NOLAN James ARENADO
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Nickname:   N/A Position:   3B
Home: N/A Team:   CARDINALS
Height: 6' 2" Bats:   R
Weight: 205 Throws:   R
DOB: 4/16/1991 Agent: Wasserman Media Group
Uniform #: 28  
Birth City: Newport Beach, CA
Draft: Rockies #2 - 2009 - Out of high school (CA)
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO OBP SLG AVG
2009 PIO CASPER   54 203 28 61 15 0 2 22 5 2 16 18 .351 .404 .300
2010 SAL ASHEVILLE   92 373 45 115 41 1 12 65 1 3 19 52 .338 .520 .308
2011 CAL MODESTO   134 517 82 154 32 3 20 122 2 1 47 53 .349 .487 .298
2012 TL TULSA   134 516 55 147 36 1 12 56 0 2 39 58 .337 .428 .285
2013 PCL COLORADO SPRINGS   18 66 14 24 11 0 3 21 0 2 5 9 .392 .667 .364
2013 NL ROCKIES   133 486 49 130 29 4 10 52 2 0 23 72 .301 .405 .267
2014 NL ROCKIES $500.00 111 432 58 124 34 2 18 61 2 1 25 58 .328 .500 .287
2014 PCL COLORADO SPRINGS   5 20 2 7 2 0 0 3 0 0 0 3 .350 .450 .350
2015 NL ROCKIES $513.00 157 616 97 177 43 4 42 130 2 5 34 110 .323 .575 .287
2016 NL ROCKIES $5,000.00 160 618 116 182 35 6 41 133 2 3 68 103 .362 .570 .294
2017 NL ROCKIES $11,750.00 159 606 100 187 43 7 37 130 3 2 62 106 .373 .586 .309
2018 NL ROCKIES $17,750.00 156 590 104 175 38 2 38 110 2 2 73 122 .374 .561 .297
2019 NL ROCKIES $26,000.00 155 588 102 185 31 2 41 118 3 2 62 93 .379 .583 .315
2020 NL ROCKIES $12,963.00 48 182 23 46 9 0 8 26 0 0 15 20 .303 .434 .253
2021 NL CARDINALS   157 593 81 151 34 3 34 105 2 0 50 95 .312 .494 .255
Personal
  • As a senior in high school in 2009, Arenado hit safely in 27 of his 28 games, batting .529 overall.

  • Arenado grew up as a baseball prodigy in Lake Forest, a middle-class town in Southern California. He competed against his two brothers and seven cousins, all of whom lived within a 10-minute drive of his home.

    The clan played Wiffle Ball at a nearby greenbelt, drove neighbors batty by staging Ping-Pong tournaments until one o'clock in the morning, and annoyed their parents by dunking each other in the backyard pool.

    "I always wanted to be the best in my group. I wanted to be the best, too. I mean, we've been going at it constantly since I was five years old. I take a lot of pride in wanting to win and be the best—all the time."

    The Rockies saw raw talent in Arenado, but not professionalism. On a conference call with season-ticket holders in 2012, former GM Dan O'Dowd said Arenado's "maturity level still hasn't caught up with his ability level."

    The words stung.

    Nolan had a heart-to-heart with the Rockies' brass. And, rather than pout at perceived slights, Arenado recommitted.

    "The Rockies talked about how I needed to come in more mentally prepared. They said if I come in ready, anything can happen. They made it clear they still loved me. It was a good meeting," Arenado recalled, after his big league call-up on April 28, 2013, at age 22.

  • In 2010, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Arenado as the 10th-best prospect in the Rockies' organization. They moved him up to #3 in the spring of 2011. And they moved him up to #2 in the winter before 2012 spring camps opened, behind only RHP Drew Pomeranz in the Rockies' farm system.

  • In 2013, Nolan was named as the #1 prospect in the Rockies' farm system.

  • In 2010, Nolan finished second in the South Atlantic League in doubles with 41.

  • In 2011, Arenado led all of Minor League Baseball with 122 RBIs.

  • Arenado is a team leader. He plays hard and he plays with a lot of contagious energy. He carries a real passion for baseball, but admits he has been counseled at times to rein in his emotions.

    "They told me, 'We like you playing with emotion, but control the emotion,'" Nolan said in May 2012. "I understand that completely, and I know I should, but it's just the fire in me. I expect a lot of myself, and I'm working on it and I'm getting better at it

  • In November 2011, Arenado was presented with the Arizona Fall League's Joe Black MVP Award.

  • Arenado is confident and competitive. Like many players, he may go through a few days with low energy, something you really cannot do when you get to the Major Leagues. And Nolan spent too much time wondering when he might get called up to the Majors, especially after June 2012.  He watched other players in the Double-A Texas League get promoted, including Tulsa teammate Josh Rutledge in July. During a midseason conference call with Rockies season-ticket holders, GM Dan O'Dowd said that Arenado's "maturity level still hasn't caught up with his ability level," which sent the player into another funk. (Spring 2013)

  • Nolan was born in Newport Beach, Calif., raised in nearby Lake Forest, and drafted out of El Toro High School in 2009. He was introduced to the game by his father, Fernando, who gave his son another role model.

    "My dad is from Cuba," Arenado said. "Roberto Clemente was one of his favorite players. My dad loved how he always played hard and played for his country. You hear so many great things about him, off the field and on the field, you want to be like Roberto Clemente. He set a very high standard."

  • Arenado has a living, breathing model for conduct next to him in Colorado's infield. It's Troy Tulowitzki. "I know he's happy for me," Arenado said of Tulowitzki. "He's helped me a lot along the way. He's done so much for me. We try to communicate as much as we can. I'll try to take some of those balls [in the hole] to help him out."  (Spencer - mlb.com - 2/20/12) 

  • July 25, 2014: Arenado began a frustrated, head-down jog out after he bounced hard to the Pirates pitcher. But by the time he returned to the bench, after his lack of haste cost the team a baserunner, manager Walt Weiss made it clear frustration is no excuse to not hustle.

    Weiss sent Charlie Culberson to play third in the next inning. Arenado had to watch as the Rockies raced to an 8-1 victory at Coors Field.

    Morton did not field Arenado's bouncer cleanly. But because of Arenado's non-hustling start, Morton's throw beat him at first on a close play.

    "We've talked a lot about playing the game hard and playing the game right, and how important that is," Weiss said. "Especially when you've been getting your [butt] kicked for a while, it's even more important. It's imperative. So I just felt like Nolan didn't meet that standard at that point."

    Arenado was not available after the game, but apologized through a club official and said he would address the incident the next day. (Thomas Harding MLB.com, 7/26/2014)

  • Nolan plays with a lot of energy.

  • At RockiesFest before the 2015 season, Arenado was asked, "How do you survive in the offseason, when you're not playing baseball?" His answer: "Well, I play Wiffle Ball."

  • 2015 Spring Training: It's all baseball, all the time, in the house that Arenado rented.

    His housemates are his cousin, Rockies Minor League infielder Josh Fuentes; and his younger brother, Jonah Arenado, a 2013 16th-round Draft pick of the Giants.

    "It's family," Arenado said. "We can relate to each other. We can be honest with each other. They're learning from me. I'll be learning from them. At the end of the day, they've got to understand that Spring Training is about getting business done. This isn't a vacation. They're learning and getting better."

  • Standing across the clubhouse from Arenado, veteran pitcher LaTroy Hawkins was smiling, watching the members of the media crowd around Arenado in the aftermath of Arenado's latest display of big league ability.

    "Right there," Hawkins said with a nod toward Arenado in response to the question of the best third baseman he had seen in a 25-year professional baseball career, which has included big league time in 21 of them.

    Then came the curveball. Hawkins was asked what he felt was the most impressive thing he had seen Arenado do.

    "In 2014, when Walt Weiss pulled him from the game for not hustling to first base on that chopper back to the mound," said Hawkins. "He didn't pout. He didn't complain. He turned the page, and you have never seen him do that again."

    Nobody will see him do that again. "It changed my life," said Arenado. "It was one moment that was never going to happen again. It wasn't right. It wasn't fair to my teammates." (Ringolsby - mlb.com - 6/23/15)

  • "Dan O'Dowd challenged me," said Arenado. "He said, 'You are not playing as well as you can. You are not getting called up.' What was I going to do? I wasn't going to give up. I was going to prove people wrong. I accepted the challenge. I knew I was better than that." 

    He is proving it.  Arenado may have appeared to be something of an afterthought to All-Star voters in July 2015, but he isn't overlooked by his peers, not with those gaudy offensive numbers. He has baseball instincts. And he has that desire to take on a challenge and prove himself, like he did early in his Minor League career when the talk was that he could hit his way to the big leagues, but most likely he would have to move to first base to cover up defensive deficiencies.

    Jerry Weinstein, Arenado's manager at High-A Modesto in 2011, and Scot Fletcher, the Rockies' roving Minor League instructor at the time, offered advice, and Arenado listened.

    "Speed is God-given," he said. "I'm not fast. But my lateral movement and first step could get better, and I worked on that. Scot Fletcher and Jerry Weinstein were big influences, changing the way I field. Even now, with my trainer, I work on that first step and lateral movement in the winter."

     "Nolan is entering that status, becoming an elite player in this league," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss. "He hasn't played in an All-Star Game yet, so he definitely needs to do that."  (Ringolsby - mlb.com - 6/23/15)

  • Arenado had a mammoth 2015 season that was obscured by his team's struggles. He led the Majors in RBIs (130) and total bases (354), while earning his third straight NL Gold Glove Award.  

    Born in Newport Beach, Arenado was introduced to the game by his father, Fernando.

    Troy Tulowitzki also had a big hand in shaping Arenado before he was dealt to Toronto in 2015.

    "He helped me in so many ways," Arenado said. "I was fortunate to play next to him and learn so much." (Spencer - MLB.com - 3/10/16)

  • Nolan reflects on his being in middle school when younger and remembers that part of his life fondly and vividly.

