Better late than never–or so the saying goes. At only 24, It’s hard to call Garrett Hampson’s recent surge “late,” but after a strong Spring Training showing in which he collected 4 home runs and 9 RBI while competing with Ryan McMahon for the starting second base job, fans expected to see more from the versatile young speedster than they did most of this season.
Unfortunately, on June 25, Garrett Hampson‘s batting average was below .200 and going into play as recently as August 18, his average was still just .211 and he had hit only two home runs. But something changed during that game and Hampson has not looked the same since.
With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the tenth, Hampson lined a single over the Miami Marlin’s five man infield, scoring Yonathan Daza and sealing the walk-off win for the Colorado Rockies.
Since that game, Hampson has hit .333 with 6 home runs and a .958 OPS. In those 32 games, Hampson has nearly doubled his previous season total of 14 RBI by driving in 12. He has also been a perfect 8-for-8 stealing bases, maintaining his reputation as one of the fastest men in the sport.
In September, Hampson has been even better, hitting .371 with 5 home runs and a terrific 1.112 OPS in 19 games this month. The speed has always been there for Hampson but if he can start posting power numbers anywhere near what he’s been doing this month, he could quickly become an indispensable player for the Rockies.
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After spending much of the season struggling to get his timing down at the plate, Hampson appears to have finally adjusted to major league pitching. And while we can’t expect him to consistently post the kind of numbers he has this month over a 162-game season (that would equate to 43 home runs and 60 stolen bases), even half that production would go a long ways toward improving the Rockies’ offense in 2020.
The Rockies have desperately sought a spark plug all season to ignite their team’s energy and Hampson has served well in that role over the past month-plus. If this September is an audition for Hampson in 2020, he is certainly making the most of it.
You can’t help but imagine what the lineup would look like with Hampson at second and Ryan McMahon at first as both players continue to mature. An infield of Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, Hampson, and McMahon has the potential to be the best in the game if the Rockies can get consistent production from all four players.
The 2019 season was a disappointment, but it is way too early to throw in the towel on 2020. This team still has the pieces to win and as this season winds to an end, Garrett Hampson is giving us a glimpse of the potential that awaits the team in the future.