Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring Training Spotlight: Colorado

When I was thinking about which team I should spotlight next in our Spring Training series, I happened to realize I was in the Rocky Mountains. So, today we're finding out how those same Rockies are doing down in Arizona. Last year wasn't a great one for the Rockies, who went from a 2009 Wild Card appearance to finishing 3rd in their division in 2010. Last year wasn't a complete loss, however, as a few players in particular give hope to the 2011 squad.

It seems like in sports, there are two types of players who end up being superstars. The first are the "Tiger Woods" category: famous from youth, destined for greatness, and having America watch them grow up, mature, and eventually dominate their sport. Think about a young Kevin Garnett, fresh out of high school, or Shaun White winning X-games medals in his early teens. However, there are also the type of superstar that you never really see coming--at least, not for greatness at that level. This is the "Tom Brady" category, named after the 6th-round draft pick who will retire as one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time. Keep reading for who the Rockies' newest Tom Brady is...

Carlos Gonzalez (right) is a Tom Brady--undrafted, not really thought of as being an MLB all-star, but led the league in batting last year and is a budding superstar at the age of 25. After hitting .336 last year with 34 homers and 117 RBI, Rockies fans were wondering what kind of encore they would see from "CarGo." After a player puts up a great season, there's always the worry of the "sophomore slump," but Gonzalez seems to be avoid that thus far this season, putting up splits of .296./367, though he's lacking in the power department. So far, he's only got one extra-base hit (a double) out of his eight hits, but the batting average near .300 is a good sign after 27 at-bats. 

The other superstar in Rockies camp is flamethrower Ubaldo Jiminez, who's been limited to 9 innings in his first 3 stars, though the returns are good: 4 strikeouts and 3 hits, with no runs allowed. However, we're getting to the part of the spring where the starters are getting more and more innings (Roy Halladay going 6 shutout against the Yankees the other day would be an example), so these Spring Training Spotlights will get more and more relevant each and every day.

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