Nolan Arenado just keeps the pushing the bar higher for future members of the Colorado Rockies and every third baseman who will play the position after him.
In the first inning of Friday night’s Colorado Rockies-San Diego Padres series opener in Denver, Nolan Arenado took a 1-0 pitch from Joey Lucchesi over the scoreboard in right field for a 392-foot home run. It was the 40th of the season for Arenado and gave him his third 40-homer season in his seven-year Major League career. He had a career-high 42 in 2015 and followed that by smashing 41 the following season.
The home run put Arenado in some elite company. Only Vinny Castilla (1996-98) has three 40-homer seasons in a Rockies uniform. The 28-year-old Arenado also became the fourth third baseman in Major League history (with at least 75 percent of games played at the position each season) to have three or more seasons of 40 home runs, joining Castilla, Eddie Mathews and Mike Schmidt.
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Arenado’s first-inning blast also ensured that he would reach base safely for the 18th consecutive game. That’s the second-longest current streak in Major League Baseball. Heading into Friday night’s game, during that streak, Arenado was batting .407 with four doubles, seven homers, 13 RBI and 10 walks.
And it isn’t just in recent games where Arenado has been hot at the plate. Before Friday’s game, since August 1, Arenado was hitting .341 with five doubles, 17 homers and 31 RBI. That leads MLB in homers and ranks fourth in the National League in average during that span.
With 14 games left in the season, Arenado could certainly establish a new career-high in home runs as well as batting average (his previous career high is .309 in 2017), on-base percentage (.374 last season), slugging percentage (.586 in 2017) and OPS (.959 in 2017). It’s an incredible feat considering the downturn in his production about six weeks ago.
He also has a chance to beat his all-time best numbers in low amount of strikeouts and most walks. Not too bad, Mr. Gold Glove.