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Nolan Arenado impressing in Rockies camp

Mar 16, 2013, 6:45 PM EDT

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Chris Nelson was thought by many to be a lock to open the 2013 season as the everyday third baseman, but a strong spring by 21-year-old prospect Nolan Arenado has put some pressure on the incumbent. Arenado is hitting .308 with four home runs in 26 at-bats in the Cactus League while Nelson has started off slowly with a .192 average and no home runs.

MLB.com’s Thomas Harding cautions that Arenado is still not guaranteed anything if he keeps it up over the final two weeks:

Even if he deserves to make it, the Rockies will have to decide whether to put Arenado in the Majors in the beginning, or delay the callup to avoid starting his clock toward arbitration and free agency. With so much out of his control, Arenado’s maturity is already being tested while he tries to impress manager Walt Weiss and the big league coaches and club officials.

Arenado, rated the #52 overall prospect by Baseball America, got his first taste of Double-A last year with Tulsa, hitting .285 with 12 home runs.

  1. jlovenotjlo - Mar 16, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    Wouldn’t it be a no-brainer to not call him up?

    Sacrifice an extra season or two in the future with this guy, who is “crushing” meaningless Spring Training pitching in a very limited number of at-bats? Throw in that the Rockies will not compete in the NL West this season and the fact that this possibility is even being discussed is completely beyond me. Other than an unlikely late-season run at the playoffs, I do not see a justifiable scenario to call Arenado up.

  2. dawgpoundmember - Mar 17, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    throw in a one year contract with a high school manager; while the guy is batting :308? in SPRING TRAINING, AAA

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