What else can baseball fans do in January but dream of October? In You May Say I'm a Dreamer, the Outside Corner staff will imagine the route to a World Series in 2013 title for all 30 teams.
The Diamondbacks completely retooled their roster going into the 2013 season, and it ended in exactly the way that GM Kevin Towers imagined: with him and manager Kirk Gibson hoisting the World Series trophy on the infield at Chase Field in October.
Arizona traded a franchise player in Justin Upton for a package of players that included third baseman Martin Prado, who the team inked to a four-year contract extension after the trade. The versatile third baseman posted an .803 OPS in 2013, homering 15 times and winning a Gold Glove at third base to help lead the Diamondbacks to glory. Prado got some help across the diamond from first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who added 23 homers, and from second baseman Aaron Hill, who homered 24 times with 17 stolen bases after also getting a contract extension this winter.
The new-look Diamondbacks outfield also delivered in spades. Center fielder Adam Eaton won the NL Rookie of the Year award after a 2013 campaign that saw him hit .303 with a .795 OPS, five homers, and 33 stolen bases. Left fielder Jason Kubel smashed 28 homers in his second season in the desert. Then, there's right fielder Cody Ross, who had 18 homers and a .781 OPS to somewhat justify his signing that helped accelerate Justin Upton getting dealt to the Braves.
On the mound, Ian Kennedy had a 3.44 ERA in 204 innings, striking out 180 batters for the Diamondbacks. New acquisition Brandon McCarthy threw a career-best 185 innings, posting a 3.84 ERA in his first season in the National League. 2012 NL Rookie of the Year runner-up Wade Miley pitched 192 innings with a 3.80 ERA. Trevor Cahill was a bit of a disappointment for Arizona though, logging 201 innings and posting a 4.07 ERA.
In the bullpen, JJ Putz continued to hold the fort down at the end of the game. In 56 innings, Putz had a 2.57 ERA and struck out 62 hitters while saving 34 games. David Hernandez struck out 90 hitters in 70 innings while posting a 2.31 ERA. Even Heath Bell got in on the act a little bit, throwing 64 innings with a 2.95 ERA as the primary seventh inning guy for Arizona.
The Diamondbacks returned to the playoffs by winning the NL West with 91 wins. In the NLDS, they knocked off the NL East champion Braves in four games as Atlanta's offense was doomed by a 1/17 performance from Justin Upton. The Diamondbacks won the NL pennant by beating the NL Central champion Reds in seven games, using a barrage of offense in game seven to overcome Cincinnati's solid pitching staff. Finally in the World Series, Arizona beat the Rays in six to bring the second World Championship to the desert.