Colorado Rockies Spring Training: Ranking The Top 5 Early Standouts
Ranking The Colorado Rockies' Top 5 Early Standouts
The Colorado Rockies haven't made the postseason since 2009, but they are looking to change that the season.
During the offseason, the Rockies changed things up with their team, trading center fielder and leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler to the Houston Astros in exchange for outfielder Brandon Barnes and pitcher Jordan Lyles. The Rockies also brought in outfielder Drew Stubbs and pitcher Franklin Morales to compete for playing time.
Those new players were brought in to make an impact, but they will face plenty of competition for spots on the roster. Most of the starting spots in the field are accounted for by returning players, but there is a starting spot up for grabs in the outfield and the reserve spots are anyone's game. The Rockies also have a number of options for starting pitchers, as seven different players have started games this spring. The starting rotation has been a weakness for the Rockies in recent years, so they will take a look at all options to improve it.
With it being relatively early in Spring Training, there is time left for players to make a push for those spots, but some players have gotten off to better starts than other and have an advantage at this point. Getting off to a good start in Spring Training can be very beneficial to players who are in the running for the final spots on the Opening Day roster.
Here's a look at five Rockies who have gotten off to great starts so far during Spring Training.
5. Ryan Casteel
Ryan Casteel is making the most of his first big league action. Casteel is hitting .571, 4-for-7, with a home run and twp RBI's so far this spring. Three of his four hits have gone for extra bases and he leads the team in slugging percentage, 1.286, and OPS, 1.911. Casteel seems destined to start the year in the minors, as he finished last year at the Class A Advanced level, but the big numbers have Casteel's future looking very bright.
4. Carlos Gonzalez
Carlos Gonzalez is expected to be one of the Rockies' leaders at the plate this season. He is off to a great start to Spring Training, going 4-for-8 with a pair of doubles and team-high three RBI's. He has also drawn a pair of walks, has an on base percentage of .600, and has an OPS of 1.350. Those are some great numbers for Gonzalez, who is a candidate to shift to the leadoff role this season.
3. Corey Dickerson
Corey Dickerson is in the running for an outfield spot on the Opening Day roster and his start to Spring Training is certainly helping his cause. He has started off the spring by going 7-for-14 with three runs scored, two doubles, a triple and two RBI's. The Rockies brought in Drew Stubbs and Brandon Barnes to compete in the outfield this offseason, and Dickerson is currently outperforming both, giving him a good shot at a spot n the Opening Day roster.
2. Franklin Morales
Franklin Morales was reacquired by the Rockies in a trade this offseason, as he started his career in the Rockies organization back in 2002. Having spent the majority of the past five seasons in the bullpen, the Rockies look to transition Morales back into a starting role. He has had quick success in that role, going 2-0 in his first two appearances. In five innings of work in those two starts, Morales has struck out six batters, allowed four hits, walked two batters and allowed an unearned run. If Morales can keep up getting solid starts as he has so far, he could find himself in the starting rotation on Opening Day.
1. Paul Janish
A non-roster invitee, Paul Janish is making the most of his opportunity with the Rockies. Through five games played, Janish is 6-for-10 at the plate with two runs scored and is tied for the team lead in RBI's, with three. Troy Tulowitzki is firmly entrenched in the shortstop position, but if Janish keeps his stellar play up, the Rockies could keep him as a reserve infielder.