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Spring Training hopefuls for the Rockies

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Rockies news and links for February 18, 2019

Colorado Rockies: Five players to watch as Spring Training opens | Rox Pile

Football has wrapped up for the year, and that means it’s just about time for baseball. The first game of spring training isn’t for another several days, but the Rockies have a lot to be excited about. They are coming off back-to-back playoff appearances, a first for the franchise. They are hoping to go for a third in 2019. They’ve got top prospect Brendan Rodgers, who’s got the versatility to fill in at either shortstop or second base. He’s got power, speed, and defensive ability that the Rockies are looking forward to. He was number ten on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospects.

Another player to watch is more of a veteran: Michael Saunders. The outfielder signed a minor league deal with the Rockies, and he is one who is likely to provide some consistency for the team. He could prove to be a good bat in the outfield. Next up is prospect Tyler Nevin. The infielder has worked his way impressively through the minor leagues, and he could just prove to be someone the Rockies want on the roster. Another minor league deal was struck with catcher Brett Nicholas. The catcher position in Denver is something of an issue, as many assumed the offseason would see a big move there, but nothing came. Nicholas could be someone to watch out for if he can impress in spring training. Finally, there’s pitcher Peter Lambert. He was drafted in 2015 and could prove to be useful for the Rockies. Spring training is the time for these players to show what they can do.

Out of options, Tapia must deliver in 2019 | Rockies.com

Raimel Tapia had some big moments in 2018, none bigger than the pinch hit home run against the Diamondbacks. He was relatively quiet in the season after a more impressive 2017. However, as it looks like the Rockies won’t re-sign Carlos Gonzalez, Tapia stands a good chance for some playing time. This is good news for him, as he is out of minor league options. Bud Black is really looking to him to perform in the time he is around. He plays best at center, so he could see some playing time as a defensive replacement for Ian Desmond. In other Rockies news, Ryan McMahon has been working on his swing. He’s not necessarily changing the swing itself, but working on hand position and such. This could potentially help him utilize his power even more.

Mark Reynolds returns to Rockies ready to embrace role coming off bench | Denver Post ($)

Mark Reynolds recently signed a minor league deal with the Rockies, and he has emphasized that he’s stayed in shape in the offseason. With this return, Reynolds is optimistic, as he is already familiar with the organization. He was a true bench player for the first time last season, starting in far fewer games and occasionally pinch hitting. He’s hoping to contribute to the Rockies returning to the playoffs in this season.