Colorado Rockies: Looking at the standouts so far in spring training
By Luke Mullins
Spring Training is a time for fans to become acquainted with their team’s future stars as surprise performances and steady talent vie for an advantage in key position battles up and down the roster. That is something that Colorado Rockies fans have seen before.
For the Colorado Rockies in 2016, that future star was Trevor Story, as he started stealing headlines for the Colorado Rockies with a torrid spring that has translated into big league stardom. Which players could do the same in 2020?
The first name that comes to mind for anyone following Colorado’s Cactus League play is second baseman Bret Boswell. In 12 games entering play Friday, Boswell had hit .474 with a 1.211 OPS, 8 RBI, a home run and a pair of doubles. Even though he’s listed as a second baseman, Boswell can also play third base as well as the outfield, adding to his value.
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Infielders Colton Welker and Josh Fuentes have also impressed this spring, garnering 3 RBI each. Welker has hit .438 with a 1.128 OPS in 11 games and Fuentes has hit .391 in the same number of games. First baseman Brian Mundell is hitting .316 with 4 RBI in 11 games and outfielder Yonathan Daza has 5 RBI while batting .375 in 11 games.
Surprisingly, catching has been one of the Rockies’ best sources of offense this spring with Drew Butera (.364 BA, 1.462 OPS, two homers, 6 RBI, and a double in six games) and Elias Diaz (.571 BA, 1.348 OPS, a pair of RBIs, a double, and a triple in seven games) among the leaders in OPS.
On the pitching side, a handful of young bullpen arms have looked great so far. Tyler Kinley hasn’t allowed a hit or a run in five innings. Left-handed reliever Phillip Diehl has thrown 4.1 shutout innings, surrendering just one hit and striking out nine. Another lefty, James Pazos, is following up a strong 2019 showing with a 1.93 ERA through 4.2 innings. And as an added bonus, Wade Davis has been perfect through two innings so far.
German Marquez struck out three while surrendering one hit and no runs in three frames in his only game thus far and Antonio Senzatela had allowed one run and struck out five in five innings across two games. Jesus Tinoco, Peter Lambert, and Zac Rosscup have all pitched well so far in limited action as well.
Spring results don’t necessarily translate to big league results. However, they’re typically very influential in determining who starts with the club on Opening Day.
The Rockies might not end up with a breakout as they saw from Trevor Story a few seasons ago. However, these strong performances are encouraging nonetheless … especially those on the pitching side.