Tuesday Rockpile: Rockies have a gem at third base in Nolan Arenado

Dustin Bradford

Nolan Arenado has already proved his worth defensively. Now, about getting that bat going...

Colorado Rockies rookie third baseman Nolan Arenado is still trying to find his way at the plate at the big league level, hitting just .244 with a .272 on-base percentage (though he owns a respectable slugging percentage of .462).

However, the 22-year-old second-round pick of the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft has already proven he belongs with the big boys at the hot corner.

Arenado enters play on Tuesday ranked first among National League third basemen in total zone rating, a Baseball-Reference statistic that combines a number of different things into an overall defensive contribution number based on runs saved. Because of his defensive aptitude, Arenado has already amassed a 1.0 defensive rWAR, tying him for third among all NL position players. Not bad for a guy who, not too long ago, was talked about by scouts as a defensive liability at third base.

Fangraphs' defensive metrics aren't shy about their love for Arenado, either; the Newport Beach, Calif., native tops all NL position players with a UZR/150 of 43.3. Because of that, Arenado has contributed nearly a full win despite appearing in just 21 games and performing below average offensively and on the basepaths.

Of course, one thing on which anybody who was watched the kid play defense can agree is that he passes the eye test; save for a couple of errors, he has made all of the routine plays and has mixed in a few spectacular ones for show -- including this one, for which he received a standing ovation. Arenado, combined with Troy Tulowitzki, who is also near the top of his position in each of the aforementioned defensive metrics, has dramatically improved the left side of the Rockies' infield, as shared with us by ESPN's Mark Simon:

Capture_medium

It's no stretch whatsoever to say that, with Tulo (who is NOT moving off of shortstop anytime soon -- GET OVER IT) and Arenado manning that side, the Rockies should be fun to watch defensively for quite a few years to come.

Off-topic

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Purple Row

You must be a member of Purple Row to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Purple Row. You should read them.

Join Purple Row

You must be a member of Purple Row to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Purple Row. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker