The NL West has seen significant changes from top to bottom since the conclusion of the 2021 MLB season. This rings true of most divisions in baseball, as ever since the lockout ended, teams have been very committed to either starting a rebuild or starting to build a championship caliber roster.
For the last decade, the NL West has seemingly been the Dodgers’ division to lose, and while it still may be that way for the upcoming season, division rivals have certainly made a push to compete.
We’ll take this step by step — expectations are high, and the Dodgers are primed to compete for the division title, at the very least, yet again.
But what other changes have occurred?
Dodgers’ NL West Division Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks
The Arizona Diamondbacks seem to be the true bottom feeders of the division. This is a team that finished with only 52 wins in 2021, and they made no key additions to their roster for the upcoming season. Ketel Marte and Luke Weaver seem to be the only bright spots for the team, and even they won’t move the needle for this extremely underwhelming unit.
On the bright side, Arizona has four top-100 prospects, three of which are in the top 25 of MLB Pipeline’s latest rankings. However, none of these prospects will be ready to help at the major league level in 2022. If it was hard to tell, I have the Diamondbacks finishing in last place in the NL West by a significant margin, similar to last year. As for a final record prediction, 55-107 sounds fair for the 2022 season.
Dodgers’ NL West Division Preview: Colorado Rockies
Another team that had a disappointing 2021 season and will seemingly continue on that track in 2022 is the Colorado Rockies.
The Rockies finished last season with 74 wins and lost two franchise staples this offseason. Before the lockout, Jon Gray signed a lucrative four-year deal with the Texas Rangers, while longtime shortstop Trevor Story signed a massive contract with the Boston Red Sox.
At the time of writing this, news has also been broken that the Rockies have traded their leadoff hitter, Raimel Tapia, to the Toronto Blue Jays for Randal Grichuk, which could be seen as a significant lineup downgrade. At the very least, Grichuk is an entirely different type of player.
It seems that all that is left of their core is Charlie Blackmon, who has definitely shown his age in the last season or two. With only one prospect ranked in the Top 100, it doesn’t seem like this will be a quick rebuild, either. Luckily, for Rockies fans, that is where the bad news ends, as they found a nice replacement for Trevor Story in Kris Bryant this offseason, signing the 30-year old third baseman to a seven-year contract. As for where they finish in the standings, I see them getting worse without changing their seeding, finishing with a record of 62-100.