I’m always talking Rockies on Twitter (see my handle above in the byline), and I’ll catch y’all on the flipside! "I have no idea," he says with a bewildered sigh. But once Bud Black moved David Dahl to center field and Raimel began taking over in left, his numbers began to impressively climb. Rockies news and links for Sunday, September 29, 2019. Three years after that first encounter with Tapia, he's no closer to cracking the code. Bring up the swing to Nolan Arenado, and Colorado's franchise player discusses how his own motion was scrutinized, too, and that players like Vladimir Guerrero and Gary Sheffield were blueprints for how unconventional hitters can thrive. Raimel Tapia is on the fast track to earning a starting spot in the Rockies’ 2020 outfield New, 25 comments Rockies news and links for Sunday, September 29, 2019 "They can work on my swing or something else but not with that with two strikes," he says through minor league teammate Carlos Estevez, acting as an interpreter. Like, did he lose a bet? Ryan McMahon will never forget the first time he saw Raimel Tapia hit. Tapia’s situation changed quickly when he was placed in the starting lineup last Saturday at Chicago against the Cubs. They believe that along with his overall athleticism and hand-eye coordination—physical traits that even Tapia's most ardent critics agree are exceptional—that the intangibles will dictate his success or failure, the way they would with any other player. 22, Ashton Goudeau, After pitching exclusively in lopsided contests, we are left to anticipate how the 28-year-old will handle tight situations, Tapia’s pinch-hit slam sets new Rockies mark |, Monday Rockpile: The Rockies’ 2020 season bites the dust, Tuesday Rockpile: A left-handed look at the 2021 Rockies bullpen, The Purple Row staff offers their predictions for the MLB Postseason, Sunday Rockpile: Previewing the Wild Card round. Few legitimate prospects, if any at all, have inspired such rampant distrust of their abilities despite wild success. Don’t worry, I won’t be a stranger. Gonzalez and Desmond, while struggling, remain veteran threats at the plate and in the field. Perhaps his most striking physical feature is his ostrich-like neck. This time, Emma Baccellieri writes a haiku for every team, and the Rockies poem is, well, as to be expected: Ah well, nevertheless. It later led to Fernandez negotiating a contract directly with Alfonso Soriano, a former teammate of Tapia's older brother who serves as Raimel's mentor. "This is not a guy you want to 'cookie cutter' with," Wilson argues. I tell Tapia nothing. Photo by Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports. The two-strike approach is Tapia's brand of guerilla warfare, literally digging in for every extra inch he can take. That is, of course, if Raimel is still wearing purple next season. Thursday Rockpile: Keep Story or Arenado? October 5, 2020 Tapia moved from right field to left Friday for the second of a four-game series against the Giants, making room for Carlos Gonzalez in right and pushing Ian Desmond to first base. By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. What to make of Raimel Tapia and his future with the Rockies | The Athletic ($). October 14, 2020 And he has zero intention of abandoning his two-strike approach. He's willing, and able, to make adjustments: His base, once so wide it engulfed the plate, has drawn noticeably tighter, while the deep crouch is gradually evolving into more of a hunch. While ESPN's Keith Law ranked him inside his top 80 and Baseball Prospectus inside their top 50, Baseball America and MLB.com omitted him from their lists entirely. “It was really exciting. Actually, hate is probably the wrong word. Saunders: Here’s why Rockies fans have envied the Dodgers for years The results weren’t stellar as Tapia posted a .275/.309/.415 batting line (73 wRC+) and -0.9 fWAR across 447 ABs. "This thing is like a gift that God gave me... even if it's ugly.". On the other, he's still a long way from conforming to baseball's established norms. Before this five-game run, Tapia ended just 22.2 percent percent of his plate appearances in hitter’s counts. Certainly more than his last game, a four-run, nine-hit loss to the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Rolando Fernandez, the Rockies' vice president of international scouting and development, compares Tapia's swing to Rod Carew's famously fluid motion. As the 2019 season wraps up today, so will my time as a writer for what I consider to be the very best, fan-oriented Rockies blog there is. Initially, the Rockies slapped a "follow" designation on him instead of signing him outright. “Yeah, why not?” Colorado manager Bud Black said Friday afternoon. Mark Reynolds moved to the bench. He, however, is focused on his rookie rise. “The early at-bats when he first came up, there was some anxiousness,” Black said. Stick with Taps as your starting left-fielder, or get as much value as you can out of him and let the kids play in 2020 with an eye on 2021? On one hand, Tapia has already proven capable of adapting after pitchers tried to exploit his stance—in two strike counts and otherwise. Recovering Ballplayer No. He found one name especially intriguing. Kids that age don't do that.". I’ll be at 20th and Blake myself to send them off and wrap up my Purple Row days in style. Patrick throws Bridich under the bus as far as his accountability and willingness to talk to the media—maybe rightfully so—and brings up nine questions he would ask the Rockies GM once he’s ready to talk to the media. Parra was hitting well before his injury, Reynolds too. And a lot of times, he's going to win.". His season has been a tale of two halves. Back in San Pedro de Macoris, Tapia was as thin as a greyhound, and while his hand-eye coordination immediately stood out to scouts, he was too weak to dependably knock the ball out of the infield. He hasn't batted below .305 since he was 17 years old. Now Tapia’s presence is bringing up the issue again. CLICK HERE TO TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS. According to outfielder Brandon Barnes, much of the clubhouse has learned to stop what they're doing and pay attention when Tapia takes batting practice.

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