Can Corbin Carroll be the Best Arizona Diamondbacks Prospect Ever?

Can Corbin Carroll be the Best Arizona Diamondbacks Prospect Ever?
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The Arizona Diamondbacks have a shot at achieving a piece of franchise history in the team’s 25th season.

Outfielder Corbin Carroll could become the first player in D-backs’ history to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award.

The 2019 first-round selection is currently the odds-on Arizona sports betting favorite to win the award.

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DraftKings Sportsbook Arizona lists Carroll at +400,. Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Miguel Vargas has the second-best odds at +500.

Carroll, who is ranked as the No. 2 prospect in baseball by MLB.com, is expected to start on Opening Day for Arizona at one of the three outfield positions.

Carroll, 22, has played 174 minor league games across three seasons, hitting .302 with 31 home runs, 101 RBI, 54 stolen bases and 147 runs scored.

Carroll showed flashes of brilliance after getting called up to The Show late in the regular season last year, hitting .260 with four home runs and 12 RBI across 32 games.

BetArizona.com, which provides full coverage of new Arizona sports betting apps, utilized azsnakepit.com and Baseball-Reference.com to calculate the total career Wins Above Replacement (WAR) of some of the best Arizona Diamondback prospects in the franchise’s history and see what it will take for Carroll to join the list.

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Notable Diamondbacks Prospects By Career WAR

Player Position Career WAR Rookie Season WAR
Max ScherzerRHP71.71.3
Paul Goldschmidt1B58.53.4
Justin UptonLF32.30.8
Trevor BauerRHP21.01.9
Didi GregoriusSS17.81.4


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Why Carroll Could Win NL ROY Award

Carroll appears to be the darling of baseball writers and oddsmakers alike, thanks to his unique blend of hitting, fielding and raw speed at a position of value.

Between his old-school ability to get on-base (.330 OBP and .830 OPS in 32 MLB games) and an ability to hit above league standards during his age-21 season (with a 133 OPS+ and 1.2 WAR in his brief MLB run), Carroll appears to be the next big thing in the Valley.

If Carroll is able to match the WAR-per-game number he put up in 2022 (.0375 per game), then we can expect him to put up a 162-game total of 6.075 in 2023.

To put that number in perspective, the last NL ROY winner to have a WAR of 6 or more was Jose Fernandez of the Marlins in 2013. Julio Rodriguez of Seattle was the last AL rookie to hit such a mark, doing so during the 2022 season.

The last D-backs player to crack the 6 WAR figure was Ketel Marte in 2019. He finished the year at 6.9 for an 85-77 Arizona squad.

As the D-backs look to return to the MLB Playoffs for the first time since 2017, Carroll should figure front and center to those efforts.  

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Other Notable D-Backs Rookies

If Carroll is able to match that 6-WAR projection, he’d smash the first-year totals of some of the franchise’s previous cornerstone players.

The best rookie year WAR of the five players BetArizona.com surveyed was first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who finished 2012 with a 3.4 WAR.

Goldschmidt, who went on to win an MVP with the Cardinals, belted 20 home runs and 82 RBI in his first full season in the Valley, more than doubling any of the others surveyed.

The next closest was pitcher Trevor Bauer, who posted a 1.9 WAR as a rookie (after Arizona traded him to Cleveland) in 2014.

Even future Hall of Famer pitcher Max Scherzer, who began his career in Phoenix, struggled during his rookie stint with the D-Backs, going 9-11 with a 1.3 WAR across 170.1 innings pitched.

Needless to say, if Carroll can live up to the standard he set last season, he’ll find himself among rarified company as the 2023 MLB season winds to an end.

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Author

Christopher Boan is the lead writer at BetArizona.com after covering sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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