Colorado Rockies: The 2018 projected defensive alignment
1st Base: Pat Valaika
If the Rox decide to stay internal with their search for a 1st baseman, I believe Pat Valaika will be the best man for the job.
It may be an out of the box choice but Valaika, 25, showed a lot of promise last season putting up a .258 batting average, 13 home runs, and 40 RBI. The times this guy came in clutch were his pinch hitting situations. Valaika had 66 pinch hit appearances, he boded well with 12 extra base hits as well as 12 RBI and a .328/.344/.672 slash line in those pinch hit appearances. That’s the job he can get done by just coming off the bench cold. He even did it during the Wild Card game. It may have been one at-bat but he came in clutch once again with a double.
Now imagine him starting everyday. There is serious potential with this guy. Even though Valaika has the least experience at first doesn’t mean he should be counted out. In his five games at first, he maintained a fielding percentage of 1.000. He only had 12 opportunities but in the very small sample size, he was not bad. The only way is up for Pat Valaika and starting him at first would be the right road.
Starting a guy with little experience at first base is crazy? Well, the Rockies signed a big-name free agent last offseason to supposedly do just that … so it has happened before.
Other internal options will be Ryan McMahon and Ian Desmond, who we will discuss a little bit later on.