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MLB Colorado Rockies

Colorado Rockies Spring Training: 5 Players Who Are Sure to Shine

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5 Colorado Rockies Players Who Are Sure to Shine in Spring Training

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies might have finished in last place in the NL West last year, but there should be reason for optimism as their record should be considered unlikely since their run differential was only -54 on the season. It also did not help that their two best hitters, Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, missed much of the season with injury. In fact, the team had quite a good record when both were in the lineup. Although Tulowitzki's injury concerns are a recurring theme every season, the pitching staff is the key to a successful season as the team surrendered the most runs in the NL last season. Even playing at hitter-friendly Coors Field should not be an excuse for a team that has contended for a division crown the last few seasons.

The team made a few roster changes this past offseason, but the key cogs of the franchise still remain intact. Dexter Fowler was let go, while longtime Rockies legend Todd Helton finally retired. Some acquisitions for the team were Justin Morneau and Brett Anderson, both of whom are serviceable players in their own rights. Although these moves are certainly a start, the Rockies will have to contend with a tough division this year with the World Series favorite Los Angeles Dodgers, the 2012 World Series champion San Francisco Giants, and improving teams in the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres. It will take a much, much better season pitching-wise and monster years from Gonzalez and Tulowitzki for the Rockies to even have a chance this season.

This Spring Training will be a time for development for the Rockies. Here are five players that are sure to stand out during Spring Training.

Percy Chao is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @PercyChao, "Like" him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Jonathan Gray

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Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

The no. 3 draft pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, Jonathan Gray has dominated rookie and single-A ball in the minors thus far. With an invite to big-league Spring Training, Gray should be able to show off the stuff that made him a contender for the no. 1 overall draft choice last year. He should continue to move up the minor leagues quickly and will probably make his major league debut at some point in 2014.

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4. Eddie Butler

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Along with Gray, Eddie Butler represents the future of the Rockies' starting rotation. After pitching for multiple seasons in college and developing three plus-pitches, Butler has risen up the minors quickly. Butler has the hard-throwing stuff to get major league hitters out, and his major league debut should follow quickly after Gray's.

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3. Tom Murphy

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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Murphy has received a non-roster Spring Training invite for the Rockies. He could potentially develop into a good defensive catcher for the team.

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2. Nolan Arenado

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 NL Gold Glove winner at third base, Nolan Arenado played as well as he possibly could have during his rookie season. Arenado should be able to continue to show that he is a player worth keeping in the future for the Rockies.

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1. Tyler Chatwood

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Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Chatwood enters spring training with elbow issues that still linger from last season. Despite these issues, Chatwood pitched decently for the Rockies, finishing 8-5 with a 3.15 ERA. Chatwood should be able to lock down a rotation spot assuming that his health doesn't get in the way.