As a Rockies fan i've been pretty ecstatic during these 2010-11 winter meetings. I love locking up our two best players in Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez for ten and seven years respectably. The Rockies have all the tools needed to make the Playoffs, and even the World Series. This is assuming there will be no significant injuries for extended periods of time to any core players. Sadly, there may be the drop off in production almost all players have after a monster season, and/or after receiving a monster pay raise and contract extension. This may include the likes of Ubaldo Jimenez, Carlos Gonzalez, and/or Troy Tulowitzki. Hopefully all continue their stellar play, and lead the Rockies far into the Playoffs. Here is my pre-season predictions and comments, enjoy.
First off, let's start with a record prediction. In 2011, I see the Colorado Rockies going 95-77. That is a realistic record for all the young talent the Rockies have. I believe Dexter Fowler and Seth Smith will also step it up this year, and finally become a threat in the batting order. Jose Lopez also has potential to become a solid player at third or second base, wherever the Rockies decide to place him. The pitching rotation should be pretty solid, although not the best in the MLB by any means. The Rockies bats should make up for the lack of many major pitching stars, and give them a great chance to win many games during the season.
Predictions of end of season stats are always fun. Here are mine for the expected roatations and lineups during the 2011 season.
1. - CF - Dexter Fowler
.270 Batting Average 9 Home Runs 63 Runs Batted In 31 Stolen Bases 95 Runs 70 Walks 125 Strikeouts
- A speedy players that can be either very hot, or ice cold for extended periods of time. During the end of the season Fowler was starting to get into a groove, and should continue into 2011.
2. - 2B - Jose Lopez
.249 Batting Average 18 Home Runs 70 Runs Batted In 4 Stolen Bases 88 Runs 26 Walks 70 Strikeouts
- A player that can play Second or Third Base, he has never been known for much average, but has potential for solid power numbers. In 2009 with Seattle he hit 25 bombs. Hopefully Lopez can put up simliar numbers to those above. That would work with me, as that's about what I expect.
3. - LF - Carlos Gonzalez
.307 Batting Average 30 Home Runs 108 Runs Batted In 22 Stolen Bases 100 Runs 50 Walks 115 Strikeouts
- As witnessed last year in his breakthrough season, Cargo is a Triple Crown threat. He has that valuable trio of attributes, Average, Power, and Speed. His defense is also great as he won a Gold Glove in 2010.
4. - SS - Troy Tulowitzki
.313 Batting Average 34 Home Runs 110 Runs Batted In 15 Stolen Bases 100 Runs 56 Walks 90 Strikeouts
- A top, if not top SS in the MLB. Tulo has a cannon of an arm, and can swing the bat with the best of them. Tulowitzki should be an MVP canadite in 2011, at least if he lives up to expectations after that 10 year deal he signed.
5. - 1B - Todd Helton
.275 Batting Average 12 Home Runs 88 Runs Batted In 3 Stolen Bases 85 Runs 75 Walks 95 Strikeouts
- Once considered a top player in the MLB in his earlier years, those days are past him that's for sure. Although he can still be a solid bat, as well as contributing with his good defense at First Base. He may not play as much this year, considering his age, but is still a solid option at first.
6. - RF - Seth Smith
.270 Batting Average 22 Home Runs 94 Runs Batted In 8 Stolen Bases 80 Runs 65 Walks 80 Strkeouts
- Smith is expected to become the everyday Right Fielder with Brad Hawpe no longer on the team. He has always been known as a clutch pinch hitter. Now it's time to apply these skills with a starting position. The time to shine is now for Seth Smith.
7. - 3B - Ian Stewart
.235 Batting Average 19 Home Runs 73 Runs Batted In 2 Stolen Bases 65 Runs 50 Walks 120 Strikeouts
- With Stewart's monster power potential he has always been a player the Rockies want to stick with, although his far to many strikeouts are frustrating. It is still uncertain whether Stewart is the sure fire starting Third basemen with Jose Lopez and Ty Wigginton now members of the team.
8. - C - Chris Iannetta
.225 Batting Average 11 Home Runs 40 Runs Batted In 1 Stolen Base 35 Runs 30 Walks 70 Strikeouts
- Iannetta is not expected to be the everyday starter for the Rockies, unless he picks up his game from last year. After being sent to the minors for a stint, and his disturbing .197 average last season, Iannetta needs to come out and prove what he's worth, or else he may find himself in a backseat to one of the Rockies' younger prospect catchers.
