The Rockies facing the most pressure this season
I’m going to keep this on players who were on the roster prior to the Kris Bryant signing as Bryant will obviously have a ton of pressure on him.
Instead, I had my focus on two players prior to that signing that will be in a spot where a lot of pressure will be on them…one more so now than there would have been a few weeks ago as well: Ryan McMahon and Brendan Rodgers
Ryan McMahon was already set to have a lot of pressure on him to take the next step in being a leader on this Rockies squad. Now, after his 6-year, $70M extension, he’s having more expectations set on him. He was phenomenal at 3rd base and took a major step with his bat, improving from a 77 wRC+ in 2020 (in a down year for him) to a 95 wRC+. He’ll now need to improve even more and work to sustain a wRC+ above league average and really take the next step to be a leader on this team on the field.
As for Rodgers, he finally got consistent time last season and put up a wRC+ of 100 and an fWAR of 1.6, the 4th highest of Rockies’ position players. He did that in just 102 games. It’s a WAR/150 of about 2.4, which isn’t overwhelming but is certainly valuable. With Rodgers slated at second base and the Rockies pretty much admitting they want to compete, another jump in production will be expected from Rodgers. He’s been very highly touted over his years as the replacement to Story and, though he’s in a different position now, he’ll need to fully take the reins as the next great Rockies middle infielder (which, based on the Rockies’ past 15 or so years, is an absolute necessity).
The pressure will be on these two to make continued improvements with additional expectations.