Editor's Note: The following post is a part of the 2013 Purple Row Writer Search -- our quest to find some great new contributors to Purple Row.
For my first Rockpile, I’ve decided to do a profile of the eight position players that that have the best chance of starting on Opening Day. I hope you enjoy!
Catcher: Wilin Rosario
Nicknames: Baby Bull, All I Do is Wilin, Wilinsanity
Goal for 2013: Above all, Wilin must improve on his defense. It’s safe to say that Rosario was the worst defensive catcher in the MLB last year. I like to see Rosario as the catcher of the future, but if his poor glove offsets his offensive contributions, we might as well wait for Will Swanner.
First Baseman: Todd Helton
Nicknames: Godd Helton, the Toddfather, BackProblems McOldguy
Goal for 2013: Don’t get me wrong, Todd Helton will always have a special place in my heart. He will go down as the greatest Rockies player and his number should be retired right away. Nevertheless, he won't a valuable player unless he plays at least 100 games next season. In any situation, I see this as the last season for Helton. It’s going to be a sad day when #17 hangs up the spikes.
Second Baseman: Josh Rutledge
Nicknames: Josh Buttledge, Stuck in a Rutledge
Goal for 2013: It was great to see Rutledge flourish in the Show last year, but he’s bound to have some kind of Sophomore Slump. Hopefully, he will put up respectable numbers and keep hold of the job. While Trevor Story climbs the ranks of the farm system, it will be interesting to see if Rutledge can prove to be an above-average everyday player.
Third Baseman: Jordan Pacheco
Nicknames: Jordan Pa-Check It, the Chiseled Jawbone
Goal for 2013: The third base job for the Rockies remains totally open, but based on last season; Jordan Pacheco has the best chance of starting the season at the hot corner. Although Pacheco ranked sixth in the National League in batting average last year, he showed very little power, posting a mere .112 ISO. Without power, it’s hard to get a job as an everyday third baseman. Still, if Pacheco can increase his power (with help from Dante Bichette) and still post an average over .300, he could be an effective place-filler while Arenado prepares in Colorado Springs.
Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki
Nicknames: Tulo, Tulo-Git to Quit, Boy Tulowitzki (as a child)
Goal for 2013: There’s only one person who wants to see Troy Tulowtizki play a full season more than Tulo himself, and that person is me. For too many weeks, I have seen the best shortstop in league on the bench. If Tulo were to play a full season and put up Posey-esque numbers, I would be euphoric.
Left Fielder: Carlos Gonzalez
Nicknames: CarGo, the Venezuelan Vendetta, el Bate de Amor
Goal for 2013: When CarGo was hot in 2012, he showed Rockies Fans why they fell in love with him in 2010. Unfortunately, he finished the season dismally. If CarGo wants to become the elite player that he has the talent to be, the Rockies would greatly benefit. If he improves, the team has two ways to go with him. If the team’s pitching woes continue, CarGo could be traded for a significant return. If the young pitchers find their niches, he will fit right in the vast outfield of Coors Field.
Center Fielder: Dexter Fowler
Nicknames: Sexter Fowler, Poké-Dexter, the Human Slow-Cooker
Goal for 2013: Going into 2012, Fowler was considered a top candidate for a breakout year. Going into 2013, he is seen as a top candidate for significant regression. Whether 2012 was truly a breakout season for Fowler is up for debate, but he did show the promise that he did in the Minor Leagues. If Fowler can learn how to steal bases effectively, he would become a much more valuable player. Without the skill of base stealing, it’s hard to see him as a top-of-the-order guy.
Right Fielder: Michael Cuddyer
Nicknames: Cuddyer Straits, Miguel Cuddyer (to Spanish-speaking teammates)
Goal for 2013: Although Cuddyer began 2012 very well, he proved to be a disappointment for Rockies fans by the end of the season. Still, the fact that the team refused to trade him to Seattle Mariners shows that they still believe that he can make an impact in 2013. Cuddyer needs to put up a successful, full season to try win a place in the hearts of Rockies Fans.
After much speculation, the Rockies have agreed to sign Yorvit Torreabla to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. I think this is a brilliant move for the Rockies. Although he is 34, he could significantly help both Wilin Rosario and the pitching staff. Maybe it’s just my nostalgia kicking in, but I love that the team is going after guys from the 2007 roster like Torreabla, Manuel Corpas, and Jeff Francis.
Speaking of nostalgia…