Colorado Rockies: Grading and Analyzing the 2016 Outfielders

Aug 31, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies left fielder David Dahl (26) and center fielder Charlie Blackmon (19) and right fielder Carlos Gonzalez (5) congratulate each other following the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field. The Rockies defeated the Dodgers 7-0. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 31, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies left fielder David Dahl (26) and center fielder Charlie Blackmon (19) and right fielder Carlos Gonzalez (5) congratulate each other following the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field. The Rockies defeated the Dodgers 7-0. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sep 6, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies left fielder Raimel Tapia (68) hits a sacfrice fly to score a run in the fifth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field. The Giants defeated the Rockies 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Colorado Rockies left fielder Raimel Tapia (68). Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

RAIMEL TAPIA: 2016 GRADE C (fWAR 0.0)

Almost identical to Mr. Dahl’s rise, Raimel Tapia played across three different levels in 2016 at the age of 22. As a September call-up, Tapia appeared in 22 games with the big club and hit for a modest .263 average. The bottom line is that 22 games really isn’t a big enough sample size to judge a player, but Tapia has a ton of positives going for him.

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Firstly, Tapia is a professional hitter. Despite being younger than the competition at every level, Tapia has a career minor league average of .317. Due to an orthodox batting stance which features an exceptionally long stride, scouts have never given Tapia much of a chance. After playing in second straight Futures Game, people are starting to respect Tapia’s game. As an example, Baseball Prospectus ranks Tapia as the Rockies’ number two prospect.

Equipped with slightly above average speed and arm, Tapia figures to stick in center field as his primary position, with the ability to play left field as well. The only glaring defect in Tapia’s game is his lack of power, which scouts seem to mention at very opportunity. In six minor league seasons, Tapia has slugged 37 home runs and 126 doubles. So he probably won’t bop 25 home runs a year but he will have his share of moments burning teams in the gaps.

Tapia did not exceed rookie limits in his limited time in 2016. Heading into 2017 Tapia figures to be the club’s fifth outfielder, expect him to be the first man up when injuries occur.