Mike Hazen has his Arizona Diamondbacks in a surprising first place position in the NL West as his team hits the season’s halfway point. The D-Backs stand 48-33, leading the San Francisco Giants by 2.5 games with Los Angeles back in third.
Considering that Arizona finished in fourth place 14 games below .500 in 2022, it’s fair to ask whether Hazen is a turnaround specialist. Or as the Arizona general manager simply been the beneficiary of over-achievement?
Grading the Arizona Diamondbacks at the midway point of the schedule
What follows is a mid-term assessment of Hazen’s personnel decisions since the conclusion of the 2022 World Series with a particular focus on the extent to which those decisions have helped or hindered the Diamondbacks’ performance.
The standard of measurement in Wins Above Average (WAA), a variant of Wins Above Replacement (WAR). For this purpose, WAA is preferable because unlike WAR, it is zero-based. That means the sum of all the decisions made by Hazen impacting the 2023 team gives at least a good estimate of the number of games those moves have improved (or worsened) the team’s status this season.
A team’s front office impacts that team’s standing in five ways. Those five are:
1. By the impact of players it acquires from other teams via trade, purchase or waiver claim.
2. By the impact of players it surrenders to other teams in those same transactions.
3. By the impact of players it signs at free agency or extends.
4. By the impact of players it loses to free agency or releases.
5. By the impact of players it promotes from its own farm system.
Here’s how Hazen stacks up by those five yardsticks.