Colorado Rockies: 3 encouraging numbers from a discouraging June

cgaiser
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 13: Ian Desmond #20 of the Colorado Rockies high-fives Tom Murphy #23 after hitting a two-run home run in the fourth inning during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 13, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 13: Ian Desmond #20 of the Colorado Rockies high-fives Tom Murphy #23 after hitting a two-run home run in the fourth inning during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 13, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
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Gerardo Parra of the Colorado Rockies
SCOTTSDALE, AZ – FEBRUARY 22: Gerardo Parra #8 of the Colorado Rockies poses on photo day during MLB Spring Training at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 22, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Colorado Rockies June OPS: .785

You just knew this team was gonna hit.

The Rockies’ June OPS — on-base percentage plus slugging percentage — was fourth in baseball. This follows a May OPS of .757 (ninth in baseball) and a paltry April OPS of .676 (27th in baseball).

Early in the season, the top of the lineup carried the offense, while the sixth-through-ninth spots in the lineup were a black hole. But in June, the bats awoke from hibernation. Gerardo Parra was fantastic, with a .390 on-base percentage and 22 RBI. Trevor Story slashed .333/.360/.583 with just a 22 percent strikeout rate (yes, that’s a massive improvement). Carlos Gonzalez showed signs of vintage CarGo, and Tom Murphy is slashing .310/.326/.429 with five doubles in 43 plate appearances since being called up on June 12.

And Ian Desmond is suddenly raking; I’ll have more on him in a moment.

This was while Charlie Blackmon had a disappointing month, slashing .261/.309/.374 and homering just twice. With an OPS of .683, it was his worst June since 2014. (Hopefully this is just a slump and not part of a nagging injury.)

In April and May, the Rockies struggled with ground ball outs and putting the ball in play. These numbers have improved. Their batting average for balls in play (BABIP) was .274 in April and .304 in May, but in June it was the highest in baseball at .328.

Certainly more games at Coors helped, but the quality of contact was also better in June. The Rockies had a lower ground ball rate of 43.8 percent while their hard contact rate was an impressive 39.5 percent.

The offense is actually fun to watch, something I couldn’t imagine writing in early May. It’s why the Rockies are primed for a run, if the rotation finds consistency and the bullpen finds some answers.

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