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Before they were postseason bound: D-backs

September 24, 2017

The D-backs are back in the postseason for the first time since 2011 and sixth time overall. A national audience awaits National League MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt and superstar J.D. Martinez, who will lead a loaded lineup into the NL Wild Card Game at Chase Field and potentially beyond.• Dress

The D-backs are back in the postseason for the first time since 2011 and sixth time overall. A national audience awaits National League MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt and superstar J.D. Martinez, who will lead a loaded lineup into the NL Wild Card Game at Chase Field and potentially beyond.
Dress for October: Shop for official D-backs postseason gear
For many on Arizona's roster, this will be their first taste of October. Here's a look at who will be contributing this postseason:
Jake Barrett, RHP
Born: Upland, Calif.
DOB: 7/22/1991
HS: Desert Ridge (Ariz.) High School
College: Arizona State
Minors: Visalia (A+), South Bend (A), Mobile (AA), Reno (AAA)
• Born in California but raised in the Phoenix area, Barrett is the lone local playing for the D-backs. He caught scouts' attention when hitting 95 mph for Desert Ridge High in its state championship game in 2009. Before cracking the Majors last season, Barrett was selected to the silver-medal U.S. national team at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
Gregor Blanco, OF
Born: Caracas, Venezuela
DOB: 12/24/1983
HS: Ignacio Martin Burk (Venezuela) High School
Minors: Myrtle Beach (A+), Visalia (A+), Macon (A), Mississippi (AA), Richmond (AAA), Gwinnett (AAA), Syracuse (AAA), Omaha (AAA), Reno (AAA)
• Blanco signed a Minor League deal in January with the D-backs, who are his fifth MLB team. He is one of the many successful players hailing from Venezuela, and played for his homeland in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Blanco blossomed as a big leaguer during his five seasons with the Giants, where he was a part of two World Series championship teams, in 2012 and 2014. He is widely recognized for preserving Player Page for Matt Cain's perfect game in 2012, the first in San Francisco franchise history, with a signature diving catch at the center-field warning track.
Archie Bradley, RHP
Born: Muskogee, Okla.
DOB: 8/10/1992
HS: Broken Arrow (Okla.) High School
College: None
Minors: Missoula (R), AZL D-backs (R), Visalia (A+), South Bend (A), Mobile (AA), Reno (AAA) 
• A two-sport star in Sooner Country, Bradley initially committed to Oklahoma to play quarterback and be a starting pitcher, though after he was taken with the seventh overall pick in the 2011 Draft, he signed with the D-backs before going to college, minutes before the deadline to do so. Bradley was initially a starter during his first two seasons with Arizona, but struggled to a 5.18 ERA and was eventually replaced by Patrick Corbin in Spring Training. He's flourished in a setup role this year.
Andrew Chafin, LHP
Born: Kettering, Ohio
DOB: 6/17/1990
HS: Western Reserve (Ohio) High School
College: Kent State
Minors: SAZL D-backs (R), Visalia (A+), Movile (AA), Reno (AAA)
• Chafin is another one of the many converted relievers in the Arizona bullpen. Chafin underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010, yet bounced to become a first-round pick by the D-backs in 2011 -- one of three pitchers the D-backs took that round, including Bradley and Trevor Bauer -- after going 7-1 with a 1.90 ERA and 97 strikeouts over his final season at Kent State. This year, he's sported one of the game's more impressive mustaches, a Teddy Roosevelt look, making him arguably the most recognizable D-backs reliever.
Patrick Corbin, LHP
Born: Clay, N.Y.
DOB: 7/19/1989
HS: Cicero-North Syracuse (N.Y.) High School
College: Chipola College, Mohawk Valley Community College
Minors: Orem (R), Rancho Cucamonga (A+), Visalia (A+), Cedar Rapids (A), Mobile (AA), Reno (AAA).
• Baseball wasn't Corbin's first sport of choice. Growing up in rural New York, his father built a basketball court in their backyard, as Corbin and his four siblings shuffled between sports based on season. He didn't join his high school baseball team until his friends on the hoops squad pestered him during his junior year. Corbin has blossomed into one of this year's breakout starters, particularly with elite offspeed stuff this year. He's generating misses on nearly half of his offspeed pitches swung at, which ranks among the game's best.
