Position Preview: Outfield

534543174.0.jpegMaddie Meyer/Getty Images

All three outfield positions will get lumped into one post because of the nature of the position for the Rockies. There is really only one questionable position, left field, as to who the starter will be on opening day, but that does not mean there will not be lots of different outfield lineups over the course of the year.

Probable Left Fielder: Gerardo Parra

Parra looks to be the frontrunner for left field as David Dahl will probably start the season on the DL and Raimel Tapia will likely play a role off of the bench because of his lack of big league experience. But Parra should be on a short leash as he was absolutely terrible last year for the Rockies. Parra posted a career low -2.8 WAR and was below average defensively making up for that with only one highlight throw where he nailed a runner at third, more to the credit of Nolan Arenado than Parra. With an abysmal walk rate, a terrible eye at the plate, and no real power or ability to create offense, Parra’s contract is looking like the worst move of Bridich thus far. Parra could redeem himself this year with a really strong year, but without a hot start he will find himself riding the bench as the Rockies have a surplus of left felders, with more promise and potential than an aging Parra.

Probable Center Fielder: Charlie Blackmon

It can be argued that Blackmon was the Rockies most effective offensive player last year. From the leadoff spot, Blackmon put up career highs in a number of categories. He hit 29 home runs, tallied 82 RBI, hit for a .324 average, and had an OPS+ of 130. The year for Blackmon sets up high expectations for the 30-year old outfielder and will leave the Rockies with some difficult decisions at the deadline. The Rockies very well may move Blackmon for a young starter or a couple high end bullpen pieces if they are competing, and they could also trade him for prospects if they are behind at the deadline. As much as the Mile High city loves The Beard, there just isn’t much room for Blackmon in the future. Either David Dahl or Raimel Tapia have potential to replace Blackmon and they are both way younger, giving the Rockies more control for cheaper. Blackmon is arbitration eligible this offseason and can become a free agent in 2019.

Probable Right Fielder: Carlos Gonzalez

Cargo is yet to sign an extension with the Rockies, even though he has expressed interest in one, but is in much the same boat as Blackmon. Cargo is a star player and is always good for 30home runs and 100 RBI from the middle of the lineup. Cargo is a free agent after this season and with the outfield market as it has been, he could easily sign a large contract that the Rockies would be better off not signing. If an extension can be made and Cargo can take over some time at first base, then he may find himself retiring as a Rockie, but that is a pipe dream with the way things have been going. Again, with the Rockies depth at outfield, they are better off either trading Cargo at the deadline to a contender who needs an outfield rental, extending him on a team friendly contract to play first base and maybe some outfield, or letting him walk in the offseason. Cargo is another fan favorite and has established himself as a prolific player when healthy, but his years in Colorado may be winding to an end.

Backups: Dahl, Tapia, Jordan Patterson

The Rockies have a trio of major league ready outfielders, all with different style and abilities. Tapia is a leadoff type slap hitter who will make a lot of contact and not strike out a lot. He can play plus defense and would slot in at center field or left, but probably not right as his arm is not great. Dahl is a potential star player and has three hole power and two hole contact. He could very well win rookie of the year if he remains healthy and could play and of the three outfield positions with effectiveness. Jordan Patterson is likely the utility player of the bunch and may very well see more time at first than the outfield this year. Patterson is an above average hitter and will be able to hold his own in the bigs at first or the outfield. All three of these guys could make the big league club, but it is more likely that Dahl starts on the DL and one of Tapia or Patterson starts with the AAA club.

 

 

 

 

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