Defense was a point of emphasis for the D-backs last spring and it paid off, according to the advanced defensive metrics, including defensive runs saved.
The D-backs led all of baseball with 71 defensive runs saved, easily outdistancing the next-closest team, the Kansas City Royals, who finished with 56. The D-backs were third in the Majors in ultimate zone rating.
"I think it's just the culture we created here," D-backs center fielder A.J. Pollock said of the team's defensive mindset. "Everyone buys into the fact that defense is one of the most important things you can do."
The D-backs showed dramatic improvement in the standings going from 64 wins in 2014 to 79 this past year and not coincidentally there was also great improvement on the defensive side as they went from 10th to first in defensive runs saved.
Goldschmidt led all first basemen with 18 defensive runs saved.
"Since Day One his work ethic at first base is unmatched," D-backs manager Chip Hale said of Goldschmidt last month. "He tries to get better on a daily basis whether it's improving his range, knowing the hitters, he's just a really selfless guy. There were a couple of times there were balls that got by him that the official scorer gave hits on and he was petitioning that they should be errors. So he wants to be better every day and he works at it."