Rockies 2024 Player Rankings: No. 8 Brenton Doyle

Brenton Doyle proved to be one of the best defensive centerfielders in baseball, earning him the No. 8 spot on our 2024 Rockies Player Rankings
Colorado Rockies v Chicago Cubs
Colorado Rockies v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Brenton Doyle was a fourth-round pick by the Rockies in the 2019 MLB draft out of Shepherd University. He put up some really good numbers in college and it translated well to the pros. He had a really good 2021 in High-A ball and showed his power-speed combination at Double-A in 2022. He spent a majority of 2023 in the major leagues, one of a few Rockies prospects to debut after limited time in Triple-A. He struggled in 2023, but there were obvious signs of an above-average player beneath the surface. He just had to tap into them.

Brenton Doyle's upside and stellar defense earn him the No. 8 spot in our 2024 Rockies Player Rankings

Let's start with Doyle's calling card, his defense. You would be hard pressed to find a better defensive centerfielder than Doyle, who won a Gold Glove in his first year in the major leagues. With the Rockies having the largest outfield in all of baseball, having a Gold Glove-level centerfielder like Doyle is a major asset. In addition to his range, he possesses one of the best arms in baseball (he registered a 105.7 mph throw) last September.

Look at his Baseball Savant page, and everything in the defensive categories is red with 99th percentile rankings. He is in the 99th percentile in Range (OAA), Arm Value, Arm Strength, and 98th percentile in Sprint Speed. Doyle finished fourth among all position players with a defensive runs saved (DRS) of 19 and an outs above average (OAA) of 16 -- three points higher than one of the best defensive centerfielders of all time, Kevin Kiermaier. Perhaps the craziest stat is his ultimate zone rating (UZR), of 24.5, which was 19.2 points higher than the next best centerfielder, Michael Harris II, who checked in with a 5.3. Doyle is a legit center fielder and one that will most certainly add a few more Gold Gloves over his career.

The offensive side of the game is where Doyle struggled in 2023, but perhaps his most potential for improvement exists there. Doyle was a good hitter throughout the minor leagues and had very limited at-bats at the Triple-A level, which translated to a slash-line of .203/.250/.343 with 10 home runs and 22 stolen bases, all for a disappointing 43 wRC+. He ran an extremely high 35% strikeout rate and only walked 5.1% of the time. Doyle has always run a high strikeout rate and low walk rate, but he's been able to at least be an average bat.

Doyle doesn't need to put up a 120 wRC+ to be a really good major league player. Look at Kevin Kiermaier, who put up 1.5-to-2.6-win seasons regularly, with a wRC+ in the 70's. There is a lot more upside here for Doyle, and he showed flashes of it with a .261 average in September and a .246 average in May. If he puts up an 80-90 wRC+ and can hit .250, you will probably see a 3+ win player patrolling centerfield at Coors Field.