Monday, January 17, 2022

The Rockies’ Brendan Rodgers Shows He’s Approaching the Starring Role: “We’re Just Getting a Glimpse of What He Could Be”

Brendan Rodgers has carried loads of great expectations since the Rockies made him the third overall pick in the 2015 draft.

But what was once a burden has now become a challenge, and Rodgers is wrapping his arms around it.

“It was quite tough mentally and physically,” said the 25-year-old second baseman. “I’ve faced a lot of things early in my career, but I know how hard I’ve worked. Baseball is my life and I’m going to do anything to get on the field to prove that I I am who I am.”

Rodgers, along with catcher Elias Diaz, has been one of the Rockies’ breakout players this season. He entered the weekend leading the team with a .284 average, and his .805 ops was second only to CJ Cron’s .905. Rodgers, who didn’t hit his first big-league homer until June 5, now has 15 with 18 doubles and two triples.

During a recent 7-2 road trip to the Rockies, Rodgers hit .343 (12-for-35), with three home runs. And while his teammates have struggled to hit the road throughout the season, Rodgers has actually been more productive off Coors Field. He hit .282 with .864 Ops, and mashed 12 of his 15 homers.

“He’s just taking off,” said pitcher Kyle Freeland. “He’s got it all, and I think he’s really starting to feel it now.”

Rodgers’ next challenge could be much bigger. That is, filling a huge hole at shortstop with the possible departure of two-time All-Star Trevor Story, who will become a free agent at the end of the season and possibly sign with another team.

Unless the Rockies acquire Shortstop to replace the story during the off-season — which is a possibility — the job could belong to Rodgers in 2022. And make no mistake, Rodgers, who grew up playing less, wants a job.

“If Trevor is gone, I will certainly work in the off-season to be ready to play shortstop,” Rodgers said. “That’s always been my position. I definitely feel like I can take it to the next level and be an elite, everyday shortstop. I just want to get the chance.”

The story has been influenced by Rodgers’ development this season.

“We’re just getting a glimpse of what that might be,” Kahani said. “In a season, he can be an all-star-type player. I am aware of that. He’s just showing up. “

Still, Rodgers needs to answer some questions about his game as an infielder. A scout for the National League West team likes what he sees from Rodgers at the plate, but believes the field needs improvement.

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