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Breaking down Arizona Diamondbacks outfield Corbin Carroll

Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

If the season were to end right now, Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll would have a shot at being the unanimous NL ROY selection. The 22-year-old has showcased his five-tool talent throughout the season with a .287/.372/.516 triple slash line, nine homers, 16 stolen bases as well as some sparkling plays in the field. Despite his strong start though, Carroll, like all rookies, has some flaws in his game that could be exploited by Atlanta Braves pitching. Below we are going to look at how the Braves might approach him at the dish, his potential matchup with Spencer Strider and what he does in the field.

Weakness at the plate

Breaking/off-speed pitches

As most rookies tend to do, Carroll has crushed fastballs this season to the tune of an xBA of .295, xSLG of .524, xwOBA of .402 and average exit velocity of 90.1. Against the other two pitch types though, it’s a very different story. When facing breaking balls using the same numbers as above, he’s sitting at .218/.359/.309 with an average exit velo of 89.1 with off-speed pitches being a similar story of .223/.308/.229 with an even lower exit velocity of 87.6. The league has started to make an adjustment to those numbers as he saw breaking pitches 35.2 percent of the time in May compared to the 30 percent that he saw in April. Because of that league-wide adjustment alone, I expect Carroll to see a steady diet of breaking pitches from both Braves starters and relievers in this series.

Predicting the Spencer Strider matchup

There’s only a handful of batters in the league that have the upper hand in a matchup with Strider and Carroll is not one of them. As outlined above, Carroll has dominated fastballs this year and Strider’s most used pitch this season is his four seamer which he uses 60.7 percent of the time. Strider has a good enough four seamer as well as the aggressive nature on the mound to where he likely won’t deviate from his normal approach when facing Carroll, but the numbers are there and shouldn’t be ignored. If Strider decides to go to his secondary stuff in his slider and changeup, a bit more than usual against Carroll it is difficult to see the rookie having any semblance of a solid day at the dish. For this matchup I’m going to predict that Carroll faces Strider three times, striking out twice, both on sliders whilst picking up a single on a four seamer.

Impact as a fielder

The most underrated aspect of Carroll’s game is what he does with the glove. Since debuting late in the 2022 season, Carroll has already amassed 7 outs above average in addition to an outfield jump that ranks in the 93rd percentile in baseball this season. Carroll has played at least 102 innings at each outfield spot for the Diamondbacks this season making his impact as a defender even greater. However, if there is one defensive shortcoming to his game it is his arm. This season, his average arm strength is just 83.9 MPH, which is down three MPH from last season. As a result, if Braves hitters are given the opportunity to try for an extra base against Carroll, they should certainly test his arm.

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