It hasn't exactly been a stable offseason in Denver. A hurricane of trade rumors, bad vibes, and unwillingness to spend money has left the team in an uncertain state. Meanwhile, they've sat on the sidelines as their NL West rivals all made significant additions for 2020.
The Rockies still have one of the best infields in baseball, though, thanks to shortstop Trevor Story and third baseman Nolan Arenado, who both project to be top-12 picks in most fantasy baseball drafts. Playing in hitter-friendly Coors Field, both players are liable to be studs in 2020, but which one has the better outlook?
Nolan Arenado Fantasy Outlook
Arenado has been one of the most consistent players in baseball. He has a .295/.351/.546 slash for his entire career, and he once again impressed with a .315/.379/.583 line in 2019. He also has not had an IL stint in any of the last five seasons. For fantasy owners, there's not much more you could want — he's a classic first round counting stats accumulator.
However, though Arenado is a really good hitter, playing in Coors Field elevates his fantasy value. With Coors Field, Arenado can hit those 40-homer, 100+ RBI numbers that make him such a bankable fantasy star. Last season was as telling as ever: he had a 1.057 OPS at home and an .866 OPS on the road.
At this point, Arenado is still on the team, but that status is in doubt. The Rockies started to shop Arenado and his $255 million contract during the offseason. Amidst the rumors, Arenado had an ugly confrontation with the team's owner and went to the press saying he felt "disrespected" by the team's management. The odds he stays the whole season in Colorado seem unlikely, though there is no sign a deal is close to getting done.
Trevor Story Fantasy Outlook
Since Trevor Story broke out in 2016, he has silenced all doubters. After a bad 2017, many wondered whether he'd be a flash in the pan, but he has put together two huge years for the Rockies, hitting 72 homers and driving in 193 runs over that time. He's also become a significant stolen base threat, swiping 23 last season and 27 in 2018.
Story is not quite as good as Arenado by OPS or homer totals, but he's still comfortably one of the best fantasy options around. His ability to steal bases, hit for average, and contribute in homers makes him a top-ten pick. He also signed a two-year deal that buys out his arbitration years, which means he will be in Colorado for the foreseeable future. That's important as Story has an even more dramatic home/road split than Arenado (1.064 OPS at home, .767 on the road in 2019).
Arenado has a much longer history of success than Story and has proven to be the better raw hitter. His uncertain future in Colorado is worrying, but he should still be quite solid in another ballpark. Although Story has a compelling case to be drafted higher thanks to his speed, Arenado's reliability puts him just ahead.
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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.