Second base depth has been a huge problem for the Colorado Rockies since losing DJ LeMahieu to free agency. The team is last in the majors in WAR over the previous two seasons with -.6. Almost every player they have used at second has fallen short of expectations at the position.
That doesn’t look great for a franchise that has struggled to accurately evaluate internal talent or spend money intelligently. The position should have a new regular in 2021. Here is a look at some of those potential depth options for the Rockies at second base.
Colorado Rockies Second Base Depth
Major League Level
The starter would have been Ryan McMahon, but the Nolan Arenado trade means that the 26-year-old lefty will move to the hot corner. That gives Brendan Rodgers a prime opportunity to seize a regular job. The 24-year-old is still a prospect long after when fans might have expected him to grab a starting role. That is partially due to front office incompetence, but Rodgers has also struggled to make an impact. He has hit just .196/235/227 with only three doubles and 33 strikeouts in 102 plate appearances at the major league level.
Garrett Hampson is lurking in the wings to possibly snipe time if Rodgers flounders once more. The 26-year-old has been worth just .1 Fangraphs WAR in 559 plate appearances, but the team likes his versatility at both second base and centerfield. His status as a super-utility player means that he’ll show up somewhere throughout the season.
The final piece of the puzzle is Chris Owings, who returns to the organization for the moment on a minor league deal. Owings has historically been a competent defender at second base with 10 defensive runs saved. He’s been closer to average in the past couple of seasons. He does have far more experience than either Rodgers or Hampson, which is something the Rockies have traditionally prized, even to their detriment.
AAA & AA
The top prospect at second base is Bret Boswell. He is a 26-year-old left-handed bat that the team originally selected in the eighth round of the 2017 Amateur Draft. Boswell is similar to Hampson in terms of utility as he has played both the infield and outfield in the minors, but second is by far his most common position. He has a a wRC+ over 100 in each of his three minor league seasons across four levels.
High-A & Lower
The low minors have almost nobody of note. That includes Isaac Collins, a ninth-round selection in the 2019 Draft. He is 23-years-old, but has one season at Low-A thanks to the lack of a 2020 minor league season. In addition, Collins wasn’t particularly good at that level with a slash line of just .257/317/338. He was much better in college with a .281/375/414 line in 710 plate appearances. He is one player who desperately needs a full season to try and acclimate to the professional game as a solid, if unspectacular, option.
It should be obvious that this is not a strong position for the Rockies. They are relying heavily on players who have either struggled or have no true position. There are certainly players who might have to shift to second base, but there depth based on current options is very concerning. Colorado has failed to uncover a decent player at this position for several years and it shows. A lot hinges on Rogers’ ability to step up and become a reliable option because the alternatives are not ideal.
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