25-year old switch hitting Dexter Fowler enters spring training as the Rockies’ starting CF. He will need to improve all the way around if he wants to keep his starting gig. Fowler played in 132 games for the Rockies last season and he was 114 of 439 (.260 avg, .757 OPS) with 73 runs scored, 6 homers, 36 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. Fowler has outstanding speed but he can’t steal first base, so the Rockies need him to hit better in 2011. Fowler only had 1 error in 120 games in CF for the Rockies last season but he showed pretty awful range and he had 2 assists. The Rockies need more out of Fowler both offensively and defensively in 2011.
29-year old righty swinging Willy Taveras and 33-year old switch hitting Alfredo Amezaga will duke it out for the backup job in CF this spring. Taveras played in 27 games for the Nationals last season and he was 7 of 35 (.200 avg, .500 OPS) with 7 runs scored, 4 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Taveras is a caree .274 hitter with the .647 OPS in his first 7 years in the majors, so he is a lot better than he showed last year. He has speed to burn too as he led the majors in steals in 2008 when he had 68 of them with the Rockies. Taveras played in 230 games in 2007+2008 with the Rockies and he was 239 of 851 (.281 avg, .667 OPS) with 128 runs scored, 3 homers, 50 RBIs and 101 stolen bases. He played in 3 error-free games in CF for the Nationals last season.
33-year old switch hitting Alfredo Amezaga missed all of last season due to a knee injury. He’s very versatile in the field and that could get him his fair share of P.T. if he can make the team out of spring training. Amezaga has a .251 batting average with a .652 OPS in his first 8 years in the majors (544 games).
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE ROCKIES CF IN 2011: C