Colorado Rockies: Josh Fuentes auditioning for the 2021 starting role at first
By Aaron Hurt
Josh Fuentes is making a case to become the Colorado Rockies first baseman of the future.
As Colorado sports fans have been immersed in another fantastic series comeback by the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Playoffs, they have been missing out on the surprising play of a once-seldom-used Colorado Rockies backup. Over the last few weeks, Josh Fuentes has emerged as the most reliable first baseman on the roster as Daniel Murphy and his ice-cold bat has fallen out of favor with manager Bud Black.
It is a small sample size, but Fuentes has shown that he has the offensive skills to take over the full time role at first base. For the season, the 27-year-old right-handed bat is slashing .340/.353/.511 with a home run, seven RBI, and seven runs scored in 47 at-bats.
The majority of these at-bats have come in the month of September as Murphy has been in a brutal slump with only one hit in has last 19 at-bats (.053) and six in this last 41 at-bats (.146). In fact, in the month of September, Fuentes is 11-for-28 (.393) with four extra-base hits. Fuentes has also provided solid defense at first, something Murphy has severely lacked.
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The replacement of Murphy has come at the delight of many fans as Murphy is at top of a long laundry list of bad free agent signings made by GM Jeff Bridich over the last handful of seasons.
In the final 13 games of the season, Fuentes should receive the bulk, if not all, of the remaining starts at first base. This will give the Rockies’ front office a better look at what they have at that position heading into 2021 as Daniel Murphy will likely not return and an offseason free agent signing at that spot could be a high priority.
If Josh Fuentes can stay consistent the rest of the way, he could solidify his spot at first for next season and the Rockies’ management can focus their money and attention on the many other gaping holes in the roster.