What’s not to like about Mark Trumbo? He hit 34 home runs and knocked in 100 runs for the Angels in 2013 and would have likely come close to doing the same for the Diamondbacks this season if he hadn’t missed so much time with a stress fracture in his left foot.
Indeed, there’s plenty to like about Trumbo — if you stop right there. He’s slow, can only play first base or corner outfield (two of the least important positions on the diamond), and is a below-average outfielder according to both the stats and the scouts. All of those homers and RBIs are counterbalanced by deficiencies elsewhere.
Stewart, who — along with Tony La Russa, chief baseball officer of the Diamondbacks — recently expressed a desire for the team to adopt a more analytic attitude, sees a lot of potential in Trumbo. Via Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona:
“You have to like him,” Stewart said.
“You have to like the potential. This is a guy who has 30-plus home runs in two seasons. You have to like that kind of player. And he’s a young player, so we should not be the ones to miss out on his potential.”
Stewart also suggested moving Trumbo from left to right field:
“He’s playing left field, which is a difficult position to play,” Stewart said. “At some point, we may have to see if he is a better right fielder. If he is a better right fielder, that may give him peace of mind and comfort, which will make him a better hitter. We have to look at all possibilities to put our players in the best position we can to get the best we can out of them.”
The Diamondbacks acquired Trumbo last December in a three-team trade with the Angels and White Sox. The slugger earned $4.8 million and will be eligible for arbitration for the second of three years over the winter.