During the MLB lockout, we here at Rox Pile went through nearly all of the Colorado Rockies and their projections for the 2022 season. However, since the lockout has ended, the Rockies have have made a few additions to their team so we are going to take a look at their projections as well. For our first one, we will look at their biggest addition: Kris Bryant.
The Rockies are hoping that Kris Bryant will return to the level that he performed at when he won the 2016 NL MVP Award. He hit 39 homers, had 102 RBI, 35 doubles, and he led the NL in runs with 121. He hit .292/.385/.554 with an OPS+ of 146 and an rWAR of 7.3.
In 2021, he hit .265/.353/.481 with an OPS+ of 124, 25 homers, and 73 RBI. That is tied for the most RBI that he has had since 2016. That’s part of the reason why his projections are not as high as the Rockies are expecting him to deliver on.
Kris Bryant’s 2022 projections are not great for the Colorado Rockies
ZiPS projects that Kris Bryant will hit .283/.368/.512 with a wRC+ of 121, 27 homers, and 81 RBI for the Colorado Rockies. Steamer also projects 27 homers but more RBI (88) and a lower slash line (.271/.360/.485). Baseball-Reference has the lowest projections for him, as they project that he will hit .258/.348/.460 with 21 homers and 62 RBI.
Most likely, Kris Bryant will be closer to the ZiPS projections for a few reasons. He will be in a more relaxed environment than Chicago and San Francisco, where he has been before. The lack of pressure should help. Secondly, he will primarily be playing left field and despite what players often say, most players flourish if they are spending most of their time at one position.
He will also be playing half of his games at Coors Field, which should help him in the power department.
The two main issues will be health and playing on the road. Bryant played in 144 games in 2021 but he only played in 34 games in the shortened 2020 season. He also only played in 102 games in 2018.
As for playing on the road, it was something that nearly every Rockies player saw in 2021. The adjustment to playing on the road was the downfall of the team. The Rockies went 9-34 on the road before the All-Star break in 2021. The Rockies offense hit .204/.279/.305 on the road in that span, which amounted to a wRC+ of 59. The next wRC+ on the road in that span was Pittsburgh at 76. They averaged 2.8 runs per game on the road too.
If Bryant (and the Rockies, in general) can hit on the road and stay healthy, then he and the Rockies should beat the projections. And even if he is at the projections, he still would be one of the top three left fielders in the sport.