Raimel Tapia is, perhaps, the biggest enigma on the Colorado Rockies entering 2022.
Since 2019, he has hit .282/.327/.394 with 37 stolen bases, 57 doubles, 16 homers, and 111 RBI in 322 games. However, since he has a low on-base percentage for a leadoff guy and virtually no power.
He also has a sky-high groundball rate of 59.7 percent since 2019, which was the highest in baseball and a 67.4 groundball rate in 2021, which was 12 percent higher than anyone else that had at least 500 plate appearances.
He also has had mixed results defensively in recent years.
That’s why the 2022 projections for Colorado Rockies outfielder Raimel Tapia are not great … and why he could be traded.
The Colorado Rockies definitely need some offensive upgrade in the outfield and, logistically, Raimel Tapia looks like he could be the odd man out.
The Rockies want to give Sam Hilliard more of a look in 2022 and they like Garrett Hampson with his speed and versatility so Tapia is likely the one to be traded but there likely won’t be a ton of teams interested in him.
But, assuming that he stays with the Rockies in 2022, the projections are not great for him.
ZiPS projects that Tapia will be hitting .277/.326/.396 with an OPS+ of 82 and an fWAR of 0.1. Tapia had an fWAR of 0.4 and an rWAR of 1.0 in 2021 with a .273/.327/.372 slash line and an OPS+ of 80. So, offensively, they project that he will have a very modest uptick but his defense, which the numbers say is by far the best in his career, will drop to where it has been the rest of his career: at or below league average.
The Rockies know what they are getting in Tapia but for him to see more success and for the Rockies to see more success, Tapia has to be able to elevate the ball some.
With his speed, he could easily turn a single into a double or a double into a triple but when he’s pounding the ball into the ground, it’s got to be a groundout a vast majority of the time.
Otherwise, he’s best as a bench option for the Rockies going forward.