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Rockies 2018 Position Breakdown: Depth will be displayed on the bench

Jake Shapiro Avatar
February 18, 2018

Two of the Colorado Rockies’ strengths in 2018 are obvious: starting pitching and their two MVP-caliber position players. The third strength isn’t as obvious but its just as important. That strength? Depth.

The Rockies have built themselves to sustain injuries at almost every position with serviceable backups. Those injuries, of course, occur more often at altitude so it’s a smart model. This also means injuries or poor performances from anyone on the roster won’t take Colorado out of the playoff chase. Just look back to Ian Desmond and Carlos Gonzalez in 2017. It was depth that earned the Rockies the first playoff berth in nearly a decade.

The depth starts with Gerardo Parra. He is the perfect fourth outfielder in today’s game. He can play all three spots, although he’s more likely to be suck in the corners, he’s a tick below league average offensively and he was nominated for a Gold Glove last season.

Parra’s first season as a Rockie was a disaster, his second season was much better. His contributions on and off the field were a big reason the Rockies made it to the dance. Look for him to build off of his .309/.341/.452 slashline, particularly in slugging.

Another borderline starter that may very well start at two different positions for the Rockies is Ian Desmond. He will most likely be the right-handed hitter in a first base platoon with Ryan McMahon. McMahon can play second and third as well so if there are injuries at either of those positions he will slide there and Desmond into first base.

Yet, Desmond is more conditioned to play left field this year. He could start though if David Dahl is healthy he should take that spot meaning Desmond turns into this super bench player that has one foot in the starting lineup and one foot backing up several spots. He had a disappointing first season with the Rockies but many think he can bounce back just like Parra did.

Pat Valaika is someone we wrote more in-depthly about recently. The just of it is that he can backup every infield spot with serviceable defense, play left field in a pinch and is a terrific hitter coming off the bench. He did all this as just a rookie and many look forward to seeing him 2018.

Tony Wolters lost his spot at the deadline to Jonathan Lucroy and now had that spot taken by Chris Iannetta. Wolters was a revelation in 2016 but his sophomore season was a bummer. He had a concussion early on then was never the same. There is hope for Wolters to still be an everyday player but as of now, it looks as though he is the backup catcher and can play middle infielder if need be. His bat needs work but has upside coming from the left side.

Tom Murphy is on the outside looking in but every team needs three catchers and Murphy will be up at some point. The right-handed hitter is just that, a hitter. He still needs work defensively and his bat is yet to impress in the majors.

Mike Tauchman made the postseason roster in his rookie season. Thanks to his speed Tauchman was a valuable piece for the Rockies down the stretch. He will be the first outfielder to get a call up in case of an injury.

The Rockies top prospect and one of the best in baseball, Brendan Rodgers, will impact the major league roster at some point in 2018. He will probably only be up in September but his talent can not be ignored, it should be in the back of many minds.


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