The rest of our top 2024 Rockies Player Rankings had a lot of variability. When I was putting it together, I moved pretty much everyone around from numbers two through ten. The one part of this whole list that did not change once was the number one spot. It is unquestioned who the Rockies best player is.
Rockies star Nolan Jones is one of the best young players in the game. He earns the No. 1 slot in our 2024 Rockies Player Rankings.
The 2023 season was a really tough season for Rockies fans, as they finished with over 100 losses and hardly looked competitive. Perhaps one of the biggest bright spots in recent memory was the emergence of Nolan Jones, who had one of the best seasons in team history for a rookie.
All-Time among Rockies' rookies
Looking at the graph above, you can see that Jones put together one of the most valuable rookie campaigns in team history, by FanGraphs standards (Troy Tulowitzki put up a crazy 5.2 fWAR in 2007). He was far and away the most productive player on a team that was really lacking any sort of excitement. For a rebuilding team, Nolan Jones gave some hope about a better future (similar to the way Trevor Story, Troy Tulowitzki and Matt Holliday have in years past).
The Rockies acquired Nolan Jones in what is looking more and more like an absolute steal. Nothing against Brito, who has performed well in the minor leagues, but acquiring a 3+ win player that is only 25 years old is not cheap. Jones looks to be the center piece of this rebuild and an anchor for years to come.
In 2023, Jones slashed .297/.389/.542 with a 135 wRC+, 20 home runs and 20 steals, all in only 106 games (in 162 games, that puts him on pace for 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases). Jones showed his advanced plate approach with a strikeout rate just south of 30% (29.7%), but an impressive walk rate of 12.5%. All of these seem to be sustainable numbers, as evidenced by his Baseball Savant page and batted ball data. Jones ranked in the 85th percentile in xwOBA, 88th percentile in xSLG, 94th percentile in barrel percentage, and 65th percentile in average exit velocity. That all paints the picture of an elite bat (you can't make the Coors argument here).
Nolan Jones is far and away the Rockies most valuable player. He instantly become the center of this lineup while playing borderline elite level defense. As the Rockies progress through their rebuild, Nolan Jones will become the leader and face of the franchise in a similar way that Helton, Holliday, Tulowitzki, and Story did during those really good Rockies teams.