Coors Field Crush: Sluggers in the outfield
The Rockies have dealt with injuries to star outfielders Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer all season, but it's allowed Fantasy owners to meet a new wave of Coors Field sluggers.
Fantasy owners have long enjoyed great results when targeting Rockies hitters, with half of the team's games played a mile high in the best offensive environment in baseball. It's been a down year for the club this season, as several of Colorado's best players have been on and off the disabled list all season, including Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer.
To almost any other team, the extended absences of two key outfielders would cripple the offensive capabilities of the players roaming the outfield. Not in Colorado. The injuries have given Drew Stubbs, Corey Dickerson and Charlie Blackmon all the opportunity to collect more than 300 at-bats each and over 1,000 at-bats combined.
The results have topped even the highest of expectations: Stubbs (.298/.338/.497 with 13 home runs, 39 RBI and 16 SBs), Dickerson (.319/.369/.576 with 19 home runs, 62 RBI and eight SBs) and Blackmon (.299/.355/.445 with 11 home runs, 44 RBI and 19 SBs) have led the Rockies to a major-league lead in batting average and slugging percentage, while the team also leads the National League in on-base percentage, runs and home runs.
Of course, it's reasonable to assume that the favorable home conditions have helped the outfield trio deliver excellent statistics. But you might not be aware how much these players have leaned on Coors Field. Of the three, only Dickerson has even solid numbers on the road (.274/.326/.478 with eight home runs, 23 RBI and three SBs). Stubbs (.215/.276/.319 with two home runs, nine RBI and six SBs) and Blackmon (.236/.270/.318 with three home runs, 19 RBI and eight SBs) have been MIA once the plane leaves Denver International Airport. Stubbs surprisingly checks in at fifth in average flyball distance this season, per BaseballHeatMaps.com, ahead of mashers like Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Cabrera and Chris Davis. Does he have hidden power lurking? Or would he revert to the low-average, OK-power hitter we've come to expect if he was dealt to another team? I'd bank on the latter.
These guys are already excelling for Fantasy teams in your league, so it's not like owners can run out and grab them off the waiver wire at this point of the season. But daily-league competitors should continue to ride these Coors Field crushers whenever they're at home. And if Stubbs, Blackmon or even Dickerson finds himself in a different situation in the near future via a trade, do not expect anything even remotely resembling their excellent lines from 2014.
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