Why do so many of these pictures look like mug shots? Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Evaluating the Talent: Jordan Pacheco

Happy Monday Rockies fans! I have some good news for you: opening day is three weeks away! Of course, it could also be the first day of The March to 100 Losses, but let’s have some optimism. As of now, the Rockies have zero losses for the 2013 season! Let’s enjoy that as long as it lasts.

Today’s subject of scrutiny is infielder/catcher/please find this guy a place to play so he can hit Jordan Pacheco. When Pacheco was first called up after rosters expanded in September 2011, he came with all sorts of high hopes. It wasn’t clear just which position he’d play – he was a catcher by trade, but his defense wasn’t strong enough to warrant regular time there – but we all knew his bat could do great things. And he did not disappoint, hitting .286 and driving in 14 runs in 21 games that September. This past year, he was even more impressive, leading all National League rookies with a batting average of .309 and finishing 6th in Rookie of the Year voting. The winner, Bryce Harper, who in my opinion did not live up to his hype, hit .270 and struck out 120 times. He did place second among NL rookies for home runs, but was kept from first by the did-you-see-that power swing of Colorado’s own Wilin Rosario. How did Harper defeat the best rookies Colorado has seen in quite a few years? Probably that hype thing, but I digress.

Pacheco’s biggest problem remains that we can’t quite slot him in defensively. Rosario was abysmal behind the plate in 2013, but he’s still being groomed as the catcher of the future, and he can’t play anything else. If we want both those guys in the lineup every day, and we do, Pacheco’s the one who needs to play somewhere else. He plays decently at first base, which is where I see him most in 2013, especially because it’s likely Todd Helton‘s last season and he needs an heir apparent. Pacheco can’t do at 27 but Helton can still do in his 40′s at that position, but he’s fine, and again, the important thing is to make sure he stays in the lineup.

We might also see Pacheco at 3rd in a pinch, given that Chris Nelson is the guy who really should be proving himself there but isn’t, and we’ll still be waiting on Nolan Arenado for a little while longer. Pacheco messes up at 3rd, but rarely as spectacularly as Nelson. Nelson either makes amazing plays the likes of which I’ve never seen before or appears to have suddenly lost his vision. Pacheco is neither as good or as bad, and it’s partly his consistency that makes me okay with putting him anywhere there’s room. And who knows? There’s still room for improvement in Pacheco’s fielding, and he may yet find his niche.

Where will Pacheco be in 2013? Filling in at 1st, 3rd, and catcher.

Where should Pacheco be in 2013? Playing 1st any time Helton can’t, and at 3rd the rest of the time.

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