By the Numbers: A statistical look at the Arizona Diamondbacks’ offense
While the season may not have lived up to expectations, the Arizona Diamondbacks finished their year with a winning record of 82-80.
The D-backs struggled to find the proper offensive momentum to reach the postseason, largely because of their poor efficiency at bat.
As a result, the team mutually parted ways with hitting coach Dave Magadan.
These are some of the most notable stats when looking at the D-backs’ offensive performance this season.
Of the 30 teams in the MLB, Arizona ranked No. 28 in total hits with just 1,283 in the 2018 regular season. This was the lowest hit total in franchise history with 67 less hits than the previous mark set by the 2007 D-backs. Needless to say, it wasn’t an easy season at the plate for Arizona.
Despite their low hit count, Arizona managed to tie with Seattle for the 17th most home runs in the majors with 176 on the season. For as much as they struggled at bat, the D-backs did a solid job of capitalizing on their limited opportunities.
Arizona ranked in the lower third of teams in runs batted in with 656 on the year. Twentieth isn’t a horrible ranking, but it was not enough for a team fighting to make the Wild Card in a crowded National League. With the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers both ranked in the top seven in RBI, it was nearly impossible for the D-backs to keep up with the competition.
It’s as simple as this: you can’t win games if you don’t hit the ball and the D-backs finished the year with a batting average of .235, the third worst in the major leagues. Defense is incredibly important and was the catalyst in Arizona’s winning record, but it’s equally as important to have a consistent rotation of reliable batters on your bench. Arizona couldn’t get the job done this season and missed out on the playoffs because of it.
One of the more positive outlooks of the 2018 D-backs squad was the ability to read opposing pitchers and steal bases. Arizona finished seventh in the MLB in stolen base percentage at 75.96 percent led by center fielder Jarrod Dyson, who stole 16 bases in his 67 games this season.
Of all batters in the MLB, outfielder David Peralta ranked No. 24 in batting average at .293 this year. Peralta provided a glimmer of hope for the D-backs throughout the season by showing up and taking care of business each and every night. Reliability is one of the most important factors in building a batting order and Peralta answered the call whenever his team needed him.
Arizona may have been in a very different situation had they improved this number, but the D-backs totaled just 93 RBI in the month of September. This was the seventh fewest RBI of any team in the month and effectively ended their hopes of reaching the playoffs.
Fatigue could certainly be a factor in the dreadful September drought that saw Arizona winning just 8-of-27 games, but a .214 batting average will really ruin a team’s chances of making a playoff run. This was the second-worst batting average in the MLB behind San Francisco’s .211 in September.
Franchise cornerstone Paul Goldschmidt has been the gold standard for consistency as he’s grown into one of the games best batters. Unfortunately, Goldschmidt suffered a decline as his team lagged behind, scoring just 95 runs in 158 games. This was his lowest run total since 2014, when he played just 109 games. Prior to this season, Goldschmidt never had less than 103 runs in a season in which he played 155+ games.
Even in a downward-trending year, the combo of Peralta and Goldschmidt provided a major boost to the D-backs’ batting core. The tandem accounted for 25.8 percent of Arizona’s runs batted in this season, a massive feat despite the lackluster outcome of the season.