Here is the stats for the assumed bench fielders.
Utility - Ty Wigginton - .250 Batting Average 12 Home Runs 40 Runs Batted In 0 Stolen Bases 20 Walks 50 Strikeouts
2B - Eric Young Jr. - .260 Batting Average 2 Home Runs 22 Runs Batted In 16 Stolen Bases 25 Walks 45 Strikeouts
OF - Ryan Spilborghs - .240 Batting Average 6 Home Runs 20 Runs Batted In 2 Stolen Bases 20 Walks 35 Strikeouts
C - Mike McKenry - .225 Batting Average 5 Home Runs 25 Runs Batted In 1 Stolen Base 20 Walks 25 Strikeouts
1. - SP - Ubaldo Jimenez
3.45 ERA 15 Wins 8 Losses 205 Strikeouts 85 Walks 215 Innings
- A slight downgrade in many stat areas, his remarkable start to the 2010 season surely won't happen again. Overall Ubaldo is still a good pitcher, and should produce for the Rockies.
2. - SP - Jorge De La Rosa
4.05 ERA 12 Wins 6 Losses 180 Strikeouts 70 Walks 195 Innings
- De La Rosa also recieved a bigger payday from the franchise earlier this offseason, and by that payroll it shows the team has the confidence in him. Hopefully he can overcome injuries unlike last season, and play a vital role on the pitching staff.
3. - SP - Jhoulys Chacin
3.85 ERA 12 Wins 9 Losses 200 Strikeouts 75 Walks 205 Innings
- Chacin has shown the Rockies some of his potential. During last season is when Chacin really seemed to be getting it together, and he should continue to get better. He is someone Rockie fans can't wait to watch this season.
4. - SP - Jason Hammel
4.35 ERA 10 Wins 10 Losses 135 Strikeouts 50 Walks 185 Innings
- Hammel has always been a steady pitcher, but not spectactular in any way shape or form. The fact he has never had a season with an ERA under 4.33, leads me to think he won't beat that this year either. Even though that'd be a great surprise.
5. - SP - Felipe Paulino
4.55 ERA 8 Wins 11 Losses 145 Strikeouts 55 Walks 155 Innings
- Paulino finished last season with an ugly 1-9 record for the struggling Astros. He has had some high ERA's during his career to (Never under 5.11) , but could turn into a solid pitcher in the fifth spot of the rotation. The Rockies traded Clint Barmes for Felipe Paulino this offseason. These stats are assuming he beats out Aaron Cook for the final rotation spot.
5. - Aaron Cook
4.45 ERA 8 Wins 10 Losses 90 Strikeouts 55 Walks 150 Innings
- I decided to give the veteren a shot at the fifth spot in the rotation. Cook has never been truly known as a Superstar pitcher, although he has had some respectable seasons for the Rockies. I believe the club will give the younger Paulino the fifth spot, but you never know.
1. - CP - Huston Street
3.20 ERA 3 Wins 3 Losses 35 Saves 55 Strikeouts 10 Walks 55 Innings
- Street has always been a solid closer, whether it was for the Rockies or Athletics. He did battle some injuries last season, and should have a nice bounce back season. Look for a good season for the Rockies Closer.
RP - Matt Belisle - 3.10 ERA 6 Wins 3 Losses 80 Strikeouts 20 Walks 80 Innings
RP - Rafael Betancourt - 3.45 ERA 4 Wins 2 Losses 85 Strikeouts 10 Walks 70 Innings
RP - Franklin Morales - 4.05 ERA 5 Wins 4 Losses 65 Strikeouts 40 Walks 68 Innings
RP - Matt Lindstrom - 4.10 ERA 4 Wins 4 Losses 50 Strikeouts 28 Walks 55 Innings
RP - Matt Reynolds - 3.95 ERA 3 Wins 0 Losses 45 Strikeouts 20 Walks 50 Innings
RP - Matt Daley - 4.30 ERA 1 Win 3 Losses 35 Strikeouts 20 Walks 40 Innings
There is the 25 man, regular season projections. Hopefully the Rockies can live up to expectations this year, in some players cases, exceed expectations. Hopefully you enjoyed this preseason overview, and while we're are it, do we need a couple more "Matt's" in our Bullpen? I'll leave that for you to decide. Thanks for reading.