Lessons the Colorado Rockies can take from the Colorado Avalanche

DENVER, COLORADO - JUNE 29: Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates with the Stanley Cup prior to the game against the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field on June 29, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Harrison Barden/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - JUNE 29: Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates with the Stanley Cup prior to the game against the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field on June 29, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Harrison Barden/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 4
Next
DENVER, COLORADO – MAY 01: Elehuris Montero #44 of the Colorado Rockies looks on during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Coors Field on May 01, 2022 in Denver, Colorado.(Photo by Kyle Cooper/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO – MAY 01: Elehuris Montero #44 of the Colorado Rockies looks on during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Coors Field on May 01, 2022 in Denver, Colorado.(Photo by Kyle Cooper/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images) /

Let the kids play

In the NHL, top draft picks often join their teams as teenagers. Baseball is a bit of a different animal when it comes to transitioning to the pro level compared to hockey. It often requires years of minor league development and tortuous growing pains before a high school player is ready for The Show. That being said, it is not entirely uncommon for a player to make his MLB debut at 19, 20, or 21 years old.

The question here, though, does not seem to be about age alone. For as long as I have been a fan of the Colorado Rockies (dating back to their 2007 World Series run), the organization has harbored a very odd attitude toward their top prospects. Often, they toil away on minor league rosters where they have nothing left to prove and when their chance finally comes to play at the big league level, they spend far too much time on the bench, stuck behind a logjam of veteran journeymen who receive the bulk of the playing time.

When competitive, the team will not deal top prospects to address other roster needs, but when the team is out of playoff contention, they will not give those prospects a chance to get regular MLB at-bats. Even now, players like Elehuris Montero and Ezequiel Tovar are stuck in this cycle. This season, Montero will turn 24 and Tovar will turn 21. Both are still young, but both also seem to have already gained all they can from minor league baseball. There is no excuse for a 24-year-old Montero to be in a Triple-A lineup with the sort of numbers he’s been putting up just as there’s no excuse for him to sit on a Major League bench.

Whether a team is playing well or not, they should consider the future, and for those teams that are struggling to win games, that consideration of the future should be paramount. It should be reflected in every decision made. Every move should come out of careful consideration of how it will help the team five years down the road. This is where giving a promising young prospect preference in playing time over a veteran on a short-term contract should be a no-brainer.

There will be growing pains for these players, and we can’t expect them to burst on to the scene and immediately have a major impact. But it is my opinion (and I believe the opinion of many other Rockies fans) that the trouble the Rockies have had with receiving consistent quality play from essentially every non-pitching prospect since Nolan Arenado is a dilemma of their own making and the result of disastrous prospect management in desperate need of a dramatic philosophical overhaul.

They need to take a page from the Colorado Avalanche and let the kids play.

facebooktwitterreddit