Garrett Hampson is approaching an important milestone in his career: 1,000 at-bats.
He’s currently at 940. Even with Connor Joe being out for the rest of the season and Hampson getting more time in center field, the soon-to-be 27-year-old won’t pass quadruple digits this year. Colorado manager Bud Black is known for using the 1,000-mile mark as a pivotal point in a player’s development where they’ve finally had enough big league at-bats to make better assessments.
Garrett Hampson’s Career
So what will the word be on Hampson?
Hampson has a lot of upside. His speed is in the 99th percentile in the MLB. On the Statcast Sprint Speed Leaderboard, which measures “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window” according to Baseball Savant, Hampson is tied for No. 8 at 29.9 feet per second. He’s tied for 31st in the 90-foot sprint at 3.84 seconds. This is evident in Hampson’s 17 stolen bases. Unfortunately, he’s also tied for most times getting caught stealing in the NL at seven.
He’s also versatile in the field as he can play center or second base, and even shortstop and third base, and do pretty well in each spot. This is again boosted by his speed.
However, when it comes to Hampson’s offensive production, the upside is less clear. This season, he’s already had 135 more at-bats than he’s ever had in the past. More playing time hasn’t necessarily led to better outcomes though. Hampson is currently slashing .240/.297/.392. Of Rockies position players with at least 200 at-bats this season who are currently on the MLB roster, only Dom Nuñez has a worse OBP (.286) than Hampson. For a player with as much speed as Hampson, he has to get on base more, or else it is just going to waste.
He also currently has three sacrifice bunts, a number that should also be higher. This also could just feel worse than it really is after Hampson couldn’t convert on two bunting opportunities on Tuesday against the Dodgers in high-stakes situations. He also went 1-for-9 with five strikeouts in two games against the Dodgers, a tough team to hit well against. He’s had seven strikeouts in his last 13 at-bats and could just be in a slump. On the bright side, he’s only hit into six double plays on the season, despite having 60 opportunities.
While Hampson’s numbers might be slightly down in some categories this season, they are also lingering in the same ranges they have been his whole career. In 2022, Hampson will enter his first year of arbitration. Have the Rockies seen enough to make a decision about his ceiling? Or will Hampson have one more year to prove his true capabilities?
Even though I have enjoyed watching Hampson and the excitement he can bring to each at-bat with his speed and possibility, in a crowded outfield that we know the Rockies have, I am not sure Hampson beats out Charlie Blackmon, Sam Hilliard, Connor Joe, or Raimel Tapia. In an infield that also is looking crowded even if the Rockies can’t bring Trevor Story back, with Ryan McMahon, Brendan Rodgers, and Colton Welker. Maybe a universal DH and one more season can help the Rockies figure where or if Hampson fits on the roster.
★ ★ ★
This is a nice tribute to Trevor Story, assuming Story only has nine games (maybe 10 if the Atlanta game is made up) left as a Rockie and only six more at Coors Field. Sean Keller focused this article on Story’s roll with Giving Sole, a charity that helps give high-quality shoes to kids in foster care. If we are in the last days of having Story in purple, this article really hammers home the loss the Rockies will suffer on and off the field in his absence.
The Cardinals are on fire and creating a Redtober, winning 12-games in a row to move more and more in control of the second Wild Card seed. Thanks to a comeback win over the Brewers on Thursday, this is the longest winning streak St. Louis has had in 39 years. If they win two more, they will tie the franchise record from 1935. Even in the remarkable Rocktober of 2007, the Rockies won 11 straight and 13 out of 14 in their final regular-season games. It will be interesting to see how long the Cardinals can keep going and if that streak can carry into the postseason.
The Diamondbacks are 48-104 and they are staying the course with their manager. Torey Lovullo will continue to manage baseball games for Arizona, as GM Mike Hazen took blame for the state of the team and believes Lovullo is the best one to guide the young players and right the ship. In a poll on the AZSnakepit, 66 percent of D-backs fans were in support of this move (47-24). I can definitely understand how it feels to have a mess made by a GM and a manager that is doing the best he can with the cards he was dealt.
★ ★ ★
On the farm
Triple-A: Albuquerque Isotopes 13, Reno Aces 5
Joshua Fuentes hit for the cycle, which included a grand slam, on a 4-for-4 night with six RBI and three runs scored to lead an offensive explosion for the Isotopes. Greg Bird hit his 26th homer of the year and Alan Trejo added his 14th.
Trejo’s homer, along with an RBI double from Elehuris Montero, helped Albuquerque jump out to a 3-1 lead in the first inning. Going into the bottom of the fifth trailing the Aces 5-3, Fuentes hit an RBI double, Bird hit an RBI grounder, and then Fuentes came around to score on a wild pitch to give the Isotopes a lead they never lost. Fuentes’s grand slam came in the sixth and he also got an HBP RBI in the seventh.
Derreck Rodríguez gave up all five runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and three walks in 4 2⁄3 innings, but then the Albuquerque’s bullpen, in a combined effort of six pitchers, combined for 4 1⁄3 scoreless innings with only two hits, five strikeouts, and three walks.
Faced with a win or end-your-season game, Spokane stepped up to stay alive and cut Eugene’s series lead to 2-1 in the High-A West Championship Series in Eugene on Thursday. Brenton Doyle hit a sacrifice grounder in the first and Jack Blomgren added an RBI single to put Spokane up 2-0 after two innings. In the seventh, the Indians added to their lead with an Ezequiel Tovar RBI single. They really broke the game open when Doyle homered and Grant Lavigne and Niko Decolati scored on a throwing error by the Emeralds to take a 6-1 lead in the eight. Mitchell Kilkenny got the win with a solid seven innings, only being damaged by a solo homer and striking out six with no walks. Stephen Jones and Shelby Lackey each added an inning of scoreless relief. Game 4 is set for Friday at 6:30 p.m. PT.
★ ★ ★
Please keep in mind our Purple Row Community Guidelines when you’re commenting. Thanks!