The Colorado Rockies‘ number one prospect Brendan Rodgers should see playing time at the big leagues in 2018, but the question is where does he fit in?
The Rockies selected Rodgers third overall in the 2015 draft after Dansby Swanson and Alex Bregman. Swanson had his high and low points in his first full season with the Atlanta Braves. Meanwhile, Bregman found himself as a crucial piece in the Houston Astros World Series-winning team. Now we await the arrival of Brendan Rodgers to Major League Baseball.
Rodgers, 21, should have a bright future ahead of him. Although, the shortstop prospect only hit for a .260 average in his 38-game tenure with the Double-A Hartford Yard Goats. The low average was due to a small sample size and a 2-for-14 start with the club. The numbers shouldn’t scare you away, Rodgers will find a way to hit at any level. He is that talented. The main issue for the Rockies is where do you put him?
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The Astros had Carlos Correa at shortstop, so they moved Bregman to third. The Rockies can’t do that because they have that guy named Nolan Arenado at the hot corner. Rodgers has played both middle infield spots in the minors. Those spots are currently occupied by DJ LeMahieu and Trevor Story. What options do the Rockies have?
What do they do?
LeMahieu becomes a free agent after the 2018 season, but the Rockies won’t just let him walk, will they? It is unlikely, but LeMahieu will turn 30 next season. If Rodgers does come up to the Rockies and is successful, maybe the Rockies think that giving a long-term deal to a 30-year-old player isn’t worth it.
Another longshot is LeMahieu has played minuscule time at first-base, it seems almost dumb to move over a two-time Gold Glove winner for an unproven prospect.
Next, there’s Story, the current Rockies’ shortstop. Story had his struggles in 2017, after having his great rookie campaign shortened by injury. Maybe the opening for Rodgers is a Story injury or extended slump. That would be the easiest pathway for Rodgers is Story losing his job somehow.
Bud Black will find a way to get his number one prospect into his lineup during the 2018 season. The way Rodgers, LeMahieu, and Story play next year will contribute to what happens with the team. Having too much talent is a problem most managers are glad to have. There will be a tough choice going forward after the 2018 season though. Do they let LeMahieu walk? Will they move Story? Or is Rodgers better suited as a trade chip? The Rockies can only wait and see.