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State of the NL West

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Colorado Rockies news and links for Monday, October 5, 2020

With two NL West teams facing off in the NLDS, a future path to the postseason doesn’t look easy right now. The Padres and Dodgers are both going to be a problem for a long time. So let’s take a look at where the rest of the NL West is after a 60-game season.

Arizona Diamondbacks (25-35, 5th in NL West)

The 2020 D-Backs didn’t perform to the level they expected coming into the year. At the deadline they were one of the biggest sellers, trading away fan favorites like Archie Bradley and Robbie Ray. They sold so much that GM Mike Hazen wrote a letter to the fans explaining the moves as “positioning ourselves to be better in 2021.”

While they’ll retool for another run, the D-Backs have a farm system that was consistently ranked in the top 10 before the season. Since they have so much depth on the farm, the D-Backs have the flexibility of developing for the future and playing to contend. Their top prospects such as outfielders Kristian Robinson and Alek Thomas aren’t expected to reach the majors until 2022.

San Francisco Giants (29-31, 3rd in NL West)

The rebuilding Giants surprised the league and came within a game of reaching the postseason. President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi took over in 2018 and has dramatically improved their farm system and found diamonds in the rough like Mike Yastrzemski.

In their first season under Gabe Kapler, the Giants overhauled their offensive approach and went from 28th in OPS in 2019 to 6th in 2020.

The Giants will look to build on what they consider a successful season, as Zaidi has already come out and said their expectations have risen for next season and they expect to contend for the playoffs again.

Colorado Rockies (26-34, 4th in NL West)

We’ve chronicled the disappointment and frustrations of the Rockies all season long, but it’s important to keep things in perspective. For now, the Rockies still have the best third baseman in the league, one of the best shortstops in the league and a promising young core (Tapia, Fuentes, McMahon). With the improvement the starting pitchers made this season, they shouldn’t be that far away from contending. But after two frustrating seasons, it admittedly feels like they are. The bullpen needs a lot of work and the overall inconsistent offense to end the year is concerning.

Going forward

The NL West nearly produced three postseason teams in this expanded playoff year. Make what you want of the Giants in a shortened season, but now all five teams are heading into 2021 with playoff aspirations — two of them World Series aspirations. This division is only going to get better and will undoubtedly leave a few teams heartbroken by next year’s end.

Which of these three teams do you think squeaks into the playoffs first? Whether that be in one year, five years or ten years, air it all out in the comments.

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Rockies’ infield has plenty of talent, and a lot of questions | Denver Post ($)

The Rockies infield by the end of 2020 appeared set for 2021. Defensively the group has a chance to be special, but it will need to improve offensively if the Rockies want to contend. The youngsters will have to prove themselves again and more depth may be needed.

The Colorado Rockies sleepwalked through a miserable 2020 | Roxpile

The Rockies have an energy problem. The body language when the team was still in the hunt was discouraging. The team needs an energy source in the clubhouse if it plans to contend.

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