Nolan Arenado talks expectations, putting in the work to stay on top

In the past few seasons, Nolan Arenado has emerged as one of, if not the best third baseman in baseball. Some of it is natural talent, but a lot of it likely has to do with the tireless work he puts into honing his craft. Even during Spring Training, he is consistently one of the first people to arrive at the ballpark.

“For the most part, I wake up around 6:15, try to get here by 6:45, go eat, then get in the cage 7:10-7:15,” Arenado told Les Shapiro of Afternoon Drive on Mile High Sports Radio. “I love coming to the ballpark, that has never changed. If anything, I love coming to the ballpark more now that I’m getting older. I think when you’re young you kind of, not take it for granted, but you don’t realize what you have. I think I realize what I have here, and how fortunate I am.”

Now 25, Arenado has led the National League in RBIs in each the last two seasons, also grabbing a share of the NL lead in home runs. Still, many feel that he doesn’t get the respect he deserves nationally. Arenado doesn’t dispute that fact, but it doesn’t really bother him either.

“I think, when you play for Colorado, there’s an asterisk next to your name always,” he said. “I think that goes for me, I think that goes for Todd Helton, Larry Walker, Tulo. I think that goes for everyone that’s played here. That’s just the way it is.

“I don’t really care. Honestly, I don’t care what people say. I don’t care what people do, or whatever. I just care about what I need to get done, and what I need to do to help this team win.”

After four straight Gold Gloves and two straight Silver Sluggers, Arenado has no intention of letting his foot off of the gas. He plans to continue to put in the work, looking to build off the success he has already experienced.

“I don’t want to let up. This game is hard, and this game will humble you quick,” he said. “I think the best thing I can do is, I guess, keep my mouth shut in a way, and just go about my business and work hard.

“The last couple of years have been pretty special, but I want to continue to have those special years.”

Arenado thinks 2017 can be special, not just for him, but for the Colorado Rockies as a whole. Though last year was great for the team offensively, he thinks they may have more to offer.

“I thought last year was probably the best lineup we ever had,” he said. “I think this one is going to be just as good, if not better, if we’re all healthy and continue to do what we do.”

Listen to the full interview with Nolan Arenado, including a scouting report on Ian Desmond and his thoughts on talking trash, in the podcast below.

Catch Afternoon Drive with Goodman and Shapiro every weekday from 4p-6p on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 or stream live any time for the best local coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s biggest sports talk lineup.