Nolan Arenado’s struggles: How much should Colorado Rockies fans worry?

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - JULY 28: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies waits in the on-deck circle in the top of the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on July 28, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - JULY 28: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies waits in the on-deck circle in the top of the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on July 28, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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PHOENIX, ARIZONA – AUGUST 24: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies hits a single against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on August 24, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – AUGUST 24: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies hits a single against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on August 24, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

There’s no sugar-coating it: Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado’s 2020 season has been pretty rough any way you look at it.

In a shortened season there’s obviously going to be heightened pressure and focus on any superstar that’s struggling. A .218/.259/.455 slash line for a wRC+ of 66 going into Monday’s game in Arizona isn’t a pretty picture for the Rockies third baseman, but how concerned should we really be with Nolan Arenado‘s performance thus far?

With a wRC+ generally in the high 120s, we’re used to seeing Arenado hit literally twice as good as he’s shown us so far in this stretch. But he’s struggling surprisingly, albeit not alone in the category of players you’d consider perennial MVP candidates.

Jose Altuve’s wRC+ has dropped from 138 in 2019 to 68 this season. Cody Bellinger has dropped from 162 to 97. Javy Baez from 114 to 60. Marcus Semien from 137 to 64. Francisco Lindor from 114 to 88. Kris Bryant from 135 to 64.

Arenado’s not the only one. This season has started rough for quite a few players. And while he’s not exactly a major reason for the Rockies’ early-season success, he’s also not at fault for their downfall over the past couple weeks either. A team wRC+ of 84, just a touch lower than the 86 put up in 2019, doesn’t exactly show overall improvement from a front office he had a heated offseason with.

And again, it’s only 26 games and 112 plate appearances for Nolan. It’s a month’s worth of data that just so happens to be nearly 50% of the season this year. But what’s worth being concerned about and what?

Let’s dig in and see how Nolan’s gotten here and what we should expect going forward.

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