The Rockies are now going through a full-blown rebuilding process, handing six of their regular eight starting positions to players with less than two years of major league experience. They won't be good on the field, but as usual, Rockies offensive players will be a boon to your squad.
Worth Every Penny
The last vestage of the Blake Street Bombers, Todd Helton came into camp having shed the muscle that he bulked up with last offseason. Helton's numbers might be Coors Field inflated, but since he still plays in Denver, he's still a top-10 offensive player.
About To Blossom
Playing for Colorado Springs last season, shortstop Clint Barmes hit 16 home runs and stole 20 bases. With Royce Clayton gone, Barmes will be installed as the full-time shortstop and could hit 12 home runs and steal 25 bases for a retooled Rockies team that will be more active on the basepaths than in years past. Chances are he'll be a steal in keeper leagues.
Although you might be tempted to select Jason Jennings, Joe Kennedy or Shawn Chacon, don't do it. There are few things more sure in fantasy baseball than Rockies starting pitchers, no matter how many wins they earn or how many strikeouts they compile, are death to your team ERA and WHIP.
Do You Feel Lucky?
The catcher position is supposed to go to J.D. Closser, but should the rookie backstop strugggle, it's not out of the question that veteran Todd Greene could get a good number of at-bats. Last season, Greene hit 10 home runs in just 195 at-bats. Even if Closser doesn't struggle, Greene's ABs will likely be closer to 300 at-bats which could mean sizeable pop from behind the plate for your team.
The Rockies will run this year. Aaron Miles, Barmes, Choo Freeman and Matt Holliday all have the ability to steal in the double digits. For a buck at the end of the draft, you'd be wise to pick up utilityman Desi Relaford, who will see lots of time in the infield and outfield and will likely steal 20 or more bags.
If Something Should Happen To Chin-Hui Tsao
Tsao isn't a lock for the closers job in the first place, and lefty Brian Fuentes will get save opportunities along the way. In 2003, Fuentes was 4 for 6 on save chances while competing with Justin Speier for the role. Last season's closer, Shawn Chacon, is not an option since he has returned to the rotation.
Don't Forget About
Holliday, Preston Wilson, Dustan Mohr
Don't Bother With
Any pitcher, Charles Johnson, Alfredo Amezaga
David Sabino is the associate editor in charge of statistics at Sports Illustrated and the author of the book, Dominate Your Fantasy Baseball League (Muska & Lipman/Premier-Trade).