Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier would be great in center field for the Colorado Rockies
Three weeks ago, MLB Trade Rumors was looking to try and find a match for Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier in a trade and they mentioned the Colorado Rockies as a possible fit and we offered our thoughts on the idea in this article.
As we said at the time, Kiermaier, who turns 32 in April, is the most tenured Rays player and he is entering the final season of his seven-year deal with Tampa so they could look to trade him this offseason to a) free up some payroll and b) get something in return for him
He is a fit for the Rockies because the Rockies need an outfielder and he’s one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball. He has had at least 10 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) in each full season he has been in the majors (including 2020). Having him patrol center field at Coors Field would be a Rockies pitcher’s dream.
Those defensive numbers are even more staggering when you consider that Kiermaier has only averaged 98 games per season since 2016. That is problematic as if he is having those issues at sea level every season (he hasn’t played more than 129 games in a season since 2015), how would it be any better going between sea level and altitude?
Additionally, his offense is nothing to write home about. Since the beginning of his extension (start of 2017), Kiermaier has hit .243/.307/.399 with an OPS+ of 94. Part of the reason why his offense isn’t great is that he has an extremely high groundball rate. Since 2019 among batters with at least 1000 plate appearances, Kiermaier has the third-highest groundball percentage at 55.2 percent, per FanGraphs (more on that in a little bit).
On a good team, that means he’s hitting eighth or ninth, not in the middle of the order, which is what the Rockies need, not a bottom of the order bat. They already have plenty of those.