Much like Almonte and Senzatela, Raimel Tapia made great strides in his development in 2020. He also proved that he could provide a spark for the Colorado lineup as a leadoff batter.
After posting a -0.8 bWAR in 2019, Tapia turned things around in 2020, logging a 0.8 bWAR. Part of that was the .326 batting average he posted when batting leadoff for the Rockies in 34 games. That average from the leadoff position was the third-highest among qualified National League batters.
Tapia, who posted a career-best 96 OPS+, ranked seventh in the National League with a .321 batting average. He also continued a strong showing at the plate as the season progressed, posting a .339 average over his final 43 games of the campaign. Tapia’s numbers are especially impressive after noting he started the season 2-for-16 in his first eight games.
The 26-year-old outfielder hit safely in 15 of 16 games between August 11 and September 27, batting .354 during that streak. He also put together two separate nine-game hitting streaks during the season and recorded six games with at least three hits, tying him for fifth-most in the National League.
And, as honorable mention, let’s not forget Josh Fuentes and the stranglehold he put on the first base position in 2020. Here’s one opinion on why Fuentes should be considered the starter at the position heading into 2021.