Getting Carded in Arizona


I’m fairly confident saying that I know less about the 2011 Arizona Diamondbacks than any other MLB team.  I asked a couple of my friends if they could name anyone on the Arizona roster and all of them did better than I did.  I asked the other Twins Twin and he at least identified a guy that USED to play for the Diamondbacks, Brandon Webb, even if that was two years ago.  Since interleague play is so brief, and the Twins are probably NOT going to be playing the Diamondbacks in the World Series, I thought this would be a good time to profile the two players on the Diamondbacks that I have a 2011 baseball card for. 

The first is arguably the Diamondbacks’ biggest threat, Stephen Drew.

Stephen Drew hits cleanup for the Diamondbacks and, per his baseball card, has a career batting average of .272.  He’s playing near that this season (.267) and he has his on base percentage up over his career average (.349/.333) but his slugging has slacked a bit, so he’s sporting pretty similar OPS numbers (.763/.779).  Baseball Reference will tell you that he’s most similar to former Twin J.J. Hardy, but Hardy wasn’t asked to bat 4th and provide the pop for the Twins while he was there.  Drew’s hitting zone’s suggest that the Twins will need to pitch him down and away and feed him plenty of curveballs (he’s hitting just .214 against the curve this season).  Stephen Drew spreads the ball out well enough but Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau should be ready for the ball to come their way.

The other Arizona Diamondback that I didn’t know, but had a baseball card of, is Chris Young

When I looked up Chris Young on Baseball Reference I was faced with the option of choosing Chris B. Young or Chris R. Young.  I wasn’t sure which one was which, so hoping to avoid an extra click, I looked at the back of my baseball card and selected the one with the appropriate birthdate, Baseball Reference directed me to Chris R. Young, who is a pitcher for the New York Mets.  Turns out that the Topps 2011 Heritage card has a misprint, and included the wrong Chris Young’s birthday.  Eventually I found my way over to Chris B. Young’s page and away I went.  Per his baseball card, Chris Young was voted as Arizona’s 2010 MVP by the media.  Between his outfield defense and his quickness from the leadoff spot Young will pose as a legitimate threat to the Minnesota Twins.  If he reaches base (hitting only .219 with a .264 OBP) he is a threat to steal.  Chris Young is hitting just .187 on balls down and away and pulls the ball to the left side a majority of the time.

If the Twins can keep the balls down and away from both of these players they should have an opportunity to silence two of the Diamondbacks’ biggest threats