Ryan McMahon has bounced around the diamond since being drafted back in 2013. He was drafted as a third baseman, then shifted to first base, and finally seems to have found a spot (for the moment) at second. He is currently pegged to be the starting second baseman for the second year in a row. While the Rockies remained quiet in their offseason, McMahon put his nose to the grindstone and did his homework. He began his workouts earlier and read some books on leadership. Last year, McMahon began to emerge as a leader in the clubhouse despite some adversity and challenges for his starting spot. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him continue that in 2020. His stats weren’t the most flashy — .250/.329/.450, 24 home runs, and 56 walks in 141 games — but he will be entering his second full season in the MLB and hopefully things will continue to go up from here.
The Rockies had a bad year offensively. They scored 835 runs — fourth most in the National League. It was their lowest finish since 2008. Patrick Saunders outlines some of the nasty home/road splits that plagued the Rockies in 2019:
Colorado’s road batting average of .230 was the sixth-lowest in franchise history and the lowest in the National League. The Rockies hit .300 at Coors Field. Their .289 on-base percentage on the road ranked last in the majors and was their lowest since 2015. Their OBP at home was .362, best in the National League.
That all led to a 28-53 record on the road. The Rockies also struck out a historic amount of times — 836 on the road (2nd in MLB) and 1,503 total (9th in MLB). That was due to a ninth-ranked 32.9% of swinging at pitches outside the strike zone.
At least the home OBP was good...
On the topic of goals, the Rockies can also capitalize on all of the speed they have on their roster: Raimel Tapia, David Dahl, Garrett Hampson, Trevor Story, and Sam Hilliard to name a few. Tapia mentioned wanting to steal 30 bags in 2020. He swiped nine in 2019 in 12 attempts. Since the Rockies made minimal changes from 2019, it is important to capitalize on what they have. Drew Creasman in particular calls for Dahl to stay on the field in order to “let his legs become a weapon in all facets” much like Trevor Story in his second season. Hampson and Tapia need to get on base more in order to be most effective. Tapia in particular has made a number of base-running mistakes over the years, so hopefully this year he can learn from those mistakes and be more of a weapon on the base paths. If you can’t join ‘em, run all over ‘em — right?
It’s no secret that the Rockies didn’t do anything this offseason. That storyline has been written and rewritten. Kevin Zimmerman of Arizona Sports does a breakdown of each team in the NL West.
The Diamondbacks added Starling Marte and Madison Bumgarner, among others. The Dodgers added Mookie Betts and David Price, among others, but lost Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenta Maeda. The Padres added Tommy Pham and got a new manager, among others, but lost Hunter Renfroe and Travis Jankowski. The Giants are still rebuilding. Here’s what he had to say about the Rockies:
Key additions: —
Key losses: —
Excuse the laziness involved in not filling in the above categories, but it’s not just to emphasize a point. The Rockies really, really didn’t do anything of substance other than adding players to minor-league deals, instead readying to chase 94 wins with a roster that won 71 last season. Yes, that is the stated goal.
But unfortunately, they’re not completely unwarranted...
Two more sleeps until the first baseball game of 2020!