Colorado Rockies fans have clamored for a couple of seasons about Raimel Tapia and wanting to see what he could do if given an ample amount of playing time. So far this season, Tapia is rewarding those who banged the drum for more at-bats and for more moments of “mucho swagger” at the plate.
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Without Gerardo Parra and Carlos Gonzalez taking up spots in the outfield, and with Tapia out of options, the Rockies finally decided to see exactly what the 25-year-old outfielder could bring to the lineup. They have seen Tapia post a .286/.329/.584 slash line and blast four home runs this season after totaling just three in his three-year Major League career prior to this year. He has also pushed veteran outfielder Ian Desmond into a platoon situation.
I admit that I advocated for the Rockies to trade Tapia in the offseason. But I also admit that I wrote that article thinking that Colorado would still find a way to bury Tapia somehow this season and not give him playing time. However, Tapia pushed his way into the lineup and is making a big difference at the bottom of the Colorado batting order.
There is still plenty for the young outfielder to work on, including some things on defense and cutting down on swinging at balls outside the strike zone. However, it’s clear that Tapia has earned the right to play more with a hot start that hopefully will continue.