“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).

  1. Harley Earl says:
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    Grey,

    Great stuff on Hilliard. Finally a “prospect” that is actually on my roster!

    I really like what Hilliard flashed in his first 77 at-bats. Makes me feel like I might have fallen into something pretty good with him, especially with the Coors effect. Remember he hit a HR in his debut, and that dumb bastard Bud Black sat him the next night? I’m like WTF??? How do the Rockies consistently do shit like that? It’s mind-boggling.

    And that’s what brings me to your concerns. Yeah, I’m worried. I’m afraid Hiliard may have to fight for 250 at-bats. I’m afraid he’s going to follow the Tapia plan, which saw Tapia play in 70 games and get 160 at-bats in his second season. Please, Bud, please spare me!!!

    One thing I think you might be off on is the comment on Nolan Arrenado. The Rockies promoted Arenado in 2013 and played him right away, yes. However, Trevor Story was promoted in 2016 and he played every day and has been a starter ever since. Story is the last guy the Rockies let run with a job. Only reason I know is because I have him on every team I own lol

    Good work! I’m guessing you won’t be writing anything on Brent Honeywell? I’m stuck with the guy until he blows out his arm this year. Then I’m done.

    • Matty says:
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      Agreed on Story.
      Extra context- this was when they had Jose Reyes and he got suspended.
      It seems like the only way the Rox won’t manipulate service time is if the veteran who no one wants to see play is suspended.
      Is Bud Black a secret agent for the owners whose assignment is to keep Rockies prospects cheap far into the future?
      Will Hilliard remain arbitration eligible and under Colorado control until he’s Pujols circa 2019?
      Will Manfred take a moment away from injecting baseballs to suspend Ian Desmond and Daniel Murphy so that we can feast on Rockies rookies this year (and for labor peace)?

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Haha, hopefully!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Hopefully on taking time from injecting baseballs, that is

          • Donkey Teeth

            Donkey Teeth says:
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            I want more injections

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks! Yeah, true on Story — that makes it a, uh, true Story….

      Hmm, I have to look at Honeywell, but I’m prolly not writing anything on him, bc I wrote something last year and he didn’t even pitch so how different is it?

      • Harley Earl says:
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        No difference at all. He’s nearing the end of days with my team. Hey, do you like Brujan for 2020 or is he more of a 2021 guy? Seems like he’s still kinda far away.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          2021

      • Hernan says:
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        Yikes Honeywell Jr( they added that to his name, trying to throw dynasty owners off), hard to expect anything from a guy that hasn’t thrown a competitive inning the last 2 seasons.., my favorite 2020 sleeper post is gonna be one Josh Rojas, if Hilliard ‘s minor league numbers make the elastic on your panties snap, imagine the ones Rojas put up…., yikes, plus dbacks are cashing on other teams excess/rejected players

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, I think I’ve already written it, tbh… Bring me all your Rojases (Roji?)

  2. Hernan says:
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    a los rockies le gustan las viejas…., probably kicking the tires on Alex Gordon, Kole Calhoun and Waldo Geraldo parra, among others, as we speak, licking their chops on possible non-tenders…., I nominate The Itch as next Rockies GM…., Itch, Itch, Itch, La Piqhina!!!!!

    • Hernan says:
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      Who needs Tom Murphy when Ianneta is available?????, such a waste of thin air…

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Tom Murphy, Tapia, Hilliard, Rodgers — and that’s just the last year — yet the Rockies have no problem throwing their young pitchers to the wolves of Coors

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Will reach out to The Itch to see if he’s interested in the job, but then I have to replace him for here and that’s a pain

  3. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    Rockies becoming Mets 2, just another mismanaged team..

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      At least Mets play their rookies

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        True

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Mets just can’t figure out how to manage one of the world’s best pitching staffs

      • Malicious Phenoms says:
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        The amazing (LOL) Mets, just in a bad way these days.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha, yup

  4. Donkey Teeth

    Donkey Teeth says:
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    Would you rather have Hilliard or Hillary?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Well, Hilliard went to Wisconsin

      • Donkey Teeth

        Donkey Teeth says:
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        Haha

  5. Dave D says:
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    2020 NFBC DC’s just went live. Go get ‘er!!!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha, nice! I’m gonna talk to Greg of NFBC on Thursday (tomorrow, wow, that was fast), and see if we can set up a draft or two

      • Dave D says:
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        Sounds good. I’m in no rush but can probably feel ready by the time it all gets set up. I’m enjoying my return to hockey this year so I’m a little less chomping at the bit than last year. Its hard to fill the baseball void in the offseason if you have no other fantasy sports.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I enjoy the welcome respite, but can understand the alternative

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