2010 Rewind: 83-79, third place NL West. Due mostly to a woeful road record, the Rockies missed the playoffs in a very competitive NL West. With a lot of youth and some dominant players on both offense and pitching, the Rockies have what it takes to contend.
The Good: Two elite, MVP-like players. Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki are two of the youngest, most talented players in baseball and they lead the Rockies’ potent offensive lineup. And you can’t talk about the good of the Rockies without mentioning their ace Ubaldo Jimenez. Few teams can boast such a legitimate ace. He sported a 19-8 record with a 2.88 ERA and even threw a no hitter a year ago. These three young players form an impressive nucleus for years to come.
The Bad: Bottom of the lineup. Right fielder Seth Smith is going to have to prove that he’s not a first half wonder in order to hold onto his position. He drove in only 14 RBIs after the All-Star break. That is unacceptable and will have to be improved upon or the Rockies will have no choice but to make a move. Catcher Chris Iannetta has the starting catching job, but will need to produce much better offensive numbers in order to stabilize the catching position, an area the Rockies have struggled with throughout the years.
Biggest Loss: The Rockies had an uneventful offseason. No major moves as the Rockies believe they have the foundation to succeed. Some young players from the minors are coming up to add depth.
Best Addition: Ty Wigginton. You know it was a quiet offseason when this well-traveled utility man is your best addition. Wigginton has 20-HR potential and can help spell the young 3B Ian Stewart, who struggled against left-handed pitching.
Fantasy Slant: Obviously, CarGo and Tulowitzki are the elite fantasy players in the Rockies’ lineup along with Jimenez from the mound, but the Rockies have a lot of young players who warrant close consideration. Dexter Fowler is the Rockies starting centerfielder. He’s a great speed option as a fourth outfielder your fantasy squad. Ian Stewart is still only 26-years-old. He has bouts of inconsistency, but should he ever figure it all out he could be a 30+ HR guy for your fantasy squad. Watch Iannetta’s performance as the Rockies have super prospect Wilin Rosario waiting in the wings. Rosario will start in the minors, but an injury or major slump from Iannetta could lead to a mid-season call up for the power-hitting catcher.
Final Take: The NL West is very balanced (outside of the Diamondbacks) so it’s up for grabs. The Rockies did very little to improve their team, but will their young talent come of age. If so, expect an improvement on last year. As it stands now, I’m not seeing enough to foresee too much of a difference from last season though…2011 Record: 82-78, 3rd place, NL West
Fantasy Baseball, MLB