With the blockbuster extensions offered to Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, one could argue that the Colorado Rockies have become the New York Yankees of the West, grossly exceeding the expenditures of all other NL West teams this off-season.
There is no arguing the fact that the Rockies are packed with talent and are poised to challenge the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants. As is always the case with the Rockies, questions surround the depth of the team’s pitching staff, including whether or not Ubaldo Jimenez can be a true ace for a whole season.
Another question that must be asked is how well will Carlos Gonzalez respond now that he has received his coveted long term deal. Will he continue to play with the fire that allowed him to emerge as the top fantasy outfielder for 2011, or will he become content and lazy like the Albert Belles and Adrian Beltres of year’s past?
Who to Target
The Rockies are the only team to have two players ranked in the top ten overall in our 2011 rankings. Carlos Gonzalez burst onto the scene in 2010 after spending time in Arizona and Oakland, coming to the team as part of the Matt Holliday trade two years ago.
Cargo is an extremely valuable player because he is a rare combination of speed and power, while contributing a high average along with the ability to drive in 100 runs. Although he has only had one good year in the majors, we believe he will be a star for years to come.
Troy Tulowitzki is the other top pick on the club, as the second ranked short stop in fantasy baseball. Tulo is ranked fourth overall on our top 200 list because he is both a power and average threat in one of the shallowest positions in the game. If he can put together an injury free season in 2011, we would not be surprised to see him ranked as the top overall player at the end of the year.
The third player that should be drafted in the first few rounds of all fantasy drafts is Ubaldo Jimenez, the Rockies’ top pitcher who emerged as a CY Young candidate in 2010. Although Jimenez faded in the second half of the season last year, he has the skill set to become one of the top pitchers in the National League. He should be viewed as a solid #1 pitcher in all formats.
Dexter Fowler will likely bat leadoff for the club this season, giving the third year player an excellent opportunity to score close to 100 runs while stealing 30 bases. To accomplish these stats, Fowler will need to improve on his plate discipline and increase his batting average closer to .280.
Fowler was drafted out of high school in the 14th round of the 2004 amateur draft, forgoing offers from both Harvard and Georgia to play college baseball. After a few seasons in the minor leagues, Fowler was brought up to the majors on September 2, 2008.
He showed some flashes of brilliance with the Rockies, but his plate discipline and mental lapses forced the club to send him back to the minors. Now that he is older and hopefully more mature, look for Fowler to have a career year in 2011.
This article was originally published on www.kramericasports.com. The home of free fantasy baseball news, rankings and advice.