    Arenado understands that stage of adolescence is where teens are often still seeking their true identity, and as such, peer negativity is often a byproduct. Doing his part to steer kids towards a more positive well-being, Arenado spent a morning at a suburban Denver middle school sharing and taking in stories of positivity as part of the Rockies' Home Run for Kindness program.

    "The people of Denver have been great to me, so it's the right thing to come back and do the right thing for the kids," Arenado said. "People think this is a sacrifice, you know, I'm sacrificing my time. This isn't a sacrifice of my time."

    Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAKF) is an internationally recognized nonprofit. The Rockies remain the first and only professional sports team RAKF has worked with. Rockies owner and CEO Dick Monfort took initiative in contacting Denver-based RAKF in light of several school shootings with the premise that spreading positively induced psychology to young students could make a difference.  "The Rockies have been amazing. They've embraced us in a way I didn't expect," said Brooke Jones, vice president for RAKF.

    Arenado and teammate Ben Paulsen have become the latest ambassadors—or 'RAKtivisits'—to represent the team in the RAKF initiative. Each voyaged to separate schools.  Rocky Top Middle School, where Arenado visited, has adopted the RAKF's Kindness Curriculum, which incorporates lessons of respect, perseverance and other values that in turn help foster positive relationships.  

    Arenado spent the morning taking in the various stories the students and teachers had to share while perusing the halls as a rock star of sorts. Kids leaned from classrooms just to get a glimpse of the Gold Glover, one even yelling from afar: "That's the best third baseman in the league!"

    Arenado spent more than the planned time at Rocky Top before heading to Coors Field for a game against the D-backs. But he was fine with devoting a little extra time knowing his appearance was a special occasion that could impact many youngsters in a positive way—perhaps more than he could imagine.

    "I'm a big believer in random acts of kindness. I'm a big believer in spreading positivity because there are so many negative things in the world and there's negative things in baseball. It's a hard game, so to have any little boost of confidence—whatever it is—it makes a huge difference." (Kramer - MLB.com - 5/10/16)

  • June 3, 2016: Arenado's first-inning dugout tirade will be the enduring image from a 4-0 loss to the Padres, but it's the bad baseball that preceded and followed it, not the emotion, that the Rockies know they must address. Nolan said he was frustrated, and his outburst—which came after Matt Kemp's three-run homer off a first-pitch fastball from Chris Rusin gave the Padres a 3-0 lead through one inning—was not directed at anyone.

    Although lip-readers made out "fastball" among the words that spewed from Arenado's lips, he insisted he wasn't yelling at Rusin or catcher Nick Hundley, who stepped in front of Arenado and became his audience.

    Arenado offered no specifics, noting, "I can't really repeat a lot of that."

    "Just frustrated, just losing gets kind of old," Arenado said. "I'm frustrated with myself. I wasn't yelling at Hundley. I was just yelling in general. Frustration got the best of me. If I was going to do it, I probably should've done it in the tunnel. I got frustrated. I let it out. The boys know I love them. Matt Kemp hit the homer, but I wasn't yelling at Rus—Rus competed his butt off today. I'm very proud of him."

    Hundley said, "My view of it is when your best player cares as much as Nolan does, that's a very positive thing. Whether it comes across in the way he plays, in the locker room, being passionate about the work, about his swing, being passionate about the Rockies winning, those are all things that manifest themselves. You see a short clip, it's easy to think the wrong thing."

    Manager Walt Weiss, who arrived at the dugout scene along with third-base coach Stu Cole, had no problem with his best player letting off steam, even if it was in front of fans with a good vantage point or the television cameras.

    "I don't mind if it's in front of anybody," Weiss said. "It wasn't directed at anybody. Let him have his say, then there was a point where I said, 'OK, let's go. Let's turn the page and let's move on.'" (T Harding - MLB.com - June 4, 2016).

  • Arenado believes improvement starts in the mirror. Arenado and the Rockies were coming off a homestand that saw them lose three of four to the Reds, who had the third-fewest wins in the Majors. There is plenty of blame to go around, and Arenado doesn't mind shouldering his share.

    "I need to play better," said Arenado, who was tied for the Majors' home run lead with 17. "I haven't been playing the way I would like to play. It's frustrating. As a team we're losing, and it kind of hurts because I feel I could be helping the team in more ways than I am right now. But everyone's got to play their part. I don't think we're developing the runs that we're capable of doing. Obviously, we can hit home runs, but there's more to hitting and there's more to winning than that.

    "It's part of baseball," he said. "We've still got four months. We have a lot of games yet. You can't be nitpicking in May. Obviously, we've got to win ballgames and it's not OK to lose a lot. We still have a lot of baseball left. We haven't clicked yet. We haven't been able to put anything together yet. We've had spurts of it. We've had games where we've done some good things. The next game, we kind of fell asleep." (T Harding - MLB.com - June 4, 2016)

  • Nolan seems to be developing an awareness.  He has certainly grabbed the attention of Rockies coach Rene Lachemann, who is in his 54th consecutive year in uniform, and Phillies bench coach Larry Bowa, who has been in the big leagues as a player, coach and manager for 45 of the last 47 years.

    At a Boy Scout banquet earlier this season, Lachemann was asked his favorite big league player. "I used to think nobody could ever match Brooks [Robinson]," he replied, and then went into detail about the exploits of Arenado.  "I've seen him do something and say, 'I've never seen that before,' and the next game I'm saying it again," said Lachemann.

    When that story was related to Bowa, he laughed.  "I was like that with Schmidty," Bowa said of his long-time Phillies teammate Mike Schmidt. Then along came Arenado.

    "I don't know if he knows it, but my favorite player is the third baseman [in Colorado]," said Bowa. "Playing on the East Coast [with the Phillies] I go home and turn on the Rockies game and watch him. My wife said, "What are you doing watching Colorado?' I told her, 'I love to watch this kid play third.' I just turn it on to see him. If by chance we're on the West Coast, I watch the highlights because I know he's going to be on sometime. Somewhere, he's going to be on for a play or a base hit."  

    It is not just Arenado's skills that get the attention of others. "I like to see guys who are hard workers, who respect the game, don't take it for granted," said Bowa. "Everyone thinks you get a big league uniform, you're going to be here for 10 years. It doesn't work like that. The longer you're here, the harder you have to work. So when I see work ethic, I respect that."  

    And Arenado respects the fact that people like Lachemann and Bowa hold him with such high regard.

    "They have been in this game a long time and have seen so many great players," Arenado said. "For them to talk about me like that is humbling. It is an incentive for me to work harder. When people respect you like that you don't want to let them down."  Arenado hasn't.  (Ringolsby - MLB.com - 8/21/16)

  • September 2016: Arenado's hobby growing up was surfing.

  • Nolan played high school baseball with future MLB player Austin Romine.

  • In November 2016, Arenado announced that he will play for Team USA in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Arenado had a choice, since his mother is from Puerto Rico. His father is from Cuba.

    Nolan's Hispanic teammates call him Mickey Mouse, he says, "because he's a fake mouse, and I'm a fake Latino!"

  • Nolan fell in love with the World Baseball Classic early. In spring 2017, he finally got to play in it.  The tournament had everything to pique a young Arenado's interest. It had baseball and countries representing everything he identified with. Arenado, who is American, was born to a Puerto Rican mother and a Cuban father. When Cuba made the inaugural final against Japan in 2006, it was a big deal in the Arenado house. Nolan was just 14 at the time.

    They threw what Arenado now calls "basically like a Super Bowl party" at their house in Southern California for the final, which Japan won, 10-6. "There were Cuban cigars being smoked out in the backyard, and lots of homemade Cuban food," Arenado wrote in a piece for The Players' Tribune. "The party vibe died down in a hurry, and I just remember a couple of my family members being really sad. It was like their team had lost the World Series. This meant something to them. It was important. They took it hard."  

    Arenado was amped up about representing his country for the first time, and he will play a major role for an American squad looking to advance past the second round for the first time in their World Baseball Classic history.  "My parents are both extremely proud to be American citizens, and they raised me to take pride in being from this country. I grew up in Southern California, not too far from Dodger Stadium. And my entire family loves baseball." (Trezza - mlb.com - 3/9/17)

  • After crushing a pair of home runs through the heavy spring air, Nolan actually gave credit to unlikely sources for his performance. His father, Fernando, and El Toro High School coach Mike Gonzales.

    The Rockies had their first off-day of the 2017 season April 17 and Arenado used it to go back to his high school in Lake Forest, about 50 miles south of Dodger Stadium.  "Honestly, I have to give credit to my dad and my high school coach," Arenado said. "I went to hit with them yesterday back at my old field. I was working on some things, fixing some things. And today I was able to do it."

    Back when he played at El Toro, he was a shortstop and catcher. He was only rated the 31st best prospect in California in 2009. But he's been nothing but a sensation since joining the Rockies' lineup as a 22-year-old.

    And there's nothing like hitting a pair of home runs off Hyun-Jin Ryu and then almost making a remarkable play charging Pederson's bouncer and throwing on the run to just miss him at first.

    "It had a lot of spin on it," he said. "If I would have gripped it right and thrown harder, I think I might have got him. It was just a tough play." (Dilbeck - mlb.com - 4/18/17)

  • July 2, 2017:  Arenado received his first invite to the MLB All-Star game.

  • Nolan, the NL's starting third baseman, went 2-for-2 in the 2017 All-Star Game. In his third trip to the game. Arenado became the first Rockies All-Star to ever record two hits in the game and tied Todd Helton, Troy Tulowitzki and Dante Bichette for the club's career All-Star hits record.  

    "It feels great," Arenado said. "Obviously you wish you could hit homers in the All-Star Game and this and that, but when you start seeing some nasty off-speed and stuff, you think, 'All right, I need to shorten up.' I was just happy to get a couple hits."  (Berry - mlb.com - 7/11/17)

  • Feb 9, 2018: Nolan and his family of baseball players hosted a pickup game in the street.  But because one of the participants was a Major Leaguer, the other participants wanted to make sure it was an even game. So, the three-time All-Star was prompted to hit lefty when he wasn't taking turns playing catcher, propped up on a cooler.

