Nolan Arenado: The Colorado Rockies’ next superstar


May 4, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) fouls line drive to center field in the sixth inning against the New York Mets at Coors Field. The Mets defeated the Rockies 5-1.Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

There is no doubt the Colorado Rockies have some star power in the their lineup.

Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez are known as two of the 20 best baseball players in the league. They both combine excellent defense with power and hitting for average. Tulowitzki and Gonzalez have each been in consideration for the NL MVP during their careers.

But there is a new man that is catching the eye of Rockies fans and fans of baseball throughout the nation. That man is Nolan Arenado.

Arenado came up last season and took over the third base job. He hit 10 home runs and drove in 52 runs while appearing in 133 games as a rookie. His average finished at .267.

His defense really stood out and he was rewarded for it by winning the Gold Glove as rookie. He become the first rookie to win the Gold Glove since 1957. Combining Arenado and Tulowitzki on the left side of the infield creates a very tough defensive duo.

This season Arenado looks even better. He seems to make a “Web Gem” type of play every night. His glove is not the only strong part of his game this season though. The third baseman is currently on a 24-game hitting streak heading into Monday’s against the Texas Rangers at home. That is the longest in the majors so far this season. Just 33 games into the season, Arenado has hit five home runs and 20 RBI.

There was always hype around Arenado. He was ranked one of the Rockies’ best prospects for a couple seasons. He was drafted in the second round out of high school in 2009 and skipped college to move straight to Rookie ball. He quickly moved through the Rockies system.

In 2013, Arenado ripped the ball in spring training but the Rockies still went with Chris Nelson at third base. That didn’t last long as Arenado was called up on April 28 and never let go of the job.

Now he is part of a Rockies team that is playing well and sits only two games out of first place in the National League West. Colorado can have Gonzalez, Tulowitzki and Arenado in the middle of their lineup for several years. If the Rockies have three great players, there is no excuse for not competing in the National League.

The Rockies have never had a long-term solution at third base since the days of Vinny Castilla. Garrett Atkins had some good years as did Charlie Hayes during Colorado’s early history. Ian Stewart was suppose to be the next big thing but flamed out as a bust.

Arenado is the third baseman the Rockies have been looking for. He is here to stay and will be fun to watch in the present and future.

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisSchmaedeke