The Baseball Exchange

Top 10 Reasons why the Colorado Rockies Will Be Serious Contenders in ’08 by 27yankees
September 20, 2007, 11:42 pm
Filed under: Awards, Baseball Scouting, Baseball Statistics, Top Lists

TwentySeven here! I liked my post the other day about Phil Hughes, the format specifically. So, I’m proud to present you with:

The Top Ten Reasons why the Colorado Rockies Will Be Serious Contenders in ’08

10. The NL West is a mediocre division. Sure, it’s not NL Central territory, but there are no real powerhouses in the division and the only really bad team in there are the Giants.

9. They have perhaps the best depth in the division with several good players at almost every position and no major weaknesses. They are just a player acquisition or two away from having great players at every position.

8. Jeff Francis is due for a breakout sometime soon. 152/60 K/BB. 4.25 ERA. He has a 43.8% groundball percentage and a 7.6% popup percentage. He’s really been pretty unlucky and just a bit wild.

7. Their pitching has had a 4.03 ERA second half. Their pitchers got better as the season went on, and that is a trend that they can only hope will continue. Because a 4.03 ERA is pretty good.

6. They have an excellent bullpen. Manny Corpas has been excellent as the closer for the Rox, and before that as a relief pitcher. And that’s not to say that Brian Fuentes, who was the incumbent closer, was stinking it up. The Rox have a cadre of elite relief pitchers in Corpas, Fuentes, and surprisingly, LaTroy Hawkins, Jeremy Affeldt, Matt Herges, and Jorge Julio. Though regression can be expected from a few of those, the Rox can expect the return of Ramon Ramirez and all they need to do is bring in another arm and they have a pretty good ‘pen.

5. They are 37-28 in the second half, compared to 44-44. Obviously tied in with #7, but it’s a sign of improvement, which is always good.

4. Franklin Morales, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Jason Hirsh. All three top pitching prospects should go in the rotation next season and provide excellent starting pitching. Morales is an erratic lefty with an excellent fastball. He can strike guys out. Jimenez is also a decent prospect. Hirsh was brought in in the Jason Jennings trade, and though he struggled before breaking his leg in ’07, he projects to be a #2-3 starter.

3. Matt Holliday is a man-beast. OK, lets be honest here. He’s overrated. He doesn’t walk as often as you might hope. He’s DRAMATICALLY better at home than on the road. But at home, he’s crazy good. Take a look:

Home: 306 AB; .376/.434/.722; 24 homers; 74 RBI; 115 H
Away: 294 AB; .303/.370/.497; 11 homers; 54 RBI; 89 H

The Rockies have cash to spend. The team is spending just $54 million dollars, fifth last in baseball. The only playoff contender spending less is the Diamondbacks

1. Troy Tulowitzki is a man-beast. For real, this time. What do almost all playoff-contending teams have? Excellent up-the middle defenders and excellent up-the-middle bats. Coco Crisp. Dustin Pedroia. Robinson Cano. Melky Cabrera. Derek Jeter. Jorge Posada. Grady Sizemore. Victor Martinez. Jose Reyes. Carlos Beltran. You see where I’m going?

Troy Tulowitzki was supposed to be a decent hitter with an excellent glove, and was supposed to progress into a good player. He was never supposed to be an all-star calibre hitter. The scouts said that even though he was the heir to Bobby Crosby in college, Crosby was many times better. Tulowitzki proved them wrong in his very first season. Tulo, as he is lovingly called by Rockies fans, has flashed a bat that was never supposed to be this good. Though he also has a strong case of the Coors splits, his aren’t as drastic and for a shortstop, he’s unquestionably been a good hitter.

However, his true strength has been his glove. Both stats and scouts agree that this season he should almost unquestionably win the Gold Glove. The stats say that his fielding entered Ozzie Smith territory this season. Though that might be a bit farfetched, he certainly has been a truely excellent fielder.

If it weren’t for a certain rookie who has 30+ home runs, Tulo would almost certainly be a shoo-in for the Rookie of the Year award. Even as it is, there is a strong case to be made that Tulowitzki deserves the award on the basis of his defense. But either way, the accolades are rolling in on this young man. And heres the kicker: He’s just 22.


1 Comment so far
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“A certain rookie who has 30+ home runs…” hmmm, I wonder who that is.

Comment by red

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