I won’t pretend to understand the Colorado Rockies’ philosophy on their young players. Whenever an opportunity to trade for a superstar arises, they balk at that opportunity and hang onto their top prospects with clenched fists.
That can be an appropriate response. The Colorado Rockies have a lot of young talent and, if they want to trust them with their future, I’m all for it. But that’s the problem. They don’t seem to trust them.
I say that because whenever a position opens up (aside from pitching), the Rockies tend to pass over their young players in favor of overpaid, underperforming, aging veterans. The result is past lists of top prospects who barely got a chance at the big league level.
I know that accusation might sound out of place for a team that is almost entirely home-grown, but the talent is within the system for the team to be even better … and it’s been there for a few years. While injuries played a part, it’s pretty clear that guys like Tom Murphy (almost 28), Jordan Patterson (almost 27 and no longer in the organization), Raimel Tapia (almost 25), David Dahl (almost 25), Ryan McMahon (who turns 24 today) and others have not gotten a chance to prove themselves despite posting overwhelming minor league numbers, making their debuts several seasons ago, and seeing success in limited playing time in the major leagues.
Is Brendan Rodgers (22) next on the list of squandered talent?
Dahl had a breakout season last year, despite only being an everyday player in August and September and barring injuries should be a regular in 2019. With holes at second and first, it is speculated that McMahon will also get a shot at an everyday job. Guys like Tapia, Rodgers, and Garrett Hampson (24) will also likely get a look during Spring Training.
But rumors out of the Winter Meetings have me concerned.
The way I see it, the Rockies should have two priorities this offseason. Sign Nolan Arenado to a long-term deal and make a splash for a reliable catcher who can perform on both sides of the ball.
While the Arenado situation isn’t entirely in the team’s control, there are certainly areas that they can control. But for some reason, the Rockies seem fixated on finding someone to play first base while leaving the question of who will be catching next season up in the air.
If the Rockies could bring in a big-time slugger to man first base, the move would make sense seeing as the offense was sorely lacking last season. But the rumors floating around concerning players such as Logan Morrison (who was significantly worse than even Ian Desmond last season) and Neil Walker (almost as bad as Morrison) among other mediocre, aging first and second basemen make zero sense.
The Rockies have a wealth of talent ready to burst into their infield and the last thing they need is Logan Morrison and Neil Walker standing in their way. Even if the Rockies came away with an all-star first baseman, that would likely shift McMahon over to second base for 2019 and then what do you do with Rodgers?
So instead of finding solutions to serious roster holes, the Rockies seem to be ignoring those problems and plugging in players they don’t need to yet again block their top prospects.
It’s time to make a decision on Brendan Rodgers … and a few other young players for that matter. I think the Rockies should give their young players a chance (a real chance) to play every day. But if the Rockies are going to look for outside solutions for the positions Rodgers, McMahon, Hampson, and Tapia are slated to play, then at least some those players need to be traded in a blockbuster deal for someone who could actually improve the team like J.T. Realmuto or Noah Syndergaard.
There’s no sense in letting them waste more time in the minor leagues while we waste more money on bad veterans.