My wishes for the Rockies new year in 2009. Just like with my own New Year's resolutions, some of these will be more realistic than others, some will be forgotten two weeks from now as silly wishful thinking, but hopefully a few will come about in reality:
Garrett Atkins - Will regain some lost discipline and shed his free swinging ways. In 2006 and 2007, Atkins drew walks in at least 10% of his plate appearances, in 2008 that number was down to 6.1%. If he wants to restore his value before he hits free agency after the 2010 season, he'll have to show himself to be a complete offensive player once more.
Jeff Baker - Will find some consistency. Baker's wOBA in April was .212. In June it was .432, in August .194, and in September .426. Let's smooth out the bumps this year, Jeff.
Clint Barmes - Will give at least a little offensive value away from Coors Field.
Taylor Buchholz - Will have ease in repeating his performance from 2008, and maybe find another level to climb to.
Aaron Cook - Will pound the strike zone with his sinker.
Manuel Corpas - Will regain what he had in 2007. Corpas gained some weight but shed a mile/hour off his fastball in 2008. That's got to come back since we're counting on him to play an important role in the bullpen this year.
Jorge De La Rosa - Will dominate from the beginning as he did in 2008's second half.
Samuel Deduno - Will see that his completely rebuilt bionic arm is better, stronger, more groundballier than ever.
Alan Embree - Will be an above average left-handed reliever.
Dexter Fowler - Will win the NL ROY.
Jeff Francis - Will not be snakebitten.
Hector Gomez - Will emerge as the next great Rockies position prospect.
Carlos Gonzalez - Will find the fertile field we call Security Service cures all his contact and discipline woes like a revivalist tent preacher.
Jason Grilli - Will continue to flourish in the middle of the Rockies bullpen.
Brad Hawpe - Will only be mildy distasteful on defense rather than downright putrid.
Todd Helton - Will cement a legacy with a comeback season for the ages.
Jason Hirsh - Will be good enough to force the Rockies to make some tough, but welcome decisions.
Chris Iannetta - Will make signing him long term an expensive proposition, but a priority.
Ubaldo Jimenez - Will emerge as the NL West's next great ace.
Joe Koshansky - Will be moved to a team that could give him a real shot.
Shane Lindsay - Will put it all together in 2009.
Jason Marquis (pending) - Will teach U-ball how to hit.
Ryan Mattheus - Will make us think that Corpas might be expendable next winter.
Franklin Morales - Will be 2009's version of Edinson Volquez, getting some BBWAA ROY votes for his great season despite being ineligible.
Juan Morillo - Will be traded before he gets lost to an end of April roster crunch.
Chris Nelson - Will not require 250 warm-up at bats before he gets going.
Omar Quintanilla - Will actually find some purpose for being on the active roster.
Steven Register - Will have a zany escapade in Reno involving a safe, a nun, the mafia, and a Hollywood starlet.
Greg Reynolds - Will use that Stanford education to develop a new pitch, the splutter, and go on to fame and fortune.
Esmil Rogers - Will be one of the Rockies top ten prospects after a move to the bullpen.
Greg Smith - Will prove the doubters wrong. Smith could go a couple of different directions with the Rockies, he could be Brian Bohanon (useful) or he could be Scott Karl (not).
Seth Smith - Will make Rockies fans forget who their left fielder was in 2008. This will happen because in a foray into the Rockpile, he will unlock the secrets of mass hypnosis.
Ryan Speier - Will be an above-average right handed reliever.
Ryan Spilborghs - Will make Fowler have to be superman just to crack the lineup.
Ian Stewart - Will drive in the winning run when the Rockies clinch the NL West.
Huston Street - Will be 2009's version of Brad Lidge.
Yorvit Torrealba - Will reveal that he's beginning a zen journey and show much spiritual progress. "What do you think of my catching posture?" He will ask, and Rockies fans will give him their unenlightened answer: "Like a pile of..,"
Troy Tulowitzki - Will start a string of seven consecutive All-Star appearances.
Eric Young - Will hit a homerun in his first MLB at bat in Denver.