Following yesterday afternoon’s game against the Seattle Mariners, Brendan Rodgers has now been in the Rockies lineup for 28 games in 2021, the most appearances he’s had in a single season in his young career. Barring any injury issues or a complete collapse, he’ll be a staple on this team for the rest of the season. That’s a sentence Rockies fans have been wanting to say for years. A little over a month since his season debut, let’s get into the weeds on what he’s done so far.
While he hasn’t taken the league by storm, B-Rod has played well above the level he showed in his two previous stints in the Bigs. From a hitting stand point, virtually all the numbers are trending in the right direction. He’s hitting .262, a big improvement over his career .227 mark and one would expect that to continue to rise as he gets more experience, MLB cracks down on foreign substances, and the ball starts to fly a bit more with warmer weather.
Any comparisons with last year should be taken with a grain of salt given the small sample size, but B-Rod has cut down on the strikeouts so far in 2021. In only 21 plate appearances in 2020, he struck out six times, good (or bad?) for a 29% strikeout rate. This year, he’s brought that to a much more respectable 20%. On top of that, he’s mashed the first four home runs of his career, tacked on a trio of doubles, and even a triple for good measure. After yesterday’s two-run, 394 foot beauty (see below), Rodgers has his RBI count up to 16.
B-ROD 2-RUN— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) June 23, 2021
394 ft, 108.2 mph, 36° pic.twitter.com/6O9aI2YxQV
For a number three overall pick, the expectations will always be high at the plate for Rodgers, but his defensive work has been about as good as you could ask for so far. In 15 games and 108 innings at second base, he’s been tagged with just one error, good for a .984 fielding percentage. Perhaps worth keeping a closer eye on has been his work at shortstop, where he could serve as the everyday starter if Trevor Story is on the move this season. He’s played 84 ⅔ innings at the position over the course of 12 games and like his work at second, has only one error on his ledger. That gives him a .970 fielding percentage when filling in at short.
Given the bad luck he’s had so far with injuries, health concerns are going to continue to linger for Rodgers until he’s shown he can stay on the field for a full season, but it’s encouraging to see what he’s put together so far this last month. For a team with no real hope of playing competitive baseball this season, it’s up to the coaches to give every chance possible for the younger players to grow, and that’s especially the case for B-Rod.
The early returns are exciting for Rodgers and seeing as he won’t turn 25 until early August, he’s got more than enough time to keep on improving. That’s music to the ears of Rockies fans all over.
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Raimel Tapia’s 18 game hitting streak may have come to an end in this one but just about everything else went right for the Rockies who nabbed their sixth road win of the season in Seattle. Brendan Rodgers hit a two-run homer to get the Rockies on the board, Trevor Story went long twice, and Germán Márquez was nearly flawless. After one of his worst outings of the year, Márquez bounced back beautifully with 5 2⁄3 innings of perfection and eight innings of one run ball overall.
If this is the beginning of Story turning it around, Márquez finding his form, and B-Rod stepping up, we could be in for a lot more fun as we make our way towards July.
Ryan McMahon jumps to mind here thanks to his torrid start to the season, but a few other Rockies may be able to ride hot streaks to a place in the All-Star lineup. Trevor Story has the nationwide popularity part of the equation down, he’ll just have to get hot for the next two weeks to be able to represent the Rockies at shortstop. The next best bet is probably Raimel Tapia who may not have the name recognition that Story has, but has been playing at such a high level lately, that his play warrants a spot on the team.
Nathaniel Sunshine of Rox Pile points out that the Rockies average 2.15 players per All-Star Game. With the game being held in Denver, there’s a decent chance they exceed that thanks to a home field push by the fans, but maybe we shouldn’t get our hopes up for starting spots on the roster this season. The NL is STACKED
On the farm
After a big three-run first, the bats went quiet for the Yard Goats until they plated one in the ninth. Unfortunately, the late rally wasn’t enough to help them overcome the deficit. First baseman Elehuris Montero and catcher Max George both went yard but the Yard Goats fell to 13-31 on the season.
Runs were hard to come by for the Spokane Indians last night as a pair was all they could muster while dropping this affair to the Hillsboro Hops. The Indians, who are now 20-24 this season, got four innings of shutout baseball from relievers Trent Fennell and Jake Sommers, but starter Will Ethridge gave up five runs in four innings, enough to give the Hops a victory.
The Fresno Grizzlies continued to add to the win column by defeating the Visalia Rawhide last night thanks to stellar pitching and some timely hitting. Sam Weatherly toed the rubber and pitched five innings of one hit baseball, issuing only two walks and striking out nine. After Anderson Pilar gave up one run in the seventh, Robinson Hernandez came in and shut the door to earn the save.
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