Editor's note: This FanPost was originally published on March 26, 2018.
Here are my five predictions for the Rockies in 2018. I love ‘FanPosts' because now I know that I'm not the only die-hard Rockies fan out there. I recently moved from Denver to Nebraska and by far and away, the thing I will miss the most will be my Colorado Rockies getting a W @ Coors Field. I can't wait to grow up, retire, and come back to work the aisles. Talk about a dream come true! #GoRockies #FPF
1. Jon Gray wins 20+ games in 2018
This one, without question, has everything to do with health. "Gray Wolf" undoubtedly has great stuff, and if he stays healthy, he will be a favorite to reach the 20-win club. He went 10-4 with a 3.64 ERA in 20 starts and hopes to see the ERA dip even further with the wins piling up. He was consistent through the end of the year in 2017; however, I do think had a little bit to do with the time he missed. He didn't pitch the middle part of 2017 and think he had gas left in the tank (even though you wouldn't have thought that watching the playoff game....yeesh). The last month of the season will be interesting to watch to see if fatigue sets in. I would also LOVE for him to become better between the ears. Everyone in Coors Field can sense when his momentum swings. I'd like to see that disappear...quickly. Bud Black will be important in helping Gray maintain his mental edge. We couldn't have picked a better guy to lead our club. #2018NLCyYoungFinalist? #BudBlack2020
2. A Colorado Rockie wins the NL Batting Title
Yes, our 1st two hitters in the lineup have won it in consecutive years. Yes, they do play half of their games in hitter friendly Coors Field. Yes, I'm writing a #FanPost on a #Rockies blog and am extremely biased. Yes, things really do come in three's. If either of these guys (unless there's a huge surprise) have a similar or slightly better year than in '16-17, there's an undeniable good chance it could happen again. Look at these ridiculous stats for batting titles in the 24 years the Rockies have been an organization:
Rockies NL Batting Title: 1993, 1998-01, 2007, 2010, 2013-14, 2016-17
Rockies NL Runner-Up: 1996-97, 2002-04
Not just a hitter's ballpark by the way, some GREAT hitters!
3. The Colorado Rockies win 90+ games
I can still feel the heartbreak my beloved Rockies bestowed upon me when they folded the last 3 games of the year after clinching. Even though we were just shy, this team was a 90-win ballclub a year ago and I think missed their goal both in wins and seed in the playoffs (travel to Arizona for a game of sudden death and zero playoff experience? No thank you). This year's Rockies team is incredibly well rounded. A Top 5 Bullpen in the MLB was a great offseason acquisition. The young pitcher's development will be welcomed. A year stronger, a year smarter under the tutelage of Bud Black, another pitch in the arsenal, makes for an even better rotation. Those rookies won almost 40 games for the Rockies last year. An offensive resurgence from those that struggled I see as frightening for opponents. If Trevor Story, Cargo, David Dahl, Gerardo Parra, Ian Desmond, Ryan McMahon, Chris Iannetta and Co. can all play consistent ball and fill in while others are out, this lineup is DEEP. Don't forget the clutch hitting of the guy that sits in at number 4 on my list... #NolanBeingNolan
4. Nolan Arenado wins the NL MVP
He is long overdue. He's not only been offensively impressive: 3 seasons of 130+ RBI and 35+ HR ball, his jaw dropping defensive play is something I will have the honor to tell my grandkids about someday. I was there when Nolan hit the homer off Melancon for the cycle on Father's Day. I cannot even begin to describe the feeling. A sports fan all my life, watching the best plays on TV, seeing them live, I don't think anything can hold a candle to that moment. Me, a 30-year old man has indescribable joy over a baseball game. #ReasonsWhyILoveSports
I firmly believe he will go down as one of the best baseball players EVER to step foot on a diamond, and THE best 3 rd baseman of all-time. ALL-TIME. Not a Nolan crush, a statement backed up by the names he sits next to in many categories if you break out an almanac! He's been in the league FIVE seasons. He is a special player and an incredible person. His class. His love for the fans. His desire to win. His faith. He is an incredible role model for young baseball players around the world. I hope he stays in a Rockies uniform for life. #GOAT
5. The Colorado Rockies win 1+ series in the playoffs
I saved the best for last. The bold one. The Rockies team that lives up to what we know we are capable of achieving. Again, if we stay healthy, this team is better, more confident, a year older, back from injury, etc. I have never been more excited for an MLB season and while I said that last year, I do not say it every year. The chemistry is there; talented, cohesive starting pitching, a strong bullpen, firepower for offense, and top tier defense. This team is ready. This team is special. Exceed the analysts and writers' expectations. Meet yours. Meet mine. There are teams that fear the Rockies and they should. And those that don't ought to.
Bud Black is NL Manager of the Year