D-backs' all-time single-season team

December 1st, 2021

PHOENIX -- You’ve seen the Top 5 rankings for the D-backs at each position, but what were the best seasons by a player at each position?

Some will be obvious, but others may surprise you.

Here’s a look at the best seasons, by position in D-backs history:

Catcher: 2012 (4.5 bWAR)
Montero was an All-Star in 2011, but he had an even better year in 2012, when he slashed .286/.391/.438 while appearing in 141 games. It was an amazing stretch in which he hit 33 homers, drove in 174 runs and had an .825 OPS.

First base: 2015 Paul Goldschmidt (8.3 bWAR)
During his eight years with the D-backs, Goldschmidt finished second in the NL MVP race twice and third once. He collected four Silver Slugger Awards and three Gold Gloves while appearing in six All-Star Games. In other words, there were lots of great seasons to choose from here, but I went with 2015, when he hit 33 homers, drove in 110 runs and slashed .321/.435/.570. He finished second in the MVP voting to Bryce Harper.

Second base: 1999 (4.9 bWAR)
Ketel Marte’s 2019 season was better than Bell’s 1999, but I went with Bell because Marte split time between second and center that year. Bell helped lead the D-backs to a 100-win season in the franchise’s second year of existence as he hit 38 homers and drove in 112 RBIs. That earned him the start at second base for the NL in the All-Star Game that year held at Fenway Park.

Shortstop: 2008 (3.0 bWAR)
This was not Drew’s best season by bWAR -- that was 2010 -- and because of his amazing defense, Nick Ahmed’s 2018 also had a higher bWAR, but Drew was a force at the plate the 2008 and played good enough defense at short. Drew had 44 doubles, 21 homers and 67 RBIs while slashing .291/.333/.502.

Third base: 1999 (4.1 bWAR)
This was the last truly dominant season in Williams’ illustrious career, and it was a thing to watch. At 33 years old, Williams hit 35 home runs and drove in 142 runs while hitting .303 and getting on base at a .344 clip. He was the starting NL third baseman at the All-Star Game and he finished third in NL MVP voting behind Chipper Jones and Jeff Bagwell.

Left field: 2001 (7.9 bWAR)
Gonzalez put together a remarkable eight-year stretch after joining the D-backs in 1999, and his finest season was in 2001 when he led the team to a thrilling seven-game World Series win over the Yankees. Gonzalez hit 57 home runs and drove in 142 runs while playing in all 162 games. His slash line of .325/.429/.688 earned him a Silver Slugger Award and he also was a starter in the All-Star Game and won the Home Run Derby there. He finished third in NL MVP voting behind Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa.

Center field: 2015 AJ Pollock (5.8 bWAR)
Pollock did it all in 2015 for the D-backs, collecting 39 doubles, six triples, 20 homers and 76 RBIs while also stealing 39 bases. Pollock had a slash line of .315/.367/.498 and he was excellent on the bases as well compiling a Majors-best 1.1 Baserunning WAR (per STATS LLC).

Right field: 2011 Justin Upton (5.1 bWAR)
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 MLB Draft, Upton’s big breakout came in 2011 when he played in 158 games and led the D-backs to a division title. Upton hit 31 homers that year, slashed .289/.369/.529 while compiling an OPS+ of 141. He also won a Silver Slugger Award, was selected to the All-Star game and finished fourth in the MVP voting.

Starting pitcher: 2002 (10.7 bWAR)
It’s hard to pick the best year of Johnson’s career, but 2002 gets the nod. Johnson captured pitching’s Triple Crown that year leading the NL in wins (24), ERA (2.32) and strikeouts (334). He also led the league in complete games (eight), innings (260) and ERA+ (195). That he found a way to top 2001, in which he had won his third straight Cy Young Award and the co-MVP of the World Series, makes 2002 all the more impressive.

Relief pitcher: 2002 (4.0 bWAR)
Kim pitched well in 2001, but he took things to another level in 2002. The 23-year-old put his 2001 World Series struggles behind him and began the 2002 season as the team’s closer. Kim would go on to have the best year a D-backs reliever has ever had compiling a 2.04 ERA, 36 saves and an ERA+ of 223. He was a workhorse, appearing in 72 games and throwing 84 innings.