    Arenado, a big pickup baseball fan, was joined by his cousin Josh Fuentes, who provided a Periscope of the game that took place in the middle of the street. Fuentes, a third baseman in the Rockies organization, offered some commentary to the audience of over 500 viewers. Nolan's brother Jonah, a third baseman in the Giants system, played with the guys as well.

    One viewer asked if "Nolan was in the lineup today," and Arenado couldn't help but smile and laugh on the live stream—of course he was in the lineup. The group also did a tremendous job avoiding cars that were driving by. (J Kleinschmidt - MLB.com - Feb 9, 2018)

  • April 14-19, 2018: Four players were suspended and three more fined as the result of the benches-clearing altercation at Coors Field between the Padres and Rockies. Arenado received a five-game ban for his role (along with the Padres Predomo) as primary instigators of the fracas. 

    Arenado dropped his appeal and begins serving his suspension in Washington; he'll be eligible to return  in the series opener against the Cubs at Coors Field. 

  • July 2018: Arenado was selected to play in the MLB All-Star game.

  • July 3, 2018: Chucky. Robert. All those little creepy aliens from "Toy Story." The world is filled with living, supernaturally powered dolls if you know where to look. And there's a new one who is making his presence felt in the general vicinity of Coors Field: He is the miniature version of Arenado and he has power too.

    We were first introduced to Nolito two weeks ago—18 games, to be exact. There they were: The larger, fleshier Arenado sitting back, looking at his phone, while the mini-Nolan was swaddled up in a blanket with headphones and his own cellphone. Yes, even living dolls need to check Twitter, it seems.

    So, while Arenado was having a fantastic season before being introduced to the doll, he's picked up the pace. Check it out: Pre-doll: .307/.399/.537, 12 HR in 268 PA. Post-doll: .329/.393/.822, 10 HR in 84 PA. His latest came in the Rockies' 8-1 victory against the Giants. Arenado went 2-for-4 with a homer. After taking the knee-high pitch and depositing it to dead-center field, Arenado rounded the paces and hollered with joy.

    His recent hot streak is most likely not connected to the powers of his miniature doll. But we can't say for 100 percent certain. (Cut4-MLB)

  • July 27, 2018: As Matt Chapman stepped onto the field in Denver—the same day he stepped on Colorado soil for the first time in his life—it was the first time he took the same field in the same game as Rockies superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado since the two were teammates at El Toro High School in Lake Forest, Calif.

    Now considered the best defensive third basemen in their respective leagues, both played shortstop at El Toro, with Arenado the starter and Chapman his understudy. 

    "Our high school coach [Mike Gonzales] is probably really happy," Arenado said, smiling. "[Chapman] was my backup shortstop, and when I pitched, he played short. (Manny Randhawa MLB.com)

  • 2018: Arenado had the highest current WAR (33.1) of any Rockies player.

  • May 30, 2019: Full Account, a new podcast from MLB.com that will provide deep dives on baseball’s best stories, is releasing a series of episodes about the vast impact of the 2009 draft. One of the episodes will delve into how Nolan Arenado was almost a catcher. Here's the story. 

    In 2013, Nolan Arenado won the NL Gold Glove for his work at third base his rookie year with the Rockies. And he has won it every single year since, also capturing the Platinum Glove for best overall defensive player in the league in both 2017 and 2018. In his seven seasons in the big leagues, he has amassed an astonishing total of 109 defensive runs saved, which is second only to shortstop Andrelton Simmons in that span.

    Because of his throws, his dives, his knack for following the path of the ball and his overall athleticism, Arenado is considered by some to be one of the best defensive third basemen the game has ever seen. And that’s before you even consider his offensive impact, which includes three NL home run titles.

    But a decade ago, when he was a draft prospect at El Toro High School in Lake Forest, Calif., many evaluators felt that if Arenado was going to have any sort of future in professional baseball, it was going to be behind the plate. You can find evidence right here at MLB.com, where our 2009 draft report on Arenado glowed about his raw power, bat speed and plus arm in the field but said he was “duck-footed,” that he “lumbers” and compared his body to those of Yorvit Torrealba and the Molina brothers—both catchers. Indeed, the report came to the conclusion that, “If a team is convinced he can catch, he could go off the board in the first couple of rounds.”

    MLB Pipeline Draft and prospects expert Jonathan Mayo wrote that report. But don’t shoot the messenger. Mayo was merely relaying the consensus from area scouts and cross-checkers at that time.

    “There were a lot of question marks about where [Arenado’s] defensive home would be,” Mayo says now. “But I think because of the below-average speed and the plus arm, people thought maybe that would work behind the plate. He had good hands and he had a good arm. Those things could work behind the plate. Maybe the reason it wouldn’t work at third was because of the lack of quickness.”

    Though he played primarily at shortstop, Arenado did a little catching in high school. Scouts would visit El Toro and ask Arenado to suit up behind the plate and show them some throws. Matt Chapman was a sophomore during Arenado’s senior season and was the one receiving those throws at second base. But he says he knew then that the catching experiment would be short-lived.

    “I didn’t think he was going to be a shortstop,” Chapman said, “but I thought he’d be a third baseman, because his hands are unbelievable.”

    The Rockies would be lying if they told you they saw the Platinum Gloves coming for Arenado at third base. But their area scout Jon Lukens and their national cross-checker Ty Coslow had done enough homework on Arenado to understand his love, passion and feel for the game. And though Bill Schmidt, the club’s scouting director, knew Arenado would have his work cut out for him to cut it as a third baseman, he saw the seeds of a good defender at the position.

    “He had very good hands and arm strength,” Schmidt said. “I always joke with him that he had cankles. So the first step wasn’t there. But he had the hands and the arm strength, which played into the thought process of potentially going behind the plate.”

    Arenado understood why teams thought he had the potential to catch. But in his mind? It wasn’t happening.

    “I think catching is awful, personally,” Arenado said. “Oh man, it was really hard. When I was doing it, I knew deep down that I didn’t want to do this, but, if it was going to get me drafted high, all right I’ll do it. Because I just wanted to go play. But I knew I could play third. I was slow, and I knew I could get quicker.”

    Arenado made his feelings known to Lukens, and the Rockies were willing to give him a chance at third, at least initially. They actually selected three players ahead of Arenado—Tyler Matzek, Tim Wheeler and Rex Brothers. But finally, with the 59th overall pick, they selected their future franchise face, the guy upon whom they would bestow a $260 million contract extension in 2019. Like other clubs, the Rockies weren’t sure where he’d eventually fill in positionally, and they weren’t convinced he’d be the power hitter he is today. But they liked his natural feel to hit.

    “Looking back, 10 years later, a lot of people thought he was going to go behind the plate,” Schmidt said. “We were more focused on the bat. If it had to go behind the plate, we still thought the bat was going to be there.”

    They were right about the bat. Arenado struck out in just 10.3% of his Minor League plate appearances. More meaningfully, though, his defense improved dramatically with the help of Minor League fielding coordinator Scott Fletcher and his Class A Modesto manager, Jerry Weinstein. Arenado adopted a drop step maneuver when preparing to throw, and he got the reps he needed to get better reads on balls off the bat. He's become the superstar those who knew him at El Toro always figured he’d be. And he didn’t have to move behind the plate to make it happen.

    “People always try to label you, but, when you go out there and work hard and do what you do, you can change a lot of opinions,” Chapman said. “He’s done that and more—six Gold Gloves and two Platinum Gloves later.

  • Nolan was interviewed by mlb.com:

    MLB.com: You decided to stay with the Rockies by signing an eight-year, $260 million extension. You are a superstar, could have been a free agent after this season, could have gone anywhere. Why did you stay?

    Arenado: I was thinking about it, praying about it and just kind of figuring out what I wanted to do. I had time to reflect and think about it. I’m comfortable here. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. That does not mean I’m not going to play somewhere else in the future. You never know what could happen in the game. Right now, I felt comfortable staying here.

    MLB.com: What is it about Colorado that you love?

    Arenado: I think it was the fact that when you are with the team and they’re losing and you are part of the turnaround, it’s a pretty good feeling. Not many people can say that. I can say I was part of it when it was pretty bad. Now I’m part of it when we are making pretty good strides of being really good.

    MLB.com: When you agreed to the extension, you and your parents were emotional. How did that make you feel when witnessed the moment?

    Arenado: The thing I was happy about was that my mom doesn’t have to work anymore. Little things like that. My parents worked hard to produce for me. They gave me the opportunities I have now. They grind their butts off for me and my brothers. I always appreciated that. They can enjoy life. If they want to take a trip, I’m more than happy to help them out with it. When you are younger, you see your parents grinding. Now it's nice to see them relaxed, chill. They don’t have to stress about a lot of things anymore.

    MLB.com: I understand your father came from Cuba. Not only did his work pay off for him, it paid off for you, too.

    Arenado: My dad is a grinder. He still is. He still likes to work. He still likes to be active. He doesn’t like to sit around and hang out. That’s just his personality. It’s the way he was raised. That’s how he got around. He knew he had to grind through. I got that from my dad because of what he has done. When he came over, he knew he had to work hard. He knew he had to find a way on his own. I have a lot of respect for what he did.

    MLB.com: Did you ever think you would be this good?

    Arenado: I never thought I could win a Gold Glove. I never thought about a Gold Glove until after I won it my first year. When I first won it, I couldn’t believe it. Then I realize I never wanted to give it up. I’ve been fortunate enough to win it the last six years. I don’t want to give it up now.

    MLB.com: Who is better between you and Brooks Robinson?

    Arenado: Brooks is the GOAT. I can’t sit here and say I’m better than him. He has 16 Gold Glove and I have 6. I have 10 to go. I don’t know if I'll get 10 [more] because that’s a long time. He’s the greatest to ever do it. I pay my respects to him. When it’s all said a done, whoever wants to speak on that, they can. I still think he is the GOAT.

