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Nolan Arenado

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Nolan James Arenado

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Third baseman Nolan Arenado was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the second round of the 2009 amateur draft and was signed by scout Jon Lukens. He made his pro debut that summer with the Casper Ghosts, hitting .300 with 2 home runs and 22 RBI in 54 games with the club. With the Asheville Tourists in 2010, he posted a .308 average, 41 doubles, and 12 homers. He spent the next season with the Modesto Nuts and hit .298 with 32 doubles and 20 home runs, leading all of minor league baseball with 122 runs batted in. He spent the 2012 season with the Tulsa Drillers, playing 134 games and hitting .285/.337/.428, with 36 doubles, 12 homers and 56 RBI. He played in both the 2011 and 2012 Futures Game, representing the United States and was a Texas League mid-season All-Star in 2012, having been a California League All-Star the previous season.

Arenado made his major league debut with the Rockies on April 28, 2013, taking over as the team's starting third baseman after Chris Nelson had been designated for assignment. Facing the Arizona Diamondbacks, he went 0 for 3 with a walk. he had started the year red hot with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox of the Pacific Coast League, hitting .364 with 11 doubles and 3 homers in 18 games. He got his first hit and his first homer in his second game, against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 29th. The hit was a single against Josh Wall in the 4th, and the homer was a two-run shot the next inning, also against Wall. He went 3 for 6 with 3 runs scored and 2 RBI in leading the Rockies to a 12-2 win. On June 5th against the Cincinnati Reds, he had the first four-hit game of his career, going 4-for-6 with three runs scored as the Rockies crushed the Reds, 12-4, getting 20 hits and 6 homers on the day. On June 7th, he hit a walk-off homer off Joe Thatcher of the San Diego Padres to lead off the bottom of the 9th and give the Rockies a 10-9 win. He finished the year at .267 with 29 doubles and 10 homers in 133 games and was named to the 2013 Topps All-Star Rookie Team.

Arenado started the 2014 season hitting very well. He was the first major leaguer to put together a twenty-game hitting streak that year, with it reaching 22 games on May 2nd. He hit .310 in April with 7 doubles and 4 homers, contributing to what was the most productive offense in the league in the early going. With a homer off the Texas Rangers' Martin Perez on May 5th, he extended the streak to 25 games, two shy of the club record set by Michael Cuddyer a year earlier. The Rockies feasted on the Rangers' pitching with a season-high 21 hits the next day, but Nolan had to wait until the 7th to extend his streak, pulling a ball that landed on the left field foul line for a double in a 12-1 win. On May 7th, he matched Cuddyer's team record with a two-run double off Colby Lewis in the 1st, sending Colorado on its way to another lopsided win, 9-2; he added another double and a single in going 3 for 5 that day. He set a new team record the next day with a single in the 3rd inning of a 5-0 loss to Texas but his streak ended at 28 on May 9th when he went 0 for 3 against the Cincinnati Reds; in that game, however, he drew a key 9th-inning walk against Jonathan Broxton in the 9th that kept a rally alive, eventually allowing the Rockies to tie a game which they lost in the bottom of the inning. He was hitting .305 with 17 doubles and 28 RBIs after 49 games when he broke his middle finger sliding head-first into second base on May 23rd. He only returned to the line-up on July 3rd.

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