There was a lot of hand-wringing around these parts when the news first broke that the Colorado Rockies had signed Drew Stubbs. The issue then was much the same as it is now. Most Rockies fans, I think, acknowledge the benefits that Stubbs brings as well as his shortcomings, so the million dollar question -- well really the roughly $5.7M question -- becomes; is he worth the money the Rockies will need to pay him to keep him?
I wasn't a business major (you're kidding) but I know baseball and I think Stubbs has a valuable place on this roster. I could be talked into letting him go under the right circumstances, but my position is that they don't need to part from him and I think he can be productive for this team moving forward. But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself.
Drew Stubbs accumulated a 2.5 fWAR in 2014, earning him this lofty spot on this list. When it all shook out, Stubbs was above average both in the field and in the batters box, posting a 113 wRC+. He smashed 15 home runs, stole 20 bases, and served as both an excellent platoon option and one of the best center fielders the Rockies have ever had.
But he struck out way too much, to the tune of 32.1 percent, and could disappear for long stretches on the road which one could argue is the Rockies team-wide Kryptonite and should be addressed.
As our own RhodeIslandRoxFan put it:
The other predicament the Rockies have with Stubbs is despite his shortcomings at the plate when it comes to strikeouts, they would be in deep trouble without him in center field as their realistic depth there would essentially be Charlie Blackmon with a touch of Brandon Barnes (assuming Carlos Gonzalez can't play center field now after all his knee issues).
Stubbs is not an ideal option to have in center field, but he's also far from the worst guy out there. A mixture of him and Charlie Blackmon is about as good as it's going to get for this club right now.
He is still the fastest guy on the team, the best defensive center fielder they have, and also has enough pop to be used as a pinch hitter (as well as a pinch runner) off the bench late in games.
Much of Stubbs' offensive production could be chalked up to playing half his games at Coors Field, which I think is overblown, but as RIRF points out here, Stubbs is just a perfect fit for the park. There are plenty of players who get to play half their games at Coors who don't put up 113 wRC+ over the course of the season. It isn't magic.
2014 grade: B+
For the most part, Stubbs did his job. If he had hit at all on the road he could have been the team's MVP but he didn't and that is a huge part of the game and one that haunts the Rockies consistently. But you would be hard pressed to find too many people whose expectations he did not exceed in 2014.
What to expect in 2015
Because the Rockies aren't interested in rebuilding, tanking, or punting on the present for the promises of the future, I fully expect Drew Stubbs to be back on the team next season. Unless they can find another outfielder with decent speed and pop and for less money, he absolutely should be.
Also, with a healthier and or deeper team, Stubbs could be used more in the situations best suited for his talents, so unless they plan on using the relatively small amount of money they could save by moving him on a super exciting pitcher signing (I'm not holding my breath) then Drew Stubbs should be a Rockie with a vital role in 2015.