Diamondbacks Spring Spotlight: Carlos Quentin

Diamondbacks Spring Spotlight: Carlos Quentin

The Arizona Diamondbacks are obviously loaded with young talent. Some of it is a year or two away from making the big leagues, while other prospects that have already made it are still a couple of seasons away from superstardom. But if you had to pick one of these youngsters to perform at an All Star level this season, you would be foolish to select anyone other than Carlos Quentin.

The man can flat out hit.  Big Q bashed 67 extra base hits in 484 at bats between Triple-A and the majors last season.  That projects to 83 over 600 at bats; the same amount of XBH as Albert Pujols hit last year.

The power will be there.  The bigger question is whether Quentin will get to 600 at bats.  His 142 games played last season was a career high.  He also got plunked by 39 pitches last season, and that's not an aberration.  Just ask frequent target Craig Wilson, who broke a finger twice in one year getting hit by pitches, how easy it is to stay in the lineup when you continually get plunked.  Finally, Quentin inexplicably struggled against southpaws last year, to the tune of a combined .227 batting average.  If that trend continues, Scott Hairston will steal a significant portion of Quentin's playing time against lefties.

There are good omens in those points as well.  His hit by pitch totals and walk totals are both high.  As someone who can both hit for power and get on base,  Quentin would be an asset in either the #3 or #4 holes in the lineup.  And although he'd rather forget his .227 mark against southpaws, his .295 batting average against right-handers hints at someone who is not going to get fooled by major league breaking pitches. 

As fantastic a hitter as Carlos Quentin is, his other contributions on the baseball diamond often get overlooked.  He can run a bit, as evidenced by his 15 successful steals in his last 16 attempts.  However, his combined 19 double plays grounded into last year is a cause for some concern.  Defensively, Carlos is well above average.  He threw out three base runners last year in his 400 defensive major league innings after gunning down 11 in Tucson.  He should post double digits in assists this year before teams stop running on his arm.  Fans have already seen Quentin make several fabulous sliding catches, plus he gets to all of the balls he's supposed to and more.

If Carlos Quentin does stay healthy all season long, he's going to have a big, big season.  Just 24 years old, Quentin is only going to improve from there. 

2007 Prediction: .279/.390/.519 28 HR 96 RBI

Read more from Keith Glab at BaseballEvolution.com  

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