It seems as though the younger you enter the league, the more expectations are put on your shoulders.
Nolan Arenado was brought up to the Rockies as a 21-year old prospect in 2013. Since his debut (on his birthday, no less), the man at the hot corner has shown flashes of brilliance. His .267 batting average in his rookie season didn’t scare anyone, but his glove and arm have taken away countless hits from opposing batters.
UZR/150 measures worth defensively per 150 games. Arenado owns a 14.4 career UZR/150, meaning that he saves over 14 runs more than the average third baseman in the majors. That number alone landed Arenado a Gold Glove in his opening season.
Based on his improvement at the plate this season, Arenado is on the same track as a certain fan favorite of the Rockies: Vinny Castilla.
Here are the statlines for Arenado and Castilla in their first two seasons in Colorado:
2013: .267 BA, 29 2B, 10 HR, 52 RBI, .301 OBP, .405 SLG
2014: .300 BA, 32 2B, 14 HR, 53 RBI, .341 OBP, .504 SLG
1993: .255 BA, 9 2B, 9 HR, 30 RBI, .283 OBP, .404 SLG
1994: .331 BA, 11 2B, 3 HR, 18 RBI, .357 OBP, .500 SLG
The ’94 season for Castilla was limited to just 50 games, but the averages compare very similarly with Arenado in their first two seasons. The spike in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage show discipline from both players.
Castilla went on to finish his career with the Rockies with a .294 batting average, .340 on-base percentage and a .530 slugging percentage. He also tallied 208 doubles, 239 home runs and 745 RBI en route to being one of the best Rockies of all time.
Arenado already has a leg up on Castilla in the defensive department and if he continues this trend of improvement at the dish, we may be witnessing history.