The first two weeks into the season, the Colorado Rockies have been one of the better stories in Major League Baseball. They’ve outperformed expectations and have yet to lose a single series, including the season-opening series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Rockies have achieved this success with the help of decent starting pitching, a very good bullpen and an offense that’s averaging 5.2 runs a game and leads baseball in batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS. While this is certainly good, there’s reason to believe the Rockies still have more to give, especially at the plate.
C.J. Cron has been the hottest hitter for the Colorado Rockies
C.J. Cron (223 OPS+) is off to a monster start to the season, leading baseball in home runs (6) and the National League in RBI (16). While teammates Connor Joe (194 OPS+) and Kris Bryant (132 OPS+) are also off to good starts, Cron has put the lineup on his back in a way and helped mask the fact that despite leading baseball in team slugging percentage, there has been a bit of an under-the-radar power outage for the Rockies.
It’s still early and rather than looking at this as a point of concern, it could be a sign that as good as the Rockies–and their offense in particular–have been, they can still be better. As mentioned above, Bryant has gotten off to a great start at the plate, but he has yet to hit a home run. Neither have Brendan Rodgers or Randal Grichuk.
In fact, Bryant, Rodgers, Grichuk, Charlie Blackmon, and Ryan McMahon have combined for two home runs through the first 12 games of the season. Before the last four games, those five batters had combined for zero longballs.
That will change. Bryant should hit 30+ home runs this season. Grichuk and McMahon should both be good for at least 20. And Blackmon and Rodgers will bottom out in the mid-teens if not hit 20 themselves. That doesn’t include guys like Joe, Elias Diaz, and Sam Hilliard who we know can go deep.
Though they’ve hit a ton of doubles, the Colorado Rockies currently sit in the middle of the pack in team home runs with 12–half of those belonging to Cron. That should terrify opposing pitching staffs. Despite scoring the third-most runs per game in baseball (second in the NL to only the Dodgers), Colorado appears to only be scratching the surface of what their new-look lineup is capable of.
When the homers start to fly and this team really starts to hit, it might just be enough to keep this hot start going.