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The 2013 Colorado Rockies according to MLB 2K13

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Another unbiased, 3rd party perspective on how good the Rockies really are....or y'know, aren't.

Christian Petersen

Well folks, it's almost time for the games to start counting. We've looked at projections, made predictions, altered those predictions based on spring performances, realized spring can be misleading and gone back to our original predictions and done it all again just to make sure we washed behind our ears. But I couldn't resist one more way of looking at the team before this circus hits the road. I've dropped a few hints in previous articles but I just want to say for the record that I love me some MLB 2K (this year's version is MLB 2k13, clever I know) and would like to this last Spring Training article to write about how the franchise sees our beloved Rockies.

For those who are imminently unfamiliar with sports video games, or video games in general, let me first explain a few things. Modern sports games are often mocked by regular gamers (rightfully so) for their reluctance to make major developments and changes in favor of rehashing essentially the same game every year with a few statistical upgrades. This is most certainly true most of the time. However, it should also be noted that moderns sports games are also amazing simulators and approximations of their respective sports.

Ask a locker room of professional athletes how they spend their spare time and I'd put the over/under at 80% of those who would tell you it involves playing sports video games. Anymore, the games are incredibly detailed in terms of forcing the player to commit to the actual strategy and execution of each sport, especially on the highest difficulties. I'm not saying they use them to train or scout (although I honestly wouldn't doubt it) I'm simply saying that the games are realistic enough simulations to give a great deal of credit to those who understand the sport and it's strategy.

Every aspect of the game, each team and stadium, and of course the players, is meticulously constructed to give the gamer the most authentic experience possible. It is now even common to have players ratings updated week to week via the internet as young players mature, old players decline, and Jeremy Guthrie implodes. Mind you, none of this is a particular endorsement of this game - in fact if anything the game is exactly the same as last year's version but now Mike Trout is a 99. +

It is, however, another unbiased view of our home club from a 3rd party source which features updated and in-depth interpretations of our guys. There are some obvious flaws (to be discussed) but there are obvious flaws in projections like ZiPs as well. Also, this method includes rating things that are often left out of statistical analysis, like ratings for raw skills (e.g. speed) or individual pitches. You will undoubtedly note some things seem way off (Tulo's numbers a bit down, does Pomeranz really have two 99 ratings?) and some things will confirm the eye-test (check EY Jr.'s defensive numbers.)

So without further ado, I give you the 2013 Colorado Rockies

Position Players

Player Overall Contact Right Contact Left Power Right Power Left Speed Range Catch Arm Strength Throwing Accuracy

Fielding Anticipation

Carlos Gonzalez 95 91 79 84 72 89 91 90 95 94 89
Troy Tulowitzki 91 81 80 73 72 82 87 93 98 97 96
Dexter Fowler 88 74 78 54 58 96 95 82 75 81 80
Wilin Rosario 84 70 85 86 95 63 66 61 85 79 63
Eric Young 82 74 80 49 55 92 91 57 51 62 65
Michael Cuddyer 82 71 74 66 69 74 66 66 84 81 70
Jordan Pacheco 81 76 89 43 56 69 65 63 70 64 66
Tyler Colvin 80 71 65 70 64 76 78 74 75 72 73
Chris Nelson 77 74 78 55 59 78 80 69 77 71 73
Josh Rutledge 77 59 68 59 68 83 81 80 79 76 81
Todd Helton 74 69 59 62 52 56 55 96 75 85



Player Contact v. Right Contact v. Left Power v. Right Power v. Left Stamina Control Composure Pitch 1 Pitch 2 Pitch 3 Pitch 4 Pitch 5
Rafael Betancourt (83) 86 77 75 67 30 91 80 Fastball 84 Slider 72 2 Seem 85 N/A N/A
Wilton Lopez (82) 75 72 70 69 39 81 89

