Is this the year for the Colorado Rockies?
As pitchers and catchers report to spring training in Arizona and Florida we begin to ask ourselves, who will be the surprise team of the 2017 season? We know the Red Sox, Cubs, Dodgers, and Nationals will dominate the pre-season rankings and hype with their stellar rosters and 2016 success. The Chicago Cubs are primed to be even better this year than their incredible World Series team. The Red Sox stole the off-season headlines by trading for Chris Sale. Along with their young core, Boston looks to be playing baseball until late October. The Dodgers and Nationals remain very strong as they continue to build on their success with division titles and an opportunity to play into October.
The one team flying a bit under the radar and possibly as talented as any roster in major league baseball, the Colorado Rockies. When it comes to offensive fire power, the Rockies are second to no team in baseball. This line-up will be as good as any in the last decade as they prepare to set offensive record heights. As if Colorado needed to get any better at the plate, they added the prolific veteran Ian Desmond who recently proved he is the All-star we once knew in Washington. With Colorado's projected line-up looking like; Charlie Blackmon, Dj LeMahieu, Nolon Arenado, Carlos Gonzalez, Ian Desmond, Trevor Story, David Dahl, and Tony Walters. There is simply not an easy out 1 through 8 in this line-up. Arguably the second best position player on the planet (behind Mike Trout), Nolan Arenado is prime to continue to torch his opponents. The question remains in the starting rotation. Many baseball fans and critics continue to shrug their heads as to why the Rockies front office has not aggressively shopped for an elite starting pitcher two. With Jon Gray poised to be opening day starter, it displays the question that remains to be the fortune of 2017. We know Colorado will likely be a top 3 offense from start to finish, but pitching will likely disappoint.
Bud Black is a savvy veteran manager. This could be a difference on why Colorado threatens LA and San Francisco in competing for a division title. With familiarity with the Colorado fan base and front office, this could be the year Colorado starts off hot, and hold on to a great April start.