So by now we have all heard about Seattle and Arizona’s Thanksgiving swap:
Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte to the Diamondbacks
Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger and Zac Curtis to the Mariners
First thought is that the Diamond backs finally have a GM that knows what he is doing.
With Walker and Ketel the D-Backs have acquired two talented players that have upside and likely have not reached the ceiling of that upside.
Segura is a buy high and Seattle hopes he will continue to produce. Haniger has an interesting power, speed combo but the jury is out on his batting average being high enough to become a starter. Curtis has promise but should be considered a throw in at this point.
Lets talk some Jean Segura for a moment. Dude had a great season. There were not many bright spots on the Diamondbacks team last year but he was one. Segura had 203 hits batted .319 with 20 hr’s 33 sb’s but lets look at some of the underlying numbers. Segura had an wOBA (weighted on base average)of .371. In 2015 his wOBA was .268. Hmm seems like the giant bump. Now in BABIP Segura benefited from was .353 compared to .298 in 2015. The latter being more of an MLB average so there seems to be some luck there. I’m not going to be so quick to label this a career year for Segura as he is only 26. You have to applaud the new Arizona GM for selling high on Segura though.
Taijuan Walker has it all, he is a 6’4″ 24 year old and had an avg fastball speed of 94 mph. This is complemented by 3 more pitches (curve, cutter,change) to to go with his fastball. Now that I’ve discussed the talents of Taijuan’s throwing arsenal his main focus now is learning how to pitch. Due to injuries over the past few seasons Walker has amassed a total of 357 innings in the majors. We have seen glimpses of games where everything clicks for Taijuan. Its these games that remind us that he is capable of being an ace caliber pitcher. Now that he will pitch in the National League it should result in a bump in strike out totals. Having Walker in a rotation of Grienke, Miller, Bradley & Corbin is scary. If everything clicks for this rotation then Arizona will challenge the Dodgers and Giants in the NL West.