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Who can the Rockies count on for consistency in 2021?

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Colorado Rockies news and links for Wednesday, October 21, 2020

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The last few seasons of Colorado Rockies baseball have included a fairly consistent, solid core of young ball players led by Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, and German Márquez. The supporting cast, however, has been incredibly volatile, as Bryan Kilpatrick of Mile High Sports points out in his breakdown of three positions where the Rockies can expect (or maybe hope) for more consistency. He specifically details Ryan McMahon, David Dahl, and Raimel Tapia.

Kilpatrick hits the nail on the head with McMahon. Coming into 2020, Ryan McMahon was a popular breakout candidate because of his above average power numbers (91.9 average exit velocity in 2019) coupled with his ability to get on base (10.1% career walk rate). The thought was that if he could cut back on his strikeouts and improve his groundball rate, he could be a reliable source of power in the lineup. Unfortunately, his strikeout rate ballooned to a career-worst 34.2% in 2020 and he never looked comfortable at the plate.

David Dahl’s on-field performance over the last two seasons has been the definition of volatility. He went from being an All-Star in 2019 and accumulating 1.6 fWAR (4th best for Rockies position players) to hitting .183 with no home runs and earning -0.8 fWAR. Furthermore, he’s constantly injured so it’s impossible to know how much of an impact the injuries have on his performance. This is a big concern for the Rockies and the front office will need to figure out just what went wrong with Dahl this year and if he’s capable of finding his form from the first half of 2019.

The third candidate for consistency in 2021 is Raimel Tapia. The shortened season seemed to favor Tapia as he rode a hot hitting streak to an everyday starting role and all the way through the end of the season. It was a very nice season, but he’s got an odd profile for a left fielder as he’s changed his approach at the plate to favor contact over power. Mile High Sports noted his defensive ability, but it’s not a position where this holds a lot of weight. While Tapia is a fun player to watch, he’s a regression candidate and is far from having an iron grip on any starting role next season.

Other players who can join the ranks of consistency

Two players who really surprised this season were Josh Fuentes and Antonio Senzatela. If they can repeat the success they found in 2020, they could add some much needed consistency to the Rockies on both sides of the ball.

Fuentes was fantastic in September and was second on the team in OPS to Kevin Pillar with .789 during that span. Similar to Tapia, the short season favored Fuentes but first base is less crowded as he is the only right-handed option and also showed he can play great defense.

Senzatela was also dynamite, as he established career bests for ERA (3.44) and walk rate (2.21 BB/9). This was a big bounce back from his 2019 campaign where his ERA was nearly twice as high at 6.71. The Rockies will certainly look to Senzatela every fifth day next season hoping he can produce like he did in 2020.

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Could Marcus Stroman finally be a fit? | Roxpile

Marcus Stroman of the New York Mets will be a free agent this offseason. Kevin Henry of Roxpile argues the Rockies should consider making an offer to Stroman and add him to the starting rotation. Stroman has been a solid starter for the Mets and Blue Jays over the last few seasons and has a strong (albeit short) history pitching at Coors Field.

This World Series Will Show Modern Baseball Strategy at Its Peak. Whats next? | The Athletic ($)

Enos Harris of The Athletic ponders what lies ahead in baseball’s evolution. He highlights the increase in fastball velocity over the last several years and how it now seems to be reaching a plateau. He also puts the spotlight on Randy Arozarena and considers whether the flat bat path of his swing may motivate the approach of future sluggers looking to combat the success of the high fastball that we can expect to see frequently in the World Series.

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