Is it worth picking up Rockies' Arenado?
April, 29, 2013
By Eric Karabell | ESPN.com
Fantasy owners generally can't avoid asking when this prospect and that prospect will finally get the chance to play in the majors, often presuming clear and immediate success for most, and the NL West-leading Colorado Rockies removed one such name from the board this past weekend by promoting third baseman Nolan Arenado to the big leagues. The move offers little risk and makes perfect sense for the Rockies, as incumbent Chris Nelson wasn't hitting (.600 OPS) and is better suited for utility infield duty, at best. Arenado was hitless in three at-bats -- though Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder Gerardo Parra stole a hit with a diving catch -- with a walk while batting seventh in his debut Sunday afternoon.
Arenado figures to play regularly and despite his top prospect status taking a significant hit last season, he really should hit enough to warrant consideration in all leagues. I generally want to rein in expectations for prospects, but Arenado is a polished hitter getting to play half his games in a wonderful hitter's paradise just like he had been at Triple-A. He's a right-hander hitter with modest and still growing power and enough plate discipline to hit for a high batting average, and the Rockies are scheduled to face left-handed starting pitchers in four of the next five games, perfect timing to promote him and get him off to a strong start. That all said, Arenado doesn't crash my top-15 third baseman party quite yet, but he just missed.
Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesNolan Arenado's hype may have faded a bit last year, but he's still in a prime situation to produce.