Brendan Rodgers has quietly become Colorado Rockies best player

Aug 25, 2022; New York City, New York, USA; Colorado Rockies second baseman Brendan Rodgers (7) throws to first for an out during the eighth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Leading into the 2022 MLB All-Star Game, the Colorado Rockies truly only had two contenders to make the National League Roster.

There was first baseman C.J. Cron, who ultimately played in the Midsummer Classic, and reliever Daniel Bard who was snubbed despite putting together one of the best relief seasons in all of baseball this year.

It was fair to limit the conversation to that pair of players at the time but as time has gone on and as we dive a bit deeper into the numbers, we find that neither of these guys has been the club’s most productive member.

The honor goes to Brendan Rodgers.

Long hyped for his prodigious skills coming out of High School, oft criticized for his injury history and uneven start to his MLB career, Rodgers appears to have found his stride and it has been something to behold.

On the year, he leads Colorado with a 3.3 WAR according to Baseball Reference. That’s more than a win better than Cron (1.5) and is comfortably ahead of Ryan McMahon at 2.7.

He’s hitting .276/.327/.420 for a league-average 99 OPS+ which seems at best fine until you remember that he spent the first month of the season being one of the worst qualified hitters in baseball. Since then, he is batting at a .301/.347/.459 clip over 104 ball games, hitting all 11 of his home runs and driving in 59 of his 60 RBI of the year during that span.

There have been plenty of fireworks too, with big hits in big moments, including a couple of walk-offs.

An .806 OPS from your second baseman will play nicely but what is especially interesting, and perhaps surprising, is that very suddenly Rodgers is getting a ton of value from his glove.

There are a lot of statistics with a wide range of reliability when it comes to measuring defense, but both the eye test and the numbers suggest that Rodgers has improved by leaps and bounds on that side of the ball this year.

Baseball Reference credits 2.1 of his 3.3 WAR to his defense and Fangraphs, who value defense much less in their calculations, have Rodgers at just 1.5 total on the year but nearly all of it coming from his work with the leather.

He has an incredibly impressive 16 Defensive Runs Saved at second base. For some context, he was seen as a -5 last year so we are looking at a dramatic improvement. He may even end up in some Gold Glove conversations.

Those of you who prefer watching defense to trying to boil it down to a number have been treated to a parade of diving stops, strong throws, and nifty footwork. The web gems are nice, but arguably more important are the more common plays remaining routine rather than turning into an adventure. And he’s been fantastic in that regard as well, cutting down tremendously on errors that were plaguing him and the entire team in the first month.

It is an interesting new twist in this tale that has had more than a few. Smart money is still on the probability that we haven’t seen the best of his bat just yet. That tool clearly has room for growth, especially in the power department, now that he is showing a consistent ability to battle in at-bats and deliver in clutch moments.

Now though, like with his infield teammate Ryan McMahon who had a similar blossoming a year ago, the Rockies know that they have a very solid floor for this young member of the team they hope to make a part of their core for the future.

At 25 years old, Rodgers is still only in his second full season of MLB and playing like someone who belongs and can even excel but is simultaneously showing that, as he begins to enter what should be his prime, the best is yet to come.

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