Outfielder Yonathan Daza is giving the Colorado Rockies a problem they will soon need to solve. However, for now, the Rockies are just going to enjoy having Daza be one of the hottest hitters in Major League Baseball today.
Heading into Monday’s home game against the San Francisco Giants, the 28-year-old Daza has posted a .383 batting average in 60 at-bats spread over 24 games. That is part of a .383/.424/.450 slash line he has produced this season, and the .383 batting average is putting him in early elite company. Daza is currently the MLB hitter with the second-highest average (minimum 60 plate appearances). Additionally, Daza’s four strikeouts in 66 plate appearances (6.1 percent) is the lowest of any MLB batter.
While the Colorado Rockies have struggled as of late, losing seven of their last nine games, Yonathan Daza has been a bright spot.
Coming into Monday, Daza has reached base in each of his 15 starts and has hits in 13 of those starts.
On Monday, he will bat second for the Colorado Rockies and play center field, a position where he has seen action in 22 games this season. He’s also drawn one start in left field, the spot where Kris Bryant is expected to slot back into the lineup when he returns from the injured list (likely this weekend).
Bryant’s return will make for a crowded outfield, with Sam Hilliard starting to find his home run swing, Randal Grichuk being a key offensive and defensive addition after coming to Denver in an offseason trade, Connor Joe being a catalyst for the Rockies in the leadoff spot, and Charlie Blackmon being a constant part of the order in his 12th season in Colorado.
However, Grichuk and Blackmon have both struggled in recent games, with Blackmon going 11-for-66 (.167) over his last 16 games and Grichuk currently 1-for-20 with 10 strikeouts over his last five games.
Those numbers make the outfield puzzle a little easier, but it’s still a crowded space. Daza, however, is standing out from the crowd, according to Colorado manager Bud Black.
“I can’t say enough about Daza. He’s been great,” Black said. “He’s putting the ball in play, getting hits, and playing good defense. Currently, he’s making a statement, which is great to see. He’s playing really well.”
While Daza is hitting .320 on the road, he’s smashing at a .429 clip inside Coors Field. With the Rockies continuing a homestand for the next six games, Daza will have a chance to make a bigger statement and help Colorado get back to its winning ways.