And hitting ninth in the Rockies lineup (eighth without the DH) is center fielder Garrett Hampson.
This spot could also go to Yonathan Daza, who would also hit ninth and play center field but Hampson gets the nod here.
For Hampson, the problem for him is easy to identify: he needs to get on base more. Obviously, that is easier said than done but if he could get on base 35 percent of the time (.350 OBP), he would be one of the most dangerous players in the NL because of his speed. By sprint speed, he was the seventh-fastest player in the entire sport in 2020 and he was fourth fastest in 2019.
The problem is that he hit .234/.287/.383 with an OPS+ of 68 in 2020 and his OPS+ in 2019 was 66. If the Rockies can get anything close to what he had at the end of the 2019 season (five home runs, eight RBI, seven stolen bases, .343/.387/.586), then he would obviously be way higher in the lineup but that was a very small sample size (16 games). Defensively, in 120 innings in center field, he had 0 fDRS so he was league average out there.
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Hampson will still likely see some time in left field, shortstop, and second base as well but, as the Rockies are currently constructed, he should be the Rockies’ primary center fielder.
To recap, here is the Rockies’ “perfect lineup,” as currently constructed, and how their roster will likely be entering the 2021 season.
- Raimel Tapia, LF
- Trevor Story, SS
- Charlie Blackmon, RF
- Nolan Arenado, 3B
- Sam Hilliard, RF
- Josh Fuentes, 1B
- Ryan McMahon, 2B
- Elias Diaz, C
- Garrett Hampson, CF
That lineup is definitely not the 1927 Yankees or the Blake Street Bombers reincarnate but that’s the best lineup that the Rockies have as they are currently constructed. Let us know what you think either in the comment section or on social media.