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What Arizona Diamondbacks Can Expect from Mark Trumbo in 2014

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What Arizona Diamondbacks Can Expect from Mark Trumbo in 2014
Gregory Bull/Associated Press

The Arizona Diamondbacks' biggest offseason move was acquiring Mark Trumbo from the Los Angeles Angels back on Dec. 10.

He is nothing short of a power hitter, slugging at least 29 homers each year since 2011. Trumbo and teammate Paul Goldschmidt are going to provide headaches in the top half of the lineup, especially with left-handed hitting Miguel Montero batting in between them.

What can fans expect from their newest acquisition?

Trumbo has played the first four years of his big league career with the Angels. More recently, he has been in the background as Los Angeles spent millions and millions of dollars on guys like Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton.

Looking at the trade, the 28-year-old got the upper hand in the deal. He won’t be playing first base anymore, a position he struggled with in Los Angeles. He gets 81 games in a dome, three times as many games he has played in a dome in his entire career (27).

Let’s start with the bad side and get it out of the way.

Trumbo whiffs at a ton of pitches. He has increased his strikeout total in each season since becoming a starter in 2011. He struck out 120 times in 149 games that year, and the Californian followed that up in 2012 with 153 punchouts in 144 games. Last season, he had 184 strikeouts in 159 games.

Is that number going to drop? Yes. Of the 184 strikeouts from last season, 98 of them came in his division, the American League West. Thirty-one of those came against the Texas Rangers and 25 came from the Seattle Mariners.

The reason it will improve is because the 2014 NL West will not have the same type of pitching the 2013 AL West had. Yes, the Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke, and the Giants have Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain.

Mark Trumbo's numbers against different types of pitchers.
AB AVG HR OPS
Power 399 .201 15 .615
AVG P/F 609 .261 31 .778
Finesse 710 .268 49 .846

Baseball-Reference.com

However, many of the pitching staffs in the NL West are loaded with finesse pitchers, the type Trumbo has been most successful against in his career. More than half (49) of his career home runs (95) have come against finesse pitchers, with another 31 homers against hurlers who average a little of both power and finesse.

As for power numbers, don’t except a huge increase. Hitting at Chase Field for 81 games will be beneficial to his home run total. Trumbo should go ahead and make his reservations at Friday’s Front Row for the 2014 season.

His new divisional foes do not sport the friendliest of parks for hitters, though. Only three major league parks saw fewer home runs than the Giants’ AT&T Park. Dodger Stadium had the sixth-fewest long balls and the Padres' Petco Park had the ninth fewest.

Of course, the exception in the NL West is the Rockies’ Coors Field and its thin air.

Trumbo hit 19 of his 34 homers last season at home, which again is good for the home crowd at Chase Field. Last season also marked the first season of his career in which he drove in at least 100 runs. He should be able to do it again with the hitters that precede him in the lineup.

Gerardo Parra and Aaron Hill are expected to hit first and second, respectively. They will be followed by Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Montero, who didn’t have his best season last year.

With the exception of Mike Trout, those players have better numbers in terms of getting on base than those who preceded Trumbo in Anaheim.

Trumbo isn’t a guy who is going to be on base all the time, rounding the bases and scoring runs. His career high is 85 runs, which he earned last season. He doesn’t walk very often and isn’t threatening enough to get a free pass.

How many homers do you think Trumbo will hit in 2014?

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He has been intentionally walked just 15 times in his career. His new leadoff hitter has more than double that with only one more year of MLB service.

He is going to take his hacks and drive the ball into the gap, over the wall or nothing at all. Trumbo is a home run threat when he comes up to the plate but can be an easy strikeout victim.

However, sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery for a player to show just how good he is.

All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com

You can follow Trey on Twitter @ treydwarren

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