Dexter Fowler: Why the Center Fielder Should Be NL Rookie of the Month

KyleCorrespondent IMay 1, 2009

PHOENIX - APRIL 08:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Colorado Rockies is congratulated by teammate Troy Tulowitzki #2 after Fowler hit a lead off solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the game at Chase Field on April 8, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

What has been so impressive about Rockies' rookie center fielder Dexter Fowler?

Well, to start off, he played in Beijing for the 2008 Summer Olympics before he ever even set foot on a Major League field.

Fowler, who was drafted in the 14th round of the 2004 Major League Baseball draft, rejected offers to play at the University of Miami to sign straight with the Colorado Rockies' organization. He was selected to play in the All-Star Futures game in Yankee Stadium last year.

So we know this kid is athletic, but what else makes him special?

He's also got the brains. In addition to being offered to play at Miami, Fowler was also offered to play baseball at the University of Harvard.

Yeah, dude's smart.

In the 2008 season for Double-A Tulsa, Fowler was batting .337 with nine dingers, 61 RBI, and 20 stolen bags before he left for Beijing. After winning a bronze medal in the Olympics, he returned to make his Major League debut.  

On September 2, Fowler was called in to pinch-run to make his debut. In the bottom of the 10th inning, Fowler was picked off.

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The next day, Fowler made his first at-bat in his Major League career, and on September 10, Fowler got his first base hit, an infield single off the Nationals' Will Ohman.

Fast forward to this year. With a slender 6'4", 175-pound body, Fowler batted lead-off in the Rockies' home opener against the Phillies. Then, on April 8, he hit his first career home run, helping his team to a 9-2 victory over the Diamondbacks.  

Fowler has two home runs so far this campaign, is batting .290, and has nine stolen bases, the best in the Major Leagues.

What's even more impressive is that he stole five bases in one game, when the Rockies beat the Padres on April 27.  

And the switch-hitting 23-year-old has been on a tear as of late. On April 25, Fowler was batting .244, but now he's 46 points higher and is getting on base 36.6 percent of the time.

The epitome of a lead-off batter, Fowler has exceeded in his role with the Rockies. This young man, who seems to be a likely 30-30 candidate later in his career, is easily the Rockies' best prospect and should be a team leader for years to come.

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