Colorado RockiesManager: Walt Weiss
Stadium: Coors Field
2008 Record: 74-88 (3rd in NL West)
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-- Tim Kurkjian
HITTER TO WATCH:
Dexter Fowler wasn't supposed to make the Opening Day roster, but he played so well this spring that he forced the team's hand. He's a plus defender in center with power and speed and could be a dark-horse Rookie of the Year candidate.
PITCHER TO WATCH:
Franklin Morales is just over the rookie innings limit, but he's the closest thing to a prospect on Colorado's staff. He was a power left-hander with a chance for three above-average pitches, but his velocity and command went south in 2008.
-- Keith Law, Scouts Inc.
Will Troy Tulowitzki shake off a poor sophomore season and become the National League's best shortstop in 2009? With a full season as a starter, will Chris Iannetta have the best season among NL catchers? And does Todd Helton still merit a place among the top NL first basemen? Register your vote.
Ubaldo Jimenez quietly posted an ERA under 4.00 last year, and with even some marginal gains in control, he can take another step forward. His stuff is filthy, and he's starting to figure out that less is more when it comes to his fastball. Consistency can be taught; talent can't.
Carlos Gonzalez, a much-hyped prospect, is now with his third big league organization but hasn't shown much of a clue how to handle big league pitching yet. Playing time is going to be tough to come by for this presumed sleeper.
-- Jason Grey
Troy Tulowitzki had a rough 2008 season. First, he was sidelined for weeks with a torn left quadriceps (not his fault). Shortly after his return from that injury, a laceration requiring 16 stitches to his right (throwing) hand kept him out for two additional weeks (his fault -- he slammed his bat, and it broke and bit him back). After an offseason to heal his leg fully and to settle down his frustration with last year's numbers, Tulowitzki should be in good shape for a strong 2009 season.
-- Stephania Bell
PRESEASON POWER RANKINGS