Year after year, it seems that the Colorado Rockies toy with their fans’ emotions at the start of the season. They start out great, then fade quickly. This year is different.

With nearly one-third of the season in the books, the Rockies lead the entire National League with a 32-18 record, marking their best start in franchise history. And they show no signs of slowing down. To date, they’ve only lost two series out of 15, and are inexplicably playing better on the road than at home.

The Houston Astros, currently 33-16, are the only team in Major League Baseball better than the Rockies.

Former Rockies player and current special assistant to the general manager Vinny Castilla has watched and participated in this team’s growth from the very beginning. He was selected by Rockies in the 1992 expansion draft, spent eight years with the squad during the glory days of the ’90s and later returned to the organization to conclude his career and join the front office.

This team, he believes, is the best Colorado has ever seen. It’s the result of a few things the franchise has never really had in its 25 years of existence.

“We have great talent,” Castilla said. “I’ve never seen these young starters that we have come in in a winning team and perform the way they’ve performed. They’re not afraid to go out there. Our pitching, obviously, is great. We’re playing great on the road, and this team has had a history of struggling on the road.”

While most Rockies teams have enjoyed good defense and a high-octane offense from year to year, Castilla said he believes this is the most well-rounded team in Rockies history.

“It’s different,” he said. “Back then, we didn’t have pitching and in this year’s lineup, we have everything. We have pitching, we have great defense, and we can run. That’s different. We have a great mix right now.

“The young talent has contributed to our success. We have three rookies in the rotation that are doing great in [Kyle] Freeland, [Antonio] Senzatela and [German] Marquez. It’s unbelievable. It’s nice to see that at the major league level, and they’re doing it consistently too.”

This success is coming, of course, as not all of the players are clicking on offense – but that’s to be expected in a game as tumultuous as baseball. Regardless, the Rockies are dominating of all aspects of the competition, from pitching to hitting to defense.

“We’ve been saying this for a long time: If you want to be a good team, it takes more than one or two guys,” right fielder Carlos Gonzalez said. “It takes all the way from the front office to ownership; everybody’s on the same page trying to win championships, and I think that’s where we’re heading.”

The camaraderie on all levels, of course, doesn’t hurt.

“We’re playing good baseball, and everybody’s picking each other up,” Gonzalez said. “Now, I’m helping a little bit offensively and we do the same thing defensively, and that’s what it’s all about. You’ve got to play as a team and do the best you can, whenever they put you in – it’s either running bases or running a ground ball, whatever – it’s just keep pushing for yourself, keep pushing for your teammates, and a lot of good things happen.”

Earlier in the season, Rockies star closer Greg Holland said that part of the reason he chose to sign with the Rockies was because he believed they could win a World Series. If the Rockies keep playing at this high level, that could become a reality this year.

Before making the move to Denver, Holland said he noticed the magic in a few key areas of Colorado’s game.

“I saw a really good defense, a really good lineup and a bullpen I thought would improve with experience – getting Adam [Ottavino], [Mike] Dunn and [Chad] Qualls back healthy, and just a lot of things I thought would help us out,” he said.

Now, things have even taken a turn for the better.

“Our starting pitching’s been pretty darn good,” Holland said. “We got a young starting rotation. They handle themselves well, they’re really mature, they understand that with a lineup like we have, they need to keep up in games. Sometimes you give up two or three runs early, but they’ve done a really good job of limiting damage and keeping us in games, and that’s helped us a lot.”

Before Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich lured him to Denver with $70 million for five years, Ian Desmond, the do-anything All-Star, sparred with the Rockies from time to time. Even then, he saw the magic in their lineup, just waiting to burst out.

“I can only speak from what I’ve seen as an opponent, and what I’ve seen as a teammate this year,” Desmond said. “To me, it seems like this year – and maybe this is just because I’m more entrenched in it – it seems like this is not just an offense, or not just a pitching staff; we’re not just defense. It’s a team, and guys are pulling on the same end of the rope and all have this mission to go out and just make it to the postseason.”

This year, this ultra-talented team is starting to believe they can take it all the way.

“It’s never been done here before, winning a World Series,” Desmond said. “I think everyone can see it, and they see it coming as a little bit more of a reality now. We’re doing things that this organization has never done before. That’s how it starts. It’s all about the team. When the team buys into the team, that’s how winning is made.”