Will any Colorado Rockies players win yearly awards in 2022?
As this miserable Colorado Rockies season of continued mediocrity comes to a close, I thought it should be time to look at the few bright spots that have come from this season and see if there is any league-wide recognition deserved among the few good players that make up this team. Which players deserve the acclaim? What could they actually win?
Here are the candidates from the Colorado Rockies to win awards in 2022
Potential Award: Gold Glove
Likelihood: Probably not
Last year Ryan McMahon was robbed of the Gold Glove in favor of a down-year Nolan Arenado despite ranking significantly higher in every defensive stat. Unfortunately, stat-wise, this year is not as favorable to him.
Ryan McMahon will most likely be named Gold Glove finalist for the second year in a row, but the stats don’t support him going much further than that. The award will most likely go to either Nolan Arenado or Ke’Bryan Hayes, who are neck and neck in both dWAR (Hayes barely leads with 2.3) and Outs Above Average (Arenado barely leads with 15), McMahon is currently third in both stats by a pretty wide margin (1.5 and 8, respectively). The tiebreaker would then be UZR, where Arenado takes the lead with 10.7, followed in second by McMahon with 4.4, and followed finally by Hayes in third with a 3.9.
McMahon will be a finalist, but will not win the award this year. Hopefully going into 2023 he will keep the play solid, there is always next year.
Potential Award: Reliever of the Year
Likelihood: Not going to happen
As much as I would love Daniel Bard to win Reliever of the Year, it won’t happen. Bard has easily been a top 10 pitcher in the NL. Unfortunately, none of his statistics really place him above the likes of Edwin Diaz.
The main thing I will give Bard is that he pitches at Coors Field, something that I feel is so easy to bring up for discounting offensive stats, but is brought up nowhere near enough to promote elite pitching stats. Bard is currently second in bWAR and tied for eighth in fWAR. He is ninth in ERA+ and tied for fourth in saves.
Will he win? No, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he was a finalist depending on how his season ends out.
Potential awards: Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, MVP
Likelihood: Definitely not, probably not, and definitely not
CJ Cron is an All-Star. He was Colorado’s sole representative at the 2022 All-Star Game and has continued to play like one.
Cron has easily been the best bat on the Colorado Rockies in 2022, but, unfortunately, when you are a first baseman, that’s kind of your job. First base is one of the most competitive offensive positions in the game. It doesn’t require solid defense, so often teams will just stick a poor glove there if an even worse defender is already taking up the DH spot. That said, while still having an impressive offensive season, he only was middle of the pack among the NL first base community. So sadly, the Silver Slugger is out of reach. I said he was an All-Star, so where is that argument now? I’ll tell you: Defense.
Cron may have had an average bat for a 2022 first baseman, but his glove was another story. Among qualified players, CJ Cron ranked … second and third across the major defensive value statistics.
Wait, so Cron might not even win the Gold Glove? I hate to say it, but probably not. Despite being elite with his glove, Cron will only be a finalist for the award. Arizona’s Christian Walker, however, will almost certainly walk away with the award at the end of the season. He has been absolutely elite at the position and certainly deserves it. I hate to say it, but just like McMahon, it looks like this is just another award where the Colorado Rockies come just short.
All that said, you may be shocked to see MVP up on the awards list but, trust me, it isn’t, because Cron has a chance at the award, I believe it is because he may get thrown a wayward vote, ultimately ranking say 25th in the voting. Getting an MVP vote is a big thing, and I could certainly see a Denver writer seeing his home run totals and casting one his way as arguably the best player on the team.
MVP of the Colorado Rockies, but certainly not MLB. At least he might be a Gold Glove finalist.
Award: Gold Glove
Brendan Rodgers currently has the most WAR on the Colorado Rockies and is the most likely to win an award this year.
Ultimately, Brendan Rodgers receiving the Gold Glove award comes down to St. Louis Cardinals second baseman/shortstop Tommy Edman. Edman has split time at second base and shortstop this year, seeming to make room for Nolan Gorman. How the writers perceive this is critical. Edman has roughly the same amount of innings at shortstop as second base, but is not nearly as close to the top of the leaderboard as a fielding shortstop as he is at second base (he is roughly fourth among NL SS whereas he is first or second among NL second basemen). Edman deserves a Gold Glove for his defense. He leads the league in dWAR but, ultimately, he is in a position very similar to Ryan McMahon in 2021, the split hurting his odds despite his elite glove.
I know I spent that whole time talking about Edman, but that’s because aside from him, there isn’t much competition for Rodgers for this award. Rodgers leads UZR for second basemen and is second in dWAR for the entire National League to Edman.
Rodgers will certainly be a finalist for the award, but whether he wins, it is basically the flip of a coin.
As a final note, I just want to say how impressive Rodgers has been since the first month of the season. His defense was bad and his offense was worse, despite that, he now has 3.5 WAR (team lead) and will be a finalist for a Gold Glove (if not win it). I look forward to seeing what he will become in the future and the several awards that I am sure will follow.
In conclusion, the Colorado Rockies season is almost over, and while they might avoid 100 losses, there has been little to celebrate. A year with no Rockies player or manager winning a season-end award has only happened three times in franchise history. There were no awards given out to last year’s 2021 squad, nor the squads in 2005 or 1994. If no awards are handed out at year’s end to the Colorado Rockies players, it will be the first time in the club’s history to have two seasons in a row without so much as even a Gold Glove or Silver Slugger to show for it.
A Colorado Rockies player has a good shot at being a finalist in four different awards this year and has a really good shot at even winning one (that Rodgers Gold Glove would be nice). Here’s to hoping something good can come out of this season.
Data for this article was provided by Baseball Reference, Fangraphs, Baseball Savant, and Wikipedia.