Colorado Rockies: An aging Charlie Blackmon might not be as Nazty offensively
The excitement for Colorado Rockies fans of singing along to the lyrics of “I don’t want to lose your love, tonight” could begin to slowly fade away in Denver this season and the seasons to come.
The walk-up song for Charlie Blackmon, made famous by the band The Outfield, has become a staple of the Coors Field experience, not only for the song’s catchiness but also because fans know that there is an opportunity of observing something special with Chuck Nazty in the batter’s box. Sadly, those special moments could become fewer and far between starting this season as Blackmon is entering the twilight of his career.
Could Charlie Blackmon of the Colorado Rockies have a down year in 2021?
It is hard to imagine a time when Charlie Blackmon has not produced offensively. The 10-year veteran slashes a career .304/.360/.505 and has a career 162-game average of 26 home runs, 80 RBI, and 108 runs scored. Last season, he started the year on one of the most unbelievable hot streaks at the plate in recent memory, hitting 34-for-68 in the first 17 games.
The problem is Blackmon has a lot of things working against him entering 2021. For starters, he will turn the ripe old age of 35 in July, which makes him the second-oldest player on the 40-man roster only behind Daniel Bard.
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Everyone remembers that mind-boggling hot start in the 2020 season where he hit .500 through the first 17 games, but what is forgotten is his 33-for-153 (.216) finish, which helped spur on Colorado’s monumental collapse after an 11-3 start. He also experienced a power outage as he hit only six home runs in 59 games played.
He has carried over these struggles into the spring as he has a mere four base hits in 31 at-bats (entering Wednesday’s action). Obviously, spring training numbers need to be taken with a huge grain of salt, especially for Blackmon, who is a career .265 hitter in the spring. However, a .129 average is a bit of a cause for concern.
Quite possibly the biggest obstacle facing Chuck Nazty in this season and beyond is the absence of Nolan Arenado in the middle of the lineup. No longer will he have that more powerful bat providing him protection. The 2020 season may have foreshadowed this as, when Arenado struggled with a shoulder injury throughout most of the season and was placed on the injured list with 12 games left, that is when Blackmon also scuffled mightily at the plate.
Charlie Blackmon could prove me wrong as he is a freak of nature, but do not be surprised if Rockies’ fans begin to lose some of your love for Chuck Nazty … tonight.