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WAR shmore: FanGraphs projects rough 2020 for the Rockies

Rockies news and links for December 27, 2019

FanGraphs WAR projection comparison by team paints an awful outlook on the 2020 Colorado Rockies | Rox Pile

FanGraphs does not look kindly on the Rockies’ offseason thus far. Seeing as the Rockies have done nothing to improve on the 2019 roster that finished closer to 100 losses than 80 wins, FanGraphs projects the Rockies to be 24th in WAR next season, which would leave them as the third worst team in the National League.

Going position by position makes the realities of the roster more evident. According to these projections, at least, the outfield, first base, catcher, and relief pitching are all barely above replacement level. The starting rotation, which just a very long year ago seemed like the strength of a young contender, is projected to be 18th in baseball, and that’s based on the continued development of young pitchers like Kyle Freeland and German Marquez. Arenado and Story are likely to continue to play at an All-star level, but it’s simply not enough to get the Rockies into the playoff discussion without dramatic improvements at almost every other position.

But who knows—maybe the Rockies have a trick up their sleeve that doesn’t involve trading one of their three best players? Or maybe “guys just need to play better”? Or maybe it’s going to be a long 2020 season.

Rockies 2019 holiday letter: Nolan Arenado gets married plus updates on the offseasons of other Colorado players | The Denver Post ($)

That’s right, Arenado suitors across the Front Range, the Rockies All-star third baseman is officially taken. In other news, Garrett Hampson, too, is now off the market. Also of note, a number of players took vacations during the offseason. And, in a suprising development, many other players woke up in the mornings (on most days), put their pants or shorts on, ate breakfast, and did a lot of other things that people do.

You can read all about in People — The Denver Post Edition.

Todd Helton: Another Coors Field Hall of Fame Debate | Cooperstown Cred

Let’s talk a lot about Todd Helton because the current Rockies aren’t giving us much. This article is worth a read for its extensive look at Helton’s career, the arguments for his inclusion into the Hall, and it’s explanation of the holes in his case.

Just for fun, let’s remind ourselves of the stretch The Toddfather put together from 1998-2007:

.332 BA/.432 OBP/.585 SLG / 30 HR / 108 RBI.

As the article notes, these numbers amounted to a 144 OPS+ and a 5.5 WAR average per season. These are without question Hall of Fame numbers. Right?

As Larry Walker knows, it does not matter what sort of numbers a Rockies player puts up over a long career; those numbers are meaningless unless that player overcomes the reverse Coors Effect and hits the same or better on the road as he does at altitude. Forget that Helton is one of the most prolific multibag hitters the game has ever seen, or that he played Gold Glove defense at first base, or that he was one of the game’s best hitters without using PEDs during an era where Little Leaguers struggled to stay clean. Doesn’t matter. cOoRs.

Or maybe, finally, a Rockies player will get his due. The article concludes with an argument for Helton’s inclusion into the Hall in 2020, when the ballot is relatively weak. It’s hard to imagine Walker being left off and Helton getting in, but that could indeed be how things shake out.