DENVER -- It only seems Charlie Blackmon has been around forever. He made his first appearance with the Rockies in 2011, and his epic beard makes it seem as if he trotted into his outfield position in the days of Julius Caesar. He'll turn 29 on July 1, so in baseball years, he's beyond young and in the so-called prime years.
Last year could be called the year of Blackmon's arrival -- an All-Star Game appearance and finally a full year of health and big league employment after foot and knee injuries limited his participation the previous three seasons. But Blackmon sees himself as a guy still on his way and looks to prove that he can't be defined by last year's statistics -- .288 batting average, 19 home runs and 72 RBIs, arrived at through wild production swings.