going to start in center and I can finish at short. Then I’m going to start at short and I can finish at second or anywhere. (Lovullo) just told me to be prepared to play those three positions.”

As with the bullpen, the order of likelihood generally seems to reflect the perceived rankings of the players. The biggest riser is probably Tomlinson, whose average quality rank was 13.4, but was voted 10th most-likely to be on the roster. Conversely, Jazz Chisholm was ranked a 9.0, but his lack of experience above High-A caused him to be very much an outside bet for a roster spot next month. It was also interesting to see what early opinion is on new catcher Joseph. He is only ranked fourth on the catcher depth chart, and having a minor-league option will clearly play into the decision. But his Opening Day roster odds are currently seen as almost the same as Tomlinson’s.

Here’s a breakdown of the numbers at each position, dividing players up as they were in the ranking exercise.

Catcher

  • 88.7% Carson Kelly (6.1)
  • 76.8% Alex Avila (8.6)
  • 57.7% John Ryan Murphy (10.1)
  • 21.8% Caleb Joseph (N/R)
  • 3.5% Daulton Varsho (12.6)
  • 1.4% Tyler Heineman (13.3)

First base

  • 98.6% Jake Lamb (3.3)
  • 95.1% Wilmer Flores (4.5)
  • 69.7% Christian Walker (7.5)
  • 10.6% Kevin Cron (9.7)
  • 1.4% Wyatt Mathisen (14.8)

Second base

  • 95.1% Wilmer Flores (4.5)
  • 38.0% Ildemaro Vargas (11.8)
  • 23.2% Kelby Tomlinson (13.4)
  • 7.7% Domingo Leyba (12.2)
  • 3.5% Andy Young (14.6)
  • 1.4% Wyatt Mathisen (14.8)
  • 1.4% Juniel Querecuto (15.2)

Shortstop

  • 100% Eduardo Escobar (2.0)
  • 99.3% Nick Ahmed (2.1)
  • 38.0% Ildemaro Vargas (11.8)
  • 23.2% Kelby Tomlinson (13.4)
  • 7.7% Domingo Leyba (12.2)
  • 5.6% Jazz Chisholm (9.0)
  • 1.4% Juniel Querecuto (15.2)

Third base

  • 100% Eduardo Escobar (2.0)
  • 98.6% Jake Lamb (3.3)
  • 95.1% Wilmer Flores (4.5)
  • 23.2% Kelby Tomlinson (13.4)
  • 10.6% Kevin Cron (9.7)
  • 3.5% Andy Young (14.6)
  • 1.4% Wyatt Mathisen (14.8)
  • 1.4% Juniel Querecuto (15.2)

Next week, we’ll be looking at the starting pitching: how deep does our rotation go, and how deep might we need?