The Arizona Diamondbacks were one of the most active clubs in baseball during the offseason.
General manager Kevin Towers brought in several new players, and the D-backs FanFest on February 9 at Chase Field provided the perfect opportunity for fans to get a look at the fresh faces.
They came in the numbers yet again this year, lining up for autographs, firing questions at their favorite players and taking the opportunity to meet veteran and rookie D-backs prior to Spring Training.
New additions Cody Ross, Martin Prado and Brandon McCarthy participated in their first event in Sedona Red jerseys, and based on reactions, they all feel like they’ve found a comfortable home in the Valley.
“I’m really enjoying it so far,” McCarthy said. “I like the setup they have here.
“It’s a well-put together event that I would assume, if you’re a fan, it’s a lot of fun to be at.”
While McCarthy is used to getting to know a new team and its fans (Arizona is his fourth Major League stop, Martin Prado, another one of Towers’ acquisitions, is not.
Prado has spent his entire professional career with the Atlanta Braves, meaning this is providing a whole new experience for the 29-year-old. The Venezuelan native was greeted with a warm welcome from the fans when he took the stage for Q&A.
“I think people understand that I work so hard to fit myself in the team,” Prado said. “It means that people respect what I do.
“I’m more (of) a ‘Let’s do this’ and ‘Let’s go 27 outs no matter what’ kind of guy. I hope that they can respect that here too.”
Just like Prado, Ross brings veteran leadership to a Diamondbacks club that underachieved last season.
After moving through three different clubhouses in the last four seasons, Ross feels the D-backs offer the right fit for him. As an ex-Giant, the 31-year-old has experienced a fair share of boos in the orange and black at Chase Field, but says it’s nice to be on the other side.
“This has always been one of my favorite places to come and play,” Ross said. “A lot of these fans have seen me on the other side, playing against them, (but) I look forward to going out there everyday and strapping it on for these fans.”