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The Scout's View: Diamondbacks
Sports Illustrated asked major league scouts who have closely followed the playoff teams to help prepare reports on the four clubs in the League Championship Series. The scouts were promised anonymity in exchange for their candor. Here's what they revealed. For more postseason baseball coverage see this week's issue of SI, on newsstands Wednesday, October 17.
Lineup
Tony Womack, SS
.266, 3 HRs, 30 RBIs
His speed is his strength. Undisciplined free-swinger who doesn't get on base consistently.

Craig Counsell, 2B
.275, 4 HRs, 38 RBIs
Versatile. Plays second or short, can bat leadoff. No power. Can bunt, hit the other way, hit-and-run.

Luis Gonzalez, LF
.325, 57 HRs, 142 RBIs
Lately, he has been struggling when jammed. Teams try to bust him inside, then pitch him away. When he gets hot, he can carry a club.

Reggie Sanders, RF
.263, 33 HRs, 90 RBIs
Has slider bat speed but excellent at hitting mistakes. Adequate fielder.

Mark Grace, 1B
.298, 15 HRs, 78 RBIs
Best clubhouse leader I've seen. Kills breaking stuff. Must bust him in tight. Still smooth at first.

Matt Williams, 3B
.275, 16 HRs, 65 RBIs
Having trouble catching up with gas and tends to chase balls out of the zone. He's at the end.

Steve Finley, CF
.275, 14 HRs, 73 RBIs
Banged up this year; a month ago Arizona sat him for a week. Now looks spunky. A top defensive centerfielder.

Damian Miller, C
.271, 13 HRs, 47 RBIs
Has short arms, so has difficulty reaching pitches on outside part of plate. First-pitch swinger who makes good contact.

 
Bench
2B Jay Bell can't run, and his lack of range is a killer on defense, but he can still hit for power. 1B Erubiel Durazo could belt 40 home runs if he played regularly, but is not a very good pinch hitter. OF David Dellucci is Diamondbacks' best lefthanded bat in reserve. OF Midre Cummings has knack for starting two-out rallies. OF Danny Bautista might develop into outstanding power hitter. C Rod Barajas , a rookie, will be good backup, but staff doesn't have total confidence in him yet.
Rotation
Curt Schilling, RHP (22-6, 2.98 ERA) Great stuff and preparation -- keeps own scouting reports on hitters and umpires. Splitter is wicked. Can elevate fastball in the zone. Also has very good slider.

Randy Johnson, LHP (21-6, 2.49 ERA) Problem: He never backs down. Sometimes needs to pitch more carefully but challenges hitters by throwing 97-mph fastballs down the middle. No lefthanded hitter wants to face him because he's so nasty.

Miguel Batista, RHP (11-8, 3.36 ERA) Hits 96 mph with natural cutting fastball that moves. Also has slider that could be fantastic with more work. Always had above-average stuff, but looked as if he was afraid to use it. Now he's using it.

Albie Lopez, RHP (4-7, 4.00 ERA) Effective when working both sides of plate but too often doesn't locate his pitches. I don't understand why Diamondbacks traded for this guy -- a 19-game loser [he was 5-12 with Devil Rays before trade] with underwhelming stuff.

Bullpen
RHP Byung-Hyun Kim , the closer, can be unhittable. Throws two tough pitches -- a rising slider that cuts as it lifts and a fastball in the mid-90s. Unfortunately, never know when he'll uncork a pitch over a batter's head. RHP Mike Morgan sinks everything and keeps stuff out of the hitting zone. LHP Greg Swindell is the No. 1 lefty reliever, which is trouble for Arizona. Stuff is easy to see, and he no longer has out-pitch. LHP Brian Anderson a big disappointment with control problems. RHP Erik Sabel shouldn't be in big leagues. Competitive RHP Bobby Witt throws 88 to 90 mph with a decent slider.
 
How To Beat Them
If Atlanta gets past Schilling or Johnson, it has a good chance of winning the series because the Diamondbacks' bullpen is mediocre. The Braves should make the bottom of the Arizona order -- Williams, who's struggling, Finley, Miller -- beat them.


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