The Arizona Diamondbacks are probably the most exciting story in MLB, if not all of sports this year. A young team on the come-up, being in the playoffs for the first time since 2017 is now in the World Series. But, how? After winning 84 games in the regular season, the Diamondbacks didn't know their postseason fate until the last minute, and they're making the most of it.
Here are 3 players who have been very important in this magical run for the Arizona Diamondbacks
1. Ketel Marte
Ketel Marte has been arguably the best player for the D-backs this season. The 30-year-old second baseman put up an incredibly solid .844 OPS season with a bWAR of 4.9. His mix of power and contact at the plate along with his above-average defense make him a nightmare to play against, and he hasn't stopped in the postseason.
Marte recently became the first player in MLB history to record an 18-game postseason hitting streak, in just his second season of being in the playoffs. Marte's performance saw him crowned as the NLCS MVP, and he is a staple in the D-backs lineup in the World Series. If the D-backs can rally and become World Series champions, Arizona fans should be sure the thank Ketel Marte.
2. Alek Thomas
Alek Thomas was not on many people's radar as someone who would be standing out in the 2023 MLB postseason, yet here we are. The young centerfielder had an underwhelming offensive season with just a .647 OPS, but his stellar defense and unteachable speed have seen him become a big part of the team's run in the postseason, and manager Torey Lovullo should not be disappointed in his decision to stick with him.
It could be argued that Thomas made his name prominent with just one play, but it was a very important play. In Game 4 of the NLCS, down 3-2 to the Phillies, Thomas slammed a game-tying two-run home run off of closer Craig Kimbrel, who could be in the discussion for the Hall of Fame someday. Since then, Thomas has proven to be a reliable bat, especially against right-handed pitching, and is a warrior on the basepaths and in the outfield.
3. Evan Longoria
Evan Longoria is a household name in baseball. The veteran third baseman signed a one-year, $4 million contract in the offseason in an attempt to add some veteran leadership and reliable power to the lineup. Much like Alek Thomas, Longoria's offensive season wasn't much to brag about, but he has proven to be very valuable in Arizona's postseason run. He is consistently providing good defense at third base and has provided some big base hits when needed. While Longoria lacks the flash he once had, Longoria has proven to be a valuable addition to this young team.