It may be in 2015. That’s the answer to the question, “Will Nolan Arenado break out in 2014 and shoot up the draft boards for next year?” It’s also the answer to the question, “What year is Dr. Dre coming out with a new album?” It could also answer, “When do we get flying cars?!” Last year, Arenado put up the line of 49/10/52/.267/2 in 486 ABs and 133 games. Not amazing…OR WAS IT?! No, Mr. Al Caps, it wasn’t amazing. ARE WE SURE?! Yes. Oh, but he was only 22 years old. Or as they said in Cincinnati in 1825, ‘OH, it’s 22 years old.’ Arenado can do exactly what he did last year for two more years and still have time to fill out and become a top 25 draft pick by the age of 25. Yes, a top 25 draft pick. That’s what he’ll become at some point in his career, barring unforeseen injuries. Shoot, Tulo has foreseen injuries and he’s a top 25 talent. It’s the old adage that I just made up, “Don’t bet against a Rockies hitter. Bet against Padre and Mariner hitters.” So, what can we expect of Nolan Arenado for 2014 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
The analogy isn’t exact due to where I will end up ranking Arenado in the preseason, but he gives me the Au Shizz tingles. We could see a guy go from the end of the draft to a top 50 draft pick the following year. In 2013, he only had a 14% K-rate and a 23.8% line drive rate. For K-rate, that ranked him 37th overall above guys like Miguel Cabrera and Matt Holliday. For his line drive rate, that ranked him 29th overall, right by Jay Bruce, Carlos Beltran and again Miggy. That wasn’t prorating his numbers over a full season. At 22 years old, Arenado had a full season of at-bats. He wouldn’t be a sleeper right now if he just would’ve hit more homers. Guess where he plays his home games? (If you don’t know, I wonder why you’re reading a fantasy baseball blog.) I highly doubt hitting homers will always be a problem for him. When he was 20 years old in the minors, he hit 20 homers. He hit three homers in only 18 games in Triple-A last year before being promoted. Maybe Arenado had heard how long the Rockies usually take to play rookies, so he decided to just make great contact and thank God he wasn’t being prospblocked by any aging hippie. At some point, Arenado will hit 35 homers with a .300+ average and I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened in 2015. Dag Hammarskjold! For 2014, I still see him being well worth a flyer with a chance to reach a top 5-7 ranking for all 3rd basemen. I’ll give him the projections of 74/21/82/.282/3.