There has been a lot of talk in the offseason about the Colorado Rockies potentially trading off an outfielder. With the signing of Ian Desmond joining the ranks of Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon, David Dahl and Gerardo Parra, plus prospects in Jordan Patterson and Raimel Tapia waiting in the wings, the Rockies certainly have options when it comes to filling their three outfield positions.
The Rockies have a lot of depth in the outfield and former All-Stars in Blackmon and Gonzalez. It may be one of the reasons why Blackmon was named as part of the All-Trade-Speculation Team in December.
Colorado has a lot of great players, but do they have the best outfield in Major League Baseball? It’s a question worth asking.
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First, let’s look at the projected 2017 outfield for the Rockies, with Dahl in left, Blackmon in center and Gonzalez in right. We’ll look at the stats for those three players in this comparison.
Last season, here’s what the three Rockies outfielders did…
Blackmon — .324, 29 homers, 82 RBI, 3.9 WAR
CarGo — .298, 25 homers, 100 RBI, 1.9 WAR
Dahl — .315, 7 homers, 24 RBI, 1.2 WAR
Note: Don’t forget that Parra posted a -1.8 WAR last season. That’s another reason why we will keep him on the bench for the sake of this article.
One of the best outfields in all of Major League Baseball last season belonged to the Boston Red Sox. Led by Mookie Betts, who finished second in the American League MVP race, the outfield was one of Boston’s strengths in 2016 … and appears to be one of its strongest suits heading into 2017.
So how do Boston’s 2016 numbers from the outfield compare with the Rockies? Take a look.
Betts — .318, 31 homers, 113 RBI, 7.8 WAR
Jackie Bradley Jr. — .267, 26 homers, 87 RBI, 4.8 WAR
Andrew Benintendi — .295, 2 homers, 14 RBI, 0.6 WAR
Benintendi had just 105 at-bats last season but many in Boston believe him to be a star of the future in the outfield. It’s certainly hard to argue with the numbers posted by Betts or Bradley last season. Looking at pure numbers, Boston may be a better statistical outfield than the Rockies.
OK, so Boston is in the American League. That means Colorado could have the best outfield in the National League, right? Well, let’s take a look at some of the competition.
Ozuna — .266, 23 homers, 76 RBI, 2.4 WAR
Stanton — .240, 27 homers, 74 RBI, 1.7 WAR
Yelich — .298, 21 homers, 98 RBI, 4.4 WAR
Miami is clearly ahead in left field with Ozuna last season thanks in part to Dahl’s partial season in the bigs. In center, Blackmon had a higher average and more homers but Yelich finished ahead in WAR and RBI (although batting third in the Miami lineup certainly could’ve helped him there). CarGo’s stats in right overshadowed Stanton (who played in just 119 games last season) in every category.
Marte — .311, 9 homers, 46 RBI, 4.0 WAR
McCutchen — .256, 24 homers, 79 RBI, 0.7 WAR
Polanco — .258, 22 homers, 86 RBI, 2.5 WAR
Let’s look at left field. Marte put up his numbers in 129 games while Dahl had just 63. Project Dahl statistics out to Marte’s at-bats and Colorado’s rookie wins there. In center, you’ll hear a lot about McCutchen’s down year in 2016 but Blackmon topped him in every category. In right, CarGo has an advantage in every category over Polanco except WAR.
Does Colorado have the best outfield in Major League Baseball? Maybe not, but it certainly has one of the best in the Majors, if not the best in the National League.
Do you think there’s a better outfield out there? Let us know in the comments box below.