24-year old lefty swinging Ian Stewart enters spring training as the Rockies’ starting 3B. He played in 147 games for the Rockies last season and he was 97 for 425 (.228 avg, .786 OPS) with 74 runs scored, 25 homers, 70 RBIs and 7 stolen bases. But, for him to have the starting job all to himself he will have to cut down on his whiffs (138 last year) and he will have to improve against lefty pitching as he only hit .178 against them (.664 OPS) in 101 at bats against them. Stewart made 7 errors in 121 games at 3B last season while showing below average range.
The Rockies signed 38-year old righty swinging Melvin Mora over the winter to play all over the place but he is a natural 3B. If Stewart continues to have issues with lefty pitching I can see Mora working into a platoon with him. Mora played in 125 games for the Orioles last season and he was 117 for 450 (.260 avg, .679 OPS) with 44 runs scored, 8 homers, 48 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. Mora is a better hitter than he showed last season as he has a career batting average of .278 with a .788 OPS. Mora made 11 errors in 124 games at 3B last season while showing outstanding range.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 3B IN 2010: B-