Friday Rockpile: Rockies Are a Power and Speed Threat

Doug Pensinger

Hit ball far. Run bases fast. Win baseball games.

Through fifteen games, the Colorado Rockies are 11 and 4. Clearly they're doing something right. The pitching has been better than expected, though not otherworldly. However, the main source of Colorado's success has come from the offense. It's no secret that they've been hitting for power; they're second in MLB (to Atlanta) in home runs. Further, they lead the sport in average, on-base percentage, and slugging. Coors caveats obviously apply, but their park-adjusted wRC+, at 120, is still second to only the Braves. This team can hit.

What's most interesting to me, though, is that Colorado is third in steals, with 14. They're getting those swipes from some unconventional sources too. Catcher Wilin Rosario has three and Michael Cuddyer has two; neither man is considered a speed demon. Josh Rutledge leads the club with four (even though it feels like he's never on base). Carlos Gonzalez has three, while Dexter Fowler and Eric Young each have one. The thievery has been spread throughout the team.

Colorado also is tied for the league lead in Caught Stealing with 6 (Eric Young is responsible for three of those). This all indicates that the Rockies have made a commitment to aggressiveness on the base paths. Aggressiveness is a virtue only if you do it well; running into outs isn't a winning strategy, especially at Coors. But if the Rockies continue to pick their spots well (and if Eric Young learns to read lefties better), base running larceny can be another asset the Rockies can utilize.

Linker Tailor Soldier Spy

Troy Renck writes that the Rockies' confidence is at an all time high following yesterday's 11-3 tomahawking of the Mets. It certainly seems like the Rockies are playing with an intensity not seen for a while.

Troy Renck and Patrick Saunders also have notes concerning Jon Garland, Michael Cuddyer, and the upcoming series against the Diamondbacks. It's worth the click-through just to see Jon Garland's pitch-face.

Mark Kizsla (yeah yeah, I know) writes an interesting article about how Carlos Gonzalez likens hitting to dancing; when his rhythm is right, special things happen. It's an interesting read (despite a factual error about Cargo's home run totals).

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