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Rockies 2018 Position Breakdown: The future and the present of centerfield is here

Jake Shapiro Avatar
February 17, 2018

In our on-going series where BSN Denver looks at every position on the Colorado Rockies roster, today it’s my turn to look at centerfield.

In what might be the strongest position for the Rockies top to bottom, the present and the future of the position for the organization are both currently on the roster. Whether or not Colorado and Charlie Blackmon agree to partner beyond this season does not hinder that statement as players like Raimel Tapia and David Dahl are more fit to play center as Blackmon hits age 33 and up.

Beyond those three names mentioned, Colorado has a ton of depth throughout the minors at this position and it just goes to show how much Jeff Bridich has turned an eye towards athletes rather than positions since becoming the figurehead of the front office.

The Starter

Charlie Blackmon

Chuck Nazty put together the best single season by a centerfielder in Rockies history last year and one of the best of all-time. Blackmon has improved every single year of his career and the now 31-year-old is in a contract year.

Blackmon won the batting title last year, hitting .331 and was absolutely essential atop the Rockies lineup, driving in a record-setting (for a leadoff hitter) 104 runs.

The left-hander’s defense also improved last season and this showed both on the field and in the stats. Sure it’s odd to see a player age and progress the way Chuck has but Natzy is an odd dude and his work ethic is unlike the mean.

There is absolutely no competition for this spot because the best the franchise has ever had in center is at the top of his game and isn’t going anywhere in 2018.

The Reserves

Raimel Tapia

Tapia is the leadoff hitter and starting centerfielder of the future.

Yeah, I know his defense wasn’t great in right in the majors last year but check this out.

Okay, you’re right anyone can make one good catch

ummm that was pretty dope but there’s not even a hill at Coors

fine he’s good

like really good and he can hit and run too

Tapia is going to start in a corner this season but his best spot on the diamond, considering Statcast rated him the seventh-fastest player in MLB last year, is center. He had his moments over his 70 game big league stint in 2017 but didn’t pull away with being an everyday player.

He’ll become an everyday player in 2018. Come 2019, he might be bumping Blackmon back to left field.

David Dahl

Wherever you looked in the minors prior to 2017 to watch Tapia and he wasn’t in center, it’s because Dahl was. Obviously there are major injury concerns with him but if Dahl puts it together he can be a fine centerfielder. Unlike Tapia who is best suited for center, Dahl probably fits better in a corner. Yet, he could play up the middle just fine if the two players above are no longer options for Bud Black.

The Longshots

Ian Desmond and Gerardo Parra will both be on the 25-man roster and either could serviceably play center in a pinch. Parra will primary be the fourth outfielder and Desmond is a super utility man so that checks out.

Mike Tauchman most likely won’t make the roster out of camp but he’s the first man called if any outfielder gets hurt. He debuted last season and adds nice speed to the club, even making the postseason roster for that reason.

Noel Cuevas was added to the Rockies 40-man roster over the winter and has spent the last two seasons in Triple-A. The 26-year-old righty batted .312 with 15 homers and 79 RBI in 2017.

Yonathan Daza was also added to the 40-man roster this offseason. It would be shocking to see the 23-year-old in the majors this season because he has not yet reached Double-A.

Forrest Wall is one of the Rockies top prospects, who was drafted 35th overall as a second baseman in 2014. He’s moved to centerfield but he’s spent the last two season at High-A bogged down by injuries. He could accelerate through the system quickly but is not likely to make the majors in 2018.


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