You can’t teach speed, and that is one thing that Colorado Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler has in droves. Watching the 24-year-old patrol the outfield is a special sight to see. He had a handful of catches last season that wowed everyone in the stands, not to mention on the field. The best of the snags was in Atlanta in late April. Fowler ranged far to his right and dove to snatch a hit away from the Braves. The robbery kept Ubaldo Jimenez’s no-hitter intact and earned Fowler praise from his manager.

The other aspect of the game that features Fowler’s speed is his base running. Fowler stole fewer bases in 2010 than in his rookie season of 2009 by more than half, totaling just 13. But what he lacked last season in steals, he made up for in triples. Fowler led the majors with 14 three baggers. On two separate occasions, the lanky switch-hitter had two in a game.

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With speed comes an expectation that he will be a leadoff hitter, and that leads to a few aspects of his game that Fowler needs to improve upon. In his second full season, Fowler’s batting average dropped a few points to .260, which wouldn’t be too bad if he was getting on base more. Fowler, however, doesn’t walk enough. His on base percentage dropped to .357 for the season, which means that as a potential leadoff hitter, he’s not on base enough to set the table for Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and the rest of the power in the lineup.

As was the case for much of the Rockies roster in 2010, Dexter Fowler suffered from bouts with inconsistency. This was most apparent when looking at his numbers at home against on the road. He hit 100 points lower on the road, his on base percentage dropped by more than 100 points away from Coors Field, and he hit just one road homer, versus five in the mile high air.

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While his numbers are not always what they should be, Dexter Fowler has a huge amount of upside. He is a perpetually upbeat member in the clubhouse, he has tools that can’t be taught, and he has improved on his hitting from both sides of the plate. As the season went on, Fowler boosted his batting average and his on base percentage also climbed a bit.

In 2011, Fowler will get a fair chance at the leadoff spot and if he produces the way his speed would dictate he should he will score a ton of runs.

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– By Brett Heinzerling, CBS4 Sports Producer