The offensive struggles on the road of the Colorado Rockies have been well chronicled by just about everyone at this point. A historically bad 6-31 record on the road while hitting for a batting average of .197 will garner that kind of attention.
While we know everyone is underperforming on the road, what hasn’t been talked about enough is who specifically is REALLY underperforming on the road. There’s a few core guys who you might not have realized are really struggling on the road. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Trevor Story: .184/.279/.368
As a major focal point of the entire Rockies organization, Trevor Story is the engine of this club. When he gets going, the rest of the Rockies follow. Therefore as Trevor Story is off to his worst offensive start on the road of his career, the Rockies are as well. At just .184, Story is currently well below his career road average of .244. It stands in stark contrast to his .315 home average this year. You would expect Story to turn it around the deeper into the season we go but with splits as wide as those and the trade deadline just a month away, it could possibly scare some teams away or at least limit his rental value.
The heavy splits only add fuel to the narrative that Coors hitters can’t find or replicate success in other ballparks. Even after D.J. LeMahieu’s ascendance with the Yankees, teams remain wary of overvaluing Rockies hitters. It had to have been a consideration for the Cardinals when they were negotiating to acquire Nolan Arenado. To what effect it ultimately had in the final deal, only those front offices know.
If Story continues to struggle on the road leading up to the deadline, it’ll be interesting to see how far it could drive his trade value down. Could it possibly drive it down to the point the Rockies decide he’s not worth moving and convince themselves a compensatory pick could be just as good of a return?
Ryan McMahon: .210/.281/.427
Ryan McMahon hasn’t underperformed when you compare these numbers to his career road splits of .203/.287/.349, but has underperformed in the sense that he still hasn’t shown growth in this part of the game. At home, he’s hitting .283, has a nice BABIP of .341 and looks like an All-Star but on the road the quality of his contact drops significantly as proven by a road BABIP of just .232. After three complete years in the majors, he still hasn’t mastered the adjustment needed when leaving Coors and it was something that took Trevor Story a few seasons to figure out as well (Story didn’t hit above .235 on the road until 2018).
What he HAS done this season is shown power on the road. Seven of his sixteen home runs this season have come on the road. That’s a lot for late June and that’s even more considering he only had ten on the road for his career coming into the 2021 season.
C.J. Cron: .207/.324/.293
Like a lot players in the league, C.J. Cron has been a product of his environment and his career stats have been influenced by this. In the first half of Cron’s career, his home/road splits were about even as he played the majority of his games at Angel Stadium. Then when he got to call pitcher friendlier ballparks home with Tampa Bay in 2018 and Minnesota in 2019, he became a reverse home/road splitter. Now with the Rockies, Cron has joined the majority of every Rockies player who has ever played in succumbing to the wonders of Coors Field.
He’s got just two home runs and five RBI’s on the road this season. With runners in scoring position on the road, he’s just 2-for-12 with six strikeouts. I don’t know whats worse, the fact that he’s struck out in half of his opportunities to drive in a run or that the Rockies have only been able to put runners in position to score in front of Cron just twelve times in nearly three months.
Cron has consistently found ways to get on-base which is great but hasn’t led to much run production since he’s usually hitting in the middle of the order and is very slow. It’s good that he gets on-base a lot but the Rockies need two or three hits behind him from the bottom half of the order to bring him in. That just doesn’t happen, especially on the road, which is why he’s only scored ten runs. The Rockies would probably wish to trade 50 points off his OBP for 40 points on his slugging.
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Mitchell Kilkenny is a 2018 second round pick out of Texas A&M who’s having a nice season thus far for Low-A Fresno and now High-A Spokane. Writer David Laurila highlights whats made him so effective and discovers Kilkenny was a skilled creative writer in high school.
It’s been a hot minute since we’ve heard word about Ian Desmond. The 35-year-old veteran opted out of the 2021 season but seemed to leave the door open for a possible return when he initially announced his decision to opt-out by stating, “I’m going to continue to train and watch how things unfold.”
Now Bud Black reveals he and Desmond “touched base earlier in the year” which left the impression on Black that at the time Desmond was still feeling good about his decision.
On the farm
The Isotopes offense exploded for eleven runs in a win against the Rainiers. Nearly everyone contributed in a meaningful way. Connor Joe went 2-for-4 with two home-runs as did outfielder Wynton Bernard along with four RBI’s. Alan Trejo also contributed a home run. In total, the Isotopes finished the game with SIX home runs. Starter José Mujica had his best start of the season by throwing six shutout innings with six strikeouts and just two hits allowed.
At Dunkin’ Donuts Park, the Yard Goats score three runs in the bottom of the eight to pull ahead for the win against the Flying Squirrels. Shortstop Taylor Snyder scored three runs on a 3-for-4 day that included a solo home-run and a double. Starter David Hill held Richmond to three runs in six innings and was helped out by the bullpen that shutout the Flying Squirrels for the remaining three innings and allowed just one hit.
Just outside of Portland, Oregon, the Spokane Indians held on to defeat the Hops on Sunday. Spokane was able to hit four home runs off of Hops pitchers. Those four home-runs helped Spokane overcome what was otherwise a rough outing with men on-base for a 1-for-10 night with RISP. Catcher Willie MacIver had a nice 1-for-3 day with two walks and a home-run.
The Fresno Grizzlies handled the Rawhide yesterday to improve to a 30-18 record on the year. Outfielder Zac Veen and catcher Drew Romo lit it up to combine for seven of the team’s 13 hits on the day. Veen went 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, three RBI’s and two stolen bases. Romo went 4-for-5 with an RBI and his own pair of stolen bases. The Grizzlies must have been taking advantage of an opposing catcher because they stole a total of seven bags on the day.
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