If you were to ask most fans of teams in the NL West, they would probably be able to tell you who Nolan Arenado is. However, if the first returns from the NL All-Star voting are any indication, he is not nearly as widely known as he should be, as he currently sits just fifth among third basemen. He's even behind David Wright, who has played in just eight games this season. Arenado is the best third baseman the NL has to offer and it's a shame that it doesn't show in the voting.
After his recent offensive surge, Arenado holds a slash line of .287/.331/.549 in 178 PA on the season, good for a 120 wRC+ and a 124 OPS+, the best marks of his young career. He is also on pace for a whopping 40 doubles and 36 home runs, which would also be career highs for him. To make his numbers even more impressive, Arenado is doing all of it in spite of a career-low .278 BABIP.
Of course, what really separates Arenado from his peers is his defense. In just 45 games, Arenado already has 12 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS). That puts him on pace for a ridiculous 43 DRS on the season. To put that into perspective, the best DRS for any player at any position in 2014 was Jason Heyward with 32. Arenado is on pace for 11 more than that! In fact, the highest DRS recorded in a single season since it started being recorded in 2009 is 41. The highest mark for any other third baseman in the NL so far in 2015 is Todd Frazier with two DRS, a pace for seven DRS in a full season. That being said, here is a link to the 2015 All-Star Game ballot. Now for a look at how the rest of the NL West did this week.
Arizona Diamondbacks (21-25, 7 GB)
The week that was: The Diamondbacks won the final game of their series against the Miami Marlins and took two out of three at home against the Chicago Cubs before being swept in St. Louis by the Cardinals.
Disabled list: RHP Bronson Arroyo (60-day, Tommy John surgery), RHP Enrique Burgos (15-day, shoulder) LHP Patrick Corbin (60-day, Tommy John surgery), RHP David Hernandez (15-day, Tommy John surgery), C Oscar Hernandez (15-day, hand), C Gerald Laird (60-day, back), 3B Jake Lamb (15-day, foot), RHP Matthew Stites (15-day, arm soreness)
Player of the week: Paul Goldschmidt
Surprise, surprise. Goldschmidt was great again last week, slashing .409/.567/.682 across 30 PA with two home runs, six RBI, two stolen bases, and a 227 wRC+. Goldschmidt's 179 wRC+ on the season is the third best mark in the NL.
Colorado Rockies (19-26, 8½ GB)
The week that was: Colorado won the final game of a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies, split four games at home with the San Francisco Giants, and took two out of three from the Reds in Cincinnati.
Upcoming schedule: Next week, the Rockies travel to Citizen's Bank Park for three more with the Phillies, then host four games against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Disabled list: RHP Tyler Chatwood (60-day, Tommy John surgery). IF Charlie Culberson (60-day, lumbar disc), OF Corey Dickerson (15-day, plantar fasciitis), RHP LaTroy Hawkins (15-day, biceps), 1B Justin Morneau (7-day, concussion), RHP Adam Ottavino (60-day, Tommy John surgery), LHP Ken Roberts (15-day, elbow)
Player of the week: Nolan Arenado
Arenado broke out of a slump in a big way this week, with a .393/.438/.786 slash line in 32 PA. He had a triple, three home runs, six runs scored, 12 RBI, and a 206 wRC+.
Los Angeles Dodgers (28-18, 0 GB)
The week that was: The Dodgers lost their final game in San Francisco with the Giants before taking two out of three at home against both the Padres and Braves.
Upcoming schedule: It's back on the road next week. Los Angeles travels to St. Louis for three games with the Cardinals in a rematch of last year's NLDS, then face the Rockies at Coors Field for four more.
Disabled list: RHP Pedro Baez (15-day, pectoral strain), RHP Brandon Beachy (60-day, Tommy John surgery), OF Carl Crawford (15-day, oblique), RHP Chad Gaudin (60-day, wrist), C Yasmani Grandal (7-day, concussion), RHP Brandon League (60-day, shoulder), RHP Brandon McCarthy (60-day, Tommy John surgery), RHP Joel Peralta (15-day, neck), OF Yasiel Puig (15-day, hamstring), LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (60-day, shoulder)
Player of the week: Zack Greinke
Greinke continued his fantastic 2015 season this week. In two starts, Greinke allowed just two earned runs on nine hits in 13⅔ innings, good for a 1.32 ERA. He also struck out 14 and issued just three walks. His strong week lowered his ERA on the season to a minuscule 1.48, the second best number in the NL.
San Diego Padres (23-25, 6 GB)
The week that was: The Padres lost the finale of a three game series at home against the Cubs before traveling to Los Angeles where they lost two out of three against the Dodgers and won two out of three against the Angels.
Disabled list: 1B Yonder Alonso (15-day, shoulder), C Tim Federowicz (60-day, back), RHP Josh Johnson (15-day, Tommy John surgery), LHP Cory Luebke (60-day, Tommy John surgery), RHP Brandon Morrow (15-day, shoulder), OF Wil Myers (15-day, wrist) OF Melvin Upton (15-day, foot)
Player of the week: Odrisamer Despaigne
The right-handed Despaigne had a great week for the Padres, allowing just two earned runs on 11 hits across 12 innings, a 1.50 ERA. He also struck out nine to only two walks.
San Francisco Giants (28-20, 1 GB)
The week that was: San Francisco completed the final game of a three-game home sweep of the Dodgers, split four against the Rockies, and swept three more in Milwaukee against the Brewers.
Upcoming schedule: After closing to within just a game of the division-leading Dodgers, the Giants have seven home games to overtake them. First, they host the Pirates for four, then the Braves come to town for three more.
Disabled list: RHP Matt Cain (15-day, flexor tendon), RHP Jake Peavy (15-day, back)
Player of the week: Nori Aoki
Aoki was an on-base machine this week, slashing .500/.563/.643 in 32 PA, good for a 244 wRC+. He also had a double, a home run, and 14 total hits. That makes 58 hits on the year, the second most in the NL.