Friday, March 27, 2009

Rockies Fowler Looks To Make Opening Day Roster

At the beginning of the spring it seemed a given that the top outfield prospect for the Rockies, Dexter Fowler would start the year at Triple-A Colorado Springs. After all, he was called straight to the big leagues after tearing the cover off of the ball in Double-A Tulsa.
Fowler began the spring making it seem like he was still searching for the Major League swing. He struck out in 10 of his first 20 at-bats.
Since then, however, Fowler has found his way. His spring average now stands at a stellar .302, and he is showing how good he can be defensively. The Denver Post wrote an article comparing him with Willie Mays, which, at this point in his career, seems to be a major reach. Any time a prospect is 23 years old and has that comparison it means there are good things to come.
Fowler making the team would be an interesting dynamic. Both he and would-be starting center fielder Ryan Spilborghs have had incredible spring trainings.
There is no way that the Rockies would want Fowler on the team if he is simply going to play every fifth or sixth day. They want him to continue his progress and get everyday at-bats. That means that if he were to make the team, the Rockies see him as an every day type of player.
This is where it gets interesting. If Fowler starts in center field, that slides Spilborghs over to left field and possibly right field if the team is facing a lefty.
It would then push Seth Smith to the bench, and potentially put Ian Stewart one more rung down on the depth chart. This may be the very reason that Clint Hurdle has been trying to get Stewart some work at second base.
It should be interesting to see what the Rockies decide to do with Fowler, but he is most definitely opening many eyes in the organization as to how good he really could be. Stay tuned.

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