Team Previews in a Fantasy Nutshell: Colorado Rockies
Projected Starting Lineup
C Tom Murphy—Tom Murphy is not only the name of my middle school science teacher; he is the name of the player who is probably going to see the bulk of the action at catcher this year for the Rockies. The team also has Tony Wolters, who they like, so they won’t rush Murphy into 500 AB. Look for him to get about 375-425 AB and hit around .280 with 10-15 HR.
1B Ian Desmond—While I really like Desmond as a hitter, I worry that this position change might affect him at the plate. This is the third position change for him in as many seasons, which cannot be easy. That said, he should provide 20 HR to go along with 20 steals and is a solid 4th round pick in any Fantasy draft.
2B DJ LeMahieu—I am not sure that LeMahieu is going to ever show real power, but his batting average is for real. Moreover, he scores tons of runs and steals a base or two. He is not a “sexy” name at the position, but he is certainly one of the top ten 2B available.
SS Trevor Story—Here’s the story—draft Story this year and don’t look back! A lot of Fantasy owners will worry about Story’s thumb and question whether last season’s power was real. I am more than willing to risk a third round pick to find out. If I am right, you just drafted someone who can hit 35+ HR and steal 10-15 bases.
3B Nolan Arenado—Right now Arenado is going somewhere between the 3rd and 6th pick overall, and I think that is about right. Admittedly, I might take Kris Bryant over him at my draft, but Arenado is certainly capable of winning a Triple Crown and gets the huge benefit of playing half his games at Coors Field.
OF David Dahl—Dahl is coming on strong as a prospect, but he still might be a year away from Fantasy stardom. That said, I still like him to hit about 10-15 HR and steal 10-15 bases. It’s just that I think there is way more power and speed to come from him—it might just take until 2019 to arrive. He is a dynasty player’s dream.
OF Carlos Gonzalez—I won’t ever say a bad word about Cargo, but I can tell you that he has never been on any of my rosters and I doubt he will be in the future. I see a decline coming, and I fear that if I draft him, it will be the year that the decline comes. I think you can expect 25/85 from him, but not too much more.
OF Charlie Blackmon—A true 4.5 category star, Blackmon is probably about 20 RBIs short of 5 tool stardom. There is talk of him improving on his stolen base total from last season, which would be a great bonus. In fact, I might take Blackmon over Rizzo or Donaldson in the late first round of my draft.
SP Jon Gray—Gray seems to be the real deal, and it looks like his skills set is improving. I like him to win about 15 games this year, and I fully expect him to have about 200 Ks. The best part about Gray is that most owners in your league will stay away from him due to the stigma about pitching in Colorado. Try your best to use that to your advantage and get him on the cheap.
SP Chad Bettis—Just a space filler. Please don’t bother drafting him in any format.
SP Tyler Anderson—Anderson has the makings of a pretty solid pitcher. I like his strikeout/walk ratio, and he generally keeps the ball down and away which is a good thing at Coors Field. I would throw a buck or two at him at the end of my draft if I were still looking for some depth at starter.
SP Tyler Chatwood—Chatwood has flashed in the past and is looking for a new contract soon, so he might be worth a flyer in NL-only formats.
RP Greg Holland—It might take Holland until the All-Star Break to regain his old form, but I (along with the Rockies) think that he could be the team’s closer at some point this season. The team gave him an incentive-laden two-year deal, so I think he will have every shot to get saves when the time comes.
RP Jake McGee—Instead of rostering the Rockies 5th starter, why not look at McGee? He should throw somewhere between 70-80 innings and could put up 90+ Ks if he is back in the groove that he had during his heyday in Tampa.
Closer Adam Ottavino—Ottavino should start out the season as the team’s closer, but I can easily see him becoming their Effector as soon as Greg Holland is healthy. I think you can count on terrific numbers from him regardless, including 10-15 saves.