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MLB Futures Pick: Colorado Rockies

   by ASA - 03/30/2010

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH – Will Colorado eclipse 84.5 wins in 2010?


Colorado caught fire last season to climb into the playoffs with the wild card. In a somewhat surprising move manager Clint Hurdle was fired in late May, less than two years removed from the World Series trip. The Rockies were 18-28 at the time and Jim Tracy went on to lead the team back to playoffs and a franchise record 95 wins.

Colorado has always been a tough team to beat at home, featuring a 51-30 record last season but the big difference last year was the team’s ability to play well on the road, finishing a very respectable 41-40 last season despite playing in a division where there are several significant home field advantages.

The NL West is going to be wide open this season as the Dodgers are no longer the overwhelming favorite in this division and the Giants were a very solid team last season as well. Arizona figures to be in line for a bounce back season as well and San Diego closed the season with a lot of positive momentum. Colorado appears to be in the best position to have success in 2010 however.

The Rockies lack a dominant ace starter but they have assembled a high quality rotation. Ubaldo Jimenez has ace potential and he featured an impressive 3.47 ERA last season despite pitching most of his games at Coor’s Field. Aaron Cook is a groundball pitcher that is ideally suited for the conditions in Colorado and Jorge De La Rosa enjoyed a breakout season last year with a revised pitching wind-up. Jason Hammel enjoyed a very solid year moving into the rotation and Jeff Francis should be able contribute after missing all of 2009 due to injury.

Colorado has a very talented lineup and with star-in-the-making Carlos Gonzalez moving into the outfield full-time this season the ceiling is even higher on this club. Dexter Fowler also brings the plate patience and speed ideally suited for the leadoff role. The only major loss for the Rockies in the off-season was long-time third baseman Garrett Atkins but Ian Stewart can fill that role nicely and the Rockies will also have one of the best benches in baseball featuring several veterans that are capable of stepping smoothly into a starting role if needed, including former all-stars Melvin Mora and Jason Giambi joining pinch-hitter extraordinaire Seth Smith and utility outfielder Ryan Spilborghs.

This will again be an excellent defensive team and the bullpen is more than capable even though Huston Street has a somewhat shaky track record. Overall Colorado looks like a very complete team that has strong enough pitching to compete in this division and the Rockies have the most potential on offense in the division.


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