2003 Arizona DBacks Baseball Graphs Review

Following are graphs and commentary regarding the 2003 season of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Questions or comments can be sent to me at dave@baseballgraphs.com.



NL West Standings The National League West Race

Phoenix was an excited city on July 11th. The Diamondbacks had been playing great ball for about a month, and were four games back. Plus, the division leading San Francisco Giants were coming to town. Unfortunately, the Giants took two of three, and DBacks only played .500 ball for the rest of the year. Still, they had a remarkable run for awhile.

The run was remarkable because their two pitching gods, Johnson and Schilling, were out for significant time and several of their regulars such as Junior Spivey and Craig Counsell were not matching their output of previous years. The run was made remarkable by the performance of several untested rookies, particularly a youngster named Brandon Webb.





Comments How to Read this Graph

Considering that Arizona battled the Dodgers for second place, it's interesting that the two teams held such similar positions on the league chart. Arizona had the second best defense in the league, but they also exhibited some pretty poor hitting. If you hold your mouse over the graph, you'll see the Diamondback's midyear position.

The Diamondbacks' offense declined significantly the second half of the year, which accounts for the dramatic movement left to the .500 line. But their pitching and fielding got even better the second half of the year (they actually move up the chart when you take your mouse off it). ERA after the All-Star break was 3.66, vs. 3.95 before.

Move your mouse over this graph to view the status of each team at the season's midpoint (July 1st).


Pitching and Fielding

Fielding Independent Pitching is based on the following formula: (13*HR+3*BB-2*K)/IP. Defense Efficiency Ratio is (Non-catcher putouts/Batted Balls in Play), adjusted for ballpark. Circle sizes in this graph are proportional to the percent of fieldable balls successfully converted into outs by the fielders.
The Dbacks' Pitching and Fielding

For Arizona, it was all about the pitching. Their FIP was among the league top four, but their fielding was below-average. Although their DER was about average (once adjusted for the ballpark), their zone rating was 20th in the majors and David Pinto's analysis rates them 23rd for fielding balls compared to the majors.

It's hard to spot a good fielder in the data; Win Shares rates Finley and Gonzalez high, but that may be due to a flaw in the Win Shares methodology. The Diamondbacks's pitchers tended to be ground ball pitchers, with a GB/FB ratio of 1.49 vs. a league average of 1.29.

How to Read this Graph


Arizona Diamondbacks Ten Game Averages
April May June July Aug Sept
OBP .325 .334 .345 .317 .318 .345
SLG .408 .422 .467 .384 .397 .430
FIP 0.94 1.23 0.24 0.26 0.17 1.05
DER .727 .731 .712 .721 .696 .702
The DER stats in this table are based on limited data; the trend between months per team is more valid than the absolute number.
The Dbacks Day-by-Day

Arizona had a twelve-game winning streak that ended the first day of July. That June surge was lead by the best run of the year by the offense, and a strong performance by the defense. There was also a lot of luck involved: six of the twelve games were one-run victories. In fact, the Diamondbacks played 55 one-run games during the year, the most in the majors.

As you can see, Arizona also had two streaks of 8 of 10 games won in the second half of the year. It was the pitching that led the team the second half of the year, as evidenced by a great run of Fielding-Independent Pitching. On the other hand, those offensive stats in July and August were truly offensive. Overall, the Diamondbacks' ISO (Isolated Power) was only slightly below league-average, but their OBP was the factor that held them back.



