The Colorado Rockies are in for a season that is more about learning than winning but that doesn’t mean we can’t still guess wildly at the results and then look back at the end of the year and see how wrong we all are!

That’s right, it’s prediction season. So here we go. Everything that will almost certainly not happen now that I’ve written and published it.

Defender of the Year: Ryan McMahon

The club and the player are still looking for a way to unlock the potential in his bat, but McMahon has already proven himself to be an elite MLB defender. He has been nominated for the Gold Glove already but stuck behind arguably the greatest to ever do it, some guy named Nolan Arenado.

With the move over to second base after the Brendan Rodgers injury though, this could be the year McMahon finally takes home the hardware. Expect him to put up big DRS numbers and wow us with plenty of flashy plays up the middle. Not only should he be the Rockies best defender this season but if/when he excels at second, national conversations will arise about him being one of the best and most versatile defenders in the game.

Rookie of the Year: Ezequiel Tovar

Here we have another player who might legitimately compete for an end-of-the-season shiny trophy. It’s a longer shot for Tovar who will have plenty of anti-Coors Field bias working against him not to mention the actual challenges that come with learning the MLB game while dealing with those environmental extremes.But he has all the tools to make it happen and has been ranked as the Rox top prospect for a reason. He has a chance to be a plus player on defense, on the bases, and at the plate despite still being one of the youngest guys in the league. 

Reliever of the Year: Justin Lawrence

It will be difficult to top what closer Daniel Bard did a year ago, being one of the three best relievers in all of baseball. Bard himself will have a hard time repeating and while I still expect him to be steady, there is real breakout potential for Lawrence.

He brings high-end velocity on the fastball and incredible movement on the slider from an odd side angle that hitters have shown makes them pretty uncomfortable. He began to get the walks under control last season and showed up in the WBC (Panama) and Spring Training looking as locked in as any player on the roster, striking out 10 batters in just 6.1 innings.

He may well be the closer of the future and this may well be his first big step toward that goal.

Moment of the Year: Zac Veen

Of course, a baseball season comes with all kinds of surprises. You never know when a guy might throw a no-hitter or hit for the cycle or produce a walk-off win that we never forget. But considering I don’t have a crystal ball for any of that I will predict that the moment the 2023 Rockies season is most remembered for will be the debut of Zac Veen.

No single player, regardless of position, can turn a franchise around all on their own. But Veen is the type of player who can come darn close. He has the chance to be incredibly important both through his on-field production but also symbolically as the face of the new generation that allows a lot of fans to feel good about being fans again.

Pitcher of the Year: German Marquez

Nobody looked more determined or focused in camp than German Marquez who was as good in Spring Training as anyone. 

Marquez has always had the stuff to be considered a dark horse Cy Young candidate in any given year. But coming off the worst season of his career and going into the final year of his guaranteed contract money, the Venezuelan righty has everything to prove and every motivation to prove it.

Watch out.

Position Player of the Year: Kris Bryant

How did the $27 million man become the forgotten man? Well… he didn’t play much last year.

In all of the consternation over the signing of the contract and his injuries and the general state of the team, some folks seem to have forgotten that Bryant is an all-world hitter who, at his best, is as good at the plate as anyone in the game.

He just turned 31 also suddenly has a lot to prove despite being a perennial All-Star and former MVP, and should (health permitting) be able to apply his craft at a place incredibly well suited to it.

Unless you are a doctor, or play one on TV, you can’t speak to the biggest issue that he has. Because as a ballplayer, Bryant is about to remind the world just who he is.

Final Record: 72-90

They won’t be very good. But they could be pretty fun. Let’s play ball.