Colorado Rockies: Why first base should be the real free agent focus

jlagrow
DENVER - JUNE 14: A general view of the exterior home plate entrance to Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies on June 14, 2004 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
DENVER - JUNE 14: A general view of the exterior home plate entrance to Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies on June 14, 2004 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
5 of 6
Next

I want to look at three players I believe could be huge pick-ups. Each player offers a unique skill set, and adds more upside long term and short term than the current options: In their particular order of interest, I present to you.

First, let us look at Carlos Santana (31) of the Cleveland Indians. He is a free agent, finishing a five-year, $ 32 million contract that was signed in the offseason of 2012. He has been a solid defensive contributor to the Indians, as well as a middle of the order bat. Below are his statistics from 2017. His plate discipline some of the best in all of the league among power hitters, shows a strikeout rate of 14.9% with a 13.9% walk rate.

2017 PA AB H R 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO TB BA SLG OBP OPS WAR DRS WRC
 CLE  667  571  148 90  37  3  23  79  5  1  88  94  260 .259 .455 .363 .818 3.4 10 117

When looking at the differences between Mark Reynolds and Carlos Santana, we compare the differences in plate discipline, batted balls in play, and defensive runs saved. Santana is clearly a far more superior talent, and he is three years younger than Reynolds.

Santana finished +15 Defensive Runs Saved better, struck out 81 fewer times, walked 19 more times, all with 74 more plate appearances than Reynolds. His WAR is 2.6 higher than Reynolds, WRC was 13 points higher, and his 21 postseason games given him more postseason experience.

Secondly, we take a look at Logan Morrison, 29, the first baseman of the Tampa Bay Rays. He too is a free agent, and in 2017 showed great promise as a full-time player with a breakout season.  With the 126 hits, 38 home runs, 85 RBI, 75 runs scored, 81 walks, and the 149 strikeouts in 512 at-bats, Morrison established new career highs in most every offensive category. Even the .246 batting average was his second-highest average for any season of his career.

2017 PA AB H R 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO TB BA SLG OBP OPS WAR DRS WRC
 TB  501  512  126 75  22  1  38  85  2  0  81  149 264 .246 .516 .353 .868 3.6  1 130

Again, comparing Morrison to Reynolds, you see a player who walked more, hit for more power, showed more plate discipline, and played better overall defense. Five years younger than Reynolds, Morrison will be able to demand similar money, providing similar offensive production, for a longer sustained period of time.

Finally, we will look at Eric Hosmer, 27, the cream of the first baseman crop of free agents. Hosmer has been a staple of the Kansas City Royals World Series core. Jon Heyman reports the organization will make a serious run to keep him. Hosmer negotiations could push the price tag north of six years and $120 million.

With that said, lets take a look and see what type of value Hosmer could potentially add to the Rockies.

2017 PA AB H R 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO TB BA SLG OBP OPS WAR DRS WRC
 KC  671 603 192 98 31 1 25 94 6 1 66 104 300 .318 .498 .385 .882 4.0 -7 135

Now, two years removed from his multiple Gold Gloves, Hosmer is still a solid contributor at the corner. His -7 Defensive Runs Saved are still an improvement over the -10 Reynolds posted in 2017. His bat continues to be solid, hitting a .318/.385/.498 slash line in 2017, adding more power, plate discipline, and clutch hitting to his resume. At age 27, he is the youngest of the core group of 1B, but his decline is defense is a red factor I would be weary of moving forward.

facebooktwitterreddit