“Hey, Bud Black, do you see Sam Hilliard being called up to start the 2020 season?”
“He has to earn it.”
“Right, right, of course. Last year in Triple-A, Sam Hilliard hit 35 homers and stole 22 bags. Some would say that is earning it.”
“That was in an environment that was very conducive to hitters.”
“Um, yeah, well, the thing is, and I hope I’m not being out of line, but the Rockies play in Coors.”
“Right, but the pitchers in Triple-A.”
“Again, who am I to tell you your job, but the Rockies’ team ERA was 5.56.”
“ERA isn’t everything.”
“What measure are we looking at then?”
“The IDK percentage and other such stats.”
“Did you just make an acronym of ‘I Don’t Know?'”
The preceding was a conversation between Bud Black and a reporter. If you can find any reason why the Rockies did not promote a 25-year-old like Sam Hilliard, who hit 35 homers in the minors, during a season when they were essentially out of the race by May, please send it to me, because I couldn’t find a reason anywhere. They didn’t even have a steady center fielder all year. Are we sure Bud Black knows he has a minor league team of players he can call up at any time? I get it, sure, he could’ve played Raimel Tapia to see what he had with him. That’s a great theory! I wish that was what was going on, because Tapia was being randomly platooned too. Did Ian Desmond need to get 443 ABs? An alien who doesn’t know anything about baseball, except what it learned five minutes before being questioned (because, let’s be honest, it needs to know something to answer the question) would tell you, Desmond didn’t need that many at-bats. Here’s a hilarious example of stupidity. Bud Black gave Yonathan Daza more at-bats than Hilliard last year. Daza went 7/0/3/.206/1 in 97 ABs; Hilliard went 13/7/13/.273/2 in 77 ABs. HAHAHAHA–Breathe, Grey, breathe! Why would you not play Hilliard? Seriously, WHY? Caps for emphasis, not because I don’t know my own typing finger’s strength. So, what can we expect from Sam Hilliard in 2020 fantasy baseball?
Can I project Sam Hilliard for 45 homers and 20 steals in 2020 in a full season of at-bats or five homers in twelve at-bats? I don’t know how to project someone who I don’t know if he’ll ever play. As alluded to with Tapia, the Rockies promoted Nolan Arenado early and let him play, and have not done that since. Even Charlie Blackmon was ridiculously kept in the minors until he was way too old (27 years old). Rockies are one of the biggest offenders of manipulating service time. Maybe they figure everyone will hit in Coors, so why bother lose their prospects? I don’t know. It’s crazy-making. Seriously, if you value your sanity, you will never draft a rookie Rockies player. With all that said, Hilliard struckout 29% of the time in Triple-A, and, even with the Coors BABIP bump, he might struggle to hit .230. He does walk a decent amount (Three True Outcome, all the way), prolly looking at a 10% walk rate. He stands 6’5″ (Three True Altuves), and has easy 30-homer power. Could see 40 homers in 550 ABs in 2020. Correction: Can’t see 550 ABs. There’s no way. I’m sorry, I like Hilliard a lot for power, and will prolly draft him in NL-Only leagues on the cheap, but he’ll be on and off waivers in shallower leagues, due to the Rockies and Black messing with his playing time, and, if by some modern miracle like a vaginal birth with no out-of-pocket costs, Hilliard does get 500+ ABs, then he’ll be one of those guys who is drafted after the top 300 and provides huge value. For 2020, I’ll give Sam illiard projections of 34/18/50/.242/6 in 312 ABs (which, honestly, feels optimistic for at-bats).