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2020 Fantasy Baseball: Colorado Rockies Team Preview

Enjoy this preview of the 2020 Colorado Rockies brought to you by the folks over at FullTime Fantasy. Subscribe there for the full article with every need-to-know player!

Colorado Rockies

After making the playoffs in 2017 and 2018, the Rockies slipped to fourth in the NL West last year. Over 27 seasons in the league, Colorado has five playoff appearances with one trip to the World Series.

Their regression in 2019 came from a disaster season from their pitching staff. Colorado allowed 213 more runs than 2018 (745), pushing them to 29th in ERA (5.59) with 27 saves. The Rockies ranked 9th in runs (835), 15th in home runs (224) and eighth in RBI (803).

The structure of the offense has the same cast of characters from 2019, while a couple of starting jobs look to be in flux. They didn’t sign any new arms to their pitching staff.

The bullpen is a mess while the starting rotation needs their top three arms (Jon Gray, German Marquez, and Kyle Freeland) pitch up to their potential. In 2019, Colorado underachieved offensively. They need their core players to play well, while a couple of their young talent to become relevant.

The Rockies look to be long shots to make the playoffs this year.

Starting Lineup

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1. 2B Garrett Hampson

Over four seasons in the minors, Hampson hit .311 with 22 home runs, 163 RBI, and 130 steals over 1,342 at-bats. His strikeout rate (15.2) is favorable in the minors while offering a top of the order walk rate (10.4). Last year he struggled over his first 202 at-bats with the Rockies (.208 with 24 runs, three HRs, 17 RBI, and five SBs). 

Hampson emerged as a late-season fantasy option after hitting .330 over his final 97 at-bats with 16 runs, five home runs, ten RBI, and ten stolen bases. Overall, his strikeout rate (26.9) was out of line with a weaker walk rate (7.3). He ranked 373rd in his hard-hit rate (25.7) with a bump in his HR/FB rate (10.5). Hampson showed growth in his AVH (1.554) while still trailing his minor league CTBA (.351). 

The Rockies would love for him to take a step forward in his approach to add speed to the top of the batting order. With no clear path to a full-time job, he looks like more of a gamble based on his ADP (173). An upside of .300 with 100-plus runs, ten home runs, 50 RBI, and 40-plus steals. His downside is a platoon role with inconsistent at-bats.

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2. OF Charlie Blackmon

Blackmon played well again in 2019, but he lost his value in steals while missing a couple of weeks in late May due to a calf injury. His strikeout rate (16.4) remains favorable, with fade in his walk rate (6.3). He’s trending closer to a middle of the order hitter based on his RBI rate (18) and rising average hit rate (1.835). Blackmon played the best before the All-Star break (.330 with 67 runs, 20 HRs, and 57 RBI over 315 at-bats). 

After an empty July (.256 with one HR and six RBI over 86 at-bats), his bat was only steady over the final two months (.305 with 35 runs, 11 HRs, and 24 RBI over 197 at-bats). Blackmon played well against lefties (.307 with 14 HRs and 29 RBI over 215 at-bats) while being a beast home (.379 with 22 HRs and 51 RBI over 272 at-bats). His hard-hit rate (40.1) finished 147th in baseball, with no change in his HR/FB rate (17.7). Over the past five seasons, Blackmon had fewer than 300 RBI chances while batting leadoff on most days. His ADP slipped to 46 in the early draft season after the loss of steals. 

Looking like a great value, especially if he does slide to a more favorable part of the batting order to drive in runs. In 2019, he ranked 29th in SIscore (4.04) for hitters after finishing 15th in 2018 (6.07), and 1st in 2017 (12.80). Possible 120 runs, 30 home runs, 85 RBI, and ten steals with an edge in batting average.

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3. 3B Nolan Arenado

One of the safest bets in fantasy baseball is Arenado. Over the previous five years, he averaged about 104 runs, 40 home runs, and 124 RBI while hitting .300. His strikeout rate (14.1) was his best since 2014 (12.4) while maintaining a favorable walk rate (9.4). Arenado was electric in May (.425 with 25 runs, nine HRs, and 29 RBI over 106 at-bats) and August (.337 with 22 runs, 12 HRs, and 23 RBI over 101 at-bats) with weaker stats in June and July (.257 with 23 runs, seven HRs, and 31 RBI over 187 at-bats). 

