I will get to some Rockies and baseball news in a little bit. Prior to that, I want to share some information I learned this week after reading Jeff Aberle's article on #7 PURP Ryan McMahon. The gist of it is that Ryan is gaining ground as a prospect due to his strong performance at the plate but some issues with errors and a high strikeout rate were concerning.
The errors did not concern me greatly, as scouts give him strong marks and his eventual position may end up being first base. As far as the strikeouts, I was worried that this could be an indicator for future poor performance so I decided to compare Ryan's numbers so far to other third baseman/power hitters that have come up through the Rockies system. Please look below at the numbers, I will name the players in the next paragraph.
I put them in rough chronological order with Player A being Garrett Atkins, B being Brad Hawpe, C is Ian Stewart, and D is Nolan Arenado. Hawpe did not turn out to be a corner infielder, but that is where he started, and his power hitting was fairly similar in his first two years to Ryan McMahon. It is important to note that both Atkins and Hawpe went through the system after time in college and were three years older when they started in the system (Atkins skipped one level so he gets closer to the same age as McMahon as he goes into his third year).
In comparing the players, the thing that stuck out the most to me was Nolan's ability to not strikeout in the minor leagues, even though this did not give him too much better of a batting average/on base percentage. While it can be concerning to see that Ian Stewart had similarly high strikeout numbers, Brad Hawpe also struggled with strikeouts as he grew into a big league baseball player.
Overall, Ryan looks like much more of a power hitter than Nolan and his numbers are fairly in line with the other three batters in this group. I hope that Ryan has some adversity this next season so that the team can see how he responds. I think that this was one of the issues with Ian, and he didn't know how to react once he had problems at the big league level.
Can Ryan McMahon turn into a successful big league player and provide 8-10 offensive WAR for the Rockies like Atkins and Hawpe, or will he flame out and not even give production at the Ian Stewart level? One of the great things about prospects is that we can make conjectures and comparisons all day, but they are their own individuals and only time will tell where they end up. On to the news:
Ernie Banks dies at 83 - denverpost.com
Just big news to the world of baseball and needs to be shared. I moved to Cubs country when I was little and even with Sandberg, Grace, and Dawson playing for them, Cubs fans always talked about Ernie Banks.
The Rockies as a 2015 sleeper team - fangraphs.com
It is nice to see someone else optimistic about the Rockies at this time of year other than writers here at Purple Row. Paul makes some good points and some obvious ones as well.
The best games of 2014 Rockies season - rockieszingers.com
Adam Peterson provides a walk back through some of the good times last year. It was hard to realize there were this many games without someone getting hurt in 2014.
I hope you all have a great weekend!