Sunday, August 19, 2012

Jordan Pacheco continues to defy the odds, proves he's an everyday player

Jordan Pacheco has proven he should play everyday.
The Colorado Rockies have known who their third baseman of the future is since the MVP award for the Arizona Fall League was handed to Nolan Arenado last fall. The talk won't quiet down about when it will be the right time to get him to the big leagues.

However, that call to the bigs has been delayed. The delay is courtesy of often-forgotten third baseman Jordan Pacheco.

The New Mexico native was supposed to be a stop-gap. He was drafted as a second baseman, moved to catcher, then moved to third base after finally getting comfortable behind the plate. He was supposed to be a utility infielder, a guy who could come in and play first or third base, or even catch if need be.

That was the plan for the Rockies. Pacheco has shown that the Rockies plan for him didn't line up with his plan for himself.

Early in the season Pacheco showed the ugly signs of never playing the hot corner. He looked like an absolute liability. He left fans hoping that Arenado's stint in Double-A Tulsa would be a short one, making his big league debut some time in June.

As the season has gone forward, Pacheco has done nothing but get better defensively, and more importantly, he has done nothing but hit.

On Sunday, the stop-gap rookie improved his batting average to .312 with a three-hit performance. He is leading all rookies in batting average in 2012.

In a season full of disappointments, the bright spots have come from the younger players. Pacheco is at the top of that list. He is the latest example of a guy who no one thought would be good enough to be more than a utility type of player, but is showing that he belongs in the big leagues, and that he belongs in the every day lineup.

His home run on Sunday, a 2-run shot that gave the Rockies the lead, and was good enough to give them the victory, was just his second of the season. If there is a complaint about Pacheco's game, it is that he doesn't hit for enough power to play third base. Traditionally, corner defensive positions supply the bulk of a team's power.

The fact that Pacheco is more of a doubles hitter and not a home run hitter should be thrown out the window when considering his role moving forward. The fact is, a team shouldn't care where the power is coming from on the defensive side of the field as long as it is getting supplied.

When healthy, Troy Tulowitzki can be penciled in for 25 home runs before the season even begins. Essentially, he is a shortstop who is providing third base type power numbers. So if the shortstop provides third base power numbers, shouldn't it be acceptable for the third baseman to provide shortstop power numbers?

Of course, every team would love to have both. Every team would love the opportunity to couple a hitter with big-time pop at third base when they have a hitter like Tulowitzki at shortstop. However, the reality is, most teams would also love to have a third baseman who isn't intimidated by even the best pitchers, and in his rookie year shows the ability to hit well above .300.

The reality is, everyone still thinks that Pacheco is simply a place holder for Arenado. The reality should be the opposite. Pacheco has shown that he can play the position and hit for high average. Maybe it is time to start considering Arenado for a position switch of his own. Maybe Arenado would make a good first baseman and be able to replace the aging Todd Helton.

Whatever the circumstances, whether Arenado comes up and proves he belongs at third base shouldn't change the fact that Pacheco has shown the he can play, and that he can hit extremely well. He needs to have a position found for him, because his bat could be a very important part of the Rockies lineup moving forward.

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  1. i completely and totally agree. pacheco third baseman of the rockies future. not quite a vinny castilla in power at the bat or defensively but he'll come close, and that is better than most of the third baseman i've seen since vinny departed. never heard of this kid arenado but okay if all works out how about a starting infield of pacheco, tulo, rutledge, and arenado. helton can still give his final farewell tour at every ballpark.that needs to be done for a show of respect.

  2. Jordan has definitely been a "bright star" in this dim season. Yes, indeed they need to make a good choice and give Pacheco a position!
    I, too like starting infeild line-up mentioned above....

  3. Arenado looks like a bust at the moment, but you never know. No doubt Colvin and Pacheco should both be starters on this team for a long time to come

  4. Pacheco is definitely a every day type of player but knowing the Rockies mgmt history expect him to get traded for nothing in return and we can watch his career blossom with another team. I hope I am wrong...

  5. That thought crossed my mind too... I hope you're wrong too.