The Colorado Rockies have a lot of raw young talent for the 2018 season. As the Rockies push forward their agenda, it’s been very clear their motto for the season is all about the youth movement. These young guys are now getting the spotlight they deserve. One of those guys happens to be Raimel Tapia.
Tapia, 24, has started to make a name for himself. Last season was a practical year for him, especially when you’re a guy just getting into the high double digits of games. He played in 70 games last season and ended up with a .288/.329/.425 slashline. That goes along with five stolen bases and 16 RBI. Let’s not forget that he also was only a single away from hitting for the cycle. Tapia also got an at-bat during the Wild Card game and, as he often did after a slow start, he came through with a hit.
So far, Spring Training has been no different. Tapia has been the leadoff man while Charlie Blackmon is getting cozy with being third in the lineup as manager Bud Black experiments. As soon as I found out that he would be leading off in some games, I knew my article wish had come true. The Rockies are only six games in and he’s already built up some clutch moments. Tapia has already hit a home run, has 2 RBI, and a double.
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Now I get understand that it’s only Spring Training, but this is prime time for players like Tapia to show their worth. It’s critical that Tapia be on the top of his game as there are spots to fill in the outfield. It’s worth noting that Tapia played 46 games in the outfield, including 22 times in right. This could very much open a door for Bud Black to start Tapia in right, or left as he played 18 times there.
Tapia is on the up and up and giving him the spotlight he deserves is the only way he will truly be able to shine. This kid has some serious potential and could be the answer some of the questions about offensive holes that need to be filled in the lineup.
I was going to speak about his projections for 2018, but I don’t feel as though they do him justice. I have no doubt he’ll be on the Opening Day roster. Where? Most likely on the bench if both Ian Desmond and Gerardo Parra are healthy. However, Tapia will get plenty of chances to shine.
Tapia is such a diverse figure from starting in games, being the leadoff man, or coming off the bench. In any scenario, he’s going to make an impact on the game. I see so much potential in him, I just hope he gets the amount of playing time he deserves.
In the next few years, I would keep an eye on him as he rises up to be one of the mainstays on this team. Having Tapia on the team is not enough, however. He has to start in order to help the Rockies reach their goals. This is essentially a player who could be the deciding factor in a Wild Card game or other playoff games. In other words Tapia is a vital asset to have in Colorado’s arsenal.
I believe Tapia will be an incredible outfielder and batter, but that won’t happen unless he gets the shot he deserves. In order for that to happen, Colorado shouldn’t sleep on Raimel Tapia and his skills.