Don't Look to the Diamondbacks for Offense This Fantasy Season

Max ColtenCorrespondent IFebruary 13, 2009

With the signings of Bobby Abreu by the Angels and Adam Dunn by the Nationals, the Diamondbacks' lineup is at a serious disadvantage without one of those bats in the middle of their order. The Diamondbacks could be ok if, and only if, a few players stay healthy and find their forms.

The middle of the Diamondbacks lineup is going to be reliant on one very important factor if they intend to compete, the health of Eric Byrnes. Eric only played 52 games in an injury-ravaged 2008 season, much to the dismay of many fantasy owners who likely drafted him high.

Chris Young, in his second full season with the team, put up the best numbers of any of the Diamondbacks’ outfielders.  He hit 22 homers and drove in 85 runs, while amassing 155 hits; not bad as your third or fourth outfielder.

Justin Upton, in his rookie season, was able to hit 15 home runs in 108 games, but batted a mere .250, and doesn’t seem like a viable fantasy option.

This is where signing Adam Dunn would have helped the Diamondbacks. Inserting a guy who hits 40 home runs every season would take a lot of pressure off of the middle of the order.  It could also help improve both Young’s and Upton’s averages and hitting statistics.

Without signing Dunn, the Diamondbacks will have to hope that Byrnes can return to his 2006 and 2007 form.  In those years he batted .267 and .286 respectively, hit a combined 46 home runs, drove in a total of 162 runs, and stole 75 bases—while only being caught 10 times.

These numbers may not seem like fantastic, fantasy numbers, but had the Diamondbacks been able to sign Adam Dunn, his bat presence would have definitely improved both Young’s and Byrnes’ numbers significantly.

The current first baseman, Chad Tracy, showed very little offensive prowess, hitting only .267, with eight home runs and 39 RBIs in 88 games. In Dunn’s 44 games with the team in 2008, he matched Tracy’s home run total—at a time when the Diamondbacks' season was slipping away despite an exceptional start to the season.

In short, while Dunn’s strikeout totals are rather large (to put it nicely), putting his bat into the Diamondbacks’ lineup for a full season could have improved everyone’s power numbers.

In summary, when Adam Dunn signed with the lowly Washington Nationals, it resulted in a Diamondbacks lineup that will not have that one, big bat to take pressure off everyone else. Even if the Diamondbacks had pursued Abreu, that would have only given them a good number-three hitter, but still not the name.