Just about 36 hours before the Arenado trade was announced, I wrote a piece on the Rockies players with the most riding on the 2021 season. Brendan Rodgers featured on that list prior to Arenado’s departure, and now, with an opening in the infield, the opportunity is there for Rodgers to take it and run.
But don’t just take my word for it. In December, Bud Black appeared on MLB Network Radio and had the following to say about the former number three overall pick: “What does Brendan have to prove in the minors? Not a lot. He’s hit in the minors. Now he just has to hit in the big leagues, and we’ve got to give him that opportunity.”
We’ll have to wait until spring training to get a real grasp on what the Rockies lineup will look like this season, but Rotochamp currently lists Rodgers as the starting third baseman. All indicators point to Rodgers finally getting the chance to play every day and show his worth.
Although it feels like the Rockies have been talking about the up-and-coming Rodgers for years, it hasn’t been the smoothest of paths for the Florida native. The log jam of talented infielders and various injuries have prevented him from getting the chance to play at the MLB level consistently.
In 32 games with the Rockies, Rodgers has managed an unimpressive .196/.235/.227 slash line. Those stats are even more underwhelming when you look at the way he has torn the cover off the ball at the minor league level. Despite only playing 56 games in Triple-A, Rodgers smacked 9 home runs and 26 RBI to go along with a .311/.366/.514 line. In the past, those feats have earned him the call-up, only to be thrown into whatever opening the team could find on a given day. It may have prevented him from adequately adapting to the majors.
Now that Arenado is gone, Rodgers should be the go-to third baseman, with McMahon handling second-base duties and Josh Fuentes taking over at first. At just 24 years old, Rodgers could still become the superstar that many believe he can be, and he can help fill the void left by one of the club’s most beloved players. Rodgers was ranked the 10th overall prospect in baseball as recently as 2019 and has all the tools needed to be a success in the majors. With good health, and consistent playing time, 2021 could be the year he finally takes that next step and lives up to the hype.
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If you’re still scratching your head about the return the Rockies got from the Cardinals when they sent Arenado to St. Louis last week, you may want to look away for this one. According to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs and Rockies were in talks about a star-swap where Nolan would go to the Windy City and Kris Bryant would come to Denver.
“The clubs spoke at length, but sources said the Rockies were unwilling to take on any financial commitment beyond Bryant’s remaining two years of club control.”
We’ll never know exactly what a potential trade with the Cubs would have looked like, but the idea of having a third baseman coming back this way who has an MVP and ROY award would have garnered more attention than what we’re looking at now.
Jake McGee never quite put it all together when pitching for the Rockies, but his 2020 resurgence was made all the more painful given that it happened while wearing the jersey of the rival Los Angeles Dodgers. It looks like the former Rockie will be sticking with the NL West in 2021, but option for a more northern location as he heads to the San Francisco Giants.
With no other clear option, it looks as if McGee may get the opportunity to fill the closer’s role in San Fran. During the 2020 season, he went 3-1 during 24 appearances and posted a 2.66 ERA.
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