Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon’s rank among the best center fielders
Anyone who says Mike Trout is lesser than any other player is kidding themselves. Trout is a two-time MVP and has been a top five player every single year of his entire career. But let’s not act like he is in a whole other stratosphere from Blackmon.
Once again, Trout has been spectacular this season, being the first player to 10 home runs while keeping a .298 batting average. Through Friday’s games, he’s sitting at 11 homers and a .310 average. I know its a small sample, but Blackmon has been almost as efficient as Trout has been so far this season. He has 11 home runs (including 10 away from Coors Field) while batting .292 at the plate (through Friday’s game). Trout is only beating Blackmon 21-20 in RBI, and that’s including Blackmon starting out the year in the lead off position.
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No one is saying Charlie Blackmon is a better player than Trout. After all, Blackmon’s career WAR is 16.2 while Trout’s career war is at 56.9. But it is not a case where Mike Trout is blowing out Blackmon in every statistic on an annual basis. There numbers are much more comparable to what people give him credit for.
Rockies fans should remember just how well Dexter Fowler can impact a game. The former Rockies outfielder is no stranger to the clutch gene. However, this year has been different. Fowler is batting below .200 with a WAR in the negatives. Charlie Blackmon is clearly superior to Dexter Fowler at this point in time.
In fact, you could make an argument that Blackmon right now is better than Fowler ever was in Colorado. In Fowler’s best season, 2012, Fowler only hit .300 with 13 home runs. It’s not unreasonable at all to claim Blackmon will beat those numbers again this season.
Springer was a key contributor for the 2017 World Series Champion Houston Astros, and finished 13th in the American League MVP voting. However, that does not mean at all he is better than Charlie Blackmon. In fact, Chuck had more home runs, RBI, and a better batting average. Springer is an excellent ball player, but Blackmon is much better, in my opinion. If a leadoff hitter has more runs batted in, it’s really difficult to make an argument for the other guy.
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Hamilton has one thing Blackmon does not: pure speed. However, when you only get on base 29% of the time, the speed seems a lot less important. Blackmon’s on base percentage is close to .400, which is a huge step up over Hamilton’s .306. Yes, Hamilton annihilates Chuck when it comes to career stolen bases … but I wouldn’t say by any measure that makes up for the lack of hits and home runs you lose with Hamilton, who only hit four bombs the year prior.