The Colorado Rockies offense has been much better in the month of May than they were in the months of March and April but it still has been a bit lower than the league average. Lately, the Rockies have particularly struggled with strikeouts so we decided to take a dive into MLB.com’s Statcast to look at the Rockies offensively.
The Colorado Rockies are 20-25 through their first 45 games, which puts them on pace to a very disappointing 72-90 record. Part of the reason that the Rockies have been lackluster in the first quarter of the season is that the Rockies offense, in general, has struggled.
In slash line numbers among the National League (and MLB), the Rockies are 7th (15th) in average (.246), 10th (22nd) in on-base percentage (.307), and 5th (9th) in slugging percentage (.437).
Entering the month of May, the Rockies were hitting .232/.293/.404.
MLB.com’s Statcast can dive more into the numbers than just a basic slashline, though, and some of the numbers may surprise you.
One interesting stat is the Rockies “hard hit rate”, which is the percentage of batted balls that have an exit velocity of 95 MPH or more. The Rockies are actually slightly above the MLB average of 34.3 percent as they have averaged 35.2 percent.
Individually, the Rockies have some players on both the high and low ends. Trevor Story leads the team with a hard hit rate of 51.5 percent, which is in the top 2 percent in baseball. On the other end of the spectrum, the Rockies have Garrett Hampson (who is now in Albuquerque) and Tony Welters both in the bottom 2 percent in baseball with hard hit rates of 18.8 percent and 17.9 percent.
However, for exit velocity, the Rockies are slightly below league average as their average is 86.7 MPH with the league average being 87.4 MPH. Wolters (83.1) and Hampson (80.7) are in the bottom five and two percent in the league.
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The main alarming numbers
For the Rockies, there are a few alarming numbers. First is their chase. They chase outside of the zone 30.5 percent of the time, which is about nine percent higher than the league average of 28.1 percent.
Some of the leaders in that (who have seen at least 100 pitches in the major leagues this season) are Raimel Tapia (38.0 percent), Nolan Arenado and David Dahl (both 37.4 percent), Pat Valaika, who’s currently in Albuquerque (32.0 percent), and Daniel Murphy (31.8 percent).
This number would be fine if they had more contact outside of the strike zone but they make contact outside of the zone about 8 percent less than the league average. The Rockies make contact 55.6 percent of the time compared to 60 percent for the league average.
The worst Rockies in this category for this are Chris Iannetta (18.2 percent), Pat Valaika (25 percent), and Mark Reynolds (30.4 percent). These three are more than 10 percent less than anybody else on the Rockies.
The Rockies also swing at the first pitch more than average, as they swing at it 31.8 percent of the time compared to the league average of 28.1 percent. Some of the worst offenders of this are Ryan McMahon (42.4 percent), Nolan Arenado and Pat Valaika (both at 36.4), and David Dahl (35.5).
While some of these trends have gotten better for the Rockies, if you look at the numbers, the Rockies main problem looks to be that they are chasing at pitches out of the zone and swinging at the first pitch. Patience is always a virtue and it’s a virtue that could help the Rockies out of their early season, as well as recent, funk.