Nolan Arenado managed to one-up himself yet again and at just 25 years old, it seems like sky's the limit. The All-Star smashed a league-leading 41 home runs, drove in 133 runs and even reached the century mark in runs scored. He managed to cut down on his strikeouts and draw twice as many walks as he did the previous season. As one would imagine, the third baseman's numbers were better at Coors Field than away from it (1.030 OPS at home vs. .832 OPS on the road), but 16 home runs, 48 RBI and 48 runs scored away from Denver is certainly nothing to scoff at. The Gold Glover is a lock to be a first-round draft pick. Even if doesn't replicate his 2016 campaign to a tee, Arenado will be a highly valuable asset in 2017 and for years to come.
Arenado will suit up for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports. The MVP candidate will join a star-studded roster that also features Alex Bregman and Matt Carpenter to man the hot corner for the US. Arenado stuffed the stat sheet last season with 41 home runs, 133 RBI, and 116 runs, and he'll look to build upon that staggering performance once he returns from his bout representing his home country.
Arenado agreed to a two-year, $29.15 million deal with the Rockies on Friday, avoiding arbitration, FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman reports. He will receive $11.75 million in 2017 and $17.75 million in 2018 and will have one more arbitration-eligible year in 2019 before becoming a free agent after the 2019 season. Arenado was never in danger of leaving Colorado, so his long-term fantasy value does not change as a result of this two-year deal. He enters the year as a clear first-round fantasy talent.
Arenado went 2-for-3 with a grand slam, two runs and a walk in the 11-1 victory over the Cardinals on Wednesday. The homer moves him back into first place with 39 bombs in the National League, one ahead of Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant. Arenado also leads the NL with 128 RBI and nobody is even within 20 RBI of him. He is also hitting .294 with 111 runs and two stolen bases.
Arenado went 2-for-4 with a solo home run in Wednesday's win over the Giants. That's now 37 for Arenado, so he's closing right in on last year's total of 42 homers -- and with three-plus weeks to go, he's already sitting on a career-high 102 runs while being just a dozen short of last year's 130 RBI. Indeed, he's been even better in nearly every facet of the game than he was last year; particularly impressively, he's nearly doubled his walk rate while cutting his strikeout rate from last season. It has to be a scary thought for Arenado's NL West opponents that at 25 years old, he may have even better seasons than this ahead of him.
Arenado went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and a run in Monday's 8-1 win over the Dodgers. Arenado was a little late to the party, but drove in DJ LeMahieu in the seventh for Colorado's sixth run of the game and his 112th RBI of the season. Baseball's leading run producer has been on fire with six multi-hit efforts in his last eight games. Things could get even better in his next eight, with all of them coming at the hitter-friendly Coors Field.