ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

MLB experts make predictions for D-backs’ 2023 season

Mar 30, 2023, 12:59 PM

Outfielders (L-R) Jake McCarthy #30, Alek Thomas #5 and Corbin Carroll #7 of the Arizona Diamondbac...

Outfielders (L-R) Jake McCarthy #30, Alek Thomas #5 and Corbin Carroll #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrate after defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in the MLB game at Chase Field on August 29, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Phillies 13-7. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks last made the playoffs in 2017, with a record of 93-69 behind Paul Goldschmidt and former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke.

After getting swept in the NLDS by the Los Angeles Dodgers that year, the D-backs haven’t tasted the postseason since, finishing with the worst record in baseball at 52-110 in 2021.

Fast forward to 2023: a young, athletic outfield that includes Corbin Carroll combined with a strong rotation that has Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly leading the way has the D-backs hopeful for a chance at some October baseball.

Here are what MLB experts are saying and predicting for the D-backs’ 2023 season.

ESPN

Projected record: 78-84 (18% playoff odds | 0.4% World Series odds)

“Arizona has the look of a club that is coming together fast … With 23-year-old Alek Thomas patrolling center field and Corbin Carroll flanking him as a leading NL Rookie of the Year candidate, the skies over Phoenix are growing even brighter,” ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle wrote.

“It’s probably a year too soon to view the D-backs as serious contenders when the top NL teams are so stacked, so let’s say a .500 season with a young, exciting outfield leading the way is a reasonable goal,” ESPN’s David Schoenfield wrote.

Corbin Carroll wins NL Rookie of the Year Award

“Predicting him to win NL Rookie of the Year honors is an easy choice, but let’s go with some big numbers as well: 20 home runs, 40 stolen bases and a .375 OBP. That could land him close to the top 10 of the MVP voting,” Schoenfield wrote.

The Ringer

NL Rookie of the Year: Corbin Carroll

“Corbin Carroll, Diamondbacks. When in doubt, pick the top prospect who hit 30 percent better than average in limited playing time last season, and who can amass value at the plate, in the field, and on the basepaths,” The Ringer’s Zach Kram wrote.

“Carroll. Called up two days before Henderson last August, Carroll—who hit even better than Gunnar after making the majors—also retains his rookie eligibility and, thus, his status as the RotY favorite,” The Ringer’s Ben Lindbergh wrote.

Surprise Team

“Arizona Diamondbacks. My playoff picks are so boring that I need to venture outside those dozen teams to find a true surprise — and while I don’t think Arizona’s quite good enough yet to keep pace with the Dodgers and Padres, I think the Diamondbacks will be surprisingly fun and competitive this season,” Kram wrote.

“The lineup should be at least solid at every position, if not better with youngsters like Carroll and catcher Gabriel Moreno, and the rotation could match if prospects Brandon Pfaadt, Ryne Nelson, and Drey Jameson join Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly. (Nelson’s already in the rotation, but one of the other two should probably replace Madison Bumgarner sooner rather than later.)”

MLB

NL Rookie of the Year Award: Corbin Carroll

“A potential five-tool star, Carroll lived up to the hype in his first taste of MLB action after debuting last August. The D-backs were evidently so impressed by his performance that they signed him to an eight-year, $111 million extension. Carroll clearly captured the attention of MLB.com’s voting panel as well — more than half picked him to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award,” MLB’s Thomas Harrigan wrote.

Sporting News

Projected record: 79-83 (4th in NL West) | 19.9% playoff odds, 0.9% division odds

“The rebuilding phase for the Diamondbacks appears to be nearing an end … Corbin Carroll has a case to be the top prospect in baseball, and he and Alek Thomas look poised to form a formidable pairing in the outfield for years to come,” Sporting News’ Edward Sutelan wrote.

“The pitching could still use some improvement, but Zac Gallen and Brandon Pfaadt look like long-term rotation fixtures, while Merrill Kelly and Madison Bumgarner should eat innings in 2023. All the pieces are there for the Diamondbacks to be a popular sleeper pick this season.”

Sportsnaut

Projected record: 78-84 (3rd in NL West) 

“While the Arizona Diamondbacks are likely a year away from contending for a Wild Card spot, this is the perfect time for fans to get in on the bandwagon early. Corbin Carroll is one of the most exciting, young talents in baseball and he isn’t alone with Gabriel Moreno, Alek Thomas and Zac Gallen as part of the long-term core,” Sportsnaut’s Matt Johnson wrote.

“There’s enough pitching to stay relatively competitive and top prospects like Brandon Pfaadt, Jordan Lawlar and Blake Walston aren’t too far away.”

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