That was Then...
The Rockies would probably like a do-over as far as 2012 is concerned.
Colorado’s 98-loss output in 2012 set a new single-season franchise record losses. An impressive feat for a club that has only finished above .500 seven times in its 20-year existence.
The Rocks have seen nearly a 10-loss increase in each of the three seasons since it claimed a 2009 NL Wild Card berth.
It was a season of experiments for the Rockies and, largely, a season of failed ones. The year started with the feel-good story of 49-year-old Jamie Moyer earning a couple wins in a young man’s league. Jeremy Guthrie was brought in over the off-season to bring some experience to the back end of the rotation. The team even tried to recapture past success by bringing in Cincinnati castaway Jeff Francis, who had been pivotal for the team in the mid-200s.
Moyer was released in June and would fail in two more attempts to make the majors with Baltimore and Toronto. Guthrie was a member of the Royals before 2012 ended. As for Francis, he was tops in a lot of categories for the Rockies, but that doesn’t necessarily make it much of an achievement and he’s still well removed from his 2007 form.
To make matters worse Marco Scutaro – cast off at the trade deadline – eclipsed his Mile High output in just 61 games with the San Francisco Giants en route to an NLCS MVP Trophy and a World Series ring.
...This is Now
Heal the World
Losing one of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez is bad enough. Losing both proved disastrous.
Time is on the Rockies side, now if only health would go their way.
Carlos Gonzalez (signed through 2018) and Troy Tulowitzki (signed through 2020) combined for 182 games last year. That’s just over one season combined from its two cornerstone players.
Both are game-breakers and if they can stay healthy the team can’t help but improve.
Beyond those two giants, their pitching staff is hoping for a developmental boost. The Rockies leaned on four starters 25-year or under last year in Alex White, Drew Pomeranz, Christian Friedrich and Jhoulys Chacin and may lean on other young arm this coming year such as Juan Nicasio or Tyler Chatwood. The team is also hoping for bounce-backs out of Jonathan Sanchez and Jorge De La Rosa.
There is no hurry for this team to be a contender immediately, given the kind of control they have over their players, including other young roster bodies like Dexter Fowler, Josh Rutledge and Wilin Rosario (see: YOUTH WATCH).
The Rocks will be better, but given the Giants’ championship and the Dodgers huge additions, it’s too early to seriously consider them anywhere close to contention.
Every year, we look for players 26-years-old or younger that could make an impact on their team in the upcoming season. The player might have already established himself with a regular role with the team, or he could make their mark later on in the season.
Past Picks: 2012 - Drew Pomeranz, 2011 - Jhoulys Chacin, 2010 - Dexter Fowler, 2009 - Chris Iannetta, 2008 - Ubaldo Jimenez, 2007 - Troy Tulowitzki, 2006 - Clint Barmes, 2005 - Garrett Atkins, 2004 - Chin-Hui Tsao, 2003 - Juan Uribe
After all these years, the Rockies are still looking for reliable pitching.
OF Carlos Gonzalez, who is ranked 12th overall could crack the Top 10 if he could stay healthy.
There are plenty of holes in Colorado, not least of which involve the pitching staff, but there are some elite fantasy contributors on offence.
LF Carlos Gonzalez is a fringe first-rounder who has put together three straight 20-20 seasons. SS Troy Tulowitzki might be the best in the game at his position; the only concern with being his health – he's had 500 at-bats twice in the last five seasons.
Another Rockies player to rank among the elite, even though he's played 133 career games, is C Wilin Rosario, who mashed 28 home runs in 396 at-bats last season. That kind of power from a position that tends to lack offensive production is a game-changer.
2B Josh Rutledge was solid enough as a rookie to generate interest, perhaps in a middle infield slot. Veteran OF Michael Cuddyer is solid enough; closer Rafael Betancourt seems reliable and, if you're going to take a chance on a Colorado pitcher, LHP Jorge De La Rosa does get strikeouts when he's healthy.