After carefully dissecting the entire Colorado Rockies‘ 40-man roster, it is time to take a look at the top five players and the impact they will make during the 2017 season. The names atop the list come as no surprise, but the ranking shows a great bit of variation.
Carlos Gonzalez: Outfielder Points: 28 Highest Rank: 2 Lowest Rank: 8
Carlos Gonzalez has been a fixture in the Rockies organization since being traded to the club before the 2009 season. As he enters his age 31 season, there is more uncertainty surrounding his future with the team than ever before. Over the past few seasons, CarGo has garnered heavy trade interest from teams around the league. However, the Rockies have never shown a genuine interest in letting go of the perennial All-Star. There were even reports of interest from both parties to sign a new extension during the offseason.
In the final year of his current contract with the team, CarGo figures to be an everyday player who hits in the heart of the order. Though with so many young players vying for time in the outfield, he could see his role reduced if new manager Bud Black sees fit.
When fully healthy, Gonzalez is an above-average defender and a terror at the plate. He has hit 25 or more home runs in five of the last seven seasons, and has a career batting average just under .300. As for defensive ability, opposing base runners have a better chance of beating a circus game than a throw from CarGo.
The key to his impact during the 2017 season boils down to a few categories. His overall health for the entire season and his situation regarding a future trade or extension. If the Rockies contend this season, I expect CarGo to stick around and sign an extension before he reaches the open market.
If healthy this season, Gonzalez could have another 40-home run season and continue to torment opposing offenses with his ridiculous defense. If he get injured or traded, his postseason ranking will be drastically different.