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Raimel Tapia has a ground ball problem

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Colorado Rockies news and links for Thursday, October 7, 2021

On the surface, Colorado Rockies left fielder Raimel Tapia had a fairly strong 2021 season. He slashed .273/.327/.372 with six home runs, 50 RBI, and 20 stolen bases. He also posted a career low 13.1% strikeout rate—one of the lowest in the league—and a career high 7.5% walk rate. One would assume, then, that all is well and good for the 27-year old after his third year of starting in the Rockies’ outfield.

If you look under hood, you can see one glaring issue in Tapia’s game: his ground-ball rate. When Tapia puts the ball in play, he puts the ball on the ground a staggering 67.4%. This is a good 11.9% higher than the next man up: San Diego’s Eric Hosmer at 55.5%. Tapia hasn’t always been as severe a ground-ball hitter, but his GB% spiked in a big way when he had his first full season as a starter in 2019. However, 2021 is the high point of the spike. His LD% and FB% have both plummeted while his GB% is 11.7% higher than 2020. His GB% spike also coincides with a drop in strikeouts to the career low we saw this season.

Raimel Tapia - Batted Ball and Hitting Results

Year G AB GB% LD% FB% GB/FB AVG OBP SLG
Year G AB GB% LD% FB% GB/FB AVG OBP SLG
2016 22 38 37.0% 33.3% 29.6% 1.25 .263 .293 .263
2017 70 160 42.3% 28.5% 29.3% 1.44 .288 .329 .425
2018 25 25 23.5% 23.5% 52.9% 0.44 .200 .259 .480
2019 138 426 51.7% 22.5% 25.8% 2.00 .275 .309 .415
2020 51 184 55.7% 22.8% 21.5% 2.59 .321 .369 .402
2021 133 487 67.4% 16.2% 16.4% 4.10 .273 .327 .372
Total 439 1320 56.6% 21.0% 22.4% 2.52 .280 .325 .395

In 133 games played, Tapia only had 17 where he didn’t put the ball on the ground, compared to 39 where he only put the ball on the ground when he put the ball in play. In only 46 games did Tapia keep the ball off the ground 50% or more of the time, compared to the whopping 87 where he put the ball in the dirt more than half of the times he put the ball in play.

Tapia can be a good hitter. We saw him hit .321 in the COVID-shortened 2020, and in 2021 we saw what he could do when he kept the ball off the ground. Tapia hit six home runs this season, including a two-run no-doubter off Cy Young candidate Max Scherzer late in the season:

He also had 26 doubles and two triples, making use of his excellent speed. If Tapia can increase his LD% when he puts the ball in play, he could have even more extra base hits and make use of his much coveted “sneaky pop.” However, if he keeps putting the ball down in the dirt, he’s going to drag himself down with it.

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Five takeaways from the Rockies’ 2021 season: the good, the bad and the ¯\\_(ツ)_/¯ | The Athletic ($)

With the Rockies’ season finally over, the Athletic’s Nick Groke breaks down the good, bad, and baffling from the 2021 season. From how the Rockies are underestimating how Trevor Story’s likely departure will impact the team, to how the Rockies need to fix the image the league has of them as outsiders, Groke covers what just happened and where we go from here.

Here are the Arizona Fall League rosters | MLB.com

The Arizona Fall League returns on October 13, and the Rockies will be sending a slew of young players to participate on a joint team with prospects from the Arizona Diamondbacks, Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers, and New York Mets. Our very own Justin Wick will be working with MLB during the Arizona Fall League this year.

Arizona Fall League - Rockies Participants

Player Name Position Highest Level Played PuRPs Rank MLB Pipeline Rank
Player Name Position Highest Level Played PuRPs Rank MLB Pipeline Rank
Jordan Sheffield RHP MLB (debut 04/02/21) N/A N/A
Michael Toglia 1B Double-A Hartford no. 4 no. 6
Ryan Vilade OF MLB (debut 09/18/21) no. 10 no. 5
Ezequiel Tovar SS High-A Spokane no. 12 no. 11
Willie MacIver C Triple-A Albuquerque no. 22 no. 25
Matt Dennis RHP Double-A Hartford no. 46 N/A
Jake Bird RHP Triple-A Albuquerque no. 50 N/A
Reagan Todd LHP Triple-A Albuquerque N/A N/A

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On the Farm:

The Rockies recalled the following players as end-of-season roster moves:

  • LHP Helcris Olivarez, High-A Spokane
  • 3B Rio Ruiz, Triple-A Albuquerque
  • RHP Ryan Feltner, Triple-A Albuquerque
  • LHP Ben Bowden, Triple-A Albuquerque
  • 3B Joshua Fuentes, Triple-A Albuquerque
  • SS Alan Trejo, Triple-A Albuquerque
  • RHP Tommy Doyle, Double-A Hartford
  • OF Ryan Vilade, Triple-A Albuquerque
  • 3B Elehuris Montero, Triple-A Albuquerque
  • RHP Peter Lambert, Triple-A Albuquerque

In addition, RHP Jairo Diaz has elected free agency.

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