The Colorado Rockies are once again in the midst of a long and tiring season. To add to the agony, the team just dealt one of its franchise’s best overall players in Troy Tulowitzki.
And while the move wasn’t a popular one, you could see it coming from a mile away. So, who steps up in Tulo’s absence? That’s the question many Rockies faithful have been wondering since rumors of the All-Star’s trade became a more likely reality.
Colorado has had time to assess the situation for quite some time, as they knew, just like many others, that Tulowitzki wouldn’t remain a Rockie past the trade deadline. Despite the abundance of time Colorado had to set forth a plan to replace Tulo, it’s highly unlikely the team strikes gold and finds the heir apparent this soon.
And while the next Colorado shortstop might not have the pedigree of Tulowitzki, his replacement will assuredly be someone the organization feels can lead the team into the future. With all due respect to Jose Reyes, the Rockies didn’t accept the Blue Jays trade because of his inclusion. Reyes was simply the sweetener, the piece that closed the deal.
It was the presence of young pitcher, Jeff Hoffman, that sent Tulowitzki packing. If Colorado is indeed looking toward the future, Jose Reyes isn’t the answer. (It wouldn’t be surprising if Colorado trades Reyes by the time you read this article.)
Fortunately, Colorado does feature a proficient collection of minor league infielders that might one day become their next great shortstop. That’s the advantage of having depth in the minors, it gives you the ability to add other parts to your roster. The Rockies were able to go out and trade for a pitcher like Hoffman, because they have the prospects to replace Tulowitzki.
One option the Rockies have at their disposal is promising 18-year-old shortstop, Brendan Rogers.
Colorado took Rogers with the third overall pick of the 2015 MLB Draft. Many say his main strength is the ability to hit for power. Currently sitting at a 60 on the 20-80 ranking scale, it’s a trait that has yet to fully develop. Rogers has the ability to mature into a consistent 20+ homerun player in the majors.
Although, there is one major downfall to Rodgers. If the Rockies are looking for an immediate impact player at the shortstop position, Rodgers is not your guy. He is still an extremely raw ball player. Colorado drafted him out of high school, so development time in the minor leagues is absolutely critical.
If Colorado is looking to make a splash on the infield either this year or next, a possible solution is Trevor Story. Story has a .277 average through 94 at-bats at AAA Albuquerque. He has accumulated six homeruns during that time, however it’s worth noting that Albuquerque plays in the PCL, is a notorious hitter-friendly league. The power surge for Story could be the result of playing in the PCL. His slugging percentage jumped from .523 to .596 since his promotion to AAA, a major increase that might not remain consistent as time progresses.
Reagrdless, many scouts believe that Story possess the best bat speed amongst all Rockies prospects. So, like Rogers, the potential for 20+ home runs is a distinct possibility. And with the added advantage of playing at Coors Field, that number could certainly come to fruition. The Colorado Rockies will never be able to fully replace someone as prolific as Troy Tulowitzki.
Although, it’s possible that Story or Rogers can be effective replacements, maybe even cornerstones of the franchise. The Rockies have a vision. If everything falls in line like it should, then fans in Colorado won’t have the slightest recollection of Trot Tulowitzki.