Nolan Arenado Has Long Forgotten About Coors Field
A resounding fact is that batters perform remarkably better when they play at Coors Field due to the high altitude. Lots of star players established their careers there. A commonality, however, is when they leave, their performance drops off — look no further than Troy Tulowitzki and Matt Holliday. This isn’t the case for Nolan Arenado.
One of the league’s premier third basemen, Arenado had years of success as a member of the Colorado Rockies. Between 2015-19, he hit 199 home runs and slashed .300/.362/.575. He led the National League in home runs for three seasons during that stretch, topping out at 42 in 2015.
Looking to bolster their offense, the St. Louis Cardinals traded for Arenado in February of 2021. During his first season with the team, he performed well but there was a clear difference in his numbers compared to his years in Colorado. His slash line dipped to .255/.312/.494.
St. Louis didn’t complain. He was an All-Star that year, and earned his 9th straight Gold Glove, while also hitting 34 homers. It just wasn’t as characteristic of what he was capable of doing offensively. Some people thought it was an effect of the thin air of Coors, allowing the ball to travel further.
Well, in 2022, Arenado has proved us wrong. Offensively, he’s having a season that’s very characteristic of what he was accomplishing in Colorado. As of Sept. 6, Arenado is rocking a great slash of .301/.365/.558 with 28 home runs and a 162 OPS+.
That OPS+ is indeed a career high. He is also second in the NL behind teammate Paul Goldschmidt in OPS with .923. Arenado, in fact, has a higher WAR than Goldschmidt at 7.4 which leads the league.
Could this be Arenado’s first MVP award? He definitely deserves one and is proving people wrong in the process. His defense is always elite, but that adds to his WAR. If you look at just offense, Goldschmidt is having the better season.
Nolan Arenado has settled in at Busch Stadium’s hot corner. A player who went a similar route was Holliday who also went from the Rockies to the Cardinals (with a brief stop in Oakland). His performance dropped but was always solid for St. Louis. Unlike him, Arenado is on another level.
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