Rockies midseason grades, infielders…
Todd Helton (B+) – After having season ending back surgery last season and the offseason to rehab it, Todd has done more than what was expected from a fan’s perspective. The ever patient Helton is second on the team in walks (43), batting (.319), slugging (.517) and RBIs (57). Helton’s healed back has allowed him to play in 81 of the first 88 games.
Clint Barmes (B-) – Struggled early in the season, it didn’t help that Hurdle moved him throughout the lineup numerous times. Now settled in at the 2 spot Barmes’ average has improved, currently .279 and has 10 homeruns so far on the season. Solid defensively at second base despite 7 errors so far. Problem here is too many strikeouts with 67 and not enough walks with only 13. Looking over his shoulder for Eric Young Jr, could send his season downhill.
Troy Tulowitzki (B) – Defensively one of the best in the Majors, certainly the best in the NL West and top 3 in the NL. Tulo struggled early and often at the plate and was made the scapegoat by Hurdle at times whether deserved or not. Tulo’s bat has picked up and he is tied for the team lead in homeruns with Ian Stewart with 16. His heart and hustle are undeniable with 11 stolen bases and 4 triples. Though visibly he’s not the leader he was in 2007, don’t give up on him yet, he’s only going to get better.
Ian Stewart (B-) Despite a .223 batting average Ian Stewart is going to be a star. His bat has plenty of pop as he has 16 homeruns and 44 RBIs at the break and that’s with only 38 starts at third base. When Garrett Atkins continued to slump at the plate, Stewart was able to step in and take over. Stewart will need to cut down on his strikeouts (64) if he wants to see his average go up. Stewart has a .965 fielding percentage with 4 errors and 92 assits so far.
Garrett Atkins (C) Atkins got out of the gate in bad fashion back at the start of the season, eventually being replaced on a more permanent basis at third by the up and coming Ian Stewart. Atkins could’ve moped around the dugout and brought the team down, but to his credit he hasn’t done that. Despite the recent trade rumors Atkins has done the opposite. When called upon in pinch hitting situations as of late Atkins has found his stroke. In his last 4 games his average is .333, 4 hits in 12 at-bats, with a double and 3 RBIs. Atkins current average at the break is .230.
Omar Quintanilla (D) Omar is one of my favorite players on the team and to really no fault of his own I have to give him a grade of a D. Omar has only appeared in 29 games and 31 at-bats, with 6 hits, a double and 16 strikeouts. He’s currently batting .194. Omar needs more playing time, but that looks unlikely as the season progresses forward and if the Rockies remain in contention.
Next up: Outfielders.