2006 Colorado Rockies Baseball Preview

Colorado Rockies Predictions – NL WEST


Colorado needs to improve in hitting, fielding and pitching. In hitting, they’re a .256 ball club or 14th in the NL and in fielding they have a .981 FP or 15th in the league. They made 158 errors in 2005. They’ve got some very fine young talent and have reinvigorated their farm system. That’s the good news.


Coors Field is not the easiest park to pitch in because balls fly out of the place like bats from a cave at night. Aaron Cook (7-2, 3.67 ERA), who joined the team late last season from stints in A and AAA ball, has the potential to be a better-than-average second starter. He’s got a fantastic sinker, plus three other pitches.

Jason Jennings (6-9, 5.02 ERA) heads the rotation and commands a sinker that does a late move. It’s a perfect pitch for Coors Field, but he has to feel free to challenge hitters with it.

Another young guy, Jeff Francis (14-12, 5.68 ERA) is a finesse pitcher who could be winning 20 games in the near future. The much traveled Byung-Hyun Kim (5-12, 4.86) is the team’s fourth man; Kim is really, at best, a fifth starter.

Closer Brian Fuentes (31 SV, 2.91 ERA) has four tough pitches; he had a great year in 2005, especially considering the team for which he played. Expect him to save 40-plus in a year or two.


Todd Helton (.320 BA. 20 HR) is a strong hitter, who’s able to adjust to changing situations, while Clint Barnes (.289 BA, 10 HR) is developing more power and should be doubling his homer output soon. The lineup is filled with players who can swing for average, with 6 of the 8 daily bats men hitting in the high 280’s or better. Matt Holliday, another force, smacked 19 homers while making the .307 mark.

However, as a team and in situational hitting the Rockies are weak, having scored under 700 runs this past season. They need to make things happen when they need to happen, taking advantage of run-producing situations.


It’s behind the plate that veteran catcher Yorvit Torrealba earns his paycheck. He’s a solid performer who’s a new and welcome addition to the team. The left side of the infield are a predicament for Colorado, with shortstop Barnes and third baseman Garrett Atkins being less than dependable fielders.

The outfield has seen improvement and features some strong arms and good range with center fielder Cory Sullivan being the most versatile athlete.


* Clint Hurdle, known as a player’s manager, is in the last year of his contract. Is he also a GM’s manager?
* Hurdle has done well (276-350 record) with what he’s been given.
* GM Dan O’Dowd works well with Hurdle and has corrected mistakes of past GMs.


* Coors Field-- keep that sinker low or it’s going into the stratosphere!
* Young players must start performing-- Hurdle can be an asset here.
* Need more offense from either Cory Sullivan or Brad Hawpe or both!


The future looks bright; it’s trying to get there that may make things seem dark. Last season, the only team to have a worse record than the Rockies’ 67-95 were the Royals with a 56-106 mark. Colorado is focused on developing talent, and they’ve got some great guys ready to break out. It could be a winning season for the team; okay, at least one in which they chalk up 10 to 15 more wins. That would be a major achievement.

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