Burns & Gambo draft its own Arizona Diamondbacks Dream Team, Day 1
How would you build the ultimate Arizona Diamondbacks Dream Team?
Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo will be answering that question this week, as hosts John Gambadoro and Dave Burns, anchor Sarah Kezele and producer Jordan Byrd each draft their own squad.
All four will fill out an entire eight-man position lineup, with five starting pitchers and a closer.
With a random drawing for draft order and going snake style, Sarah, Jordan, Burns and then Gambo made up the order.
Once the draft concludes, a panel of three judges of Greg Schulte, Tom Candiotti and Mike Ferrin will pick the best overall baseball team.
Check back here on ArizonaSports.com each night, where we will be recapping the days and breaking down each pick.
Here are the results of the first four rounds from Tuesday.
1. Randy Johnson, SP (Team Kezele)
Just because Sarah made the obvious pick doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve any credit. The four-time Cy Young winner in Arizona is the most dominant and best D-back of all time. Nothing more needs to be said.
2. Luis Gonzalez, OF (Team Byrd)
Byrd called Gonzalez “the most obvious offensive player” on the board, and he was.
Gonzo hit for average better than any D-back ever, a slept-on part of Gonzalez’s game when everyone knows about the homers. Gonzo hit a team-record .336 in 2001 and above .300 in four seasons.
There’s a big gap between the duo of Gonzo and Goldy and every other bat the D-backs have ever had. That’s a big advantage for who drafts them.
3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B (Team Burns)
Great value for Burnsy. Goldschmidt’s consistency has sort of become a meme with how boring he is, but he has four of the top-nine seasons in D-backs history when it comes to WAR.
Burnsy also gets Goldy’s underrated glove, giving him a Gold Glover and Silver Slugger, one of two position players in franchise history to earn both accolades.
4. Curt Schilling, SP (Team Gambo)
This is a conservative selection for Gambo, who had to get an ace with one of his back-to-back picks.
Schilling surprisingly does not own a top-10 season in franchise history for ERA. He did post a sub-3.00 number in both ’01 and ’03, and he’s one of the three best pitchers in franchise history.
5. Matt Williams, 3B (Team Gambo)
The key to this draft will be identifying which positions get very shallow after one or two names, essentially avoiding picking last at a position that has no depth.
With that in mind, I have no issues with a Williams selection. His 1999 season of .303/.344/.503 with 35 homers and 142 RBIs was a monster. I’m excited to see who picks Chad Tracy.
6. Brandon Webb, SP (Team Burns)
Webb is the best starting pitcher Arizona has had since Johnson and Schilling left, and the only other D-back to win a Cy Young Award besides Johnson.
He lets runners on more than the other aces, with a career WHIP of 1.239, but his 3.27 ERA over seven seasons was very impressive as Burnsy continues to grab the most consistent players.
7. Zack Greinke, SP (Team Byrd)
Tough spot for Byrd. He could have gambled waiting on Greinke after Sarah’s picks but needed that top starter.
With Greinke not living up to the ludicrous price tag and numbers in Los Angeles, it’s easy to lose track of him having a very good 3.40 ERA in his D-back career. And he’s the best defensive pitcher the D-backs have ever had too, an added bonus.
8. Steve Finley, OF (Team Kezele)
Oh no, Sarah! This is the first pick where I have some major qualms.
Finley’s best D-backs seasons for all major statistical categories rank outside the top-10. That’s not quite the top tier we are talking about with the eighth overall pick, even though Finley is still a great hitter.
Sarah does get the two-time Gold Glove but she’s going to be in trouble if she doesn’t add more hitting around Finley as her number one bat.
9. Dan Haren, SP (Team Kezele)
Haren shines on these all-time season leaderboards. He is the only starting pitcher besides Johnson, Schilling and Webb to post a WAR above 6.0 in two different seasons.
Haren’s career ERA in Arizona is uninspiring at 3.56 but he was tremendous in 2009. His ERA of 3.14 ranks 15th all-time and 1.003 WHIP is near the top. A great number two in the rotation for Sarah.
10. Justin Upton, RF (Team Byrd)
Byrd didn’t like the depth in the outfield so he grabbed J-Up and it was a good call. He got one of the few premium outfielders remaining.
Upton posted an OPS above .895 and WAR hitting 4.0 in 2009 and 2011. No other D-backs outfielder besides Gonzalez has achieved both in two separate seasons. Byrd has both of them on his team. Pretty good.
11. Patrick Corbin, SP (Team Burns)
Burnsy might have been able to wait another round for Corbin, but it’s slim pickings in the rotation once the top names are gone, so no complaints here.
Corbin’s 2018 season that got him paid of a 3.15 ERA and 1.050 WHIP is outstanding. That WHIP, by the way, tops some of the best Schilling and Greinke seasons. Don’t sleep on prime Corbin.
12. Mark Grace, 1B (Team Gambo)
Gambo cited strategy here but he whiffed on execution. Among all-time seasons at first base in franchise history, Grace’s 2001 season ranks 13th in WAR and outside the top-20 in OPS. He hit .298 in that season.
Despite Gracey’s pedigree, this one could really hurt Gambo later on.
13. Ketel Marte, 2B (Team Gambo)
I love this pick. Marte’s 2019 is one of the best seasons in franchise history. It’s third in WAR, second in batting average and fourth in OPS.
Second base is fairly deep but Marte is quietly becoming one of the best D-backs ever and Gambo got him in the fourth round. Nice!
14. Miguel Montero, C (Team Burns)
Here we go! Burnsy reaches big on an average player who absolutely is the best player available at his position by a wide margin.
There are only five seasons by a D-backs catcher that have an OPS at or above .800, and Montero has three of them.
Burnsy is betting on balance to his team, and I’m a fan of it.
15. Robbie Ray, SP (Team Byrd)
Byrd is confident with his bats so he grabs his second pitcher, a wise choice.
Ray is one of seven D-backs to post an ERA below 3.00 in a season, and his two best K/9 seasons beat two Johnson Cy Young years.
He lets guys on-base for sure, but Ray will be good at No. 2 for Byrd.
16. Ian Kennedy, SP (Team Kezele)
After Kennedy, this is right around where the dip on starting pitching begins, so Sarah holds a distinct advantage with three ace-level starters.
Kennedy’s best year in 2011 with a 2.88 ERA, 1.086 WHIP and 21 wins is one of the best seasons ever by a D-backs pitcher. He’s one of four pitchers in franchise history to ever hit the illustrious 20-win mark for a season.
Sarah needs to make up ground with her bats in the next few rounds but did well stacking up her rotation.
Round 1 selection: Randy Johnson, SP
Round 2 selection: Steve Finley, CF
Round 3 selection: Dan Haren, SP
Round 4 selection: Ian Kennedy, SP
Round 1 selection: Luis Gonzalez, LF
Round 2 selection: Zack Greinke, SP
Round 3 selection: Justin Upton, RF
Round 4 selection: Robbie Ray, SP
Round 1 selection: Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
Round 2 selection: Brandon Webb, SP
Round 3 selection: Patrick Corbin SP
Round 4 selection: Miguel Montero, C
Round 1 selection: Curt Schilling, SP
Round 2 selection: Matt Williams, 3B
Round 3 selection: Mark Grace, 1B
Round 4 selection: Ketel Marte, 2B