Outside the starting rotation, there were few bright spots for the Colorado Rockies in 2020. Josh Fuentes was one of those bright spots, looking like the team’s best player on many nights toward the end of the season.
While there are going to be a number of free agent first basemen available this offseason, the Colorado Rockies aren’t going to land a superstar and the last thing they need is another big contract to an underwhelming veteran who would do nothing more than take playing time away from younger players. I’m going to lose my mind if this team signs someone like Todd Frazier to man first base.
While Ryan McMahon could bounce back in 2021 and slide over to first base, Josh Fuentes‘ standout performance in a lineup that flat couldn’t hit most nights should give him the advantage in any and all conversations about the immediate and even long-term future at first base.
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In 24 games in the month of September, Fuentes hit .316 with 17 RBI. Those 17 RBI are pretty impressive considering he only had 28 at-bats all season with runners in scoring position.
His defense was equally impressive as he made several great plays at first base and committed only one error on his way to a .996 fielding percentage.
Beyond the stats, Fuentes brought an energy that was sorely lacking from the team. While many of Colorado’s veterans seemed to hang their heads through the second half of the season, Fuentes was one of the only players who actually looked like he wanted to be there.
2020 was certainly a small sample size for Fuentes and it doesn’t guarantee success going forward, but it was more than enough to earn him the first opportunity at first base in 2021. As far as the front office is concerned, the position should be his to lose.