Saturday Rockpile: The Dexter Fowler Power Hour

Dexter Fowler rounds third base and celebrates with Stu Cole after his ninth-inning home run off Huston Street Friday. The home run was his second of the game and sixth of the season. - USA TODAY Sports

Is the Rockies center fielder emerging as a legitimate power threat?

Through ten games of the 2013 season, Dexter Fowler is tied with John Buck, Chris Davis, Michael Morse and Justin Upton for the league lead with six home runs, including two last night at Petco Park. Prior to 2012, his career high for home runs in a season was six. Four of his six home runs have come away from Coors Field.

Early in his career, I kept hearing people around the Rockies comparing Fowler to Devon White. Watching young Fowler, this didn't make a whole lot of sense. White was a guy who hit double-digit home runs in every full season he played, something Fowler didn't do in any of his first three seasons.

I was born in 1988 and didn't start watching baseball until the Rockies came around in 1993, so young Devon White wasn't on my radar, I only saw him in the latter part of his prime and the twilight of his career, the Devon White I remember best is the one on the Marlins, I don't really remember his days on the Blue Jays and certainly not his time on the Angels when speed was his primary tool. Which is why I didn't see much of him in Fowler.

However, last season the comparisons started to make sense. Fowler hit 13 home runs in 2012, and his HR/FB rate jumped to 12.3% from his previous career high of 5.8%. His HR/FB rate this year is an obvious outlier at 60%, but if he can keep it at or above the 2012 rate, he's a legitimate threat to hit 15-20 home runs, which, with the Rockies lineup as presently constructed, gives them a home run threat in each of the first seven spots in the batting order.

Fowler likely won't keep up his torrid pace to start the season, but if he can build on his 2012 performance, it will a new element to his game that makes him, and the Rockies lineup, all the scarier for opponents.

Links:

Harding: Helton breaks out of slump with three-hit night
Thomas Harding talks about Todd Helton after his 3-for-4 night against the Padres on Friday. His three hits on the night, including an RBI double against Luke Gregorson, surpassed his total of two on the season entering the game.

Harding: Young inspired after viewing of '42'
Harding also talked to Eric Young Jr. about the new Jackie Robinson biopic and the impact Robinson has had on EY's career and life.

Jose Reyes carted off field after hurting left ankle in slide - SI.com
Of note around MLB last night was the injury to the Blue Jays shortstop. Early estimates have Reyes missing at least a month, if not more time than that.

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