Colorado Rockies outfielder Sam Hilliard is someone that has the potential to have a great season in 2022.
Hilliard has shown that he has the power that the Rockies so desperately need when he played in the minors but it has only been shown in short glimpses at the MLB level.
In 2019 in Triple-A Albuquerque, Hilliard hit .262/.335/.558 with 29 doubles, 35 homers, and 101 RBI in 126 games. That got him his first call up to the majors and in 27 games, he hit .273/.356/.649 with an OPS+ of 138.
If he has anything like that or what he did in Triple-A in 2019, he would immediately become the best power threat in the Rockies lineup.
He regressed in 2020 but in 2021, he rebounded a bit as he had an OPS+ of 91 after it was 77 in 2020. However, the swing and miss in his game is still a big issue as he only hit .215 in 2021.
Projections say that Colorado Rockies outfielder Sam Hilliard will take another step forward in 2022 … at least in one way.
ZiPS projects the Colorado Rockies outfielder Sam Hilliard will get some more playing time in 2022. In 2021, Hilliard had just 238 plate appearances but ZiPS projects that he will get 502 plate appearances in 2022 with 24 homers, 64 RBI, and a slash line of .226/.293/.445.
In 2021, his slash line was .215/.294/.463 so it predicts a bit higher of an average, slightly lower power numbers, and an about even in the on-base department. However, that constitutes an OPS+ that drops from 91 to 83.
Overall, in 2021, Hilliard’s fWAR was 0.5 and ZiPS projects that it will be 1.2 in 2022. The only Rockies position players that have a projected fWAR higher than Hilliard are Trevor Story (who may not even be on the Rockies), Ryan McMahon, C.J. Cron, and Brendan Rodgers.
If Hilliard can cut down on the swinging and missing and cut down on his strikeout rate that was over 36 percent in each of the last two seasons, Hilliard could be the bat that the Rockies so desperately want and need at the major league level. But, now, will it actually happen?