Editor’s note: The fourth part of the series awaits the Rockies of 2022. Today: Outfield.
The Rockies’ outfield was one of the lowest in 2021, which is why new general manager Bill Schmidt needs to find a way to add a power bat during the off-season.
The Colorado outfielders combined to hit .259, seventh in the majors. But a large part of that average was in the paradise of half of their players in what is known as Course Field. The Rockies Outfielders scored just 46 home runs, 29th, and their .719 OPS was 21st.
The 81 outfielders were the worst of the WRC + majors. Like OPS +, wRC + takes into account how valuable a hitter is in scoring runs, and then adjusts it to both park and league factors. Like other adjusted statistics, a WRC + league average of 100 is considered.
It’s hard to say which outfielder could try to land the Rockies, but the Dodgers’ Chris Taylor, the Reds’ Nick Castellanos (if he pulls out of his contract) and the Mets’ Michael Conforto will be fine. If the Rockies can bear them.
Following are the 2022 season predictions for the performance of each of the Rockies outfielders.
RF Charlie Blackmon (.270 average, .761 OPS, 13HR, 78 RBI)
Blackmon is in great shape, but he is 35 years old and losing his strength, just as Todd Hilton lost his strength at the age of 35. A .904 OPS would love to see a similar production of Rockies Blackmon, which will earn 21 21 million in 2022.
In 2019, when Blackmon hit 32 homes, its home run rate was 5.1 percent. In 2021, it was 2.2 percent. Blackmon is still a successful hitter, but it needs to come back.
Defensively, Blackmon had a strong year in the right field, but he may spend some time in 2022 as a designated heater. Grade: C minus
Off Sam Hilliard (.215 Average, .757 OPS, 14 HR, 34 RBI)
Hilliard, who plans to improve his swing during the winter ball, will be given every chance to win an early job at Centerfield. It has the raw power, speed at bases and the ability to handle vast open spaces in the course field.
But there are still flaws in his approach to the plate, as evidenced by his .294-on-20% and 36.6% strike-out rate. He was sent to tone-up and played 53 games in Triple-A-Burke, although he continued to struggle when he returned to the Rockies. However, towards the end of the season, there were indications that Hilliard was more comfortable with his modified swing. It hit .243 with .849 OPS in August and .243 with .812 OPS in September and October. Grade: D
LF / CF Raimel Tapia (.273 average, .699 OPS, 6 HRs, 50 RBIs)
As it stands now, Tapia will be the starter in the left field next season, although Connor could replace Tapia. It is also possible that Tapia is involved in an off-season trade.
Tapia’s season, like his career, was hot and cold. There was so much to choose from: 20 stolen bases, a low carrier strike rate of 13.1%, and a high carrier walk rate of 7.5%. But from time to time the umps continued to decline, and a long-term injury in the second half of the season slowed it down considerably.
Tapia occasionally shows strength, as her six family members describe, but she is an independent swinger with a very strong foundation. In fact, when he throws the balls into the game, he hits the ground on a 67.4 clip.
He is on the defensive and on the base path, and he hit .295 with the runners in the running position. Grade: B minus
CF / IN Garrett Hampson (.234 average, .669 OPS, 11 HRs, 33 RBIs)
Hampson has emerged as an infielder, but he has combined his speed and hard work to become a solid center fielder. If the Rockies don’t get an impact outfielder, they could become Platoon Hampson and Halliard (left-handed hitter).
Hampson, however, is a striking player. He hit .338 in 23 games (15 starts) in June, but then hit .176 in 23 games (16 starts) in July. He stole 17 bases and he is the best bunter of the team, but he has .289 on twenty percent. Grade: C minus
LF / 1B Corner Joe (.285 average, .848 OPS, 8 HRs, 35 RBIs)
Manager Bud Black Joe is very high and the outfielder has become a favorite of the fans. A place in the starting line-up is certainly possible in 2022 but who played in only 63 games before he withdrew from hamstring injury. So the jury is out now.
Still, the Rockies love their baseball slickness and ability to get to base (.379OBP, 12.3 walk rate). As a fielder, both on the left and on the first base, he has a job going on. Grade: B Plus
Of Jonathan Daza (.282 Average, .688 OPS, 2 HR, 30 RBI)
Daza is a great outfielder with a great arm, but he doesn’t hit for power. His 2021 season hit the roster twice and there is no doubt that his performance was affected. Daza came out of the warm door, hitting .327 in June, but hit .181 in 35 games since July 1. Grade: D
OF Ryan Vilade (.000 avg., .143 OPS, 0 HRs, 0 RBIs)
Wilde, 22, was a late season call-up who saw limited playing time (three games, six plate appearances). It has been ranked as the Rockies’ fifth best prospect by the MLB pipeline and the team will take a closer look at it in spring training. Vilade hit .286 / .339 / .420 with seven homers on a 447 plate for Triple-A Albright. Although his triple-A home run total was low, as Waleed grows stronger, he hopes to hit 25-30 homers in a single season. Grade: Incomplete