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Colorado Rockies 2022: Scouting, Projected Lineup, Season Prediction

Kris Bryant, Colorado Rockies

The Rockies made a big splash after the lockout by signing free agent Kris Bryant to one of the biggest contracts handed out this offseason

The Rockies have endured three straight losing seasons and are trying to rise in what has become a very formidable NL West. It won't be easy. Despite playing half their games at Coors Field, the Rockies need more power and an overall offensive boost. And they must transform an iffy bullpen into a more dependable unit. Adding Kris Bryant on a seven-year, $182 million deal will help, but this team still has a ways to go.

Opposing Scouts Size Up the Rockies

Colorado Rockies logo

"This might be the most confused franchise in baseball. They're just mired in the middle. Everyone sees it, but they don't want to admit it. They hold on to guys too long, like they did with Jon Gray and Trevor Story, and now they're doing it again with Germán Márquez. He's so good and with such a great contract that they could get a ton for him to set up their next winning team. As it is, at least, they've got a solid rotation with a lot of prime-age guys, so there's a chance they'll compete enough nights to maybe flirt with a wild card. They did a nice job bringing back C.J. Cron, and Ryan McMahon is a hidden gem: outstanding in the field and improving all the time as a hitter. But for a team that's gone with high school outfielders with their top-10 picks two drafts in a row, it makes more sense to strip things down now and build for the years when those guys can make an impact."

Editor's note: Scouting report was submitted before the Rockies signed Kris Bryant in free agency.

Beyond the Box Score

Uphill climb In their 29 seasons, the Rockies have never won the NL West, the only team in the division not to do so in that period. The Rockies have been a wild-card entrant to the postseason five times — 1995, 2007, 2009, 2017 and 2018. They won their only NL pennant in 2007 and were swept in four games in the World Series by the Red Sox. The Rockies face a formidable quest for their first division title this season with the Giants coming off a 107-win season, the Dodgers winning 106 and the Padres, talented but underachieving last year, having hired a successful veteran manager in Bob Melvin.

Colorado Rockies 2022 Baseball Cover

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Mr. Versatility Ryan McMahon became the first player in franchise history to log 400 or more career innings at three different infield positions with 449.2 at first base, 1,552.2 at second base and 1,140 at third base.

Moving on up Outfielder Charlie Blackmon, 35, who has spent his entire career with the Rockies, moved to second in franchise history in games played (1,269), hits (1,450) and triples (52), third in runs (820), fifth in doubles (264), seventh in home runs (191) and eighth in RBIs (631).

Non-Coors factor The Rockies hit .217 on the road, setting a franchise record for the lowest road batting average. The previous franchise low was .225 in 2018, but that year, the Rockies won 91 games and reached the postseason. Their .217 road average was the lowest by a club in a full season since the White Sox batted .209 on the road in 1972.

Road warrior Brendan Rodgers hit 12 of his 15 home runs on the road, the second-most road homers on the club. Aided by hitter-friendly Coors Field, Rockies hitters typically do more damage at home than on the road. But Rodgers had an .873 OPS on the road and .723 OPS at home. He hit his first career home run as a pinch-hitter June 5 against Oakland and also hit his second homer as a pinch-hitter. He is the first player in franchise history to hit his first two home runs as a pinch-hitter and the first major leaguer to do so since the Cardinals' Lane Thomas in 2019.

Control artist Antonio Senzatela lacks swing-and-miss stuff, but his sharp command and ability to get hitters to put the ball on the ground help him make up for it. His strikeout rate of 6.03 batters per nine innings last season ranked 117th out of 120 pitchers who threw at least 100 innings. But his walk rate of 1.84 per nine innings ranked fifth out of 120, and he had a 51.2 percent ground ball rate. That's a rare figure for a pitcher with so few walks.

Projected Lineup

LINEUP

DH  Connor Joe (R)
LF    Kris Bryant (R)
RF    Charlie Blackmon (L)
1B    C.J. Cron (R)
3B    Ryan McMahon (L)
2B    Brendan Rodgers (R)
C      Elías Diaz (R)
CF    Randal Grichuk (R)
SS    José Iglesias (R)

BENCH

C     Dom Núñez (R)
OF   Sam Hilliard (L)
UT   Garrett Hampson (R)
OF   Yonathan Daza (R)

ROTATION

RHP    Germán Márquez
LHP    Kyle Freeland
RHP    Antonio Senzatela
LHP    Austin Gomber
RHP    Chad Kuhl

BULLPEN

RHP    Alex Colomé (C)
RHP    Carlos Estévez
RHP    Daniel Bard
RHP    Jhoulys Chacin
RHP    Tyler Kinley
RHP    Robert Stephenson
LHP    Lucas Gilbreath
RHP    Jordan Sheffield

2022 Prediction: 5th in NL West