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Former Diamondbacks in the 2019 playoffs: Yes, it’s a significant number

Left to right: Max Scherzer, Chaz Roe, Will Harris (Getty Images)

If you’ve been watching the 2019 MLB playoffs, you may have noticed a familiar name or two … or 16.

That’s because the Arizona Diamondbacks have 16 alumni whose teams qualified for this year’s playoffs, though 17 if you count Dansby Swanson, the team’s No. 1 overall pick in 2016 who was traded and never played a game for Arizona.

There are also D-backs alumni on this year’s playoff coaching staffs, like former D-backs managers Bob Melvin (OAK), A.J. Hinch (HOU) and Chip Hale (WAS), former D-backs players Craig Counsell (MIL), Matt Williams (OAK), Henry Blanco (WAS) and Alex Cintron (HOU), former D-backs interim manager and third base coach Al Pedrique, and probably others that we’ve left out.

Let’s be clear: Having lots of alumni in the playoffs is not necessarily a sign of mismanagement or a lament of what could have been. Retaining one player could have precluded them from acquiring or retaining another key piece, so let’s leave the “what if” in the unknown parallel universes where they belong.

But interestingly, ESPN’s David Schoenfield tallied up each team’s former players who made the 2019 postseason — both by how many they have, as well as the players’ combined WARs (wins above replacement). Schoenfield counts the D-backs as having the third-highest combined WAR of its former players behind only Oakland and Pittsburgh.

The D-backs were tied for the fourth-most former players, only behind three teams in a three-way tie for first. However, ESPN’s piece counted all players who were once part of a team’s organization — not just those who suited up in a regular season major league game. He also used the active rosters for the division series, meaning it excludes injured players and teams that were eliminated in the Wild Card games.

Also, the figure doesn’t count Ender Inciarte (Atlanta) and Jake Barrett (New York), who are injured.

So for those reasons, our list is slightly different than Schoenfield’s. Here’s our list of former D-backs players who made the playoffs, with their active MLB years for the D-backs listed in parentheses:

Zack Greinke – HOU (2016-19)
Wade Miley – HOU (2011-14)
Will Harris – HOU (2013-14)
A.J. Pollock – LAD (2012-18)
Didi Gregorious – NYY (2013-14)
Paul Goldschmidt – STL (2011-18)
Chaz Roe – TB (2013)
Patrick Corbin – WAS (2012-18)
Fernando Rodney – WAS (2017)
Daniel Hudson – WAS (2010-16)
Max Scherzer – WAS (2008-09)
Adam Eaton – WAS (2012-13)
Gerardo Parra – WAS (2009-14)
Jake Diekman – OAK (2018)
Yusmeiro Petit – OAK (2007-09)
Chase Anderson – MIL (2014-15)

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