Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon have the chance to be the most linked players in Rockies history. They have a four year age difference, but only two seasons separate their big league debuts. The 2019 season will be their 7th as teammates, and they also both signed long-term deals with the Rockies over the past two offseasons. If Arenado opts in to the final five years of his contract, and if Blackmon exercises both of his player options for the 2022 and 2023 seasons (and if neither player is traded), they’ll end up playing at least 11 seasons together as members of the Rockies. That would be the most seasons two Rockies players have ever overlapped.
They’re also climbing through the top 10 of most offensive categories in tandem. Here’s where Blackmon and Arenado are for some major counting stats in Rockies history, as well as who they’re likely to pass.
Blackmon has played in 924 games, and he needs 95 more games played to surpass Dante Bichette, with 1,018, for 6th most in team history. And not far behind Blackmon is Arenado, who needs 38 more games to pass DJ LeMahieu and 100 more to pass Bichette. Both will still be behind Troy Tulowitzki, but they should pass him early next season.
Both Blackmon and Arenado should reach 1,000 games sometime this summer.
A career low 640 plate appearances would lift Blackmon from 7th most in team history to 4th most, passing Bichette, Tulowitzki, and Vinny Castilla along the way. He’ll need to wait until 2020 to pass Larry Walker and Carlos González for 2nd most (he’d need another contract extension and a career into his 40s to catch Todd Helton). Arenado currently has the 9th most plate appearances in Rockies history. A season of about 670 plate appearances will push him past Bichette for 6th most.
With 1,068 hits in his career, Blackmon he needs 98 more to pass Tulowitzki for 6th most and 139 to pass Castilla for fifth most. Considering Blackmon hasn’t had fewer than 171 hits in any of his seasons as a starter, he’s a great bet to be in the top 5 by the end of the season. Arenado, who has 979 hits, will get his 1,000 career knock sometime soon, and he’ll pass LeMahieu’s 1,011 total soon thereafter, which is 8th most in team history. Arenado would need a career high 190 hits to pass Tulowitzki though.
After leading the National League in runs scored over the past two seasons, Blackmon is one of the most prolific run scorers the Rockies have ever had. He’s crossed the plate 602 times and only needs to score 64 runs to pass Bichette for 4th most in team history. Blackmon will have to wait until 2020 to pass CarGo’s 769 mark for third most. Arenado has scored 526 runs, 8th most, and his only realistic target is to surpass the guy ahead of him, Castilla and his 611 runs scored.
Arenado just needs just one more double to tie Tulowitzki with 224 for 5th most in Rockies history. He has an outside shot to catch Bichette for 4th most, though that would require a career high 48 doubles. Arenado’s current career high is 43 doubles in a season, which he’s done twice. Blackmon currently has 187 doubles, which is good for 9th most. He needs four more to pass Matt Holliday for 8th most and 22 more to pass Castilla for 7th most. Blackmon also has an outside chance to catch Tulo, though it would also mean a career high mark for him. He needs 40 doubles this season to pass Tulowitzki, which is five more than Blackmon’s career high of 35, which he accomplished in back-to-back seasons from 2016 to 2017.
This is a fun one. Triples is the first category mentioned so far that Todd Helton doesn’t currently top. Dexter Fowler has the most triples in Rockies history, with 53. Second most is Neifi Pérez with 49, and Walker has the third most with 44. Blackmon is behind those three with 40. That means that it’s plausible that Blackmon becomes the triples king in 2019. After all, he hit 14 triples in 2017. That’s just enough for him to pass Fowler. It’s also plausible that he remains in the 4th spot. Blackmon’s career low in triples during a full season is three. It’s true that he did that in 2014, when he hadn’t fully matured as a hitter. I think Blackmon has at least five triples in him in 2019, which will be good enough for third most in team history. At some point he’ll take over the top spot — sometime between the end of the 2019 and 2021 seasons.
Nolan’s also a top ten tripler in Rockies history. His 25 triples is 9th most. Like Blackmon, Arenado’s career highs and lows of triples would put him in completely different spots. Arenado’s career low for a season is two triples. If he does that, it wouldn’t be enough for him to catch Eric Young Sr., who is three ahead of him with 28. But if Arenado can match his career high of seven triples, he’d pass not only Young, but also LeMahieu, for the 7th most in club history.
Arenado has led the NL in home runs three times so far in his career, and his 186 total homers is 7th most in team history. Tulo is only two ahead of him with 188, so Arenado could overtake him within the week. Soon after he hits his milestone 200th home run, he’ll pass Bichette’s 201 mark for 5th most in team history. And if Arenado can match his career high home run total of 42, which he did in 2015, he’ll pass González for 4th most among all Rockies players with 228. That would put him behind three players: Castilla (239), Walker (258), and Helton (369).
Charlie’s prospects aren’t as good in this category. He has 140 career homers and would need to hit more than 30 home runs for the second time in his career, 33 to be exact, to go from 9th most in team history to 8th most. He’d pass Andrés Galarragga.
At this point it’s worth noting that Trevor Story, who has 89 career home runs, should get to the 100 homer early on in 2019. It would be nice to see Trevor join Arenado and Blackmon in these top 10s in the coming years, where eras of the past, present, and future all meet.