Colorado Rockies: Just how high is Adam Ottavino’s ceiling?
By JD Jensen
Luckily for Colorado Rockies fans, there are a handful of players who have the opportunity to make an impact on Major League Baseball as the season rolls along already on the roster. Some of them are already making their mark, like Adam Ottavino.
He has had a spectacular start to the season, playing with one of the best bullpens we have ever seen the Rockies assemble. At age 32, Ottavino is still on the rise in 2018. Just how high is his potential?
When you look at the improvement Ottavino has pulled off to begin this year, it looks as though he could be one of the best relievers in all of Major League Baseball. His ERA is one of the best we’ve seen in years from a Rockies reliever at this point in the season, at 1.08. Sure, it is safe to say he isn’t going to finish the season that well, but just look at his improvement. We are talking about a guy who posted an ERA last season that was all the way up at 5.07 in just over 53 innings pitched. This year, he already has 25 innings under his belt. Chances are his ERA could be an entire two runs lower than the previous year.
Heading into Tuesday night’s game, Ottavino had a 1.3 WAR, or wins above replacement. This WAR is good enough to be ninth in the National League. This can almost all be credited to what is one of the dirtiest sliders in the league. That is no secret.
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While there isn’t a stat to prove just how effective the slider is, you can chalk this up to the “eye test.” In fact, the eye test would also tell you if Ottavino could hit his location with his off speed pitch with more consistency, he would be impossible to hit.
Unfortunately, Ottavino happens to be in a bullpen with a number of big names. This means he is not really the closer. In fact, he only has one save on the season. It’s a change in thinking from as recently as 2016 when he went 5-for-6 in September save opportunities.
Here is the good news: He is breaking his individual records in just about every stat in the game and he is getting plenty of attention for the way he is slider is moving this season.
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Sure, he may not be known as “the guy” in Colorado’s bullpen. However, that does not make him elite. All it does is show just how good the Rockies bullpen is capable of being.