The biggest fear for Rockies fans has come true. The 2021 Colorado Rockies will have to find someone to replace Nolan Arenado. Some young players might be hungry for the opportunity. There might also be players that will have to switch their spot to fill the hole.
2021 Colorado Rockies: Changing up 3B
There are a couple of players in the Rockies organization that can put into the hot corner. No one on their roster can give them the bat and the glove that Arenado gave the Rockies, but some players can take over that spot.
Josh Fuentes played some third base in the past. He has the first base job and that is where he will be. The Rockies were looking for a solid first baseman when they tried to put Ian Desmond, Daniel Murphy, Ryan McMahon, and now finally Josh Fuentes. Now that they found someone they want to keep at first I believe that he will stay there. He can play third so if they need him they can use him.
Ryan McMahon played a little third base in the minors and MLB. McMahon did well at second and third and even first. I can see him bouncing around the infield giving breaks and use as a second baseman mostly and then a utility guy.
Garrett Hampson is a player that can play every position. He can play infield and outfield. I can see him playing more second and short than third. I feel like players with stronger arms would play over him at third but it is still a possibility. With his speed, he could be used on shifts a lot more especially during the one-man side of the field.
Colton Welker could be a guy that the Rockies call up and see more time. With Arenado gone we are going to have to see more help from younger players to pick up the slack. It will be hard and we may see going pains but we might see what Welker and some younger players do with this opportunity.
What does the lineup look like
With Nolan Arenado’s bat out of the lineup, someone is going to have to take his cleanup spot. Depending on who will take his spot on defense, this could be different each game. For now, without any more trades, I have what I think the batting lineup for the 2021 Colorado Rockies.
1. Raimel Tapia-CF
Tapia did well leading off the Rockies last season. In 2020 he finished the season with a .321 batting average, with one home run, 17 RBIs, and .369 OBP. Tapia did a good job taking on the role of leadoff. He hit better and got on base more with that role. Expect him to be there in 2021.
2. Charlie Blackmon-LF
Charlie Blackmon is usually at the top of the Rockies lineup, with good reasons too. In the short season last year, Blackmon was a buzz around the league with maybe finishing with a .500 BA. He fell short but still finished with an impressive .303 batting average. He also had six home runs, and a .356 OBP. With Arenado gone, Blackmon has to step up his bat more and make some noise from the 2 spots.
3. Sam Hilliard-RF
Sam Hilliard played a lot for the Rockies last year. He has a career of 182 at-bats, and last year he had 105 of them. Even with the huge playing time, Hilliard struggled a bit. He did finish the season with a .210 batting average, six home runs, and .315 OBP. Sam showed some glimpse of greatness last season and with all the playing time I feel like his numbers will grow and he will fit in the three-hole nicely.
4. Trevor Story-SS
Trevor Story is the only All-Star on this team other than Blackmon. With Arenado in St. Louis, the clean-up spot goes to Story now. In 2020 he had a .289 BA, 11 home runs, .355 OBP, and 15 stolen bases. He has the power and the speed to hurt you. Depending on the pitcher, I can see Story at clean-up when it is a lefty and Blackmon at the four spots when it is a righty.
5. Josh Fuentes–1B
Josh Fuentes showed some great growth in the short 2020 season. He hit for an impressive 306, with two home runs, and .320 OBP. Arenado’s cousin is starting to have a hot bat and he will do well at first.
6. Garrett Hampson-2B
Garrett Hampson is a key player for the Rockies. Including his ability to play all over the field, his speed, and sometimes power makes him dangerous. Hampson doesn’t usually hit home runs, but he had five of them in 2020. He also had a .234 BA, and .287 OBP.
7. Ryan McMahon-3B
Ryan McMahon is a player that showed promise but had an off-year in 2020. He ended the year with a .215 BA, 9 home runs, and a .295 OBP. Ryan hit .250 in 2019 and went back down in 2020. He has some promise but until he shows it he is batting at the 7th position.
Dom Nunez had a short 2020 season. He only had 39 plate appearances so his stats are going to be all over. His batting average was only .179, with two home runs, and a .233 OBP. By having more opportunities at the plate, this year will be good for Nunez.
It is tough to recover from losing one of the best players in the sport. This will give some opportunity to players to show they got, it will also show if this is a rebuilding team. This team can build around their young core and learn in a few years hopefully can take some of the prospects that they got from the trade and get some gems. It is tough losing Arenado, but we will see what prospects the Rockies get in return. All in all, it will be hard to replace Nolan Arenado.
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