    MLB.com: I understand you still play Wiffle Ball with your brothers and cousins. Why do you still play that game?

    Arenado: We love it. It’s competition. I love to trash talk. You know how it is. You want to be on top. You want to be better than your brothers and cousins. It’s just a hobby. It’s what we do. It’s what we kind of grew up doing. We can’t help it. We love to do it.  (Ladsen - mlb.com - 6/13/19)

  • June 27, 2019: Arenado is an All-Star for a fifth consecutive season, and he'll be starting a third straight All-Star Game, making him the first NL third baseman to do so since Scott Rolen from 2002-2004. He did so by earning the highest vote share of any finalist, drawing 51.9% of the votes among NL third base finalists. 

  • September 12, 2019: Both Nolan and his cousin, Josh Fuentes, hit solo home runs. Josh's in the second inning was his first big league home run. And Nolan's came in the third inning.

    “I had some pretty good loft on it,” Fuentes said. “I hit first base, saw the trajectory on it and I thought, ‘Oh, man, it’s going out.’ Then all the emotions start flooding. You’re excited and just want to round those bases, get in the dugout and cheer with your teammates.  It was probably one of the happiest moments in my life. Just above the first hit.”

    Fuentes also entered the game with family on the opposite corner, as his cousin Nolan Arenado started at third and added his own one-out solo dinger in the third inning, offering fans a rare opportunity to see family members homering for the same team in the same game.

    “I was like, ‘Man, you can’t even let me get the spotlight for 20 minutes?’” Fuentes said. “It was awesome for us to hit one on the same day. Hopefully more to come.”

    Arenado was at least as proud as Fuentes, and not the least bit shy about stealing some of his cousin’s thunder.  “Dude, he had his fame for 20 minutes,” Arenado said. “It’s all right. It happens. I’ll buy him dinner tonight, he’ll be fine.”

    Though tracking statistics for cousins in baseball can be a challenge, the last immediate family members to homer for the same team in the same game were B.J. and Justin Upton, who accomplished the feat six times for the Braves, most recently on Sept. 27, 2014. (Perkins - mlb.com)

  • Arenado impresses young and old. Like baseball lifer Larry Bowa, who spent over four decades in the game.

    "I don't know if he knows it, but my favorite player is the third baseman (for Colorado)," Bowa said. "Being on the East Coast when I was coaching (with the Phillies), I would go home and turn on the Rockies game. My wife said, 'What are you doing watching Colorado?' I told her, 'I love to watch this kid play third.

    "I like to see guys who are hard workers, who respect the game don't take it for granted," Bowa said during the 2019 season. "Everyone thinks if you get a big league uniform, you're going to be here for 10 years. It doesn't work like that The longer you're here, the harder you have to work. So, when I see work ethic, I respect that."

    Nolan's mind never stops. One day a member of the media mentioned to Arenado how impressive his ability to instantly react to situations was.

    "It's not reaction," Arenado said. "It's planning. When I'm waiting for the next pitch, in my mind, I'm thinking about everything that could possibly happen and how I will react. And then, when it happens, I react." (Tracy Ringolsby - Baseball Digest - Sept., 2019)

  • Few hitters tend to their swings as assiduously as Arenado. At restaurants he'll rise from the table to take practice cuts. Infielder Garrett Hampson once watched Nolan homer, then tweak his stroke upon his return to the dugout.

    "There are dry hacks in the elevator," Arenado confesses. "It's bad."

    Nolan used to drive coaches nuts by taking BP at Coors on off days. But in 2019, he limited the extra sessions to a handful. (Stephanie Apstein - Sports Illustrated - 8/05/2019)

  • Vin Scully autographed the bat with which Arenado hit his 40th home run of 2016. It came during Scully's last season of broadcasting and his final series of calling Dodgers' home games.

  • Arenado is a Christian. He said in a 2016 interview that "my faith keeps me level-headed" and "it makes me know that I have someone to rely on."

    He has a tattoo on his forearm that says Matthew 19:26, a Bible verse which reads, “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

  • Arenado was married on Dec. 14, 2019 in Laguna Beach.

  • Feb 9, 2020: Arenado had a street named after him.

    “Nolan Arenado Drive” is the street leading from Lake Forest Sports Park to a main parkway. Its new name was unveiled in a ceremony. According to the Orange County Register, it was the first time in city history that a street was named after a contemporary person.

    In Lake Forest, California, he played Little League and was No. 12. He played at El Toro High School from 2006-09. Arenado helped the Chargers to a California Interscholastic Foundation championship as a junior, and he batted .517 with five home runs, 14 doubles and 23 RBIs in 28 games as a senior before being drafted by the Rockies.

    “This is an unbelievable thing that has happened for me and my family,” Arenado said. “This is seriously a blessing and I’m so thankful for this. Lake Forest means a lot to me and my family.

    “I’ve been fortunate to accomplish some great things but winning CIF with your best friends ... it’s hard to really top that. It seriously was an unbelievable moment for me and our team.” (T Harding - MLB.com - Feb 10, 2020)

  • Feb 14, 2020: Arenado, doing his pre-official Spring Training workouts at Arizona State University instead of with his teammates as in the past, acknowledged to Yahoo Sports that there is a “disconnect” but vowed to not “put my teammates in a bad position.”

    Arenado, who told Yahoo “I want to win,” said he plans to report to Spring Training when position players are due. But the question of whether he’ll be traded hangs in the desert air. The Rockies made the postseason in 2017 and 2018. But in 2019, Arenado’s first under his $260 million contract, they went 71-91. During the offseason, the Dodgers, D-backs and Padres made major moves, while the Rockies have signed no Major League free agents or made any Major League trades.

    The biggest news has been the Arenado trade rumors. Arenado has not specifically spelled that out, and GM Jeff Bridich and the Rockies are not saying anything about whether he requested that the team trade him. In January, after the club said there would not be a trade, Arenado blasted the front office for its “disrespect” toward him.

    He told Yahoo he hopes all is smooth when he joins the teammates who went to the two postseasons and labored through last year with him.

    “To be honest with you, there is a disconnect right now, right?” Arenado told Yahoo. “There’s a little bit of a disconnect. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fixed. It doesn’t mean that I’m not gonna go out there and play hard for my teammates. Or be a negative presence in that locker room. That’s just not me. It’s not how I’m going to do things. I’m not going to be there trying to show them I don’t want to be there. I’m not going to be that way. That’s not fair. That’s drawing attention to me.”

    Arenado did not apologize for his January comments.

    Arenado, who in late January issued a statement saying he would not discuss the subject because he was preparing for the season, spoke at length with Yahoo of his desire to win.

    “You know what, and I want you please to write this down, the perception of me right now, some people have different things, right?” he told Yahoo. “It’s, ‘Oh, you make money, keep your mouth shut. You signed this deal and this and that.’ But, at the end of the day, man, people misunderstand. Us, as players, we only get one chance at this. I only get one chance at this. I have seven years left on my deal. I don’t know how it’s all going to turn out. And I want to win.” (T Harding - MLB.com - Feb 14, 2020)

  • Nolan lives for baseball. More than that, he lives among us. Arenado took some time to offer that kind of perspective through the Rockies’ Twitter and Instagram accounts in an open letter on March 20, 2020: 

    “This [coronavirus] has been a tough time for all of us. It breaks my heart to see so many people struggling; me and my family are praying for everyone. I want to thank the doctors, nurses, health care providers, and all the men and women who are working hard every day to help people. They are the true stars that don’t get the credit they deserve. Thank you.

    “Even with everything going on, it’s impossible for me not to think about baseball, especially when I’m back home instead of with my brothers getting ready for this season that’s supposed to start in five days. I’ve realized how fortunate I am to play baseball for a living and I won’t ever take what I have for granted.

    “I also won’t take for granted how fortunate I am to have you: fans that truly appreciate my work, who I am, and how I go about my business. I miss seeing you all and I miss going out there and competing for you. I don’t know when I’ll be able to compete again, but I will continue to work hard and give you all my best when we’re back out there.

    “Tough times like now, and when KB 8/24 [Kobe Bryant] passed away, make you take a step back and realize what’s important in life: faith, family and friends. Be safe and let’s be there for each other now. God Bless.”  (Harding - mlb.com - 3/21/2020)

  • Entering the 2020 season, Arenado is the WAR leader for the Rockies.

  • In 2018, Arenado charged the Padres’ Luis Perdomo for throwing a pitch behind him. And in 2019, Cubs lefty Cole Hamels hit Arenado on the left elbow in what most interpreted as a retaliatory measure for guys who got hit earlier in the series. Arenado yelled toward Hamels and toward the Cubs’ dugout. Given what he did when he took exception to the Perdomo pitch a year earlier, no one seemed to step toward him. (MLB.com - Apr. 29, 2020)

  • 2020 Season: 1.4 rWAR

    Like the rest of us, Nolan had a 2020 that was, well, very 2020.

    Not even a year after signing an eight-year, $260 million contract, rumors began circulating that the Rockies were shopping their All-Star third baseman. The organization was distressingly silent, and Arenado said he felt “disrespected.” When spring training began, we learned Arenado and Bridich had not spoken, and fans agonized over whether the Rockies would go through with a trade.

    But that was in the Before Times.

    With the disruption of baseball and, literally, everything, the Arenado-Bridich Cold War fell to the wayside, especially as baseball organizations grappled with implementing COVID protocols and playing in empty stadiums.

    In June, we were so grateful to have Summer Camp and then baseball back — to see Nolan Arenado play — that we lived in the moment and ignored the possibility of a trade. For Arenado, 2020 would become even more bizarre. Defensively, he was masterful, earning a DRS of 15, the best in baseball and almost twice that of the closest Rocky, Josh Fuentes with a DRS of 8. 

    He earned his eighth Gold Glove nomination and his fourth Fielding Bible award, tying Adrián Beltré. Defensively, Arenado was terrific.

    “I felt like my defense was better than it’s ever been,” he said. He’s not wrong. And getting to watch Josh Fuentes at first scooping up those throws was a treat in a year that didn’t offer many of them.

