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Diamondbacks Game Preview #119: 8/19 vs. Cardinals

The immediate impact of Stone Garrett

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Dylan Carlson - CF Daulton Varsho - CF
Tyler O'Neill - LF Emmanuel Rivera - 1B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Josh Rojas - 2B
Nolan Arenado - 3B Christian Walker - DH
Albert Pujols - DH Jake McCarthy - RF
Tommy Edman - 2B Stone Garrett - LF
Paul DeJong - SS Sergio Alcantara - 3B
Yadier Molina - C Carson Kelly - C
Lars Nootbaar - RF Geraldo Perdomo - SS
Miles Mikolas - RHP Tommy Henry - LHP

Stone Garrett came up from Reno this week, and immediately proved right, all those who had been calling for his promotion. Two games is, very obviously, not much of a sample size. But he has still set a couple of interesting marks in his time as a Diamondback. On the other hand, we have certainly seen players before who got off to a hot start, only to fade rapidly back to normal (or below) levels of production. While this won’t stop me in the slightest from enjoying Garrett’s opening salvo, it will take a bit longer before I’m willing to commit to a long-term relationship. :) Let’s take a far-too-early look at both sides of the Stone Age so far.

Best D-backs’ position player debut by Win Probability: +34.3%

Only three Diamondback position players have even reached +20% in their MLB debut. The first was Travis Lee in the team’s first ever game, on March 31, 1998. He went 3-for-4 with a home-run, and would have been worth considerably more than 21.3%, if the game had not been a blowout 9-2 loss to Colorado. His six total bases has still never been matched for Arizona, now in their 25th season. The other was Mark Reynolds, who was worth +25.5%, coincidentally also in a loss against the Rockies. He had a two-run double in the fifth, which tied the game up at two. Bonus fun fact: the worst debut belongs to A.J. Pollock’s who went 0-for-3 with a walk, meriting -15.5%. Hey, at least he didn’t hurt himself.

Most extra-base hits through two games: three

With a pair of doubles in his first game - including one which he clearly thought was going out of the park! - and one more yesterday, Stone becomes the first player in franchise history to have three extra-base hits in his first two major-league games. His four hits are also tied for the most across that span: it was previously done by Travis Lee, Robby Hammock, Chad Tracy and Adam Eaton - the last was in 2012, so it has been almost a decade. Hammock did it in just six at-bats, though perhaps the most impressive* start was Alex Cabrera, who fell a double short of the cycle in his first four AB, including a homer with his first PA (we were in Friday’s Front Row that game!).

Reasons for caution

The link above is the top ten AZ debutants by OPS over their first six games, minimum of ten PA. He’s only two games in, but Stone’s OPS is currently 1.375, which would slot him in between Carlos Quentin and Alek Thomas. The problem is, looking at the list there’s hardly anyone except for Mark Reynolds whose time with the D-backs came anywhere close to living up to that early promise. I note, in particular, the presence at #3 of Seth Beer - the man who was optioned to Reno to make way for Garrett. Thomas is another member of the 2022 D-backs who has fallen off tremendously of late. His OPS is down to .659, having gone just 5-for-43 with no XBH and one walk over his last 12 games.