It’s April and hope springs eternal at the beginning of the season, especially when the Colorado Rockies start out the season 8-4, meaning 11-3 isn’t possible so the blunder of 2020 can’t happen again.
Life is good with small sample sizes! So let’s go ahead and take a look at some early season stats and happenings and overreact to them because that’s what we’re all best at, right? Let’s go.
Overreacting to these early Colorado Rockies statistics
C.J. Cron: MLB home run leader
C.J. Cron is absolutely SCORCHING to start the season and is smashing bombs in important moments. A potential MVP candidate? Quite possibly as C.J. Cron currently leads all first basemen in fWAR at a solid 1.0 through 12 games. That would put him on pace for 13.5 fWAR if he plays in all 162 games, which would be the third-best season we’ve ever seen behind only Babe Ruth (13.9 fWAR in 1921) and Babe Ruth again (15.0 fWAR in 1923). That can totally happen and I think it absolutely will.
By the way, don’t go look at who’s currently leading the league in fWAR unless you want real painful memories of a certain third baseman who was formerly in purple pinstripes.
A good offense, even by park-adjusted stats?
Would you believe me if I told you that the Rockies have an above average offense by park-adjusted stats? They never do, so this is insane! They currently have a wRC+ of 116, good enough for 10th-best in the league. In the other 29 seasons of Rockies baseball, they have never posted a wRC+ above 100, meaning that by park-adjusted measures they’ve never had an offense that could be considered above league average. Can you imagine if they actually kept this up the entire season? I mean, they won’t, but if they’re able to have a wRC+ above 100 for a sustained period of time then that would be a very good sign for the Rockies.
Chad Kuhl … a potential ace?
OK, I won’t get that crazy, but Kuhl has had a really solid start to the season. I was not high on him coming into the season, but so far he’s making me eat my words. He leads the Rockies’ starters with a 0.87 ERA and a 2.87 FIP. That’s driven by a pretty decent 23.1% K% which is slightly above what he’s been posting up over the last few seasons. He needs to lower that BB% of 12.8%, but so far so good for the Rockies’ fifth starter.
Playoffs odds are increasing … because the Rockies are winning?
Well duh. The more they win, the better their odds are going to be. But according to FanGraphs, they’ve quadrupled their playoff chances already! That’s because when you start the season with playoff chances of 0.4%, there’s pretty much nowhere to go but up. As they sit now, they’re at 1.6% with a projected record of 73-89. That’s five games better than FanGraphs’ original projection of 68-94 and just two games away from my expert projection of 75-87.
More importantly, if you took the Rockies’ win total over 70 wins (courtesy of our friends at WynnBET), then you are very excited at these projections. Keep that number rising!
Another 3,000th hit will likely come against the Rockies
The Rockies will travel to Detroit for a weekend series with the Tigers, but eyes will be on Miguel Cabrera as he aims for his 3,000th career hit. Thank the New York Yankees for intentionally walking him today and passing along the honor of being the team to give up the 3,000th hit to the Rockies. Does it feel like everyone gets their 3,000th hit against the Rockies? It’s not every time that it happens against the Rockies, but they’ll be a piece of bar trivia here shortly:
Luckily for the Rockies, after Cabrera this won’t happen again for some time. The next career hit leaders are Robinson Cano (2,629), Yadier Molina (2,115), and Joey Votto (2,033). Only Cano has a realistic shot, but he might need three seasons to reach that mark and he’s on the downswing of his career.
The active player who I think is most likely to reach the achievement next would be Jose Altuve, but he’s likely eight seasons or so away. An Astro certainly wouldn’t achieve this against the Rockies, right?