Saunders: Bold predictions on Rockies’ record, Trevor Story’s future, Nolan Arenado’s season with Cardinals

The Rockies will hold their first full-squad workout of spring training Tuesday. Given that, now is the perfect time for my way too early 2021 predictions:

* Shortstop Trevor Story will win his first Glove Glove.

* He won’t win it wearing a Rockies uniform because he’ll be traded at the July 31 deadline, if not before.

* Nolan Arenado will win his ninth consecutive Gold Glove, but this time he’ll do it wearing Cardinals red.

* When Arenado returns for a series at Coors Field on July 1-4, 62% of the fans will wear red. Or thereabouts.

* Arenado will receive a standing ovation and it will move him more than he expects it to.

* Arenado will hit .293, smack 32 home runs and drive in 108 runs. Not to be specific or anything.

* Arenado’s Cardinals will qualify for the playoffs but make an early exit.

* Garrett Hampson will win the starting job in center field for the Rockies and become a fan favorite. My crystal ball sees a .282 average, 12 homers, 26 stolen bases, timely bunts and several great catches. Not to get specific or anything.

* The Padres will dethrone the Dodgers in the National League West. And not just because Alanna Rizzo no longer does TV for the Dodgers.

* Fernando Tatis Jr., the Padres’ $340 million man, will have a little bit to do with it.

* Take note disgruntled Rockies fans, the Padres and Dodgers will be two of baseball’s most exciting teams. Might be worth a trip to Coors Field to watch them?

* Dick Monfort won’t sell the Rockies.

* Monfort won’t fire general manager Jeff Bridich. At least not during the season.

* Not to get specific or anything, but 73% of the fans who are planning to boycott the Rockies this season will end up going to a game at Coors Field once it’s opened to fans.

* I’ll get several nasty emails about the above prediction.

* If my memory serves me, I correctly predicted a Dodgers-Rays World Series last year, and picked the Dodgers to win it all. So trust me when I say that the Padres will beat the Yankees in the 2021 World Series.

* The Nationals’ Juan Soto will be the NL MVP.

* Mike Trout will win another AL MVP and his Angels will actually make the playoffs.

*  The Rockies’ leader in pitching victories will be Antonio Senzatela with 12. German Marquez will have the lowest ERA among Colorado starters, posting a 3.22 ERA. Not to get specific or anything.

* Right-hander Jon Gray will have a bounceback season but he’ll be traded at the deadline.

* Charlie Blackmon will lead the Rockies with a .318 batting average.

* Blackmon, Story and Marquez will represent the Rockies in the All-Star Game — if Story is still in Colorado.

* The Rockies’ bullpen will be better. After putting up a 6.77 ERA last season, how could it not be?

* That said, I will have to re-write several games in the ninth inning at Coors Field, I’ll get stressed out, and my wife, Nancy, will say to me, “Remind me why you do this for a living?”

* For which I predict I won’t have a worthy comeback.

*  I’ll take at least a half-dozen photos of stunning sunsets at Coors Field this summer.

* The Rockies have never lost 100 games and that won’t happen in 2021.

* They will go 72-90 and finish in fifth place in the NL West, 27 games behind the first-place Padres.

Source: Read Full Article