Nolan Arenado has been the most talked-about prospect in the Colorado Rockies farm system for the last two years.
During spring training, he tore the cover off the ball, hitting .278 with four home runs and 12 RBIs in 19 games. He battled to the end of the spring training to win the starting third base job until losing out to Chris Nelson. It seemed like it won’t be long until the former second-round pick will be hitting homers at Coors Field.
What are the Rockies waiting for?
Nelson is a nice player. The Rockies drafted him in the first round of the 2004 draft and have given him numerous chances to show he was worth that pick. Last season was his best as he hit .301 with nine home runs while playing in 111 games. Good numbers, but not typical numbers for a corner infielder. The Rockies need power from third base, especially because they are lacking it at first base from Todd Helton.
Arenado is a pure power hitter. He has hit 48 home runs in the minors, including 22 during his best season at High-A in 2011. He also drove in 122 that season.
According to the Denver Post, Arenado struggled last season and was never called up because he acted immature and had a bad attitude. This spring, he came in with a better attitude and seemed to move from last year. He was still sent to Triple-A as the starting third baseman, and is hitting .478 in the first ten games of the season.
The Rockies have power hitters in other spots. Early in the season, they have been getting home runs from Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, Dexter Fowler and Wilin Rosario. Other positions are picking up the slack for the missing power from the corner infield spots.
Arenado is a typical third baseman at the plate. He hits for power, drives in runs and could hit fifth or sixth in the Rockies’ lineup. His defense is average at best and could be a concern. He has already made three errors in 10 games this season.
Arenado could add more power to an already potent lineup. If new manager Walt Weiss wants to go back to the days of the Blake Street Bombers, adding Arenado to the mix is clearly a no-brainer.
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