Evaluating the Talent: Chris Nelson


You know Chris Nelson. He’s the guy that stole home in that amazing 4-game sweep of the Reds in September 2010, when it really seemed like the Rockies had a shot at the postseason. It was only Nelson’s 7th game in a Rockies uniform, and he made sure he left a mark.

Since then, Nelson has shown a few flashes of brilliance but many more flashes of still needing some development. His defense at third base is stellar, but at second and short he’s below average. That’s unsettling since he was scouted as a middle infielder, but at least he’s great somewhere. There’s a chance he still might develop as a second baseman, since his errors are less of the untalented variety and more of the I-still-don’t-know-how-to-be-a-big-league-ballplayer variety.

Offensively, Nelson still hasn’t hit his stride. He has the potential to hit for a high average, but needs to improve his plate discipline. He spent quite a bit of time in Colorado Springs last season and still doesn’t seem quite ready to play every day in the show. His speed makes him well-suited for a top of the order hitter, so ideally he would hit there and play 2nd or 3rd some time in the near future. The Rockies have had some unfortunate luck with first-round picks lately, so we really need Nelson to get better and earn his keep.

So where does he fit for next season? He’s in the mix with a handful of other utility infielders mostly competing for time at 3rd. He could also spot Marco Scutaro at 2nd in case of injury. He’s out of options, so look for him to mostly ride the bench at Coors Field, hoping for a chance to shine.