    You know what? Let’s watch two more breathtakingly-awesome-totally-Nolan catches.

    Offensively, however, he struggled. Arenado slashed .253/.303/.434 with a wRC+ of 76. In 48 games, he hit only eight home runs and 26 RBI, numbers comparable with his rookie season (.267/.301/.405).

    There was more to it, however. When the Rockies played the Athletics on July 29, Arenado made a diving stop to get to a Stephen Piscotty grounder. The play jarred his left shoulder. Arenado attempted to play through it (#NolanBeingNolan), but the injury eventually resulted in an inflamed AC joint and bone bruise. On September 21, for just the second time in his career, Arenado was placed on the IL. (Renee Dechert@307Renee - Nov 2, 2020)

  • Feb 22, 2020: One of the important conversations Arenado has already had was with Nolan Gorman, the Card’s No. 2 prospect once thought to be the third baseman of the future. Gorman, for his part, has been taking reps at second base this spring and could see time in the corner-outfield spots. All signs there are positive, too.

    It's been all love between the two Nolans. The elder Nolan likes what he’s seen from the younger, and Gorman has expressed excitement to learn from Arenado. Both were early reports to camp, having gone on a golfing excursion in the Jupiter area together, Arenado said.

    “That trade stuff is probably a weird adjustment, but it seems like he isn't complaining,” Arenado said. “... He seems like he's all-in and it looks like he wants to contribute, and that's the kind of player you want on your team. I believe he’ll have an impact with this one day, and hopefully it's sooner rather than later.”

    Arenado has said that he holds a longstanding respect for the Cardinals, dating back to when he first played at Busch Stadium and was instructed by Troy Tulowitzki to observe how the club conducts itself in its routine. Now, getting enveloped, he’s finding it to be true first-hand.

    “Everything I think about this organization has kind of come to light,” Arenado said.

    “From an integration standpoint, I think he feels pretty good about the players and teammates he's meeting,” said president of baseball operations John Mozeliak. “It'll just be that ebb and flow that he'll have to start to get used to from a St. Louis Cardinals perspective. But overall, I feel like the vibe in this camp has been very positive.”

    There’s still plenty for Arenado to learn, soak in and impart over the course of this spring and, the club hopes, over his next seven years as a Cardinal.

    At least for now, the California time change is one box checked off.

    “I was hurting there for a while,” Arenado said, “but I’m good now.” (Z Silver - MLB.com - Feb 22, 2021)

  • July 2021: Arenado was chosen to start at 3B for the All-Star game.

  • MLB.com: You were traded to the Cardinals in February 2021 … what do you like about the city of St. Louis?

    Nolan Arenado: I like everything. It’s a Midwest town.  It has Midwest people.  They are very generous.  It’s kind of old school. It’s an old-school feeling of people who are still trying to help people all the time.  My neighbors are great.  We bring our dog in their backyard.  Cool stuff like that. St. Louis is more family oriented. 

    MLB.com: How does your wife, Laura, feel about St. Louis?

    Arenado: She loves it, which is huge because you want your whole family on board.  My wife loves it.  My parents love it.  My brothers love it.  It’s been great.  Awesome.

    MLB.com: What does Matt Holliday mean to you?  I understand he is a hero of yours.

    Arenado: Matty is just a great friend, a great mentor. He is an amazing man, amazing dad.  Someone that I look up to.  I’m very thankful to have him as a friend.  He and his wife, Leslee, are great people I can rely on.

    MLB.com: What is the biggest thing Holliday ever taught you?

    Arenado: It’s trying to slow the game down.  We talk a lot about swings—stuff like that.  He understands how hard it is.  We talk a lot about swings.  That’s the main topic.

    MLB.com: I also read Adrian Beltre is another hero of yours.

    Arenado: Being a Dodger, being a third baseman, elite, one of the best. He was a really special player.  Hall of Famer.  No question about that.  He has longevity.  Everything you want in a player, Adrian Beltre does that.

    MLB.com: I remember when you were in Colorado, your parents and your brothers were a big deal in your life.

    Arenado: Yeah, for sure. My family is a huge deal.  Not only my brothers and parents, my cousins.  The whole Arenado clan.  Everyone that has an Arenado on their name is pretty special to me.

    MLB.com: Why did you decide to include them in your baseball life?

    Arenado: I think they included me in baseball.  My Dad is the one that showed me the game.  At the same time, I know this is my road.  My family is part of it.  I just need them around. I need their support.  I need their guidance, because they know me better than anybody.

    MLB.com: Ever since you have been in the big leagues, you have won the Gold Glove Award every year. Are you better than Brooks Robinson?

    Arenado: Brooks has got me.  Mike Schmidt has got me.  Those guys are the best.  Scott Rolen is up there, too.  It’s cool to be in those conversations.  That’s good enough for me.  (Ladson - mlb.com - 9/16/2021)

  • 2021 Season: For the year, Arenado clocked in with a 113 wRC+ and a .336 wOBA. That’s solidly above average and ranks 10th among qualified third basemen in 2021. It is, however, significantly below the standards Arenado has set for himself.

    From age 25-28 with the Rockies, Arenado had a wOBA that ranged from .386 to .395 and a wRC+ between 126 and 133. That’s a Hall of Fame level of peak performance during his prime production years when combined with his Platinum Glove-level of defense. Arenado’s fWAR was between 5.0-6.1 every season.

    Entering this season, it was difficult to know how those stats would translate. Thankfully, Baseball Savant is in the business of statistical translation. For his career, Arenado has an expected Statcast slash line (xBA, xwOBA, xSLG) of .261/.336/.466. That’s more meaningful to us than his actual Statcast slash line (BA, wOBA, SLG) as a Rockie: .293/.372/.541.

    The problem with that expected Statcast slash line is it includes performances we don’t want to include for the sake of this translation – like his well-below average rookie season, his injured 2020, and his Busch Stadium 2021. If we recalculate that to exclude those seasons we are left with an “in-his-prime-and-healthy” in Colorado expected Statcast slash line (xwBA, xwOBA, xSLG). Here’s that line below compared to Arenado’s actual performance from 2021 in St. Louis:

    Xstats COL 2014-19: .264/.343/.479Actual stats STL 2021: .255/.336/.494

    Conclusion? By wOBA, Arenado was probably a hair below what fans should have expected coming over from Coors based on wOBA. But this was pretty much an average season for him when giving significant weight to his expected performance throughout his career as opposed to his actual performance playing half his games at high altitude.  (J. P. Hill  Jan 19, 2022)

  • April 27, 2022: Cardinals star third baseman Nolan Arenado was suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Baseball for his role in the bench-clearing fracas with the New York Mets.

  • July 1, 2022:  The first time Nolan hit for the cycle, he was a member of the Rockies, and he blasted a walk-off, game-winning three-run home run on Father’s Day in 2017 to elicit “M-V-P” chants and a celebratory mob at home.

    Arenado once again hit for the cycle, only this time his emotions couldn’t have been more opposite. Not only did the Cardinals lose to the Phillies, but Arenado’s famed glove at third base was a primary culprit in one of St. Louis’ ugliest defeats.

    Arenado botched a ground ball to open the fifth—one that led to three Phillies runs and allowed them to wipe out a 3-0 St. Louis lead. The Phillies later added two solo home runs to grab the victory. Arenado did what he could to keep the Cardinals in it, tripling, homering, and doubling in his first three at-bats. He recorded the second cycle of his career in the eighth when Philadelphia third baseman Matt Vierling couldn’t field his hard chopper. (J Denton - MLB.com - July 2022)

  • 2022 All-Star game: Braves third baseman Austin Riley replaced Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado. Riley’s having a career year for Atlanta with 26 home runs and 60 RBIs to go along with a .913 OPS, and will head to his first All-Star Game.

  • Aug 26-28, 2022: Arenado was placed on the paternity list after his wife, Laura, gave birth to their first child Thursday. Arenado found out that his wife had gone into labor, so he hurried back to St. Louis and arrived in time for the birth.

  • Aug. 2022: Arenado committed to play for Team USA in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. 

  •  

    2022 Season: Arenado is arguably the game’s best all-around player and potentially the best third baseman in history. That’s the opinion of Hall of Famer and 16-time Gold Glover Jim Kaat, who feels strongly that Arenado should be mentioned with Mike Trout, Manny Machado and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. as the best all-around players in baseball.

    Determined to bounce back from what he deemed a down year in 2021 and prove his past production wasn’t merely a product of Colorado’s thin air, Arenado put together arguably his best all-around season
    . While teaming with MVP finalist Paul Goldschmidt, Arenado led the Cardinals to the first division title of his 10-year MLB career. He ranked first in the NL in WAR (7.9), second in slugging (.533), sixth in batting average (.293), 11th in home runs (30), fourth in RBIs (103), third in doubles (42) and fourth in OPS (.891). He won the Player of the Month award in April and August, the only two-time winner in the NL.

    Defensively, Arenado was even better
    . The 31-year-old third baseman equaled a mark set by Ichiro Suzuki by winning his 10th consecutive Gold Glove to start his career.

    Arenado’s biggest impediment to finally winning an MVP is, of course, Goldschmidt
    . The first baseman did finish second to Arenado in the NL in WAR and fell short of a Gold Glove. Like Goldschmidt, Arenado has never been an MVP, but he’s been close several times, finishing eighth (2015), fifth (’16), fourth (’17), third (’18) and sixth in (’19). -- John Denton



    TRANSACTIONS

  • June 2009: Nolan signed with the Rockies for a bonus of $625,000 after they chose him in the second round of the draft, out of El Toro High School in Lake Forest, California. Jon Lukens is the scout who signed him.

  • January 15, 2016: The Rockies and  Arenado avoided arbitration, agreeing on a one-year deal for $5 million.

  • January 13, 2017: Arenado and the Rockies again avoided arbitration and agreed on a two-year, $29.5 million contract. Nolan got $11.7 million in 2017 and $17.7 million in 2018.

