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Prospect Arenado feeling more confident this spring

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies third-base prospect Nolan Arenado, who is likely to start the year at Triple-A Colorado Springs but is being given an opportunity to make the big club this spring, is lighter than he would like to be because of an illness he suffered just before camp. However, he doesn't expect his lack of weight to hurt him.

"I'm probably 212 [pounds] now, and I'd like to be 215-220," he said. "I know I've leaned out, but I feel strong. That's the main thing. I'm stronger than I was coming into camp last year. I feel a lot quicker at third base and better in general. Hopefully, I just burn fat but not any muscle."

Arenado, who turns 22 on April 16 and is the Rockies' No. 2 overall prospect, battled a midseason slump last year but finished strong at Double-A Tulsa. He ended the year with a .285 batting average, 12 home runs and 56 RBIs.

Arenado said he will not let dreams of grabbing a big league job cause him to lose focus this spring.

"It feels a lot more comfortable than last year, but still, this isn't my locker room," he said. "I'm still a second-year big league camp guy. But I'm a lot more comfortable, a little more settled in, and I know what to expect. That helps out a lot.

"I'm just trying to hit the ball hard when I go up to the plate, make my plays on defense, do the right thing and be a good teammate. If I do that, a lot of good things can happen."