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Arizona Diamondbacks Unsung Hero of the Decade Poll

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A fairly clear-cut selection of candidates from the open nominations thread, these five all reaching double-digits in recs.

Arizona Diamondbacks v. Los Angeles Dodgers

Andrew Chafin

Chafin will be entering his seventh season as a Diamondback, and health permitting, will end it #1 all-time on the franchise list for appearances. He currently sits in second, 51 behind the leader, but Andrew has managed 70+ games in each of the last three seasons. Indeed, over that time, no pitcher in the major leagues has made more appearances than Chafin’s total of 228. And there has been quality as well as quantity during his time in Arizona, with Chafin sporting a healthy ERA+ of 122. Often considered a lefty specialist, it’s worth pointing out that Chafin has faced more right-handed batters than lefties over his career, and has held the former to an OPS of just .691.

Josh Collmenter

Three men have thrown a shutout and got a save the same season for Arizona. Collmenter is two of them, doing so in both 2014 and 2015. [The other was Brian Anderson in 1999] He was also the team’s Opening Day starter the latter season. Josh is, perhaps, our ultimate utility pitcher, the only D-back to have made both 60+ starts and 60+ relief appearances with the team. Collmenter is one of three men to have thrown six bullpen innings in a game for Arizona, and that includes RJ’s power-outage game in San Diego, which shouldn’t count. He’s the franchise record holder with 63 bullpen appearances of 2+ innings, and with the next current D-back being Archie Bradley on 16, Josh won’t lose that record any time soon.

Daniel Descalso

No player was more clutch than Descalso in the 2010’s, not just for us, but across all of baseball. By Fangraph’s clutch metric, he totaled 7.94 for the decade, more than a point and a half ahead of anyone else. Even though he spent just two seasons with the D-backs, Declutchso still rates a 3.22 here. That’s the highest figure for Arizona in the 2010’s; only Jake Lamb (2.62) even reaches two. In terms of Win Probability for that pair of campaigns, Daniel comes in at +391%, trailing only Paul Goldschmidt over 2017-18, who had 534 more plate-appearances. He was ahead of David Peralta, A.J. Pollock, Lamb and Ketel Marte, despite have fewer PA than each. And he even pitched four times as a Diamondback!

Ryan Roberts

A permanent fan favorite and blue-collar hero with Arizona, thanks to stories such as him living in the Reno Aces’ clubhouse during his time there. TatMan spent parts of four seasons with the Diamondbacks, from 2009-12, giving the team a total of 5.3 bWAR while earning barely $3 million. Ryan was instrumental in the team’s most recent NL West title in 2011, and delivered the best regular-season moment of the decade, his extra-inning grand-slam capping off the latest and greatest rally in franchise history. A week later, another Roberts’ slam set up the decisive Game 5 in the NLDS. When a man like Kirk Gibson says of you, “He’s not scared,” you know you have something. He’s still keeping busy, to put it mildly!

Brad Ziegler

The franchise leader in pitcher appearances, at least for now (see above), Ziegler compiled a stellar 157 ERA+ over parts of seven seasons in the desert. That trails only Randy Johnson among all pitchers with 100+ innings as a Diamondback. A trade-deadline acquisition from the A’s in July 2011, Ziegler’s funky delivery and ground-ball tendencies proved a huge success. Brad likely peaked in 2015, when he saved 30 games and had an ERA of 1.85, beating Byung-Hyun Kim’s franchise record for a D-backs’ closer of 2.04, set back in 2002. He returned for a last hurrah in another trade deadline deal in 2018, this time from the Marlins, and retired at the end of the season.

Poll

Who was the D-backs unsung hero of the 2010’s?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Andrew Chafin
    (25 votes)
  • 24%
    Josh Collmenter
    (32 votes)
  • 21%
    Daniel Descalso
    (28 votes)
  • 14%
    Ryan Roberts
    (19 votes)
  • 21%
    Brad Ziegler
    (29 votes)
133 votes total Vote Now