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Mid-season reviews suggest major-league skepticism and future optimism

Rockies news and links for Thursday July 14, 2016.

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Midseason Prospect Update: Rockies | (subscription)

Baseball America provides a mid-season prospect update. The review notes some of the prospects who have graduate into actual major-leaguers, such as Jon Gray, Trevor Story, and Carlos Estevez, and looks at the next wave of prospects coming next—guys like Jeff Hoffman and David Dahl. The real tantalizing bit of this review is the projected 2019 Rockies lineup. It looks like this:

Catcher: Tom Murphy

First base: Ryan McMahon

Second base: Trevor Story

Third base: Nolan Arenado

Shortstop: Brendan Rodgers

Left field: Raimel Tapia

Center field: David Dahl

Right field: Charlie Blackmon

Starting rotation: Jon Gray, Jeff Hoffman, German Marquez, Kyle Freeland, Tyler Chatwood

Closer: Carlos Estevez

That looks great! Especially since seven of these players are prospects currently composed of equal parts dream and fantasy—can't lose. Baseball America would be the first to admit that this is mostly guesswork and that things can and will change. It's a best guess right now. Players leave, get traded, and flame out, while other nameless players get drafted. To wit, let's look at the 2016 projected lineup, which Baseball America published in January 2013:

Catcher: Wilin Rosario

First base: Nolan Arenado

Second base: Josh Rutledge

Third base: Troy Tulowitzki

Shortstop: Trevor Story

Left field: Dexter Fowler

Center field: David Dahl

Right field: Carlos González

Staring rotation: Drew Pomeranz, Jhoulys Chacin, Chad Bettis, Eddie Butler, Tyler Anderson

Closer: Rex Brothers

Only two players were correctly projected in their current position, with Arenado making a third correctly predicted member of the team, but out of position. Two of the five projected starters are around (this was posted before Jon Gray was drafted).

Again, this is not to disparage Baseball America for incorrectly projecting a major-league lineup three years in advance. Things change, is all.

Rockies hope to improve, but NL West race is all about Giants, Dodgers | The Denver Post

Patrick Saunders previews the National League West for the second half and rightly concludes that it comes down to the Giants and the Dodgers. The Giants currently own the best record in the NL, and the Dodgers, while mired by injuries, are still 11 games above .500. As it stands, both look poised to earn postseason berths. Baseball Prospectus attributes the Giants and Dodgers playoff odds of 95.3 and 83.3 percent, respectively. It is indeed all about the Giants and Dodgers.

Rockies' injuries, offense hold team back |

Thomas Harding provides a first-half review and indicates that the Rockies hope to build on some of the positives from the first half. Like Saunders, Harding points to the Rockies' 0-42 record when trailing after seven innings as if the "0" were the problem instead of the "42." As I wrote on Monday, league-wide winning percentage when trailing after seven innings is about .100, so a winning percentage of .000 is not as bad as it looks. The way for the Rockies to demonstrate improvement is to enter the eighth inning leading instead of gathering a handful of comeback wins.