Jorge De La Rosa, LHP
Born: Monterrey, Mexico
DOB: 4/5/1981
HS: San Nicholas (Mexico) High School
Minors: Missoula (R), AZL D-backs (R), Grand Junction (R), High Desert (A+), Sarasota (A+), Modesto (A+), Trenton (AA), Huntsville (AA), Wichita (AA), Portland (AA), Tulsa (AA), Monterrey (AAA), Pawtucket (AAA), Indianapolis (AAA), Omaha (AAA), Colorado Springs (AAA), Albuquerque (AAA)
• Before signing with Arizona last offseason and moving to the bullpen, De La Rosa was one of the most successful pitchers in Rockies history. He tops the all-time Colorado charts in wins (86) and strikeouts (985). The veteran left-hander's season with the D-backs has been a homecoming of sorts, as they were the club that signed him as an amateur international free agent in 1998, but he was purchased away by the Monterrey Sultanes of the Mexican League two years later.
Daniel Descalso, 2B/3B
Born: Redwood City, Calif.
DOB: 10/19/1986
HS: St. Francis (Calif.) High School
College: California
Minors: Batavia (A-), Palm Beach (A+), Springfield (AA), Memphis (AAA), Albuquerque (AAA)
• The Italian-American Descalso signed with the D-backs just ahead of Spring Training. They are his third MLB team, after stints with the Cardinals (five years) and Rockies (two years). A viable infield utility man who brings a postseason pedigree, Descalso was the No. 1 starting pitcher for his high school, but his bat would prevail, as he transitioned to an infield role at UC-Davis. Bay Area born and bred, Descalso is the oldest of six.
Brandon Drury, 2B
Born: Grants Pass, Ore.
DOB: 8/21/1992
HS: Grants Pass (Ore.) High School
Minors: GCL Braves (R), Danville (R), Visalia (A+), Rome (A), South Bend (A), Mobile (AA), Movile (AA), Reno (AAA)
• Once one of the top prospects in a blossoming D-backs farm system, Drury is in his fifth season in the Arizona organization. He was acquired in the trade that sent Martin Prado and Nick Ahmed to Arizona as part of a deal with Atlanta for Justin Upton. The athletically versatile Drury broke camp with the big league club in 2016 as one of the last players included on the Opening Day roster. He initially committed to Oregon State but eventually signed with the Braves after being taken by them with the 404th overall pick in 2013.
Zack Godley, RHP
Born: Bamberg, S.C.
DOB: 4/21/1990
HS: Bamberg Ehrhardt (S.C.) High School
College: University of Tennessee
Minors: AZL Cubs (R), Boise, (A-), Daytona (A+), Visalia (A+), Kane County (A), Mobile (AA), Reno (AAA)
• For a club with plenty of depth among starting pitchers, Godley has made an incredibly strong case to make postseason starts for Arizona. And he wasn't even a starter until 2015, the year he made his big league debut (an outing in which he threw six shutout innings). Godley is a diehard Tennessee Volunteers fan, for football as much as baseball, where he played in college. He's also a big fantasy football enthusiast.
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
Born: Wilmington, Del.
DOB: 9/10/1987
HS: The Woodlands (Texas) High School
College: Texas State
Minors: Missoula (R), Visalia (A+), Mobile (AA)
• One of the game's best all-around players -- from defense and hitting to baserunning -- Goldschmidt is in the midst of yet another MVP-caliber campaign. He has twice finished as the runner-up for the honor, has been an All-Star the past five seasons, is a two-time Gold Glove Award winner and a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner. Texas raised, Goldschmidt skyrocketed through the Minors after largely flying under the radar, as an eighth-round pick in the 2009 Draft. He's accumulated just 1,387 Minor League plate appearances, and has been on the MLB disabled list just once in his career.
Zack Greinke, RHP
Born: Orlando, Fla.
DOB: 10/21/1983
HS: Apopka (Fla.) High School
Minors: GCL Royals (R), Spokane (A-), Wilmington (A+), Wichita (AA), Omaha (AAA)
• Had he not flashed the high-90s velocity before his senior year of high school, when he first pitched in a regular rotation, Greinke likely would've been drafted anyway -- as a power-hitting shortstop. Over four years at Apopka High, Greinke hit .444 with 31 homers, according to Baseball America. But Greinke's fate was on the mound. Scouts loved his cerebral approach well before he had his diploma, which is largely why the Royals took him with the sixth overall pick in 2002. In 2015, Greinke signed the highest average annual value contract in baseball history, a six-year deal at $34.4 million per year.
Jeremy Hazelbaker, OF
Born: Muncie, Ind.
DOB: 8/14/1987
HS: Wapahani (Ind.) High School
College: Ball State
Minors:Lowell (A-), Salem (A+), Greenville (A), Portland (AA), Chattanooga (AA), Tulsa (AA), Springfield (AA), Pawtucket (AAA), Albuquerque (AAA), Memphis (AAA), Reno (AAA)
• Hazelbaker is in his first season with the D-backs after being claimed off Cardinals waivers last November. This will be his first taste of the postseason. He grew up in rural Indiana, a town of less than 1,000 population and was drafted by the Dodgers after a successful collegiate career at Ball State, right around the corner from where he grew up.
