2011 Colorado Rockies: Projecting Their Everyday Starting Lineup

Richard ElkindContributor IFebruary 2, 2011

2011 Colorado Rockies: Projecting Their Everyday Starting Lineup

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The Colorado Rockies have had a very productive offseason.  While most of the focus has rightly been on the retention of players like Tulowitzki, Gonzalez, and De La Rosa, the Rockies also brought in players like Ty Wigginton, Jose Lopez and Matt Lindstrom. 

    The Rockies will be a dark horse to not only win the West, but also the World Series in 2011.

    The question is, what will their everyday lineup look like?

CF Dexter Fowler

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    Fowler had an incredibly disappointing start to last season, but came on strong at the end.  The Rockies love his speed and defense, and if he can improve his OBP, Fowler has all the makings of a great leadoff hitter. 

    Some Rockies fans want to see Young here, but with the addition of Lopez and Herrera's emergence last year, EY will probably not be an everyday player.

1B Todd Helton

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    He's still one of the best defensive first basemen in the league, and despite a very disappointing 2010, Helton still posted a .361 OBP. 

    Batting first or second in this lineup means that getting on base is the most important priority, as the third and cleanup hitters will drive you in.  Helton looks to rebound this year and he may very well surprise people.

LF Carlos Gonzalez

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    He should enjoy this spot in the lineup for years and years to come.

SS Troy Tulowitzki

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    Is he the best shortstop in baseball? 

    One of baseball's premier players, like Gonzalez, will anchor this lineup for years to come. 

    Great job front office.

RF Seth Smith

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    A make or break year for Seth Smith.  He should be given the role as an everyday player and has shown flashes of brilliance at the plate. 

    If he can take a step forward this year, he makes the middle of the lineup extremely dangerous.

3B Ian Stewart

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    Like Seth Smith, this is the year Ian Stewart has to become the player he has been projected to be. 

    For years he has tantalized the Rockies with his potential, but the third basemen must take a step forward this year. 

    Third base is firmly his spot to lose.

2B Jose Lopez

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    An offseason acquisition, Lopez is the pick to win the starting second base job. 

    Herrera and Young will fight for the spot and the Rockies could still try to trade for a player like Michael Young, but before last season's debacle in Seattle, Lopez had a .272 batting average with 25 home runs and 96 RBI. 

    That's the production the Rockies hope to see, and in Coors Field, Lopez could surprise a lot of people.

C Chris Iannetta

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    After letting Olivo go, Iannetta is firmly the catcher in the Rockies. 

    After starting last year as the starting catcher, Iannetta imploded, but a year older and more experienced, Iannetta is a prime candidate for a break-out year.

    With no real threat to challenge his spot, the Rockies certainly think he's ready to take the big step forward.