Yesterday, Michael Cuddyer, Nolan Arenado and Troy Tulowitzki went deep. Unfortunately, there weren't any men on base ahead of them, but the three dingers brought the Colorado Rockies to 43 on the season, good for most in MLB. There's more to the game of baseball than knocking the ball over the fence, but on the whole, it's better to have a lot of homers than a little.
What's interesting about the 2013 Rockies is the strength of the lineup, from top to bottom. From lead off to eight-hole, the Rockies boast a home run threat. Dexter Fowler has been cracking taters left and right as he enters his prime years. The men flanking him have been showing their power stroke this year too; Carlos Gonzalez has 6 cracker jacks on the year, while Michael Cuddyer has 7. The outfield's 21 bangers is second in MLB (to the Mariners of all teams). They also have a combined 149 wRC+ and lead MLB in WAR by a full win, which, damn.
The Rockies get power production from other, less conventional sources, too. Troy Tulowitzki is going to lead all short stops in bangarangs unless he gets hurt. Wilin Rosario already has seven and has a good shot at leading all catchers by the end of the year (John Buck of the Mets has 10, but there's no way the 33-year-old journeyman keeps up that pace). Even though Josh Rutledge has been having a rather tough (and unlucky) year at the plate so far, he still has four seat-smackers; prorated out to a full season, that's 23 homers.
There used to be a power weakness in the lineup: the third baseman. Neither Chris Nelson, Jonathan Herrera, Reid Brignac or Ryan Wheeler cleared the fences when they manned the hot corner. The new kid, though, has changed that up. Nolan Arenado already has three banana-rama-slammas in seven games. He isn't considered to be a big-time power guy; more of a doubles hitter. But it's conceivable that the 22-year-old will continue growing into his power.
Oddly enough, the only position where the Rockies aren't projected to collect many gopher-balls is first base, typically a power-heavy spot. Todd Helton won't hit more than a handful this year, even if he stays healthy. His primary backup, Jordan Pacheco, also doesn't hit very many roundtrippers. It's possible that the team recalls Tyler Colvin from AAA soon and that he sees quite a bit of time at first base, but at the moment, first base is the only position that will be below league average in home runs.
The question is, what does this all mean? Dingers are obviously freaking awesome, but they are a means to an end, not the end itself. It's much ado about nothing unless the Rockies are winning ball games. Though they have relinquished their hold on first place in the NL West, the Rockies are still a solid 18-13, a better start than most pundits predicted. Further, their power has been equally distributed at both home and away parks; they have 21 blasters at Coors and 22 on the road. The Rockies' power isn't just a thin air mirage.
One final stat: 24 major league teams have allowed more home runs than the Rockies' pitching staff has. If the hitters keep producing rocket balls, and the pitchers keep preventing them, 2013 could end up being a good year in Denver. Just make sure your car is insured for windshield replacement.