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Rockies Outfield Analysis: Seeking the Power of Free Agents

Editor’s note: Fourth in a series for the 2022 Rockies. Today: the outfield.

The Rockies outfield was one of the least productive of major tournaments in 2021, which is why new general manager Bill Schmidt must find a way to add a power bat during the offseason.

The Colorado outfielder combined to hit .259, seventh-best in the majors. But that average was due in large part to playing half of their games in the batting paradise known as Coors Field. The Rockies outfielder hit just 46 home runs, placing 29th, and their .719 OPS was 21st.

The outfielder’s 81 WRC + was the worst major tournament ever. Much like OPS +, wRC + takes into account the value of a batter to create runs and then adjusts it for park and league factors. Like other adjusted stats, a wRC + of 100 is considered the league average.

It’s hard to say which outfielder the Rockies might try to land, but Chris Taylor of the Dodgers, Nick Castellanos of the Reds (if he retires) and Michael Conforto of the Mets would be good choices. If the Rockies can afford it.

Here’s a breakdown and ratings for each of the Rockies’ outfielder’s performance, with a forecast for their 2022 season:

Probable entries

RF Charlie Blackmon (0.270 avg, 0.761 OPS, 13 HR, 78 RBI)

Blackmon remains in excellent shape, but he’s 35 and his power is waning, much like Todd Helton’s power faded at 35. a .904 OPS. The Rockies would like to see a similar production of Blackmon, which will earn $ 21 million in 2022.

In 2019, when Blackmon hit 32 home runs, his home run percentage was 5.1%. In 2021, it fell to 2.2%. Blackmon is still an accomplished hitter, but he needs to bounce back.

Defensively, Blackmon has had a solid year at right field, but he is likely to spend some time as a designated hitter in 2022. Rating: C-less

DE Sam Hilliard (0.215 avg, 0.757 OPS, 14 HR, 34 RBI)

Hilliard, who plans to hone his swing during the Winter Ball, has every chance of winning the starting position in center field. He has raw power, speed on the bases and the ability to handle the great outdoors at Coors Field.