Either 26-year old lefty swinging Seth Smith or 24-year old lefty swinging Ian Stewart will get the chance to replace the departed Matt Holliday. Smith played in 67 games for the Rockies last season and he was 28 for 108 (.259 avg, .785 OPS) with 13 runs scored, 4 homers and 15 RBIs. Smith got some huge pinch hits during the Rockies’ run to the World Series in 2007 and it’s likely that Clint Hurdle has not forgotten that. Smith didn’t make any errors in 8 games in LF last season while showing outstanding range.
Ian Stewart is a 3B by trade but the Rockies want to get his bat into the lineup somewhere. He played in 81 games for the Rockies last year and he was 69 for 266 (.259 avg, .804 OPS) with 33 runs scored, 10 homers and 41 RBIs. It’s expected that Stewart would be about an average defensive LF.
33-year old lefty swinging Scott Podsednik offers the Rockies a lot of speed off the bench. He played in 93 games for the Rockies last year and he was 41 for 162 (.253 avg, .655 OPS) with 22 runs scored, 1 homer, 15 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. He didn’t make any errors in LF in 10 games there for the Rockies last season while showing average range.
27-year old Matt Murton could also get some P.T. in LF for the Rockies this season. He played in 17 games in LF for the Cubs and A’s last season without making an error and showing good range.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: D+