Colorado Rockies 2022 player predictions: Ryan Vilade
Ryan Vilade was one of the nine players that made his MLB debut for the Colorado Rockies in 2021 but of the nine players, he saw the least amount of playing time as he had just seven plate appearances.
He also played at the Triple-A level for the first time in 2021 as, prior to the pandemic, he had never played above Advanced-A ball. To top it all off, he transitioned from being a shortstop to a primary outfielder (who can also play first base).
However, he hit .284/.339/.410 in Triple-A with 28 doubles, seven homers, and 44 RBI in 117 games.
Ryan Vilade is projected to get more playing time with the Colorado Rockies in 2022
ZiPS projects that Ryan Vilade will get 546 plate appearances in 2021 with a .257/.305/.376 slash line with an OPS+ of 76 and an fWAR of -0.6.
Personally, I don’t think that Vilade will get that much playing time. For comparison, C.J. Cron had 547 plate appearances so is Vilade going to play in 142 games? Probably not.
Will he get more playing time at the MLB level? Probably. After all, the DH will be coming to the NL in 2022 so there’s more playing time right there for a few players. But especially because the Rockies view the outfield as the most likely area to address their offensive woes and they are interested in external players, Vilade seems unlikely to be an everyday player.
However, expressing “interest” in a free agent and having said player sign with the team are two totally different things. It will shock few people if they field a team that is comprised of what they have now. In that event, though, Vilade is still probably a bench player.
But if they go out there and get some outfield help via trade or free agency, Vilade could still see a lot of time in Triple-A. He can use that time to get some more experience in all three outfield spots and at first base (where he played five games in the minors and five games in the Arizona Fall League) and develop his bat more.
He struck out 92 times in 117 games in Albuquerque so working on that and getting on base more will be the main two things for him to work on.
But if the lockout doesn’t end by the time the minor league season starts, Vilade will be on the sidelines since he is on the Rockies 40-man roster.