  • Jan 31, 2019: The Rockies and Arenado avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $26 million, a new record for an arbitration-eligible player.

    February 26, 2019: Nolan and the Rockies agreed on an 8-year, $260 million extension, with an opt-out after three years. At the time, his average annual salary was $32.5 million was the highest in baseball history.

  • Jan 30, 2021: The Cardinals obtained Arenado in a blockbuster, six-player deal with the Rockies. The Cardinals receive Arenado and cash considerations. The Rockies receive LHP Austin Gomber, INF Elehuris Montero, RHP Tony Locey, INF Mateo Gil and RHP Jake Sommers

    Additionally, the Cardinals have agreed to restructure Arenado’s mega contract, adding a year onto the back end of the deal (making it run through 2027) with player opt-outs after the ’21 and ’22 seasons. Arenado will retain his no-trade clause, too, a source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.

    The Rockies will also send up to $51 million to the Cardinals to pay down Arenado’s salary, a source told Feinsand, but the particulars of how and when were not yet clear.

  • Oct 30, 2022: Arenado opts in; deal with Cards runs through 2027  Arenado, who turns 32 in April, has five years and $144 million left on his contract, which takes him through the 2027 season. The Rockies, who Arenado played with for eight seasons prior to a 2021 trade to St. Louis, will pay $31.5 million of that remaining money, including $16 million in 2023. Per the terms of his contract, Arenado had until five days after the conclusion of the World Series to decide whether he wanted to opt out and become a free agent.
Batting
  • Arenado has good bat speed and hand action at the plate. He hits for a good average and power. He makes an impact on games with his offensive ability. He is a run producer.

    He has a knack for making steady contact and getting the barrel of his bat to the ball. His swing gets long through the ball, so his finish looks unorthodox, but he has great hand speed. With his balance and hand-eye coordination, he has been difficult to strike out throughout his career.

  • Nolan derives his power more from bat speed than muscle at this point, and as he gets stronger he should hit 20 homers a year. Arenado entered pro ball with an opposite-field stroke but has learned to turn on inside pitches, sometimes to a fault because he strays from hitting to the center of the field. Nevertheless, he should always be able to hit for high averages. (Spring 2013)

  • Nolan is a very good hitter. His powerful hands enable him to hit the ball very hard and for long distances. He has bat speed and strength for more home runs as he matures as a hitter. Mostly, he hits doubles, now. But they will become home runs as he matures and adds loft to his swing. He impresses with his gap-to-gap mentality and his ability to consistently line drive the ball into the gaps.

  • Arenado has good balance at the plate. He has a good eye, walking about as much as he strikes out. And his hand/eye coordination is impressive. He has an advanced two-strike approach. He really controls the strike zone.

    He will give you a good at-bat. He has a superb two-strike approach. He is very confident when he has seen a few pitches from the pitcher. His inside-out swing with two strikes serves him well. He has a situational approach that allows him to turn on fastballs thrown on the inside part of the plate.

    "I've learned that your two-strike approach should not be a defensive approach," Arenado said. "You're still aggressive, widen the strike zone a little bit and be ready to hit."

    With exceptional hand-eye coordination and above-average plate discipline, Arenado has the tools to hit for average. He also projects to have at least average power, although it hasn't shown up yet.

  • He is very adept at staying inside the ball—almost to a fault. He has a polished inside-out swing, driving balls to gaps. And he turns on inside fastballs and hanging breaking pitches. His swing has a flat path, but he gets good extension and has shown an increased ability to hit balls with backspin.

    He uses a selectively aggressive approach and superb hand-eye coordination to make consistent contact. 

  • He is very good at hitting balls from gap to gap.

  • Arenado believes he has folks to go to if he needs to focus on his swing. His father was a good sounding board for much of his life. Also, Kevin Riggs, manager at Double-A Tulsa, was Arenado's hitting coach at Class A Asheville in 2010, at Class A Advanced Modesto in 2011 and Tulsa in 2012. The two communicate often by phone and text, and Riggs can offer the correct little pointers.

    More important than any of it, Arenado believes he has found the feel for the correct swing by staying solid over his back leg. At times in 2013, Arenado's weight would shift toward the front leg, which didn't give him the proper base for solid contact.

    "I knew I was in front. That's what got me in trouble. But it was hard to break the habit. Knowing now that I need to finish on my back leg, it's easier to feel if I popped the ball up, 'Oh, I dipped.' As long as I'm turning my hips and staying back, I believe I'll be able to figure out things a little bit quicker." (3/11/14)

  • On May 8, 2014, Arenado broke the Rockies team record with his 28-game hitting streak.

  • August 22, 2015: His fourth-inning long ball made Arenado just the second third baseman in Rockies franchise history to have a 30-homer season. Vinny Castilla did it six times (1995-99 and 2004).

  • In 2015, Arenadao became the first NL third baseman to reach 130 RBIs since Vinny Castilla had 131 for the Rockies in 2004.

  • October 3, 2015: Arenado inked his name in the record book. The second-inning leadoff homer and his two-run double in the third increased Arenado's extra-base hit total to 88, most ever in a season by a third baseman. (He finished the season with 89.)

    The Braves' Chipper Jones had 87 in 1999. And the Braves' Eddie Mathews had 86 in 1953. 

  • In 2016, Arenado became the third third baseman in Rockies' history to have multiple 40-homer seasons before turning 26.  He joined Andres Galarraga, Todd Helton and Vinny Castilla, who is with the club as a special assistant to the general manager. Castilla did it three straight years, 1996-98. Third baseman Eddie Mathews had three seasons of 40 or more homers before age 26 (1953-55), while Troy Glaus had two (2000-01). Arenado now has two (2015 and 2016).

  • Sept 23, 2016: Arenado's homer also made him the fourth Rockies player to have multiple 40-homer seasons. He joined Andres Galarraga, Todd Helton and Vinny Castilla, who is with the club as a special assistant to the general manager. Castilla did it three straight years, 1996-98.

    "It's elite," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "He's doing big-time stuff his first few years in the league. He's special." (T Harding - MLB.com - Sept 24, 2016)

  • In 2016, for the second straight season, Nolan tied for a share of the NL home run title. Both he and Chris Carter had 41. In 2015, he tied with Bryce Harper with 42.

  • In 2016, he easily led the league in RBIs with 133, which was 24 more than Anthony Rizzo (109).

  • June 15, 2017:  Nolan added a new trick to his power arsenal in 2017. Widely acknowledged as ranking among the game's strongest right-handed pull hitters, in 2017, Arenedo is pushing more to the opposite field.  

    Arenado launched a career-high three doubles in Colorado's 10-9 win over the Giants, including two to the deepest point of right-center, to finish with a season-high four RBIs. According to Statcast, Arenado is lifting 34 percent of his total batted balls to the right of straightaway center, as of June 15, 2017—a significant uptick from the 27 and 25 percent on such balls in 2016 and 2015, respectively.  (Kramer - mlb.com)

  • June 18, 2017: Nolan completed an improbable cycle with a three-run homer off Mark Melancon in the bottom of the ninth to give the NL West-leading Rockies a 7-5 victory to complete a four-game sweep of the Giants at Coors Field.

    "It's getting loud here—that's the loudest it's ever been," said Arenado, who was serenaded with "MVP" chants after delivering the Rockies' colorful fifth straight win.   

    Arenado's cycle is the eighth in Rockies history and the third by any player at Coors Field in 2017. No current park has seen more than two cycles in a season. Also, it was the 17th cycle at Coors Field, which ties it with Fenway Park (opened in 1912) for most in a current park. By the way, all cycles involving the Rockies (by them or their opponents) have occurred at Coors Field.  

    Arenado tripled in the first inning, singled in the fourth and doubled in the Rockies' first run in the sixth, all off starter Ty Blach. Then he saw Melancon, the Giants' veteran closer.

    He swatted Melancon's first-pitch fastball for a home run. It was the first walk-off cycle in the Majors since the Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez did it July 31, 2010, against the Cubs.   (Haft & Harding - mlb.com)

  • It's what Nolan does with his back (right) foot, specifically, during his swing that turned heads. Before each of three homers in a game in July 2017, Arenado actually lifted his back foot off the ground prior to stepping with the front foot, a momentum-creating motion that essentially gives him a running start into the pitch. Though hitters have been experimenting with back-foot movement for years, none as radical as Arenado's exists anywhere else in baseball. 

    Arenado calls his "step back," a way to "get in my legs" and create power. Since implementing the foot shuffle into his swing in 2015, Arenado has hit more home runs than any player in the National League. Nearly half came away from Coors Field in 2017. More than half did in 2015. 

    "It changed who I am as a hitter. Now I'm back-legging the ball, I'm back-spinning homers, and I never used to be that guy," Arenado said. "It's a rhythm thing. I feel powerful with it." 

    In some ways, what Arenado does is an extension of what all players are trying to do: create a kinetic mix of balance and tension that transfers as much of their weight to the baseball as possible. But how he does it is more a modern remix to an antiquated style, predicated on "diving" into the ball, more commonly seen in black-and-white highlights. 

    "Back in the day, hitters would take a walking load," Spilborghs said. "Watch Willie Mays. Watch some of the 1969 Mets. Their feet are active."

    But over much of the past 40 years, when players have tried to create power, they've done so mostly with front leg kicks. Their back foot remained rooted in the ground, even as they shifted energy to and from it, a base for their weight and head.

    Arenado doesn't have a leg kick, but when he's going right, his foot shuffle creates enough lower-half tension for him to dive into the ball and still drive it. His feet move more than any other hitter, but they end up in nearly the exact place they start, which allows his head to stay relatively still and his body balanced. Where most hitters want to create enough momentum for their back foot to come off the ground naturally by the end of a swing, Arenado's does so twice: before and after.

    "Like a kickstart on a motorcycle," Rockies assistant hitting coach Jeff Salazar said.  "Nolan moves his feet more than most, but he really understands how his body moves and what he has to do to be successful," said Salazar, who tried the heel lift during his four-year MLB career. Salazar said DJ LeMahieu and Trevor Story also use it to create momentum. 

