Thursday Rockpile: Monitoring 1st-year position players

Thearon W. Henderson

How are the youngsters doing?

Due to ineffectiveness, injury or ability, the Rockies have brought up several young players this year for either their first season or, in the case of Charlie Blackmon and Josh Rutledge, their first season of more than a cup of coffee. Here is how that group has fared for the year:

NAME AGE GAMES BA OBP SLG HR SB
Nolan Arenado 22 122 .271 .302 .412 10 2
Josh Rutledge 24 75 .229 .288 .341 7 10
Charlie Blackmon 27 67 .271 .303 .412 4 6
Corey Dickerson 24 55 .290 .335 .490 3 2
Charlie Culberson 24 34 .222 .231 .317 1

2

Some may argue that Rutledge shouldn't be included because he played about the same number of games last year or that Blackmon shouldn't be part of the discussion as this is his third attempt to gain footing, but I bring these players up because they are likely to be a large part of the bench going into next year. Ryan Wheeler may play a factor as well, but his 15 games give a very small sample size and a bad sample at that.

Other than issues with injuries, the fifth starter, and a suddenly (as in this year) shoddy bullpen, the Rockies bench has not been very helpful throughout the year. Nolan Arenado obviously has filled the third base position and is not part of this discussion. His number far outshine the other infielders on this list (Rutledge and Culberson). After the normal starting players, a backup catcher, and Scrappy Jonathan Herrera, there will be two positions to fill out the bench in 2014 with the bottom four on this list having a pretty good chance of filling them.

Based purely on numbers, Josh Rutledge should get the look as an additional utility infielder and Corey Dickerson should be the Rockies' fourth outfielder. That is assuming that Dickerson or Blackmon are not filling the third and fourth outfielder positions or that the team does not try and put Rutledge in as the starting first baseman.

What are your thoughts on this? Can the Rockies fill their bench needs from this group or others in the organization, or do they need to make a trade/sign a free agent?

Off-topic

Your links for the day:

The Denver Post recognizes that Matt Belisle is struggling, now if Walt Weiss would just read the article.

MLB.com tells us that Manny Corpas is on a roll. That article also says that the Rockies are figuring out where Jordan Pacheco belongs ... which apparently isn't Triple-A.

If this baseball thing doesn't work out for Ryan Wheeler, he may have a future in beatboxing ... which is good since he sits below the Mendoza line in his limited stint with the Rockies.

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