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2013 Colorado Rockies Player Reviews: Chris Nelson

Chris Nelson started the season as the Rockies Opening Day third basemen. However, several demotions and two teams later, Nelly will be fighting to make a big league roster sometime next season.


It was a tough season for Chris Nelson. After ending 2012 with a .301 in average in 345 at bat's many saw Nelson as an adequate third basemen, albeit one that was just keeping the seat warm for Nolan Arenado. Despite Arenado's torrid Spring the Rockies elected to have Nelson start the season as the Opening Day third basemen and things quickly turned south for the former first round draft pick.

On April 28th with the Rockies at 15-10 and tied for the division lead, Nelson was designated for assignment after hitting .242 with just 4 RBIs. At the time the move screamed that the Rockies were serious about contending in 2013 by bringing up a top prospect so early in the season. It also brought questions, such as "why didn't Rockies just start the season with Arenado in the first place?" Perhaps it was that the Rockies were reluctant to give up on Nelson as a former first round draft pick or maybe the Rockies really did think Nelson's 2012 wasn't a mirage. Either way, Nelson's career in Colorado came to an end.

Nelson never developed into the talent that the Rockies had hoped when they drafted him 9th overall in 2004. It took him six years to make the big leagues and by the time he did, he wasn't nearly as highly regarded as when he was drafted. Still, Nelson provided some memorable moments with the Rockies, the biggest that comes to mind was the swipe of home in early September 2010 that propelled the Rockies to a sweep of Cincinnati. At the time the Rockies had won seven straight and if the Rockies had managed to make the playoffs that year it would have certainly been a defining moment.

After Nelson was designated for assignment he was traded to the Yankees for cash and a player to be named later (which ended up being Yoely Bello, a 22 year old pitcher) as the Yankees were desperately trying to fill the void at third base left by Alex Rodriguez. Nelson hit just .222 with New York in 10 games and was soon DFA'd by them as well. The Los Angeles Angels claimed Nelson on waivers and he struggled before being demoted again. He was later purchased and recalled back to the Angels and he played all of August before being shelved with an injury that sidelined him for most of the rest of the year.

Grade with the Rockies: D-

2013 - Chris Nelson
21 66 6 16 1 2 0 4 4 19 0 0 .242 .282 .318


Nelson has shown flashes of being a decent player and I wouldn't be shocked if he plays well enough to be on a big league roster. However, Nelson has been stuck in limbo as a player that is not quite good enough to stick with a big league club, but too good for Triple-A.