Coming off of the best season of Nolan Arenado‘s career, the Colorado Rockies need to lock up the superstar third baseman to a long-term deal and avoid arbitration.
The Colorado Rockies selected Nolan Arenado in the second round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft out of El Toro High School in California. After signing with the Rockies in the summer of 2009, the team assigned him to the Rookie League Casper Ghosts. Arenado played in 54 games in his first professional season, posting an impressive .300/.351/.404 slash line. He hit two home runs and drove in 22 RBI. Also, he walked nearly as much as he struck out, finishing the 2009 season with 16 walks against 18 strikeouts.
Following the 2009 season, the Colorado Rockies promoted Nolan Arenado to Single-A Asheville where he continued to develop as one of the Rockies’ best prospects. Arenado improved his batting average and slugging percentage, increasing his average from .300 to .308 and his slugging percentage from .404 to .520. Moreover, Arenado saw a spike in home runs, finishing the 2010 season with 12 long balls. Although Arenado improved in nearly every category, his walk rate decreased dramatically, falling to 4.8 percent.
In 2011, Nolan Arenado earned another promotion, this time to High-A Modesto. In 134 games on the season, Arenado registered minor league career-highs in home runs and RBI. He finished the 2011 season with an eye-popping 20 home runs and 122 RBI. Addtionally, Arenado improved on his strike out rate and walk rate from 2010 to 2011. With Arenado’s impressive season, he continued his assent through the Rockies’ farm system.
Nolan Arenado began the 2012 season with Double-A Tulsa, and he regressed slightly with the promotion. Arenado spent the the duration of the season with Double-A. In 134 games with Tulsa, Arenado accumulated 12 home runs, 56 RBI, and a .285 batting average. Also, his strike out rate increased from the previous season, and his walk rate decreased. Although he hit a bump in the road at Double-A, Arenado still put together a solid season with his bat and defense.
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After a somewhat down 2012 season, the Colorado Rockies promoted Nolan Arenado to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Arenado did not spend long at the Triple-A stop, playing in 18 games before getting the promotion to the Rockies. Likely impressed by Arenado’s .364/.392/.667 slash line, the Rockies decided it was time to give Arenado a shot at the MLB. Arenado spent the rest of the 2013 season with the Colorado Rockies, tallying up 133 games played despite not starting the season with the team.
In Arenado’s first season with the Rockies, he owned a respectable .267/.301/.405 slash line in 133 games. He hit 10 home runs and drove in 52 RBI, but Nolan Arenado walked only 23 times in 514 plate appearances. Arenado’s walk rate continues to hinder the All-Star third baseman to this date, but it is only a blip on the radar compared to his success. Arenado worked hard in the offseason between 2013 and 2014 to become a better hitter entering the next season.
After Arenado’s rookie season with the Colorado Rockies, he put together a solid campaign in his sophomore season. Despite only playing in 111 games, he managed to nearly double his home run total from the previous season, smashing 18 homers in 2014 compared to 10 in 2013. Also, Arenado increased his RBI total from 52 to 68, in spite of playing in 22 fewer games. Additionally, Nolan Arenado improved on his slash line in every aspect, finishing the 2014 season with a .287/.328/.500 line.
House That Hank Built
Entering 2015, no one expected the type of season Nolan Arenado would put together. Arenado started off the 2015 season on fire. He earned his first-career All-Star Game selection, and he went on to have a career-year. Arenado finished the 2015 season with 42 home runs, which led the National League (tied with Bryce Harper); moreover, he led the N.L. with 130 RBI, 20 more than second place (Paul Goldschmidt). Also, he finished with a solid slash line of .287/.323/.575. In his breakout season, Arenado put his name in the MVP considerations.
In recent days, Nolan Arenado dropped Scott Boras as his agent, and he switched to Joel Wolfe and Nick Chanock of Wasserman Media Group. The 2016 season marks the first year that Arenado is eligible for arbitration, and with his stellar 2015 season, he likely sees a large jump in salary from the arbitration process. With the Rockies trading away Troy Tulowitzki, they need to sign Arenado to a long-term deal and avoid the arbitration process. Tulowitzki was the face of the franchise, and now, Arenado needs to take that role over.
Carlos Gonzalez put together a solid season for the Rockies, as well. He hit 40 home runs in 2015, but he is aging with every season. Also, the Rockies likely shop around Gonzalez’s name to see what is on the trade market. Gonzalez’s days are numbered in the purple and black; thus, the Rockies need to sign Nolan Arenado to a long-term deal as soon as possible. There is no way that the Rockies do not see Arenado as their impact player of the future; thus, they need to sit down with the superstar third baseman and negotiate a contract.
Hopefully, the Colorado Rockies decide to negotiate a long-term contract with Nolan Arenado during the offseason to avoid the arbitration process and any distractions during the upcoming season. Arenado is the future for the Rockies, and he is likely a perennial All-Star for years to come. Look for Arenado to put together another All-Star season in 2016, with or without the help of Carlos Gonzalez.