Colorado Rockies 2015 Crystal Ball: Nolan Arenado


May 7, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) throws to first on the ground-out hit by Texas Rangers right fielder Alex Rios (not pictured) during the ninth inning of a baseball game at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Rockies won 9-2. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

As the season gets underway, is making some fun (but completely unqualified!) predictions about how members of the Colorado Rockies will fare this summer. In this edition: Nolan Arenado.

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Nolan Arenado is, um, a good defender. And he’s a pretty good hitter! Sounds like maybe he should be held up as a star!

You know, considering his sick handles and good bat and awesome 28-game hitting streak that one time and power and yeah he’s really good!

That’s tough on a club with veritable superstars Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, veteran leader Justin Morneau, and equally-breakout-worthy Corey Dickerson. Arenado can (well, nationally, at least) get buried a bit.

But he shouldn’t! He’s awesome. His 2015 should be awesome. Here’s why.

What The Numbers Say

FanGraphs lists various projection systems, which you can learn more about here.

Remember, Arenado played in only 111 games last year after landing on the disabled list for a few weeks, and he’s actually never played more than 134 games in his professional career (and 133 in his rookie season in 2013).

FanGraphs projections like him to play between 135 and 150 games, which would be a career high across the board, and every single projection system believes he’ll hit between .283 and .289, so the stat-heads are very uniform on him.

In addition, every system believes Arenado will set career highs in slugging percentage, on-base percentage, home runs, doubles, yadda, yadda, yadda, you get the picture. Cliff notes: the sabermetrics crew likes him to be the man in Denver this summer.

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  • Best-Case Scenario

    In a best-case scenario, Arenado asserts himself as Colorado’s third superstar that I think a lot of fans believe he can become.

    He’s got power and plate discipline (look at his career strikeout percentages, he’s no Drew Stubbs!) and his glove is, with no exaggeration, the best in the big leagues at third base (sorry, Manny Machado, but you’re pretty damn good, too).

    In a best-case scenario, then, Arenado would hit 25+ home runs, eclipse .300/.350/.500 at the plate, and earn himself another Gold Glove.

    Worst-Case Scenario

    Well, injuries, I suppose. He missed fifty-one games in the Rockies’ dumpster fire of a 2014 season, and that’d be bad for it to happen again.

    Aside from that, though, it’ll be interesting to see how Arenado adjusts to the league adjusting to him in his third season. His walk rate went up and his strikeout percentage went down from his first year to his second, which is interesting to see that pitchers understanding his tendencies better between his rookie year and 2014 didn’t affect him. Let’s see if he can beat the curve again this year.

    Crystal Ball

    I think 2015 is the year of Arenado; he’ll play a full season, he’ll hit .300, in part because his strikeout rates are relatively low already. He’ll mash 20+ home runs, and earn himself another Gold Glove.

    He’ll assert himself as a star on the national stage – not as much as Tulo, but an All-Star Game appearance in 2015 will help his case as the best third bagger in baseball.

    I’ll also consult the crystal ball for something far more important: he will prove to the Rockies he deserves to be locked down with a long-term deal, even though he’s still not even due for arbitration. Dang it, Bridich, this is (obviously) your third baseman of the future. Lock him up!

    And seriously. Watch this entire video that you’ve probably already seen because you think Arenado is as amazing as I do.

    Give us your predictions!

    Comment below, find us on Facebook, or tweet us @RoxPileFS and let us know. You can also use the hashtag #RoxCrystalBall.