Written by Jonathan Leshanski
Published: 07 March 2008
The Rockies are a team loaded with offensive potential and even with a pitcher or two who could be drafted in the middle rounds. Even if the Rockies don’t manage to find the same degree of success as they did last season, these guys should help your fantasy team.
The Best of the Bunch
Matt Holliday (OF):
Holliday is really the only elite player the Rockies have and should be considered the number one fantasy outfielder on the board. He’s just coming into his prime but already put up an MVP contending season last year (.340-36-137-120-11) and expecting him to better that isn’t unreasonable.
The Second Tier
Troy Tulowitzki (SS):
Without a question a top 10 shortstop, some might even consider him to be a top 5 option, especially after realizing that he put up a .291-24-99-104-7 as a 23 year old last season. He’s looking to add to the steal totals this year which could be a nice bonus.
Garrett Atkins (3B):
After A-Rod, David Wright, Miguel Cabrera and Ryan Braun you should be keeping your eyes on Atkins. He’s in his prime and .300-30-100-100 is what you should expect if he stays in Colorado all season. That being said, his future here is in doubt as he only signed a one year deal and the Rockies have the almost major league ready Ian Stewart penciled in as their next third baseman. He could be dealt to a contender if the Rockies aren’t in the mix come the trading deadline.
Brad Hawpe (OF):
Hawpe is in the prime of his career and only seems to be getting better. Last year’s .291-29-116-80 should be a benchmark as what to expect this season. If only he could steal bases, he’d be a true top 20 pick.
Willy Tavaras (OF):
I have to admit I never thought Tavaras would evolve into a great player, but I always knew he had some potential for use in fantasy. At the top of the Rockies lineup he pretty much is at the apex of what you could hope for with him. His rising OBP, batting average, and his speed gives him the chance to steal 40 or more bases and score an awful lot of runs. Don’t forget he missed 6 weeks last summer when looking at these numbers from 2007: .320-2-24-64-33
Jeff Francis (SP):
Over the last two seasons, Francis has shown that the Rockies may have figured out the ideal type of hurler for Coors Field. This sinkerballer seems to have the whole thing figured out and could make a run at 20 wins this season, but I wouldn’t count on it. Still 15 wins should be a lock with a low 4 ERA and 150 Ks isn’t unreasonable, but you may have to deal with a high WHIP in return.
Manny Corpas (RP):
He doesn’t have a lot of experience as a closer but he has good stuff and a new contract which pretty much commits the Rox to using him in this role for a season or two. Last year’s numbers: 19 saves (out of 20 chances), 4 wins and a 2.08 ERA and 58 Ks in 78 innings suggest that the 25 year old can do the job long term.
The Third Tier
Todd Helton (1B):
He’s not an elite first baseman anymore and he won’t give you 100 RBIs or runs without a lot of luck and some good protection in the batting order. Still his average is always outstanding and he still has 15-20 home run power, but he’s 35, an injury candidate, and facing declining skills. His value changes based upon where they bat him in the order; a regular slot either as the number three or four batter will elevate his value.
The Question Marks
Yorvit Torrealba (C):
He’s a deep pick in any draft and his days in Colorado are probably numbered as the team is waiting for Chris Iannetta to step up into his shoes. But if you need a catcher in the later rounds, he’ll fill the slot and contribute what little he has to offer.
Aaron Cook (SP):
For a Colorado pitcher this guy isn’t bad in terms of wins and ERA and he should benefit from the Rockies offensive support. He won’t help you much in terms of Ks, however, and his WHIP is rather erratic, but if the draft is this deep he’s a guy to consider.
Ubaldo Jimenez (SP):
Despite an amazing run towards the end of the season, Jimenez is far from being a lock to evolve into an outstanding fantasy pitcher. His ERA at Class AAA Colorado Springs was over 5.50 in 181.1 innings. That being said, this guy showed some wicked stuff and it’s possible that last season was a step forward in his evolution.
Franklin Morales (SP/RP):
You’ve probably heard a lot about Morales in just about every fantasy guide out there, but he’s not a lock for the fifth rotation spot, and he hasn’t shown the ability to play yet in the rarified air of Colorado long term. He had a grand total of 39.1 innings of starting work last season and posed a moderately successful 3.43 ERA. Keep him in mind, but he’s not worth drafting except as an extremely deep sleepers.
The Great Debate
Ian Stewart (2B):
Stewart is the Rockies future third baseman but he’s in the mix to win the second base job. He’s got decent power and some speed and of course is playing in Colorado which makes him a decent sleeper. The real question is can he adapt enough to the middle infield to keep the job until Garrett Atkins leaves the team, or will the team opt to slot in Marcus Giles or Jayson Nix and let Stewart “stew” down in AAA until the trading deadline when Atkins is likely to be dealt.
Chris Iannetta (C):
Iannetta is likely to begin the season down at AAA rather than back up Yorvit Torrealba but he’s the heir apparent as the Rockies catcher. He offers a little bit of pop and a decent average but unless he gets a lot of playing time he’s best left undrafted.