    Whether players mimic Arenado fully will likely depend on whether they are strong and athletic enough to do so. All the movement gives Arenado's mechanics a relatively small margin for error, and that margin keeps shrinking for everybody with pitcher velocities going up and up.  (Trezza - mlb.com - 7/20/17)

  • Nolan starts hours before each game in batting-practice showcase that is effective and representative of why he is an elite hitter in the National League.  

    Arenado won't let you forget that his best power, his most bat speed, is going to be to the pull side.  He launches ball after ball out to left, towering shots. That is Arenado's goal and his strength as a hitter, the approach that's produced back-to-back (2015 and 2016) NL home run crowns.  

    "I'm a pull guy. I like to pull the baseball. It's just my style," Arenado said. "I want to drive the ball out."  

    Arenado wants to pull. It's who he is. But 40-homer seasons change how pitchers go after you. In 2017, Arenado noticed them attacking away, especially with sliders. "Believe me: I want to drive the ball out to left field, left-center," Arenado said. "But I'm also not getting the same pitches I've gotten in the last couple of years. I've got to make that adjustment and get my hits, and when they make mistakes, take advantage."

    Early on, Arenado felt himself getting his hits the other way, but not powering the ball with backspin to left like he was accustomed to. At first, he thought he was just out in front, which a few swing-mechanic tweaks would fix. But Arenado quickly realized pitchers' role. His rate of pitches on the outer third and away, as tracked by Statcast, has risen from under 49 percent to close to 55 percent from 2015-2017.

    That sent Arenado to the film. In the Rockies' video room or lying in his hotel, he watches what pitchers have been doing to him to anticipate what they'll do next. 

    "I think people are just scared of Nolan," teammate Charlie Blackmon said, "so they want to stay away from his power. He's had to make those adjustments and get hits out over the plate."

    Not just hits, but damage. In August 2017, of Arenado's 40 doubles and triples, 55 percent had been to center or right field, up from around 40 percent in each of the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Statcast™ has tracked 62 percent of his non-homer barrels and solid contact as going to center or right, vs. 49 percent in 2016 and 39 percent in 2015. 

    Arenado hits, pitchers adjust, and he adjusts in turn. It's the nature of baseball. The guys trying to get him out haven't found a good answer yet. (Adler - mlb.com - 8/10/17)

  • Aug 11, 2017: Arenado's brilliant season continued in productive fashion in the 6-3 loss to the Marlins, as he became the first Major Leaguer to 100 RBIs this season. The firsts keep coming, though. Arenado became the first to eclipse 100 RBIs before anyone else in the National League for three straight seasons since Hall of Famer Willie Stargell did so with Pittsburgh from 1971-73.

    "I mean, there's a consistency to his game that is showing up," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "I think you guys saw it the previous two seasons. We're seeing it this year. This guy is coming into his own as a player."

    Arenado needed just 112 games to reach the century mark. It marks the three-time All-Star's third straight 100-RBI season, and he has led the Majors in that category each of those years. (P Pinak - MLB.com - Aug 12, 2017)

  • 2017 season: Arenado became the first player to record 130 RBIs in three straight seasons since Ryan Howard (2006-09)

  • In 2017, Arenado won his third Silver Slugger Award.

  • July 28, 2018: Arenado became the seventh player to reach 100 homers at Coors Field.

  • Nov. 8, 2018: Nolan won his fourth Silver Slugger Award.

  • April 22, 2019: Nolan got hit no 1,000, just the ninth player in Rockies history to do so. 

  • May 26, 2019: Nolan swatted his 200th career home run, a three-run shot to give his team a 4-3 lead over the Orioles.

    “Two hundred homers is really cool,” said Arenado, who drove in five runs. “I’m really happy about it. I’m going to enjoy it. Probably not today. I’ve got a day game tomorrow, but I’ll probably enjoy it tomorrow.”  (Harding - mlb.com)

  • August 25, 2019: Nolan reached 100 RBI for the fifth straight season by smacking a solo home run, his 33rd of the season. 

  • Sept. 10, 2019: Arenado’s 500th career extra-base hit, making him the fourth player to collect 500 or more extra-base hits as a member of the Rockies (T. Helton, 998; L. Walker, 599; C. González, 543). 

  • May 2020: Arenado displayed power from the beginning of his career, but he bought into selectivity after former teammate Carlos González helped convince him he could be a .300 hitter. Arenado's eye is a bit non-traditional: He is among the best in the game at homering on pitches out of the strike zone, tallying 18 extra-base hits (seven homers) and 54 total base knocks on such pitches last season.

    Arenado also batted a career-best .315 last season, after hitting .297 in 2018 and .309 in '17. His .379 on-base percentage led the Rockies in '19, and late in the year, he and many of Colorado’s other key hitters zeroed in on counts in which they can be more selective. By leading the way, Arenado could add to his argument in future NL MVP Award discussions.  –Thomas Harding

  • May 2020: Arenado is upholding an interesting Rockies development tradition. The four homegrown players in the club's top 10 in career home runs were not home run hitters in the minors. Todd Helton (first), Arenado (tied for fourth with Carlos González), Charlie Blackmon (eighth) and Matt Holliday (10th). Instead, they concentrated on solid hitting principles, and the power showed up at the Major League level.

    Arenado was the only one of the group who had as many as 20 in a Minor League season—20 in Class A Asheville's bandbox. But by the time he reached the Majors, he was ready. Since hitting 28 homers over his first two seasons (2013-14), Arenado hasn't dipped below 37 in any year, and he's led the NL in homers in three of the past five seasons.

    Arenado is maintaining power while improving his batting average and on-base percentage. Interestingly, Arenado's power is almost overshadowed by that of Trevor Story, who didn't have eye-popping Minor League power numbers yet has become the first shortstop in Major League history with at least 20 homers in his first four seasons. –Thomas Harding

  • May 2020: Do you know who has the best individual single-game hitting performance for the Rockies? 

    Nolan Arenado—June 18, 2017 vs. Giants. Rockies history is full of cycles and big offensive performances. Coors Field, you know. Coors has hosted more cycles than any other park—19, including 10 by opponents. And many games with six hits . . . Andres Galarraga (6-for-6 on July 3, 1995) and Charlie Blackmon (6-for-6 in his first home opener on April 4, 2014). But the best game goes to Arenado’s Father’s Day cycle because his three-run homer to beat the Giants, 7-5, came with the Rockies behind in the bottom of the ninth. –Thomas Harding

  • June 25, 2021: Nolan Arenado reached base five times and hit his 250th career home run.

  •  

  • April 11, 2022: Arenado emerged from Opening Weekend as the Major League leader in extra-base hits with five and RBIs with seven. He went 6-for-12 (.500) with two homers, three doubles and a 1.788 OPS over St. Louis’ first three games to earn NL Player of the Week honors.

    Arenado has won seven NL Player of the Week Awards in total, but this is his first in a Cardinals uniform. He last won one in 2019, when he was still with the Rockies. (T Harrigan - MLB.com - April 11, 2022)
  • April 2022: Cardinals star Nolan Arenado was named the NL Player of the Month.

    Arenado batted .375 for St. Louis with five home runs, 17 RBIs, 12 extra-base hits and an 1.125 OPS. He led the NL in OPS, ranked third in batting average, tied for second in RBIs and tied for fourth in home runs.

    It's the third career Player of the Month Award for Arenado, who also won with the Rockies in September 2015 and July 2017. Arenado is the second straight Cardinals player to be named NL Player of the Month, since Tyler O'Neill won the final Player of the Month Award of the 2021 season.

  • July 1, 2022: Arenado hit for his second cycle.  He also hit for the cycle on June 18, 2017. 

  • July 2, 2022: For the first time in club annals, the Cardinals hit four consecutive home runs. With two out, former Mizzou star Kyle Gibson was nailed for back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs by Nolan Arenado, Nolan Gorman, Juan Yepez and Dylan Carlson. Arenado's homer was a two-run shot, scoring Paul Goldscmidt.

  • Aug 8, 2022:  Arenado won this season’s first NL Player of the Week Award in early April, and now he has another, bringing his career total to eight.


    St. Louis went 6-0 this week behind Arenado’s .476 average (10-for-21), three homers, eight RBIs and 1.560 OPS. He drove in four runs to cap the Cardinals’ three-game sweep over the Yankees at Busch Stadium. 

  • As of the start of the 2022 season, Arenado's career Major League stats were: .288 batting average, 296 doubles, 269 home runs and 1,357 hits with 865 RBI in 4,711 at-bats.
Fielding
  • Nolan has good, soft hands and footwork. His athleticism gives him some mobility and agility despite lacking speed. His lateral movement and range were below average. But his range and quickness improved a lot in 2011 after he lost 20 pounds in the offseason before 2011 spring training. He is now a good, quality defensive player at third base, displaying good reactions and soft hands.

    In 2013, Rockies instructor Jerry Weinstein recalled, "There were a lot of people who said, 'He has a thick lower half, not a lot of first-step quickness, blah blah blah,'" Weinstein said. "But he's got a nose for the ball. In football you have these free safeties who have a nose for the ball, but doesn't profile in the combine. You put a glove on Nolan Arenado or you put a hitter up there, his range is uncanny.

    "For a guy with not a lot of fast-twitch, he gets to as many balls as anybody. He's going to be the standard for this game defensively. He can do everything—tremendous arm, tremendous release, he's accurate, catches every ball. "Nolan's play at third is rooted in self-expression. He can see himself making the barehand play and craves the opportunity. His internal timing tells him when he needs his full arm strength and when he can save it.

    "I like the plays that are just reaction—reaching, turning around, making the quick throw—where you don't know if you'll make the play," Arenado said.

    Arenado said Weinstein helped him become more efficient by offering specific footwork drills.  (Thomas Harding-MLB.com-5/25/13)

  • Arenado has a good arm for throws across the diamond. It is rated a 50.