He hit the same against righties (.315) and lefties (.315) while playing better at home (.351 with 21 home runs and 70 RBI over 296 at-bats). His hard-hit rate (37.4) came in 206th, which is surprising with his long history of home runs. Arenado ranked 119th in 2018 (40.3) and 127th in 2017. His HR/FB rate (18.2) has been above his career average (16.2) over the last two years while offering a fly-ball swing (44.7 percent). He had the same CTBA (.374) over the past three seasons while maintaining his high AVH (1.854) and RBI rate (20). 

SI Recommends

With an ADP of 13, Arenado has a .300/100/35/120 floor with a chance to reach high levels with better offensive play around him. A juicy baseball again in 2020 may lead to a push over 50 home runs.

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4. SS Trevor Story

Last year the Rockies chose to hit Story in front of Nolan Arenado for about 82 percent of his at-bats, which led to a career-high in runs (111). The downside was a drop of 102 RBI chances from 2018. His CTBA (.418) was the highest level in his four years in the league, but he continues to have a high strikeout rate (26.5). Story had a rebound in his walk rate (8.8). His season started with strength in April and May (.294 with 52 runs, 15 HRs, 42 RBI, and ten SBs over 228 at-bats). 

Story missed the final 11 days of June with a right thumb injury, which led to only two home runs and six RBI for the month. His swing returned in August and September (.328 with 34 runs, 13 HRs, 27 RBI, and nine SBs over 195 at-bats). He played much better at home (.328 with 71 runs, 24 HRs, 56 RBI, and 11 SBs over 296 at-bats). His hard-hit rate (45.8) slipped to 44th in the league (34th in 2018 – 46.0). Story had the same HR/FB rate (19.9) in 2018 and 2019 while sliding below his peak years in his AVH (1.884). Over the previous two seasons, he ranked sixth in SIscore (7.75 in 2019 and 10.00 in 2018) for hitters. 

His ADP is 11th in the early draft season. With a floor around 35 home runs and 25 steals, Story can’t help but deliver 200 combined runs and RBI depending on where he hits in the batting order. His only wild card is the direction of his batting average, which can’t go higher without fewer strikeouts despite playing in Colorado.

Fantasy Baseball, Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies
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5. OF David Dahl

Dahl was on pace for 99 runs, 22 home runs, 90 RBI, and six stolen bases if he finished with 550 at-bats in 2019. Unfortunately, his season was cut short by 62 games due to a right ankle injury and an abdomen issue. His high CTBA (.428) offset his weakness in his strikeout rate (26.6). He didn’t have much of a change in his walk rate (6.8). Dahl had a dominating month in June (.315 with 25 runs, seven HRs, and 32 RBI over 111 at-bats). 

Over the first three months, he hit .317 with 53 runs, 12 home runs, and 51 RBI over 281 at-bats. His AVH (1.735) drifted backward while showing strength in his RBI rate (19). Over seven years in the minors, Dahl hit .306 with 52 home runs, 230 RBI, and 76 steals over 1,648 at-bats. His strikeout rate (20.8) in the minors was about league average with a below-par walk rate (6.3). Injuries have been plentiful in his career, leading to only one season with over 500 at-bats (2014). His HR/FB rate (17.2) was a step down from 2018 (23.2) with less loft on his swing (fly-ball rate – 32.5 and 37.7 in 2018). 

There’s a lot to like here, but his injury history is priced in his ADP (148). Very capable of a .290/100/30/100 season with a full season of at-bats.

To view the full starting lineup, which also includes player analysis for Daniel Murphy, Ian Desmond, Dom Nunez, Ryan McMahon, Brendan Rodgers, Tony Wolters, Elias Diaz, Raimel Tapia and Sam Hilliard, subscribe now to FullTime Fantasy.

Use coupon code EDGE25 to receive 25% off your monthly season-long subscription. Shawn Childs is a 5-time high-stakes fantasy baseball national champ. Gain a cash-winning edge with FullTime Fantasy.

READ MORE: 2020 Colorado Rockies Team Outlook

Pitching Staff

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SP1 German Marquez

Marquez failed to match his success in 2018, but he did have growth in his command last year. His walk rate (1.8) moved to an elite level, but he lost value in strikeouts (9.1 per nine). After 13 starts (3.48 ERA and 83 Ks over 85.1 innings), Marquez looked to be on his way to a repeated season. He crushed fantasy teams over his next eight games (8.26 ERA, 1.342 WHIP, .321 BAA, and ten home runs over 44.2 innings). 

