ďToolsy.Ē Itís the one description I hear that I happen to share with Rockies outfielder , albeit for very different reasons. The 23 year old switch hitter has made the Opening Day roster for Colorado. Although it is not quite clear on what his role will be for the time being, the Rockies havenít kept him with the team to ride the bench.
Fowler finished spring training hitting .291 after starting with a .190 average through March 13th. While he didnít have a home run, he did have seven doubles, two triples and eight stolen bases while improving in all categories throughout the camp.
While he projects for power someday donít expect too much for 2009. What you can expect this year is a decent average (he is a career .299 hitter in the minors, including .335 in AA in 2008) and OBP and a fair amount of steals. If he hits at the top of the line-up, as manager Clint Hurdle has suggested, then runs could also be plentiful.
The question will be how much playing time Fowler actually receives. He is already an excellent defensive center fielder with fantastic range and the fact that he is a switch hitter also helps for playing time. Right now the only secure spot in the Rockies outfield is Brad Hawpe in right, with Fowler, (who can also play center), , and possibly (who will be a future topic of Almost Ripe) battling for the other two spots.
My guess is that Smith and Stewart are the odd men out when Fowler starts, especially against lefties as Fowler is a natural right handed bat while both Smith and Stewart bat from the left side. Spilborghs has had an excellent spring and could move over to left when Fowler does play.
Dexter Fowler is a nice sleeper for steals and average in 2009 but is best left for NL Only or deep mixed leagues unless you are in a keeper league, in which case he is a must stash due to his 5-tool abilities.