Colorado Rockies 2016 Team Preview

Colorado Rockies 2016 Team Preview

The Rockies have proven to be a bit of a disappointment to their fan base and to baseball in general after after having only one successful year in their history. After faking a rebuild with the Troy Tulowitzki deal last season, let's see if we can figure out what their plan is going forward.

Tyler Polhill

It's tough to try and understand what it is the Colorado Rockies are doing with their ball club year in and year out. When you give away five years of the best short stop in the league, you'd expect they'd at least get something in return, but with the pitching development the way it is, and Jose Reyes the way he is, it looks like a huge loss for the Rockies at this point. On top of that, you give away a top 10 3rd base prospect along with four years of Corey Dickerson for three years of Jake McGee and a pitching prospect, and it looks like they're just making deals for the sake of making them. Hopefully for the Rockies' sake, they know something more about Dickerson's injury issues, or this could be another big loss for the club. With this all being said, Colorado still has some of its core intact with Nolan Arenado and Carlos Gonzalez ready to hit in the middle of that nice looking lineup throughout 2016.

Listen to Tyler talk with Grant Kingery about the Rockies

Key Additions

Gerrardo Parra, Jake McGee, Jason Motte, Mark Reynolds, Ryan Rayburn, German Marquez, Alex Castellanos, Yency Almonte, Brian Schlitter, Brock Huntzinger

Key Subtractions

Corey Dickerson, Justin Morneau, Wilin Rosario, Michael McKenry, John Axford, Rex Brothers, Christian Friedrich, Kyle Kendrick, Tommy Khanle, Brooks Brown, Charlie Culberson, Matt McBride, Kevin Padlo

Biggest Strength - Offense Anchored By Carlos Gonzalez And Nolan Arenado

Year in and year out the Rockies always have a good offense. Some think this is only because of the home park being so hitter friendly, and although that does inflate the numbers a bit, they are a legitimate offensive team either way. Arenado and CarGo are elite at this point and should be expected to compete for the league lead in multiple hitting categories in the National League. Charlie Blackmon is a solid table setter and Trevor Story looks like he could be a boost to the lineup as soon as he gets the call. Overall this is likely a top 5 NL hitting team.

Biggest Weakness - Every Type Of pitching

This pitching staff is atrocious. They have never been good. The Rockies knew this because the numbers supported it last year (and every year) and did nothing to fix it. So, we're heading into 2016 with the same staff and expecting different results. Those seem like questionable tactics. There is still some hope for Jon Gray, who just got the call last year. Perhaps he will be one of the first ever legitimate pitchers to come out of the Colorado farm system. The bullpen will start the season well below average, but could make the jump up to average if the rest of the relievers are still healthy when Adam Ottavino comes back from injury. 

Something To Keep An Eye On - The Shortstop Position

The Rockies might not have fully known what they were doing with this shortstop position when they decided to pull the trigger on the Troy Tulowitzki deal. Jose Reyes appears to have little left in the tank as he had an awful year last season. Obviously that could be irrelevant if he doesn't make it on the field this year because of his off the field issues. It's worth noting that he will still make around $19 million this year. They do have Trevor Story, who looks like he's pretty close to being ready to take over, but they aren't handing him the job just yet. Christian Adames looks like he could get the first look as Story might have some more maturing to do. Either way, this will be interesting to watch unfold. Hopefully, for the Rockies' sake, someone steps up and does a great job with the position so they don't get scrutinized too heavily for getting rid of Tulo without a solid enough plan of succession.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Projected Lineup… Lefties*… Switch Hitters^

  1. Charlie Blackmon* - CF
  2. Trevor Story - SS
  3. Carlos Gonzalez* - LF
  4. Nolan Arenado - 3B
  5. Ben Paulsen* - 1B
  6. DJ LeMahieu - 2B
  7. Gerrardo Parra* - RF
  8. Nick Hundley - C

Projected Bench

Mark Reynolds

Dustin Garneau

Daniel Descalso*

Brandon Barnes

Ryan Rayburn

Projected Rotation… Lefties*

  1. Jorge De La Rosa*
  2. Jon Gray
  3. Jordan Lyles
  4. Chad Bettis
  5. Tyler Chatwood

Projected Bullpen

Jake McGee - Closer

Jason Motte

Chad Qualls

Boone Logan*

Justin Miller

Chris Rusin*

Christian Bergman

Injured To Start The Year

Adam Ottavino

Jairo Diaz

Fantasy Bargain - Carlos Gonzalez

Cargo hit 40 bombs last season and he already looks good in Spring Training this year. He has consistently shown that he is elite whenever healthy and remained healthy for all 2015. He's probably at a place in his career where you can't expect many steals, but he will still provide 35+ bombs with over 100 runs and RBIs and solid percentage stats. He is a bubble top 10 outfielder still.

Overrated Fantasy Option - Any Rockies Pitcher

There's no reason to draft a Rockies pitcher. It doesn't matter who it is. In the entire existence of the Rockies, there has been one pitcher who was fantasy relevant for one half of one season (Ubaldo Jimenez). This is an organizational thing, not a player specific thing. You can't draft Rockies pitchers until there is some evidence of success somewhere that you can hope for again, and the altitude at home doesn't help. The only pitcher that should make fantasy rosters this season is Jake McGee because of saves.

Conclusion/Season Prediction

The Rockies appear to be confused about what is necessary to win baseball games. It's hard to understand what the plan is here. They appear to be a team in the middle of the National League who isn't trying to rebuild, but isn't trying to win either. This is a strategy that doesn't feel like a recipe for success. If they do decide to rebuild, it probably means CarGo, Blackmon, LeMahieu and others are on the block for prospects. One thing that's necessary for a rebuild is a good farm system, which the Rockies haven't proven that they own. This organization is a true head scratcher amongst all the MLB teams out there. As far as 2016 is concerned, the Rockies still have a pretty good lineup despite losing two very good bats in Dickerson and Tulowitzki, but they should still be expected to finish last in all pitching categories by far. Because of the pitching thing, they appear to be good for about 63 wins.