Arizona has the first baseman considered to be the best at his position and a center fielder who ranks among the best. The Diamondbacks' left fielder was part of the top 10 the other day, and today they have another top-10 player among right fielders. Don’t forget that they had the first pick in the draft last summer and selected Dansby Swanson, who will start the 2016 season either in the highest level of Class A or in Class AA and will be a candidate to reach the big leagues next year.
To all of this high-end talent in their lineup, they have now added Zack Greinke, one of the best pitchers in baseball, which is why some players in the division texting and emailing after the Greinke news broke Friday now regard the NL West as wide-open, with Arizona right in the mix with the Dodgers and Giants. More on that in a bit. First: ranking the top 10 right fielders, based on the input of evaluators and players around the majors.
1. Bryce Harper He had an adjusted OPS+ of 195 during the 2015 season, which puts him in the company of Ty Cobb, Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron and Albert Belle, among others. And he did all that despite the fact that no other Washington hitter reached 20 homers last season -- or 80 runs scored or 75 RBIs or even 50 walks. His ability to square up pitches when he’s ahead in the count is staggering, considering his age. According to Baseball-Reference.com, in those situations when Harper resolved at-bats with zero strikes -- when he could look to attack pitches -- he posted a .484 batting average, with a slugging percentage of .960. He was 60-for-124 with 14 doubles and 15 homers. To put that into context, the OPS in zero-strike at-bats for some of the games best hitters: Harper 1.544 Chris Davis 1.470 Nelson Cruz 1.421 Paul Goldschmidt 1.385 Joey Votto 1.362 Mike Trout 1.340 Jose Bautista 1.233 Nolan Arenado 1.134 Josh Donaldson 1.131 Miguel Cabrera 1.074