  • He has a strong and accurate arm at third base. He has good first-step reactions and soft hands at the hot corner.

    Arenado ranges literally 8 to 10 steps to cut a ball off that the shortstop is ready to backhand and then tries to throw the off-balance and he throws the ball away. His instincts and athleticism allow him to get to balls that not every third baseman can get to. And that at times turns into difficult throws and off-balance stuff, and he’s got to learn through experience how to rein some of that in. (May 2013)

  • Nolan exhibits a solid take-charge attitude on the infield. He wants the ball hit to him.

  • Arenado has shown he can make highlight-reel plays at the hot corner and will cleanly field anything he gets to. His arm strength and accuracy have also impressed. He has an accurate, quick release from any angle he throws from.

    He has a knack for making difficult plays. His intensity and focus are superb.

    "I think you need to have lateral movement; that’s a huge part at third base,” Arenado said. “You have to be able to move side to side and be quick with it. You can’t take your time to go get the ball. You go down and you’ve got to go get it. Lately it’s been working out, and I think that’s a huge thing. Just getting low and getting more toward the ground to where you can have more movement and see the ball better.”

    LOST WEIGHT OVER TWO WINTERS

  • Nolan lost about 17 pounds during the winter before 2011 spring training. And his side-to-side mobility improved tremendously. He's got unbelievable hands and a real easy arm (action) with plus arm strength. He can throw from numerous angles, has got tremendous agility throwing on the move. He has plenty of range to play third base now.

    “This offseason was really big on defense,” Arenado said. “I worked on footwork, lateral movement, stuff like that. The defense this year has been better because I worked hard this offseason to get there. I had a lot of people telling me I probably would move to first and stuff like that, but I don’t want to move to first. I took it to heart."

    And who better to learn from about becoming a better defensive infielder than Troy Tulowitzki? The Rockies shortstop invited Arenado and Double-A Tulsa outfielder Tim Wheeler to train with him and his trainer over the winter. They would lift weights, hit, and run sprints. Tulowitzki gave Arenado personal instruction on how to handle the leather along the way.

    “He would say, ‘Get lower,’” Arenado said. “He taught me how to move, get to the ball, get the glove down.” (Ben Badler-Baseball America-8/01/11)

  • Before the 2012 season, Arenado really worked hard at losing weight and improving his first-step quickness and has blossomed into a quality third baseman. He lacks speed but compensates by reading and reacting to balls instinctively. He has a strong arm, throws accurately from various angles and has become adept at charging balls and fielding them barehanded. He can get caught flat-footed at times but still gets to balls that a lot of other third basemen don't. (Spring 2013)

  • May 16, 2013: Arenado provided a late-inning highlight, diving into foul territory to glove a screaming grounder, then jumping to his feet to fire a rocket to first and catch the runner to end the inning.

    "He's quite a talent," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said of the rookie. "He swings the bat, yet his average doesn't jump out at you. He's playing Gold Glove defense."

  • In 2013, Arenado received buzz late in the season for the Gold Glove Award—an honor no rookie third baseman had ever won. Manager Walt Weiss believes the willingness to take risks, even if it leads to an error, is a plus, not a minus.

    "I don't want to squelch his ability or his confidence in finishing plays," Weiss said. "We've seen him make some unbelievable plays, where you think he doesn't have a shot but he somehow pulls it off. I'd rather a guy err on the side of trying to finish plays like that."

    Arenado's highlight package is full of plays he has made, but Weiss, a daring fielder in his day, said he is even more impressed by one he didn't make.

    "I can appreciate it, because I've done it; it's a big part of Nolan's game," Weiss said. "One of the best plays he made this year was a play he didn't finish, in Houston. He went far to his left to try to do a 360 and throw the guy out at the plate. We didn't get the out and I think he threw the ball away, but it said a lot to me that a young kid was willing to put his neck out there and try to finish a play like that."

    PERENNIAL GOLD GLOVER

  • In 2013, Arenado became the first rookie third baseman in NL history to win a Gold Glove.  

    The Red Sox's Frank Malzone in 1957 is the only AL rookie third baseman to win a Gold Glove. 

    Nolan was promoted to the Majors on April 28. It didn't take him long to move to the head of the third-base class with his numerous highlight-level plays and general dependability and range at the position. He finished second in the league in putouts and assists at the position despite playing most of April at Triple-A Colorado Springs.

  • In 2014, Arenado established himself as one of the top defensive third basemen in the Majors, earning his second straight Rawlings Gold Glove.

  • In 2015, Nolan won his third-straight Gold Glove.

  • In 2016, Arenado won his fourth Gold Glove award.

  • In 2016, Arenado won his second straight Fielding Bible Award, which picks the top player at each position regardless of league.

  • In 2017, the Baseball America Best Tools annual survey had Arenado as the Best Defensive third baseman in the NL, as well as Best Infield Arm in the league.

    In 2017, Nolan won the Gold Glove Award for the fifth straight year.

  • In 2017, Arenado won the Fielding Bible Award for third base.

  • In 2018, Arenado was probably the least surprising Gold Glove winner. He has won the award in all six seasons of his Major League career, extending his own Major League record for infielders as he continues to set the standard at the hot corner in the NL. Notably, Arenado and the AL winner, Matt Chapman, were teammates at El Toro High School (Calif.), with Chapman backing up Arenado at shortstop.

  • In 2019, Arenado won his 7th straight Gold Glove (yawn).

  • Nolan's stellar defense is a particular point of pride for Arenado, especially given where he once was.

    "My defense is something I take a lot of pride in," said Arenado. "I work real hard. Going through the minors, I wasn't very good at defense. There were questions on if I needed to move back across the diamond. It's something I took to heart and have really focused on working on it through the years."

    At one point, there was a discussion that Arenado might have to move to first base. And now, he's one of Major League Baseball's top defensive third basemen—which is saying something considering the company of Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, and Mike Moustakas.

    "Footwork was the biggest key for me," Arenado said. "I feel like I always has pretty decent hands, but my feet were never good. As I got into pro ball, different guys helped me with my feet and how to move toward the ball. That's something that changed my entire career."

    "Rockies player development coordinator Jerry Weinstein helped me become a third baseman," he continued. "He taught me how to use my feet, how to stay low and get to the ball a lot quicker than I used to. I owe a lot to him." (Matt Snyder - July 2015)

  • Nov. 9, 2018: Arenado of the Rockies and Matt Chapman of the A's were honored as Major League Baseball's premier defenders as the recipients of the 2018 Rawlings Platinum Glove Awards.

    Established in 2011, the Platinum Glove Awards are given to the best defender in each league, as selected via a fan vote from among the Gold Glove Award winners at each position. Arenado earned his second consecutive Platinum Glove Award. Chapman is a first-time winner, joining Adrian Beltre ('11, '12) and Manny Machado ('13) as AL third basemen to receive the honor.

    The connection between Arenado and Chapman runs deeper than just the position they play. The two were high school teammates at El Toro High School in Lake Forest, Calif., with Chapman the backup to Arenado, two years his elder. That makes them the first pair of former high school teammates to win Platinum Glove Awards in the same year. It's also the first time that two players at the same position have won in the same year. (Do-Hyoung Park- MLB.com)

  • In 2020, Arenado won his eighth straight Gold Glove Award. The 29-year-old has received a Gold Glove nod after every season since breaking into the Majors in 2013.

  • In 2021, Nolan picked up his 9th straight Rawlings Gold Glove as best-defensive 3rd baseman in the NL.

  • Sept 2, 2022: Coming on the heels of winning the NL Player of the Month Award for August, it was somewhat surprising to see the Cardinals superstar uncharacteristically struggle through an 0-for-4 night at the plate.

    Regardless, Arenado was still the most impactful player on the field with the way he fielded his position in spectacular fashion yet again.

    Arenado showed why he is a heavy favorite to win a 10th straight top fielding award with a host of stellar plays in the Cardinals’ 8-0 throttling of the Cubs at Busch Stadium. The finest of them all, one where he short-hopped a bouncer and deftly threw around Chicago speedster Nick Madrigal to prevent a run in the first inning, left Arenado’s admirers in awe of what they had just seen.

    “He’s made some unbelievable plays, and I’m not sure how he makes half of them, to be honest with you,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. (J Denton - MLB.com - Sept 2, 2022)

  • Oct. 2022: Arenado won the Fielding Bible Award at 3rd base for the Cardinals. Arenado has long been considered the best defensive third baseman in the game, though he had some stiff competition this season. Still, the nine-time Gold Glove Award winner got the nod here after finishing second among third basemen in both DRS (19) and OAA (15).

  • 2022 Gold Glove winner - Arenado earned his 10th Gold Glove Award in 10 Major League seasons, tying Ichiro for most consecutive Gold Gloves to begin an MLB career. Arenado also tied Phillies legend and Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt for the second-most Gold Glove Awards by a third baseman in Major League history, trailing only Brooks Robinson (16). Arenado led all third basemen with an ultimate zone rating of 13, and he was second behind Hayes with 15 Outs Above Average.
Running
  • Nolan lacks speed. But he moves well enough for a big guy, and he has good instincts on the bases.
  • Before the 2011 season, Arenado dropped 20 pounds and was not quite so slow.

    And by the spring of 2013, he was probably a half-step quicker.
Career Injury Report
  • April–May 2010: Arenado's season was delayed when he suffered a groin injury that forced him to start the year in the Rockies' extended spring training. While he was not able to face live competition there, he was able to focus on getting ready for the season.
  • May 23-July 3, 2014: Nolan was on the DL after fracturing his left middle finger on a head-first slide into second base. 

  • Sept 16, 2014: Arenado was sidelined with a bruised chest and pneumonia with just two weeks left in the season.

  • Sept 20-28, 2020: Arenado was on the IL with sore left shoulder.

  • June 7, 2022: Arenado was out of the Cardinals' lineup after taking a curveball to the right knee in the 10th inning of the 4-2 loss to the Rays. Arenado was hit by a sweeping curveball from Colin Poche.