Corbin Carroll aimed to reward Diamondbacks’ trust with Rookie of the Year incentive

Nov 14, 2023, 8:53 AM

Manager Torey Lovullo speaks with Corbin Carroll...

Manager Torey Lovullo #17 speaks with Corbin Carroll #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks looks on prior to Game One of the Championship Series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on October 16, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks star Corbin Carroll accomplished his goal of winning National League Rookie of the Year on Monday, benefiting the organization in ways beyond his play.

Carroll earned the D-backs an additional draft pick at the end of the first round for winning the award, a new incentive from the 2022 collective bargaining agreement called the Prospect Promotion Incentive.

The Diamondbacks and Carroll reached an eight-year contract extension worth $110 million before the season, and the 23-year-old wanted to reward Arizona’s trust. Carroll made his debut at the end of August 2022, but the D-backs saw enough in his development and work ethic to invest in him long-term.

“That’s probably what brought the most weight to chasing something like this for me,” Carroll said on a conference call on Monday. “Not for the personal fame or attention but that ability to benefit my team. I’m hoping to be here long enough where that draft pick is hopefully a star player on the Diamondbacks alongside me. Just being able to reward the front office’s belief in me in this way is really special.”

The D-backs are lined up for the No. 29 pick after reaching the World Series and now an early 30s draft pick before tax threshold penalties are handed out. The new award-driven draft provision was set up to reduce service time manipulation.

Carroll’s eligibility came from having fewer than 60 days of service time entering the year and landing on preseason top 100 prospect lists by Baseball America, ESPN and

Carroll became the 14th unanimous NL Rookie of the Year and first since 2017.

He slashed .285/.363/.506 with 25 home runs and 54 steals in 155 games over his first full MLB season. The outfielder is the 26th player to play in the World Series and win Rookie of the Year.

Earning a spot in baseball history along with players he looked up to growing up in Seattle like Ichiro Suzuki meant a lot, Carroll said. The D-backs All-Star explained Ichiro impacted the brand of baseball Carroll wanted to emulate.

Carroll expressed the desire to inspire others in a similar light.

“Definitely not the biggest guy out there on the field, but my ability, to not be that guy and still be able to impact the game, that’s one piece of it,” Carroll said. “Not too many Asian Americans in this circumstance, I think that’s another piece of it that I hope to inspire. And also just the style of play, the respect for the game, going out there and giving your 110%, that’s something I also hope people take from that.”

Carroll said Monday was an emotional night.

The number of Carroll jerseys in the stands at Chase Field grew as the 2023 season progressed. Having young players for fans to associate with the D-backs for a long time is a value general manager Mike Hazen explained last week. He’s addressed multiple times the opposite effect trading Paul Goldschmidt after 2018 had.

“People seem to really get excited about Corbin Carroll and having Corbin Carroll here for a long time is an important piece to that for us to be able to build around moving forward,” Hazen said at the GM Meetings. “We have other younger players we feel we would like to have here to build that team identity around.”

Hazen said in March that there were no guarantees signing someone with limited MLB experience to a long-term deal but he was willing to bet on the person. Carroll gave the D-backs their first-ever Rookie of the Year campaign.

“There was kind of this dynamic where I felt like I wanted to repay or reward the belief that our front office had in me in getting my contract done,” Carroll said.

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