Colorado Rockies: Grading the 2016 Corner Infielders
NOLAN ARENADO: 2016 GRADE A, fWAR 5.2
The heart and soul of the Colorado Rockies is without question Nolan Arenado. At 25, it’s scary that Nolan may even get better. Despite finishing fifth in the National League MVP race in 2016, Arenado hit for a better average, put up more home runs and RBI, all while striking out 50+ less times than eventual MVP Kris Bryant. Had Arenado played for a team in contention, there would have been a much more vigorous argument to have a Rockies MVP for the second time in club history.
Don’t expect to see much of Arenado with the Rockies during Spring Training. As a result of his outstanding play, Arenado has agreed to play for team USA during the World Baseball Classic. The WBC is just another chance for Arenado to add to his already stacked hardware case. In 2016, he took home his second straight Silver Slugger award, fourth consecutive Gold Glove, while being named to his second straight All-Star Game.
Next: Analyzing and Grading Colorado's Catchers from 2016
Heading into an exciting 2017 campaign, Arenado figures to once again be one of the main workhorses of the Rockies offense … and it could be an improved offense next season. Assuming the Rockies pitching staff can develop further, Arenado might play in the playoffs for the first time of his career and improve on that fifth-place MVP finish.