Tapia was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday, Jenny Cavnar of AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain reports.
He went just 4-for-18 (.222) with one home run and zero steals in 14 games with the big club. Considering the Rockies weren't finding at-bats for him, it certainly made sense to send him back to Triple-A. Tapia has a lot of potential as a borderline five-category fantasy option, but has not yet been given a fair shake with the big club. He has a .308/.353/.527 slash line with 10 home runs and 18 steals in 340 plate appearances at Triple-A.
Tapia's first home run of the season proved to be the decisive hit of the night, as it vaulted the Rockies to an 11-8 lead in the seventh inning. Though he's slashed .283/.326/.410 across 228 career plate appearances in the majors, Tapia seems unlikely to pick up consistent at-bats any time soon due to the crowding in the Colorado outfield. Since being promoted from Triple-A Albuquerque on June 30, Tapia has started in just two of the Rockies' 15 games.
Tapia was promoted to the major leagues Saturday.
Tapia has yet to appear in the big leagues this season. In 92 major-league games over the past two seasons, the young outfielder has hit a mediocre .283/.322/.394. He's hitting .308/.353/.527 in 74 games for Triple-A Albuquerque this year. Jon Gray was optioned in a surprising corresponding move.
Tapia will be optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque, Nick Groke of The Denver Post reports.
Tapia was considered likely to open on the big-league roster and potentially even win a starting outfield role at the beginning of this spring, but his chances decreased after the team brought back Carlos Gonzalez. Tapia was left to battle for a bench role with infielder Ryan McMahon. McMahon won that battle after hitting .328/.375/.537 this spring, compared to Tapia's .242/.284/.355 line. Tapia will return to Albuquerque with little to prove, as he hit .369/.397/.529 in 58 games there last season. When he eventually returns to the big leagues, he's a good bet to produce a strong (Coors-inflated) batting average with a handful of steals, though his value will ultimately depend on his playing time.
Tapia's chances of breaking camp with the major-league club decreased following the signing of Carlos Gonzalez, Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports.
Tapia was initially in the conversation for a starting outfield role, but with a veteran run producer now in camp to combine with Charlie Blackmon, Ian Desmond and Gerardo Parra, the outfield may be too crowded for Tapia. The 24-year-old may begin the season at Triple-A Albuquerque in order to get consistent at-bats, but his speed (17-for-21 in stolen base attempts last season) and contact ability (80 percent contact rate this spring) will make him appealing if he's able to carve out consistent at-bats at some point.
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