Chris Herrmann, C
Born: Tomball, Texas
DOB: 11/24/1987
HS: Tomball (Texas) High School
College: Alvin Community College, Miami
Minors: Elizabethton (R), Fort Myers (A+), New Britain (AA), Rochester (AAA), Reno (AAA)
• One of the many successful players to emerge from the JUCO World Series, Herrmann transferred from Alvin Community College in Texas to Miami, where he bolstered his Draft stock and was selected by the Twins in the sixth round in 2009. He was acquired by the D-backs in the 2015 offseason, and set career highs in most offensive categories, though he was limited to 56 games in part due to injuries. Hermann does offer versatility, as he has played in the corner infield and outfield this year.
David Hernandez, RHP
Born: Sacramento, Calif.
DOB: 5/13/1985
HS: Elk Grove (Calif.) High School
College: Cosumnes (Calif.) River College
Minors: Aberdeen (A-), Frederick (A+), Visalia (A+), Delmarva (A), Bowie (AA), Mobile (AA), Norfolk (AAA), Reno (AAA), Gwinnett (AAA)
• This is Hernandez's second stint with the D-backs; he pitched for them from 2012-2015 before leaving for the Phillies in free agency. He was acquired at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline to bolster bullpen depth, and has been largely a seventh- and eighth-inning setup man. He does have postseason experience, having pitched five innings of relief over four games in the 2011 NLDS, also for Arizona.
Jake Lamb, 3B
Born: Seattle
DOB: 10/9/1990
HS: Bishop Blanchet (Wash.) High School
College: Washington
Minors: AZL D-backs (R), Missoula (R), Salt River (AFL), Visalia (A+), Mobile (AA), Reno (AAA)
• Born and bred in Seattle, where he also played at Washington before becoming a sixth-round pick by the D-backs in 2012, the 2017 All-Star blossomed in the Arizona Fall League the following year, with a smooth, left-handed stroke, boasting raw power. He was called up by the big league club the following year, in 2014, when he was also honored as the Organizational Player of the Year. Lamb was a teammate of Mets outfielder Michael Conforto in Little League.
Ketel Marte, SS
Born: Nizao, Dominican Republic
DOB: 10/12/1993 
Minors: DSL Mariners (R), Everett (A-), High Desert (A+), Clinton (A), Jackson (AA), Tacoma (AAA), Reno (AAA)
• Marte was acquired last winter with Taijuan Walker in a trade with the Mariners, with whom he signed with as an international free agent in 2010. Last year was his first full MLB season. In the Seattle farm system, he was named an All-Star in the Southern League (2014) and Pacific Coast League (2015), and played in the MLB All-Star Futures Game at Great American Ball Park in '15.
J.D. Martinez, RF
Born: Miami, Fla.
DOB: 8/21/1987
HS: Charles Flanagan (Fla.) High School
College: Nova Southeastern (Fla.)
Minors: Greenville (R), Caracas (VWL), Tri-City (A-), Lakeland (A+), Lexington (A), Corpus Christi (AA), Oklahoma City (AAA), Toledo (AAA)
• In a Trade Deadline market that was very thin for bats, Martinez has proved to be arguably the best acquisition this year, of any club, as he was dealt from Detroit and provided an immediate and sustained power boost to the D-backs' flourishing lineup. Martinez has been a beacon of resurgence, as he was released by the Astros in 2014, completely re-worked his swing and has surged ever since, with three-plus successful seasons with the Tigers before putting together the best stretch of his career with Arizona. He's been named Player of the Week four times this season, the first time that's happened for any player in any season since the award was established in 1974.
T.J. McFarland, LHP
Born: Palos Hills, Ill.
DOB: 6/8/1989
HS: Amos Alonzo Stagg (Ill.) High School
Minors: GCL Indians (R), GCL Orioles (R), Aberdeen (A-), Kinston (A+), Frederick (A+), Lake County (A), Akron (AA), Bowie (AA), Columbus (AAA), Norfolk (AAA), Reno (AAA)
• Signed to a Minor League contract in March, McFarland was promoted as part of the roster ripple when Shelby Miller partially tore his UCL and required Tommy John surgery. He was drafted by the Indians in 2007, foregoing a scholarship to pitch at the University of Missouri, but didn't make his MLB debut until 2013, with the Orioles, with whom he spent four season before joining Arizona.
Chris Iannetta, C
Born: Providence, R.I.
