3. The offense will be better than last year
The offense last year was disappointing, though expected. The star players all had down years, including Charlie Blackmon, who batted below average for the first time since he became an everyday starter, and Trevor Story, who barely had an OPS+ above average. Both were off years. Now obviously Story is gone and Blackmon is getting old. I think that 2021 was a down year for Chuck, but I also don’t think he is hitting 30 homers this year. With that in mind, what does the rest of the lineup look like?
Well, C.J. Cron is coming off the best season of his career, hitting 28 homers, producing 3.4 WAR, with an OPS+ of 130. Offensively, Cron and bench bat Connor Joe were the only impressive players last season. Speaking of, the good news is Connor Joe is expected to be an everyday starter, either in right field or as designated hitter, in 2022. Joe produced 1.6 WAR across only 63 games (only 43 starts) last year. Had he been a starter and kept that pace, he could have produced between 3.8 and 5.6 WAR. It’s not a guarantee, but Connor Joe looks poised to have a breakout year.
Another breakout year candidate is finally Brendan Rodgers. Many Colorado Rockies fans know how hyped Brendan Rodgers was coming out of the minors. He was a top 10 prospect and was watched closely for much of the late 2010s and finally, in 2021, he got the starting job at second base (his position by trade is shortstop), and he did fine. Rodgers has a bit of an injury bug, but last season he showed some promise. I am eagerly watching and waiting for him to break out.
Another player who may finally garner the attention he deserves is Ryan McMahon. He probably should’ve been an All-Star and Gold Glover in 2021 for his league-best defense. Admittedly, his offense was just average, but his defense was phenomenal. Ryan McMahon has been improving offensively season-by-season. He hit 23 home runs in 2021, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he hit more this year. While I can mention others, I am going to end here with the obvious injection that this offense needed, Kris Bryant.
Streaks and flow and momentum are real, especially in baseball. A bad offensive streak can ruin even the best batters, look at Trevor and Chuck last year. Kris Bryant (and Randal Grichuk) can inject life into this offense. Bryant hit 25 home runs last year, seven of which came in the sea level-based Oracle Park. He might end up hitting 30 home runs and earning yet another All-Star nod with the Rockies.
People online act like Bryant is Blackmon’s age, ready to fall apart at any moment, but in reality, he is actually younger than Nolan Arenado, someone who they would never say that about and has a higher AAV deal that ends only one year earlier than that of the deal that Kris Bryant just signed with the Colorado Rockies. People want to be mad, and they have every right to be, but in context, this signing makes sense, especially if they think they can compete right now.
While I’ve painted a rosy picture for most things here, there is one thing going against the Rockies though, and it’s a problem they’ve had for a while, defense.