GJ Rockies: Returning players expected to take the next step

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) The Grand Junction Rockies finished the season 45-36, the best record in program's seven seasons in Grand Junction. This year, a new crop of rookies come in to get their first look at professional baseball. There will also be some familiar faces back on the field at Suplizio. Shortstop Chris Navarro will be back as well as Reese Berberet the third baseman who tied for a team high 11 home runs last season with the Rockies.

Manager Jake Opitz is ready to go for his second season at the helm and he sees the two players making big jumps in year two.

"Navarro is still 19. He's a young kid," said Opitz. "He played an outstanding short stop all year, I think we all saw that. The bat was just a little behind and it's not because his physical ability, he's physically weaker than some guys at 18 years old in this league. Hopefully another year of development physically by age will help him with the bat. We've seen Reese Berberet be pretty good at times. We just have to get him a little more consistent. He hit some big home runs for us late in the year. He's going to play a little bit of first base, a little bit of third and maybe get him in the outfield. He's a good power bat that will probably be hitting somewhere in the middle of the order and hopefully drive in some runs for us."

"We're going to be more consistent this year," said Berberet. "I know the power will be there, I just need to work on getting some better contact and I know the numbers will come."

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