DOB: 4/8/1983
HS: St. Raphael (R.I.) Academy
College: North Carolina
Minors: Modesto (A+), Asheville (A), Tulsa (AA), Colorado Springs (AAA), Salt Lake (AAA)
• A 12-year veteran, mostly with the Rockies, Iannetta is in his first season with Arizona, signed to add veteran experience behind the plate. He is Colorado's all-time leader among catchers in games (427), runs (187), RBIs (225) and walks (235). He also played four seasons with the Angels, including their 2014 AL West championship year, in which he contributed a 1-for-10 showing with a home run in that year's ALDS loss to the Royals. Iannetta grew up a Red Sox fan but his favorite player was Alex Rodriguez, according to his UNC bio page.
David Peralta, LF
Born: Valencia, Venezuela
DOB: 8/14/1987 
Minors: Johnson City (R), Rio Grande Valley (Ind), Wichita (Ind), Visalia (A+), Amarillo (Ind), Mobile (AA), Reno (AAA)
• Peralta is in his fifth season in the Arizona organization, and has blossomed into a productive outfielder and contact hitter. He was named the 2014 D-backs Rookie of the Year by the Arizona chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America after leading National League rookies in slugging (.450) and OPS (.770). He began his career as a pitcher in the Cardinals' organization from 2005-2009 before moving to the outfield.
A.J. Pollock, CF
Born: Hebron, Conn.
DOB: 12/5/1987
HS: RHAM (Conn.)
College: Notre Dame
Minors: Visalia (A+), South Bend (A), Mobile (AA), Reno (AAA)
• An All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner in 2015, Pollock grew up in New England and attended Notre Dame, where he burgeoned into one of the game's top prospects, eventually being drafted by the D-backs in the first round in 2009. He's overcome two broken right elbows, and this will be his first postseason experience. Pollock is a diehard New England Patriots fan.
Robbie Ray, LHP
Born: Brentwood, Tenn.
DOB: 10/1/1991
HS: Brentwood (Tenn.) High School 
Minors: Vermont (A-), Potomac (A+), Visalia (A+), Hagerstown (A), Harrisburg (AA), Toledo (AAA), Reno (AAA)
• Ray joined the D-backs ahead of the 2015 season as part of a three-player trade with the Tigers. In 2016, he became the fourth player in club history to record 200 strikeouts, joining the likes of Curt Schilling, Randy Johnson and Dan Haren. In 2017, he's been even better, as he's compiled a breakout season as one of the game's best starters. Ray avoided a major scare in July after being hit in the head by a line drive, only needing to go on the seven-day concussion disabled list. A native of Tennessee outside Nashville, Ray regularly listens to old country, such as Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings.
Fernando Rodney, RHP
Born: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
DOB: 3/18/1977
Minors: GCL Tigers (R), Lakeland (A+), Inland Empire (A+), Inland Empire (A+), West Michigan (A), Erie (AA), Toledo (AAA)
• A three-time All-Star and the 2012 American League Comeback Player of the Year, Rodney, a 15-year MLB veteran, is one of just 42 pitchers to finish 500 or more games. He's pitched for three postseason teams (2006 Tigers, 2013 Rays and 2015 Cubs), compiling 11 2/3 innings with a 4.63 ERA in the playoffs. Rodney is known for his unique celebration when completing a save, shooting an imaginary bow and arrow.
Adam Rosales, 1B/SS/3B
Born: Chicago
DOB: 5/20/1983
HS: Maine South (Ill.) High School
College: Western Michigan
Minors: Billings (R), Sarasota (A+), Stockton (A+), Dayton (A), Chattanooga (AA), Louisville (AAA), Sacramento (AAA), Round Rock (AAA)
• A 34-year-old MLB journeyman, Rosales is in his first year with the D-backs, who are the fifth team he's played for. He was acquired at this year's non-waiver Trade Deadline in July after beginning the year with Oakland. Mostly relegated in a bench role, Rosales has earned platoon time with Jake Lamb late in the season, and bolstered infield depth that the D-backs didn't initially envision they'd need. Rosales is of Mexican-American descent.
Taijuan Walker, RHP
Born: Shreveport, La.
DOB: 8/13/1992
HS: Yucaipa (Calif.) High School
Minors: AZL Mariners (R), High Desert (A+), Clinton (A), Jackson (AA), Tacoma (AAA)
• Walker grew up a big basketball buff, and likely could've played on a college scholarship, but he found a passion for baseball -- particularly pitching -- when he was 11. Walker went on to become the Mariners' top selection in the 2010 Draft, impressing with his 6-foot-5, 200-pound frame that spewed high-90s velocity, and he was acquired by Arizona this offseason in the Jean Segura trade. In July, Walker and his wife celebrated the birth of their first child, Zayden.

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.