We’re just over a week away from Opening Day. Exciting stuff. I seems safe to say that all RWO regulars (and everyone else for that matter) are inclined to believe the Rockies are on the upswing. Dare we make predictions for the 2017 season? Make your own categories. Be unique!
Here’s what I’m thinking:
Record: 81-81. A vast improvement over previous years. We have a good team. I think starting pitching inexperience will hold us back the 4-5 games needed to be a legitimate playoff contender, but I still see a very nice season ahead.
Biggest “Surprise:” The Bullpen figures to be League average or even slightly better, Park adjusted. I like the back 4 (Holland/Otto/Dunn/McGee). I think McGee has a big bounce back season. We still have to figure out the front 3-4 guys. But there seems to be a pool of 8-10 guys to draw from, so I think BB and company will get this figured out. Furthermore, I think Holland will stay with the Rockies beyond this season.
Biggest Surprise II: Like the bullpen, the catching duo of Wolters/Murphy will be in the top half of major league baseball (note that my beloved Fangraphs rated the Rockies duo 30th preseason).
Best Player: NoDo will not only be the Rockies best player, he’ll be the best player in the NL.
Best Player II: DJ LeMahieu will once and for all silence critics and have yet another outstanding season.
Attendance: The Rockies will top 3 million for the first time since 2001. LoDo will be the place to be for the summer of 2017.
Biggest Disappointment: The disastrous free agent group of 2016 (Parra/Motte/Qualls) will continue to be a disaster. I honestly don’t see Motte or Qualls with the franchise by mid-year. They could be gone sooner. Unfortunately, we’re probably stuck with Parra.
NL West: 1. Dodgers (92 wins), 2. Giants (85 wins), 3. Rockies (81 wins), 4. DBacks (72 wins), 5. Padres (65 wins).
NL Playoff teams: Nats, Cubs, Dodgers, Mets (big rebound year for Matt Harvey), Giants.
Prospect Predictions: Riley Pint becomes an elite, elite Prospect (top 3 in all of baseball). Brendan Rodgers solidifies a top 20 ranking.