Greetings! Welcome to the BSN Denver Power Rankings.
Throughout the course of the 2017 season, we will be providing you with Power Rankings for the Colorado Rockies roster at three positions; Starting Pitcher, Bullpen, and Position Player. The rankings will be released at noon on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday respectively.
Each week, we will update the rankings based heavily on the performance from that time period. This is not meant to be a definitive list of who is the best, but rather a more volatile ranking of where everyone stands at any given moment in time.
Without further ado:
Position Player Power Rankings
10. Tom Murphy — Murphy makes the list despite a lack of MLB time contributing to his confidence level. As stated in Our Top 25 Under 25 series, we believe Murphy has Rookie of the Year potential and it will only be a matter of how much playing time he gets. He started off slow in the spring but hit his first home run yesterday and has made some small but important improvements behind the plate.
9. Mark Reynolds — There shouldn’t have been much doubt about Mark Reynolds coming into 2017, he had a very strong season a year ago, and despite the fact that the Rockies handed 70 million dollars to his replacement, Reynolds decided to return to Colorado to chase a pennant. This spring, he has already shown to be more versatile than some thought, proving he can still play decent third base defense in addition to what we saw at first in 2016. he has also been one of the Rockies most consistent bats, hitting .400 and slugging .667 through seven games.
8. Tony Wolters — Spring training is where Tony Wolters earned a name for himself, going from relative unknown to “we gotta find a place for this guy” by simply raking this time a year ago. Of course, that offense didn’t carry over into the season, but Wolters proved to be a vital member of this team with his abilities behind the plate. He is putting up great spring numbers again, and while that doesn’t mean his bat has necessarily improved by leaps and bounds, its hard to deny the continued overall upward trajectory of Tony Wolters.
7. Ian Desmond — Desmond hasn’t done much one way or the other this spring. The bat has looked fine, though one ought not get carried away with veterans’ batting averages this time of year. He showed some inexperience defensively at first, which was to be expected, but he has also shown flashes of being a plus defender there, using his overall athleticism to his advantage a few time already. He is the type of player who could quickly rise up this list as he takes more of a leadership role and as the bat comes around, though it is also possible he stalls out if he can’t figure our first base.
6. David Dahl — Might have been a spot or two higher, but a stress reaction in his rib is keeping David Dahl out of action and has his start to the season in question. Still, with how highly touted Dahl has been for a long time and with how much we got to see of it at the end of last year, he is quickly becoming like Tyler Anderson who you can always expect to be good-to-great as long as he can stay on the field. The reports on the injury consistently suggest it is minor, so we expect he will get plenty of opportunities in 2017 to show the world what he can do.
5. Trevor Story — A prime candidate for regression, it wouldn’t surprise too many people if Trevor Story hit far fewer home runs this year than he did last, if for no other reason that it was incredibly unlikely the first time around. And while we don’t disagree with that sentiment, Story is already leading the squad with threee spring training home runs backed up by a .737 slugging percentage. Story also keeps getting better and better on defense. The .211 batting average and six strikeouts are concerning, but as long as he keeps hitting home runs every other game, it’s gonna be hard to move him down a list like this.
4. Carlos Gonzalez — CarGo hasn’t done much this spring and he is one of the few guys for whom that really doesn’t matter. He did show a little pop, hitting a home run for Venezuela upon joining them for the WBC, but Gonzalez is in this spot because of his resume. Some will tell you that he is on a downward trend, others will remind you of the other times it seemed like CarGo was on a downward trend when that turned out not to be true. Coming off a 25-home-run season and a Gold Glove nomination, you would think he’d still be considered among the best outfielders in baseball but now somehow seems underrated. It will be an interesting year for him one way or the other, but a player this talented playing for his next contract could be a sight to see.
3. DJ LeMahieu — Speaking of underrated, DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu is coming off a season in which he, much to the dismay of many in the national press, won the batting title. Of course, a ton of qualifiers were attached to it. It didn’t really count because of Coors Field, and because it was “punchless” and because he sat out the last few games in order to not hurt his chances. Well however you look at it, LeMahieu IS the batting champion and in 20 at-bats this spring he has 10 hits. He has also been nominated for a Gold Glove each of the last three seasons and won it once. And there are very few guys in all of baseball you can say before a season will be in contention for a Gold Glove and a batting title. LeMahieu is one of them.
2. Charlie Blackmon — In all honesty, Charlie Blackmon would have a legitimate claim for the very top spot on this list. A man once thought a mirage of a lucky April, Blackmon has emerged as one of the best all around players in all of baseball. There is no area of the game in which he isn’t at least above average, now flirting with elite. Contact? .324 a year ago, career .298. Power? 29 home runs after seasons of 17 and 19. Patience? 6.7 percent walk rate the last two years. Speed? 60 stolen bases over the last two seasons Defense? He has been the best defensive centerfielder the Rockies have seen since Juan Pierre, and he has a much, much, better arm. Blackmon sets the tone in the clubhouse with his work ethic and is as cerebral as they come. Those are all of the tools. While many are searching for a path out of town for Charlie Blackmon, we can’t help but wonder if there are plans in the works to keep him in Colorado long term. He is the heartbeat of this team.
1. Nolan Arenado — So why isn’t Blackmon at the top of this list? Because Brooks Robinson has reincarnated (yes, I know he is still alive) for the Rockies at third base. What Arenado does on a baseball field at times defies description, which is really frustrating for those of us whose job it is to describe it. Four Gold Gloves in four tries and the last two “Fielding Bible” awards give Arenado the undisputed crown of Best Defender in MLB. In addition to that, he is also among the most clutch players in baseball as evidenced by a whole lot of advanced stats or you can just check his back-to-back 130+ RBI seasons with at least 40 home runs. Oh, and he doesn’t turn 26-years-old until just after the season begins.