Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson is aware of what his new left fielder, Mark Trumbo, brings to the table.
Great power, but plenty of strikeouts. Adequate defense as a first baseman, but questionable abilities as a left fielder.
However, the skipper has every belief his new outfielder will come in and help the team win games.
“You know, I’m an optimistic guy,” Gibson told the Burns and Gambo Show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday. “I think that he’s a young, emerging guy. There’s a lot more left in his tank. We’ve seen his power.”
It is Trumbo’s power — 95 home runs over the last three seasons, including 34 in 2013 — that attracted the Diamondbacks.
Though Arizona ranked fifth in the National League in runs scored, with 685, they were fourth-to-last in the NL — and baseball, as a whole — in home runs, with just 130.
But with great power comes great responsibility or, as in Trumbo’s case, a propensity to swing and miss. The slugger fanned 184 times last season, placing him seventh in all of baseball. In comparison Paul Goldschmidt led the D-backs in punchouts with 145.
“I think he’s got room for improvement as far as connectivity,” Gibson added. “We don’t know how good of an outfielder he is, although I do know that he’s a very good athlete.”
Gibson said he believes Dave McKay, the team’s new base running, first base and outfield coach, will play a vital role in Trumbo’s development as a left fielder, where the 28-year-old has played just 75 career games.
“I’m optimistic,” Gibson reiterated. “I think there’s a lot of upside in this kid.”