Arizona Diamondbacks' Top Bounce-Back Candidate For 2023

We continue our look at each team's top bounce-back candidate heading into 2023 Spring Training. For the Arizona Diamondbacks, one name jumps off the page, for it's a player for whom the ball has jumped off his bat during his young career... Just not in 2022. 

Ketel Marte was a Top 4 MVP finisher in 2019, his breakout season that saw him make the All-Star team while clubbing 32 home runs to go with a .329 average and a .981 OPS. In 2021, he once again topped the .300 mark, batting .318, and the .900 OPS mark, at .909. The counting numbers were down, as he only managed to play 90 games due to injury. But his 143 OPS+ spoke volumes.

2022 was not what anyone in Arizona had in mind, however, for Marte. He slumped to a .240 average with a .727 OPS with just 12 home runs in 558 plate appearances. 

But there were some good signs: he was still in the 96th percentile in max exit velocity; he hit a career-high 42 doubles, and walked a career-high 55 times. Plus, his BABIP dropped to a career-low .276 in 2022, far below his career .311 mark. BABIP (batting average on balls in play) is largely tied to luck, so it can be expected that will go up again, and with it, so will his average. 

And if we need to find another, more obtuse reason to expect Marte to have a bounce-back season, we can use the old odd-year theory. 2019 and 2021 were banner seasons for the D-Backs' second baseman... Here's hoping 2023 follows the trend.

Other bounce-back candidates:

Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports