Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies Plays in 1000th Game

Nolan Arenado
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - AUGUST 20: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies gets ready to make a play against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 20, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. Arenado was playing in his 1000th MLB game. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Nolan Arenado Plays in 1000th Game

Nolan Arenado, the Colorado Rockies starting third baseman, played his 1,000th game on August 20. He went 1-for-5 with a home run and two RBI in an 8-7 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix. His career has been full of both offensive and defensive highlights and awards. Here are some of the stats that back up why Arenado will be a Hall of Famer when he decides to stop playing professional baseball. Hopefully that won’t be for really long time.

Minor League Career

Nolan Arenado was Drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 2nd round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft. He played high school ball at El Toro High School in California. Although he was a shortstop, scouting reports from all over had Arenado as a catcher, or maybe a third baseman.

He spent only one season in each of the lower leagues, Rookie, Single-A, High-A, the Arizona Fall League, and finally in Double-A. While gracing the lower leagues with his presence, he tortured pitchers, hitting .300, .308, .298, .388 and .285 respectively. He averaged a .940 fielding percentage with progressively higher percentages each year. In 2013, Arenado skipped Triple-A and went straight to “The Show”.

Standard Batting
Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards
2009 18 COL-min Rk 54 225 203 28 61 15 0 2 22 5 2 16 18 .300 .351 .404 .755 82 6 2 0 4 0 CAS · PION
2010 19 COL-min A 92 400 373 45 115 41 1 12 65 1 3 19 52 .308 .338 .520 .858 194 8 1 0 7 0 AVL · SALL
2011 20 COL-min A+ 134 583 517 82 154 32 3 20 122 2 1 47 53 .298 .349 .487 .836 252 21 1 4 14 3 MOD · CALL
2012 21 COL-min AA 134 573 516 55 147 36 1 12 56 0 2 39 58 .285 .337 .428 .766 221 18 7 1 10 5 TUL · TL
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/21/2019.

Nolan Arenado the Fielder

Nolan Arenado made his MLB debut on April 28, 2013. He has not looked back since. Arenado played 130 games that year and won his first of six straight Gold Glove Awards. He also won the Platinum Glove Award, given to the best of the Gold Glove Award winners for that year, in 2017 and again in 2018. His average fielding percentage is .971. He usually only commits 13 errors in 438 chances per season. That means he “fails to convert an out on a play that an average fielder should have made” every 34 times a ball is hit in his direction.

What it doesn’t tell you is all the plays he does make. All the times that the announcers exclaim, “That’s just Nolan being Nolan!” Arenado has an average defensive Wins Above Replacement (dWAR) of 8.37 per year. By the way, dWar is not really “above replacement” like WAR, but more like “above average”. His total WAR is 36.4, ranking 35th overall at third base, but there is a second calculation in this statistic — batting.

Nolan Arenado the Hitter

When most people think about Nolan Arenado, they think glove first, but he is just as good with the bat in his hands. Arenado, or “Nado”, is a perennial Silver Slugger to go along with his Gold Gloves. He has won the last four Silver Slugger Awards at third base. His career on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) is .890 and he is 5th all-time among third baseman in slugging. Arenado led the National League in homers and RBI in both 2015 and 2016, he led the league in doubles (43) in 2017 and homers (38) in 2018. Last year, he hit for the cycle on Father’s Day; he completed the cycle with a walk-off homer against Mark Melancon. Arenado has been very clutch this year as well, hitting several big homers in important situations.

Case for Greatness

The Major League Baseball Hall of Fame is the hardest Hall to get into. Players have to be the best for a significant amount of time in order to be considered for enshrinement. With only seven years in the league, Nolan Arenado has a long way to go to get to Cooperstown, but has definitely laid the groundwork for a very solid case early. If he continues at the current pace and plays out his current 8-year $260 million contract, Arenado will finish sixth all-time in total WAR for a third baseman. That would put him right between Hall of Famers Chipper Jones and Ron Santo. Colorado Rockies fans and all baseball fans are hoping for at least another 1,000 games, and hopefully more, from Nolan Arenado.

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