Rockies get just one player in MLB Network’s top 100 ranking

Feb 22, 2024, 12:28 PM

It could be argued that the last two years have been the first in Colorado Rockies history without a star player.

The role has been passed pretty nicely from Andres Galarraga to Larry Walker to Todd Helton to Troy Tulowitzki to Nolan Arenado to Trevor Story. The team does have one of its greatest players still suiting up in Charlie Blackmon but he was never the main draw in his prime and now the four-time All-Star is no longer one of the top players wearing purple. This has left the Rockies with Brendan Rodgers and Nolan Jones being the team’s top-performing players the past two seasons—neither of whom has made an All-Star Game yet let alone are the name on the back of common jerseys worn by patrons at Coors Field.

It’s fair to say, even with former NL MVP Kris Bryant on the roster, that this is the first time in Rockies history they’re without a star player. And maybe that’s part of the reason why last year was the first time in club history that the Rockies lost over 100 games. Nobody expects much better from the squad this season and there isn’t a prediction out there where a current Rockies player blossoms into a star. But Jones is getting recognition for his strong rookie year and many expect him to turn in a solid sophomore campaign.

Jones was the lone Rockies player to make MLB Network’s top 100 list, coming in at No. 87. For reference the Dodgers, who almost everyone expects to win the NL West for the 12th time in 13 years had seven players in the top 100, including three in the top five. Elsewhere in the division, the Giants had just one player make the list as well—Logan Webb, coming in at No. 42.

Earlier this winter Jones was named the third-best left fielder in MLB by the network. Jones started 2023 at Triple-A Albuquerque after a November trade moved him to the Rockies from Cleveland. Jones raked for the Isotopes and was promoted after 39 games with a 1.193 OPS. Jones instantly impacted the Rockies lineup in the show.

Jones got two hits and knocked in two runs in his second game for the Rockies, a 10-7 win. A few days later he slammed his first homer in purple. Jones rode a steady start into a firey finish, producing a 1.112 OPS in 29 games in the season’s final month.

Though he had played a few games for Guardians in 2022, his first year in Colorado earned him a fourth-place finish for the NL Rookie of the Year. Arizona’s Corbin Carroll (5.4) was the only NL rookie who accumulated more WAR than Jones (4.3) and the D-Backs outfielder played 49 more games. Meaning Jones, was just about the best first-year player in the game last season on a per-game basis. Carroll was one of five D-Backs to make MLBN’s top 100 players list, coming in at No. 18.

In all, Jones played 106 games, slashing .297/.389/.542 with 20 homers, 20 stolen bases and 62 RBI across 424 plate appearances. He also had 19 outfield assists, becoming the first rookie in MLB history with a 20-20-19 season. If Jones can pull off another 20-homer, 20-stolen base season in 2024, he’ll join Bobby Witt Jr. and Julio Rodríguez as the only players in MLB history with two 20-20 seasons to begin a career.


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