Corey Dickerson is the odd man out. Much like D’Artagnan was to Athos, Porthos, and Aramis in The Three Musketeers, as it stands now Dickerson is the fourth man in Colorado. While he battles for an outfield position with Brandon Barnes and Charlie Blackmon, whom many consider trade-bait that the Rockies are holding until the deadline before flashing for a deal, the Rockies are searching for an everyday outfielder. With Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer occupying two of three outfield slots in Colorado, a Spring Training battle is heating up for the that third position. With Brandon Barnes, Corey Dickerson, Drew Stubbs, and Charlie Blackmon vying for the final spot, you can bet Weiss’ eyes are fixed on Spring Training performance.
Heading into the season, Drew Stubbs is the heavy favorite to land the starting gig. Standing 6-foot-4 and a long, athletic two bills, Stubbs is a new face to the Coors Field confines courtesy of one of the many offseason moves made by Colorado this year. Seeing as how the Rox traded to get Stubbs, it stands to reason he’ll get the first nod to produce in Colorado.
That means that Barnes, Dickerson, and Blackmon will likely spend some time in Colorado Springs. Blackmon’s been developing there for a few seasons now, and is still considered one of the jewels of the Rockies system. Dickerson lit up Triple-A competition last season. And Brandon Barnes, with only 60 big league games under his belt has come over from Houston. But whose time is coming?
Drew Stubbs is a career .239 hitter and his on-base percentage hovers just over .300. He’ll be expected to produce quickly as pitchers work around the loaded bats of Tulowitzki and Gonzalez. And in a city where offense has never been a problem, Stubbs will learn quickly that his speed and base-stealing abilities will better serve him a role as a late-inning replacement in tight games. His gig will be up for grabs by June.
This will open the door for Corey Dickerson, Brandon Barnes, and Charlie Blackmon. If Stubbs fails, the job will likely fall to Dickerson who quietly hit .371 with an OPS of 1.046 in Colorado Springs last season. Everyone in Denver is sold on his offensive abilities and would look to add that to one of the most potent offenses in baseball. Despite being a pure hitter, Dickerson spent much of his offseason working on his defensive abilities. Work that will put him in the Rockies outfield as an everyday starter.
Dickerson’s ability to leg-out extra-base hits and flat out hit will keep in the Rockies lineup for the remainder of the season. He’ll quickly make Denver forget about Dexter Fowler. So what does that mean for Charlie Blackmon? He’ll be on the roster throughout the season, but when the Rockies steal that wildcard spot in this season’s playoffs, he’ll be left at home watching. Watching Corey Dickerson come into his own as the spark that gets the Rockies offense going.