Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 12/3/14
Nolan Arenado excelled defensively in his rookie season. The Colorado Rockies third baseman won a Gold Glove, and he had the numbers to back it up. The rifle-armed 22-year-old ranked second at his position in assists, fielding percentage, and Defensive Runs Saved. He ranked third in UZR. At the plate, he wasn’t as good. The right-handed hitter had a .267/.301/.405 slash line, with 10 home runs. Discipline was an issue, as his 4.5 walk rate was one of the worst in the National League. His track record suggests Arenado will always be an aggressive hitter. His minor-league walk rate ranged between 4.8 and 8.1, and his strikeout rate between 8.0 and 13.0. Despite his free-swinging ways, he’s shown plenty of potential on the offensive side of the ball. In four-plus seasons on the farm, he hit .299/.345/.473. Arenado talked about his offensive approach during the 2013 season. —— Arenado on his hitting approach: “I do a lot of preparation. I’m trying to be mentally prepared. I watch film, work on my swing — everything. In the cage, I’m focusing on where I want to be with my hands and my legs. I’m working on things and trying to find what I want. Once I’m in the game, I’m just taking my hacks and letting it go. I’m just focusing on trying to hit the ball hard. “I’m trying to see the ball, no matter where it is in the zone. I’m reacting to wherever it’s at, and trying to make solid contact. If I see it in, I react there. Same if it’s out. I’m reacting to everything. “If you think too much you get in trouble. That said, certain situations call for certain thinking. What do I want to do with this pitch? Do I want to move the runner over? Maybe it‘s simply ‘I need to drive the runner in.’ That stuff comes into play, but I mostly try not to over-think.” On video and preparation: “I’m prepared when I step in there. A pitcher might change his approach, but I know what he throws. I watch video, so I know his pitches and what he likes to throw in certain counts. You can’t just focus on a specific pitch though, because you might not get that pitch. “I like to watch film on myself. I look at how I’m swinging at pitches, what I’m doing wrong — maybe I’m too far out front, or something like that. I focus on my swing, on film, and from there I go off what the pitcher is throwing.” On plate discipline and his walk and strikeout rates: “I have to go with what got me here. That’s a big thing. What I did in Triple-A got me here. There are obviously certain pitchers — these guys are really good — that are going to make you adjust, but I mostly need to stick with what I do. “I think it is [possible to walk more without striking out more]. For me, I don’t know when that would be possible; I just need to really focus on not swinging at bad pitches. Sometimes having low strikeouts is good, but it can also be bad. If I’m swinging at bad pitches and putting them in play for outs… I could definitely be walking a lot more. There have been hitters… Todd Helton has walked more than he’s struck out in his career. It’s tough to do, but I think I can do it.” On having caught in high school: “I was mostly a shortstop. I caught a little bit, but it wasn’t my primary position. Had I really worked at it, I think I could have been a pretty decent catcher. I mostly did it to get my draft status up coming out of high school. But that’s in the past. I’m a third baseman now, and I like third base.”
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Daxter Miles’ Twitter mentions light up after Kentucky blowout

Ortiz: 'Nobody in MLB history' tested for PEDs more than me

Sam Dekker scores career high after Aaron Rodgers' challenge

Brey Day: Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight after a vintage performance

Ronda Rousey on having kids: 'I'm an ovarian goldmine'


Pedro Martinez: Rose should be allowed in Hall of Fame

Pablo Sandoval 'cut things off at the root' with Giants

Scott Boras taking shots at Cubs' history over Kris Bryant

Kingdome debt finally paid off 15 years after demolition

49ers waive Jonathan Martin

Former MLBer Curt Ford assaulted, told to ‘go back to Ferguson’

Five bizarre NFL offseason moves that don't add up

Texas to Rick Barnes: Change your staff or you will be fired

First 'National Fantasy Football Convention' to star Tony Romo

Teams that don't deserve to win Connor McDavid Sweepstakes

How a basketball-themed art exhibit changed perceptions

Bucs admit they’ve been getting calls about Mike Glennon

The last Expo standing

NHL ships nets which have room for cameras inside posts

Toronto Raptors limping into the playoffs

Best picks ever at every spot in first round of NFL Draft

Alonzo Mourning confirms “Who wants to sex Mutombo?”

CC Sabathia attempting to get healthier by getting … fatter?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

The last Expo standing

Five under-the-radar AL MVP candidates

Michigan sent recruit's GF a letter

MLB teams that could disappoint

25 years ago, the best Sweet 16 of all time was pure madness

The 2015 bad quarterback carousel

17 facts to know before the Sweet 16

Agent: Sam was horrible at veteran combine

Keeping judo ‘pure’ in Europe means keeping MMA out

The Sweet 16 should be seen as success

On the Browns, Hard Knocks, questions and narratives

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.