The Colorado Rockies will have a fresh new look at 2B in 2011. They signed 27-year old righty swinging Jose Lopez over the winter to take over as the starting 2B in 2011. Lopez played in 150 games for the Mariners last season and he was 142 of 593 (.239 avg, .609 OPS) with 49 runs scored, 10 homers, 58 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. He’s a better hitter than he showed last season as he is a .266 career hitter (.697 OPS) in his first 873 games of his major league career. Lopez has good power for a middle infielder as he has reached double figures in homers 5 years in a row. He will likely see a boost in production playing half of his games at Coors Field. Lopez is a natural 2B but the Mariners moved him to 3B in 2010. He had 18 errors in 142 games at 3B last season while showing outstanding range. The Rockies would likely be happy with Lopez if he played average defense at 2B in 2011.
33-year old righty swinging Ty Wigginton can handle 2B whenever Lopez needs a day off. Wigginton played in 40 games at 2B for the Orioles last season in which he made 6 errors while showing good range. Like Lopez, Wigginton has a lot of power for a middle infielder.
26-year old switch hitting Jonathan Herrera is likely #3 in line for P.T. at 2B for the Rockies in 2011. Herrera played in 76 games for the Rockies last season and he was 63 of 222 (.284 avg, .694 OPS) with 34 runs scored, 1 homer, 21 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Herrera is a good contact hitter with very little power, so the Rockies probably wouldn’t feel too comfortable playing him for long stretches. Herrera made 4 errors in 57 games at 2B for the Rockies last season while showing excellent range. He’s a hard nosed kind of player that will help the Rockies off the bench if given the chance.
27-year old lefty swinging Tug Hulett had a pretty stinky year in AAA last season. He played in 105 games in AAA-ball last season and he was 78 for 350 (.223 avg, .710 OPS) with 49 runs scored, 7 homers, 41 RBIs and 6 stolen bases. Hulett made only 3 errors in 53 games at 2B last season so he’s not too bad with a mitt on his hands. Hulett will have to hit in the minors at the start of 2011 for the Rockies to even consider giving him a chance in the majors.
28-year old righty swinging Matt Macri played in 98 games in AAA-ball last season and he was 85 of 338 (.251 avg, .727 OPS) with 46 runs scored, 9 homers, 36 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. He made 4 errors in 34 games at 2B in the minors, so he’ll need to tighten up his defense if he wants to get back to the show.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE ROCKIES 2B IN 2011: C+