We're only a week into 2016, but baseball fans are eagerly awaiting the beginning of spring training and the onset of another season. As we near closer to pitchers and catchers reporting, let's take a look at the Rockies' resolutions for the New Year.
Getty ImagesJustin Edmonds
Jon Gray's first nine major-league outings were a mixed bag in 2015, but the Rockies' top pitching prospect showed potential. The 24-year-old righty went 0-2 with a 5.53 ERA and 1.62 WHIP, but allowed two or fewer earned runs in five of his nine starts. The former first-round draft pick will have a tremendous influence on the Rockies in 2016 if he's able to make the necessary adjustments this offseason. He is currently working on a curveball to add to his changeup and slider, which should help his acclimation to the major-league mound.
Getty ImagesJim McIsaac
Story emerges at shortstop
With Troy Tulowitzki gone, and his replacement, Jose Reyes, not so subtly wanting out of Colorado, the Rockies are without the star shortstop that they had for years in Tulo. However, they need not look further than their farm system for the player who could develop into their next star shortstop: Trevor Story. Story is currently ranked No. 11 in the Rockies' system, per MLB.com, and is the second-rated shortstop behind 2015 first-round pick Brendan Rodgers, who isn't expected to be called for at least a few years. The 23-year-old Texas native turned a corner last year in the minors, hitting .279/.350/.514 with 20 home runs and 80 RBI, and he stole 22 bases in 25 attempts as well. If Story emerges as the next Rockies prospect to achieve big-league success, Colorado will be in much better shape in 2016.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsMark J. Rebilas
Arenado wins NL MVP
Nolan Arenado had a sensational breakout performance in 2015, hitting .287/.323/.575 with 42 home runs and 130 RBI. While the third baseman only finished eighth in the NL MVP Award voting, he deserved to finish much higher on the list, if not only for his stellar fielding in addition to his offensive explosion. While Arenado didn't receive his due praise in 2015, he put himself on the map as one of the best young players MLB has to offer, and will undoubtedly be on the radar of writers across the country in 2016. If he can replicate or build upon the success he had last season, Arenado could take home some other major hardware in addition to a Glove Glove in 2016, which he has won in all three of his major-league seasons.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY SporJayne Kamin-Oncea
It's hard for Rockies fans to imagine a roster without Carlos Gonzalez. After all, he's spent the last seven seasons with the team, and has become a staple in the outfield at Coors Field. However, at 29 years old, with a recent history of injuries, and coming off his best season in five years, Gonzalez's trade value will likely never be higher than it is right now. While CarGo has become a fan favorite, it would be in the Rockies' best interest to trade him soon with his stock high and net a big return of prospects that will set them up for the future. He's due $37 million over the next two seasons, which is a big financial commitment for the small-market Rockies. It wouldn't be a popular move to make, but it would be the right move for the franchise.
Getty ImagesJustin Edmonds
Finish .500 or better
Winning only half of your games may seem like a mediocre goal, but it's a major objective for the Rockies, who have failed to hit the .500 threshold for the past five seasons. Claiming the NL West title and making the postseason for the first time since 2009 aren't realistic goals for the rebuilding Rockies, but finishing with even figures in the win and loss columns is attainable – provided Colorado's rotation performs better in 2016. The Rockies scored the most runs in the National League in 2015, but also surrendered the most runs. If the pitching staff is up to the task, the Rockies could perform substantially better than their 68-94 mark in 2015.