He rebounded over his final seven contests (3.68 ERA and 47 Ks over 44 innings) despite allowing ten more home runs. Marquez missed the last five weeks of the season with a right arm issue. His AFB (95.8) fell in line with 2018. He continued to have an elite curveball (.114 BAA), but Marquez lost the value of his four-seamer (.304 with ten HRs over 237 at-bats) and his slider (.289 with 11 HRs over 149 at-bats). His HR/FB rate (20.1) is exceptionally high, but he is a ground ball pitcher (29.0 percent). I don’t like the direction of his slider, which may be a sign of a future TJ surgery. 

His ADP (175) prices him as SP3 or SP4, depending on the format. More of a coin flip – an upside of a 3.50 ERA and 225 strikeouts or a season-long battle with an elbow injury. His spring training news is essential here.

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SP2 Jonathan Gray

Part of the Gray package showed growth in 2019. His ERA (3.84) pushed into a playable area, but his WHIP (1.353) didn’t come along for the ride. Over his first 14 starts, there was more bad than good (4.39 ERA) due to six games with four to five runs allowed. He posted a 3.00 ERA with 41 strikeouts over his next eight starts. Gray ended the year with an elite starts (no runs over eight innings with seven Ks), but he landed on the injured list for the final six weeks with a broken left foot. 

More of his struggles came against lefties (.272 with eight home runs over 265 at-bats). Surprisingly, his arm played well at home (6-2 with a 3.46 ERA and 71 Ks over 75.1 innings). Gray added life to his fastball (96.2), but batters drilled his four-seamer (.339 with ten home runs over 286 at-bats). Both his slider (.174 BAA) and curveball (.152 BAA) created a significant edge. There are signs of growth while needing to regain his walk rate (3.4 in 2019 and 2.7 in 2018). 

The battle in this decision comes from his disaster and elite starts (17 starts last year with three runs or fewer allowed). Gray had an ADP of 245 with an expected return of a 4.00 ERA and 175 strikeouts with a healthy season.

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SP3 Kyle Freeland

Freeland went from a hero in 2018 (17-7 with a 2.85 ERA and 173 Ks over 202.1 innings) to a zero last year (6.73 ERA). He lost value in both his walk rate (3.4) and strikeout rate (6.8) while not starting in an area of strength. His season began with two disaster starts in April, leading to a 4.81 ERA with more risk in May (10.17 ERA, 2.026 WHIP, .342 BAA, and 11 home runs over 25.2 innings).

The Rockies sent him back to AAA for six weeks (0-4 with an 8.80 ERA and 28 Ks over 29.2 innings). Despite his struggles, Colorado wheeled him out for another eight disappointing games (6.75 ERA, 1.625 WHIP, and .317 BAA, and nine home runs over 40 innings). Freeland missed a month late in the year with a groin injury. His AFV (92.4) isn’t an edge with only one pitch of value (cutter – .235 BAA). Over his first 66 games in the majors, he went 28-18 with a 3.39 ERA and 280 strikeouts over 358.1 innings. 

Only a back-inning eater with WHIP risk and minimal upside in strikeouts, but Freeland may surprise over short stretches with a rebound in confidence. 

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CL/RP Wade Davis

Davis forgot how to throw strikes in 2019, leading to a massive walk rate (6.1). He finished with the worst ERA (8.65) and WHIP (1.875) of his career. Over his first 17 games, Davis had a 2.45 ERA and 18 strikeouts over 14.2 innings while converting all of seven of his saves. 

After three weeks on the injured list with an oblique issue, he pitched his way out of the closer role over the next two months (10.59 ERA, 1.941 WHIP, .319 BAA, and five HRs over 17 innings). Davis ended the year with more failure over his final 11 innings (13.91 ERA). His AFB (93.3) was the lowest of his career while longer having a pitch to get batters out. 

Colorado will give him the first chance to close in 2020, but Davis may not make it out of spring training with the job. Over the previous two seasons, he went 4-12 with a 5.92 ERA and 120 strikeouts over 108 innings. On the positive side, Davis has 137 career saves.

To view the full pitching staff, which also includes player analysis for Antonio Senzatela, Jeff Hoffman, Peter Lambert, Ryan Rolison, Scott Oberg and Jairo Diaz, subscribe now to FullTime Fantasy.

Use coupon code EDGE25 to receive 25% off your monthly season-long subscription. Shawn Childs is a 5-time high-stakes fantasy baseball national champ. Gain a cash-winning edge with FullTime Fantasy.

READ MORE: 2020 Colorado Rockies Team Outlook