On Tuesday, Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections for the Colorado Rockies were released on FanGraphs and, as you probably expect, the Rockies are not projected to be the best team in baseball. In fact, far from it.
As always, they are projections and outside factors will definitely mean some things don’t happen the way a projection system would think (injuries, trades, free agent signings, being sent to the minors, etc.) but it still doesn’t negate the fact that the Colorado Rockies are one of the worst teams in baseball and it’s for reasons they shouldn’t be.
FanGraphs’ ZiPS projections for the Colorado Rockies are very bleak
Any Colorado Rockies fan or observer that is objective knows that their offense is, quite frankly, one of the worst in the entire sport. Their lineup has been littered with below-average MLB hitters for quite some time.
Even in their Wild Card years of 2017 and 2018, they had an offense that was in the bottom five in baseball and an offense that was in the bottom ten in baseball.
When you take that into consideration plus the fact that they practically gave their best offensive player, Nolan Arenado, to the St. Louis Cardinals, the Rockies had an awful offense in 2021. The 2022 ZiPS projections predict nothing different.
In fact, as Szymborski notes, the Steamer projections for depth charts “has the Colorado lineup a shocking five wins worse than the next-worst team, Cincinnati; the Reds are closer to the 17th-ranked Phillies than the Rockies.”
For ZiPS, they include every player on their last team if they haven’t been signed or traded elsewhere so Trevor Story is on the Rockies in the 2022 ZiPS.
Even with Story, they have two players that are projected to be above league average in OPS+: Story and C.J. Cron. Cron, of course, was Colorado’s best hitter in 2021 with a 130 OPS+.
In Szymborski’s explanation, he says that Cron was “an uncharacteristically clever signing by the Rockies. They actually sought out a type of player who may now be undervalued by the market generally: a league-average first baseman. The problem is that league average is still ‘just’ league average, not something that is the foundation of a solid offense.”