Denver, CO – For our final chapter in the Colorado Rockies 2012 Predictions, let’s take a look at the all star defense the Rockies will put on the field. And finally a final prediction on the Rockies record, where they will finish in the NL West and how the rest of the division will finish as well.
As the Colorado Rockies showed in 2011, they put a star studded defense on the field. With both Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez receiving gold gloves, the Rockies have made moves to improve their defense even more for 2012. First let’s take a look at the infield.
Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton are the obvious strengths in the infield for the Rockies. Tulowitzki should earn another gold glove at shortstop and look for Todd Helton to win yet another gold glove with the departure of Albert Pujols to the American League. The Rockies acquired Marco Scutaro in free agency to shore up the revolving door at second base. Scutaro brings a veteran presence and will be an excellent double play connection for Tulowitzki. Another off season signing was at catcher with the additional of veteran Ramon Hernandez. At age 35 Hernandez brings years of Major League experience and will mesh well with the Rockies pitching staff. The biggest question in the infield will again be at third base. With Casey Blake’s release due to poor performance, the door is open for Chris Nelson to grab the starting spot. Nelson was a one time first round draft pick and must perform or he may be moved out of the Rockies organization. Nelson will do a platoon job with Jordan Pacheco. Performance at the plate may in the long run determine which player is the every day starter at third.
Outfield play was strong for the Rockies in 2011 and should be much improved in 2012. With the trade of Seth Smith and the free agency pick up of Michael Cuddyer, the Rockies outfield may be the strongest in the NL West. Barring another freak injury, Carlos Gonzalez should earn himself another gold glove in left field. He has freakish ability and makes all star level diving catches look routine. Dexter Fowler in center field continues to improve in his fielding and can cover the gigantic Coors Field gaps with his track level speed. Cuddyer is another player that brings veteran leaderships and incredible versatility in left field. He can also play first base to spell Todd Helton and can also play third base if needed. Backup outfielders will come down to Charlie Blackmon and Eric Young JR. Both will be pushed by Tyler Colvin who is tearing up spring training. At this point Eric Young JR may be the odd man out and likely will be waived and likely picked up by another team.
Defense will be one of the Colorado Rockies strengths this year and I look to see the Rockies secure at least 3 gold gloves with Tulowitzki, Gonzalez and Helton to secure the honor with Helton earning his fourth. If Dexter Fowler continues to improve and can show he has improved his arm strength, he may also be a candidate for a gold glove.
Rockies Final Prediction – Record.
I predict the Colorado Rockies will win the NL West for the first time in team history. With additions of Jeremy Guthrie as their number one starter and Jamie Moyer literally throwing a changeup into the rotation, the pitching will be key. The Rockies will score a ton of runs much like the Blake Street Bombers of old. Defense will shine and barring injuries be the strongest in the National League.
RECORDS in NL WEST Prediction
Team Wins Losses
Colorado 96 66
Arizona 92 70
San Fran 90 72
Los Angeles 88 74
San Diego 75 87