Fastball 80

Slider 58 Change-up 79 Sinker 86 N/A
Rex Brothers (79) 64 84 65 85 39 80 81 Fastball 83 Slider 69 Change-up 57 N/A N/A
Matt Belisle (78) 69 68 72 71 42 75 74 Fastball 73 Slider 77 2 Seem 75 12-6 Curve 56 N/A
Adam Ottavino (78) 72 61 75 64 55 86 77 Fastball 84 Slider 78 Circle Change 81 N/A N/A
Jorge de la Rosa (76) 72 88 64 79 88 65 58 Fastball 72 Slider 66 Change-up 63 2 Seem 68 12-6 Curve 58
Jhoulys Chacin (76) 82 83 81 82 84 60 59 Fastball 58 Slider 89 Curve 63 2 Seem 64 N/A
Jeff Francis (71) 70 83 74 87 84 53 60 Fastball 53 Curve 61 Change-up 59 2 Seem 50 N/A
Drew Pomeranz (71) 66 99 67 99 80 54 38 Fastball 64 Change-up 34 2 Seem 65 Power Curve 50 N/A
Juan Nicasio (70) 72 75 75 78 80 63 36 Fastball 75 Change-up 67 Slurve 45 N/A N/A

(Note: If you have any questions about these numbers, what exactly they mean, additional numbers, additional Rockies players, league averages, or anything related, please ask in the comments and I will do everything I can to get you an answer.)

A Few Observations

It seems like the game isn't quite sure what to make of Troy Tulowitzki this year. His numbers are still good, but they are down dramatically from previous installments, largely due to him only playing 47 games last year. I expect to see his numbers rise if he stays healthy this season. His range used to rate in the high 90's and has dropped to 87 but he still ranks as the best defensive shortstop in baseball.

The game makes the interesting case that Dexter Fowler is still a well above average MLB center fielder regardless of his defensive stats. I think this has to do with the fact that many defensive statistics don't take into account how big the outfield is at Coors and they have a hard time weighing how bad the stats could be if someone less capable manned the position. The game recognizes that Dexter Fowler has all the raw skills (anticipation, range, catch) to be a well above average defender. His stats in simulated seasons as a member of other teams bears this out, which suggests that if Dexter played somewhere else, his defensive stats would be much better.

These numbers confirm the eye-test that Eric Young Jr. is an exceptionally perplexing player. I think his offensive numbers may be a little high (reflecting his blazing season last year) but still the difference between those numbers and his defensive numbers feels spot on. Just staring at them for a moment one would have to utter a phrase certainly running through Walt Weiss' head all spring, "I've got to get this guy's bat in the lineup...but where do I play him?"

The game confirms we have two 3rd basemen who can hit but can't play 3rd base... and can't really hit for power.

If Wilin Rosario hits as well as these numbers suggest he can, he is going to have a huge season. His power numbers are well above league average. His defensive numbers have taken a slight tick up which puts him just under league average, with a plus arm.

It's sad to see Todd Helton at the bottom of that list. I hope his defense maintains as well as the game projects.

Pretty impressive bullpen, although it may just seem that way because of how low our starters are rated. It's nice to see Wilton Lopez rated so high, especially in composure and sinker.

I honestly have no idea how Pomeranz got two 99 ratings. This would be a good time to mention that there are tons of stats that I didn't include in both tables because they were just getting huge. However, players have some other ratings that offset some of these anomolies (for example Jordan Pacheco has a very high "eye" rating.) I promise you (through experience) that Pomeranz is not death on lefties as his control and composure are major factors.

Interestingly, Jeff Fancis' numbers are adequately unimpressive but he can be remarkably effective at messing up timing which perhaps reflects how he can sometimes be effective for the Rockies.

The game doesn't include any information on Nolan Arenado. It does have some prospects (Jurrickson Profar, Shelby Miller) but if he gets called up this season he will certainly be added to the game.

Oh, and we get to watch a team with Carlos Gonzalez on it. Man, that guy is good.