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The Arizona Diamondbacks had a highly disappointing 2010 season
In 2008, the Arizona Diamondbacks finished second in the National League West, two games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. They won 82 games that season.
Each of the next two seasons, however, the D-Backs finished in last place, winning no more than 70 games in either year. They are now with their third manager since that '08 season, and early predictions peg the Diamondbacks to finish below .500 again.
But the way I see it, this team is far too talented to be that bad again. They vastly improved their ball club for 2011. Last year, when they won only 65 games, they led the league in strikeouts, with over 1,500. They parted ways with Mark Reynolds and Adam LaRoche, who were first and fourth respectively in National League strikeout rankings.
Youngster Justin Upton is primed for a huge breakout season - we could see 30/30 from the former number one draft pick. Chris Young is another speed/power combination threat. And catcher Miguel Montero is only getting better at the plate, and has 20-home run potential.
The rotation, while very young, is very talented. Daniel Hudson looks to be absolute gem for the D-Backs, and could wind up leading the league in strikeouts. Ian Kennedy and Barry Enright got some good experience in 2010 and look to continue their development this season.
I recently predicted the D-Backs to finish in second place in the division. And I still stand by that prediction. The Diamondbacks may surprise a lot of people this year.