Sports Illustrated recently ranked all 30 Major League Baseball teams in terms of watchability, and the Colorado Rockies came up at number 16 on the list.
The Rockies are never going to win a power rankings contest, or a watchability contest. The Rockies are always called the team that uses “altitude to their advantage” or the team that uses Coors Field like a baseball field in Williamsport, Pa. The Rockies are always going to get a bad rap for the field they play at, and that’s just the nature of the beast. That comparison between the Rockies and their ballpark was brought to life again in Sports Illustrated‘s article where the publication outlined the most watchable teams for the 2018 season.
Here’s the excerpt from Jon Tayler’s Sports Illustrated piece that you can read in its entirety by clicking here…
"The dirty secret of this Colorado squad is that, aside from Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon, the lineup isn’t all that great. That may end up being the Rockies’ Achilles heel, but I can’t in good conscience drop them any further on this list, as any Coors Field game is guaranteed to be a moronic and enthralling fireworks show of offense. Plus, Arenado’s work at third base deserves a Nobel Prize, or at least a MacArthur Grant."
It’s tough to really buy into this idea that the Rockies lineup isn’t all that great. Looking at the statistics, the Rockies were one of the best lineups in baseball last season and they’re retuning almost the same exact lineup in 2018. With a few additions of Chris Iannetta and a healthy Ian Desmond, the Rockies almost line up identical as last season.
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In the 2017 MLB regular season, the Rockies were second in the MLB in runs with 824, second in the MLB in hits with 1,510, and even finished in the top 10 in total bases, ending up seventh with 2,455. To tie everything together, the conclusion is that scoring is never a problem for the Rockies. Colorado’s success has always come down to whether or not their starting pitching can keep up with the rest of the National League, and not whether they can score enough runs or not.
The Rockies came in at 16 on the list behind the likes of the Cardinals, White Sox, Brewers, Mets, and even the Phillies. All are teams that are on the rise, but are all also teams that missed the postseason last year. If Colorado’s lineup is worse than any of the teams listed above, I’d be shocked.
The article also points out how the Rockies lineup is based around the success of Arenado and Blackmon, which isn’t true. Sure, when the Rockies’ two stars are flying, the offense in unstoppable, but the team still has the National League batting champion from two years ago in DJ LeMahieu and some rising stars and veterans sprinkled throughout the lineup. Gerardo Parra was one of the best hitters in the Majors for stretches of last season, Carlos Gonzalez found his stroke late last year, and Trevor Story always possesses a power ability when he comes to the plate.
With a potential bounce back season from Desmond, the Colorado’s lineup is more stacked then one might think, and they’re certainly a lineup that has the ability to shock the rest of Major League Baseball.
So as power rankings and watchability lists come and go just remember, the Rockies are exciting, and yes, they have one of the best lineups in the MLB.