Arizona Diamondbacks' Win Shares

Player          Team    Pos     Hit     Field   Pitch   Sum     WS	
--------	----	----	-----	-----	-----	-----	---	
L Gonzalez      ARI     OF      20.02   4.16    0.00    24.18   24	
S Finley        ARI     OF      12.92   5.08    0.00    18.00   18	
B Webb          ARI     P       0.00    0.00    16.76   16.76   17	
C Schilling     ARI     P       0.00    0.00    14.91   14.91   15	
A Cintron       ARI     SS      10.25   3.81    0.00    14.05   14	
M Mantei        ARI     P       0.00    0.00    13.58   13.58   14	
M Batista       ARI     P       0.00    0.00    13.51   13.51   14	
O Villarreal    ARI     P       0.00    0.00    11.41   11.41   11	
J Valverde      ARI     P       0.26    0.00    10.77   11.03   11	
J Spivey        ARI     2B      5.69    4.47    0.00    10.16   10	
M Kata          ARI     2B      5.03    3.38    0.00    8.41    8	
C Baerga        ARI     1B      6.03    1.18    0.00    7.21    7	
E Dessens       ARI     P       0.00    0.00    6.97    6.97    7	
R Johnson       ARI     P       0.00    0.00    6.44    6.44    6	
R Hammock       ARI     C       3.61    2.71    0.00    6.31    6	
L Overbay       ARI     1B      4.05    1.88    0.00    5.92    6	
S Hillenbrand   ARI     1B      3.95    1.97    0.00    5.92    6	
S Randolph      ARI     P       0.00    0.00    5.66    5.66    6	
C Moeller       ARI     C       2.85    2.79    0.00    5.64    6	
M Koplove       ARI     P       0.00    0.00    5.24    5.24    5	
D Bautista      ARI     OF      3.38    1.57    0.00    4.96    5	
R Barajas       ARI     C       0.65    3.99    0.00    4.64    5	
C Counsell      ARI     3B      1.16    3.41    0.00    4.57    5	
R Mondesi       ARI     OF      2.97    1.24    0.00    4.21    4	
D Dellucci      ARI     OF      2.45    1.34    0.00    3.79    4	
B Kim           ARI     P       0.00    0.00    2.96    2.96    3	
M Williams      ARI     3B      1.27    1.31    0.00    2.57    3	
A Good          ARI     P       0.00    0.00    2.32    2.32    2	
T Womack        ARI     SS      0.00    1.58    0.00    1.58    2	
E Oropesa       ARI     P       0.00    0.00    1.28    1.28    1	
C Capuano       ARI     P       0.00    0.00    1.27    1.27    1	
F Jose          ARI     OF      1.25    0.00    0.00    1.25    1	
E Gonzalez      ARI     P       0.00    0.00    1.11    1.11    1	
S Service       ARI     P       0.00    0.00    0.94    0.94    1	
Q McCracken     ARI     OF      0.00    0.88    0.00    0.88    1	
M Myers         ARI     P       0.00    0.00    0.86    0.86    1	
M Grace         ARI     1B      0.00    0.72    0.00    0.72    1	
L Terrero       ARI     OF      0.19    0.02    0.00    0.20    0	
R Bottalico     ARI     P       0.00    0.00    0.18    0.18    0	
B Prinz         ARI     P       0.00    0.00    0.17    0.17    0	
B Raggio        ARI     P       0.00    0.00    0.12    0.12    0	
J Patterson     ARI     P       0.00    0.00    0.09    0.09    0	
D Reyes         ARI     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
The DBacks' Individual Players

Luis Gonzalez and Steve Finley had fine years in 2003, equal to their 2002 totals. Six of the next seven team leaders in Win Shares, however, were pitchers -- led by the remarkable Brandon Webb. Webb was a highly rated prospect, but he was in AAA at the beginning of the season, and he was brought up on April 21st when Randy Johnson had to go on the disabled list.

Webb did a great job replacing Johnson, posting a 2.84 ERA (2.27 away from BOB) and a FIP of 0.04. Curt Schilling also came back from injury to have a nice year and Matt Mantei had a nice year in the bullpen.

But you've got to talk about the other rookies when you talk about the Diamondbacks. Two rookies -- Valverde and Villareal -- did a great job in the pen, partcularly when Mantei was out in June. Alex Cintron took over shortstop (sending Tony Womack onto the Cubs) and Matt Kata racked up almost as many Win Shares as Junior Spivey at second.

The Dbacks had to be disappointed in their trade with Boston. Shea Hillenbrand reached only six Win Shares with Arizona, while Kim picked up ten with the Red Sox.

You can view all National League Win Shares data via the following links:
All Players, Top to Bottom
Players Ranked by Position
Players Fielding WS by Position