Well hello there, internet, and welcome to the Colorado Rockies section of this brand new NL West blog. Now I know what you’re thinking: “Who are you and what are you going to tell me that I already don’t know?” I’ve got answers for both. My name is Nate Garcia and I was born and raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I have always been a huge fan of baseball because my dad got me into it when I was young. Being the only one in my family who was born in Colorado, I thought it was only natural to be a Rockies fan. I’ve followed them for years through the good and the bad. Now I’m just some college kid that’s gonna be telling you a little about this team. I don’t claim to know everything about baseball; I still barely understand WAR, but we’ll get there together. For now, I figure a good post to start out with would be some player intros. The Rox are looking to challenge for a wild card spot this year but the lineup isn’t perfect, but let’s get right into the general starters, sans pitching.
This is by far the most interesting position for the Rockies this year. Last year, we saw a combination of Ben Paulsen, Mark Reynolds, and, on occasion, Gerardo Parra. It wasn’t perfect, and Parra was by far the worst of the bunch. However, the Rockies did something unprecedented this winter by signing Ian Desmond to play first. This move is still seen as a head-scratcher by most, considering Desmond has never played first in his career. The first thought for many was that either Charlie Blackmon or Carlos Gonzalez would be traded, and that Desmond would play the outfield as he had with the Texas Rangers. However, none of that happened, so the Rox were committed to keeping him at first. Desmond has been in the league for years, most of those years with the Washington Nationals, where he played shortstop. He was below average defensively and his bat was slightly above average. Hopefully, this is a good signing, but for right now, this move is definitely a head scratcher.
Here we have a proven player, and one of my personal favorites – batting title holder DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu is a former Cubs prospect that ended up breaking out here in Colorado. He is great defensively and has a solid bat, too. He won’t hit for a lot of power but he makes contact a lot and is good anywhere in the lineup. He has great range and holds down 2B while playing gold glove-level defense. As he ages, his range may decline, but his bat should be just fine.
What a start to this Story, Trevor Story that is. Story broke onto the scene last year with an insane debut in Arizona. He has great power and a quick swing. However, there are plenty of concerns with him. Last season he struck out quite a lot, as he has at most playing levels, and his defense wasn’t great. He’s also coming off surgery on his thumb so that may hurt his performance this year. When he is on, he is one of the most exciting players in the National League. Let’s hope that he wasn’t a one season wonder.
I shouldn’t even have to tell you about this guy. Nolan Arenado is without a doubt the best defensive 3B in the NL and maybe all of baseball. He also has an outstanding bat and is by far the best player on the team right now. Every single full season he has played he’s won a gold glove, and has a couple silver sluggers as well. He is the glue that holds this team together and without him, we fall apart. He’s also only 24 so he’ll terrorize the NL for years to come. The only real concern with Arenado is his contract. We haven’t signed him long term yet, and the fear is if the Rockies aren’t contenders by his free agency, he’ll leave us behind.
No this isn’t about the band, although Blackmon does use them for his walk-up song. The Rockies outfield should be far better this year out on the green.
Here’s another one of the Rockies’ top prospects that came onto to the scene last year. He got called up and showed that he deserved a starting spot. He hit very well, starting his career with a 15 game hit streak. He also played outstanding defense, and is looking like the real deal. There are some injury concerns but nothing major. Most recently he had to get his appendix removed after an outfield collision in the minors, but is reported to be fine. He should be just fine holding down left field at Coors.
The man with the best personality and beard on the team is definitely Charlie. He came up a few years ago when the Rockies traded Dexter Fowler to the Astros, and he has held down center field ever since. He is average to above average defensively, and is a great leadoff hitter, ever since his rookie days. He can hit for some power but is a beast at driving in runs. The only real concern here is his age, 30, but he hasn’t shown signs of slowing down yet. While his main position is CF, he can play any of the outfield positions, which definitely helps.
Last but not least, here’s our longest tenured Rockie. CarGo came to us in a trade with Oakland and has been a staple of our outfield for years now. He has solid defense and a great bat. He has plenty of power, just a gorgeous swing. He is now playing RF, which he said he feels most comfortable in, and has been holding it down. I don’t even need to get into his well-documented injury concerns, which are, of course, still a concern. He has stayed healthy for the most part over the last 2 seasons but you never know when the injury bug will strike again.He also isn’t getting any younger and may start declining soon. Despite all this, he is still a fan favorite and one the staples of the franchise.
So there we have it, the Rockies starting lineup. There will be further breakdowns to come as the season progresses, including looks into the bench, rotation, and ‘pen. See you guys next time.