2024 STEAMER Projections are optimistic about health and production for the Rockies corner infielders

With a lot of money and capital invested into the corner infield, FanGraphs is optimistic about what the 2024 group will look like.

Chicago Cubs v Colorado Rockies
Chicago Cubs v Colorado Rockies / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages
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We have looked at FanGraphs 2024 STEAMER projections for both the starting rotation as well as the bullpen. Both units should have some sort of stability (although the ceiling isn't very high). We also looked at what was a solid group in 2023, the catchers. As we move forward, we look to the corner infielders, a group that didn't produce that well in 2023 (3B combined for an 87 wRC+ while 1B combined for a 77 wRC+).

Player

GP

Slash

wRC+

HR/RBI/SB

fWAR

Kris Bryant

125

269/343/451

100

19/72/2

0.8

Ryan McMahon

136

245/328/427

89

21/68/7

1.5

Elehuris Montero

76

252/310/456

90

14/42/1

0

Michael Toglia

36

227/299/410

76

5/17/1

-0.2

All information listed above comes from FanGraphs.com

STEAMER thinks that Kris Bryant will be solid, but more importantly, healthy!

When the Rockies signed Bryant, they thought they were getting one of the most consistent, and above average bats in baseball. From 2015, when he debuted, to 2021 (minus 2020), he averaged 142 games played per year. He also put up at least a 124 wRC+ in every one of those years, so the fact that he has played in just 122 games during his two seasons in Colorado, is frustrating for Rockies fans. He was good in 2022 in just 42 games, with a 125 wRC+, but really struggled in 2023, fighting through some injuries.

The STEAMER projections are fairly modest in terms of production, but pretty optimistic in terms of him playing 125 games. The 2023 season struggles can be chalked up to injuries, it is really the only below average season that he has had in his career. I am a lot more optimistic on the production from Bryant if he can stay healthy versus the STEAMER projections. The Rockies plan on sticking Bryant at first base, instead of playing the outfield regularly; if Bryant can stay healthy and play in 125 or more games, we could see similar numbers to his 2021 season, when he hit 25 home runs, putting up a 124 wRC+ and a solid 3.1 fWAR.

McMahon replicates 2023 numbers

McMahon looked poised to become a regular 3+ win third baseman after posting a 2.4 fWAR in 2021, followed up by a 3-win season in 2022. It was a rather disappointing 2023, putting up a 1.2 fWAR season. His strikeout rate jumped from 24.7% in 2021, all the way up to 31.6% in 2023. His defense has regresses slightly, but he is still an above average defender. Other than those stats, they predict a lot of the other numbers to remain about the same.

McMahon is an important part of this team, and if he can cut the strikeouts back to his career norms (the mid-20's) and maintain his career high walk rate, he could have a solid bounce back season, contrary to what the STEAMER thinks. The 2024 projections for McMahon seem to be his floor.

Montero takes some strides forward

Elehuris Montero was one of the prize pieces in the Nolan Arenado trade. He has absolutely destroyed the minor leagues posting a .359/.411/.718 slash line in 2023 at Triple-A Albuquerque with 15 home runs in just 35 games. He will be just 25 years old for most of the 2024 season, still very young. He has a ton of upside, ranking number four on the 2022 Rockies top prospects (according to Pipeline).

Montero will get some games at first and third base and will rotate at DH with Charlie Blackmon. If Bryant is healthy for a majority of 2024, it could limit Montero's ability to showcase his talent, but the Rockies need to make it a point of emphasis to get Montero some regular at-bats. There is a decent chance that Bryant misses some games this year. If that happens, Montero could get a solid run at first base and STEAMER projections think that he is ready to prove that can be an everyday middle of the order bat.

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