Colorado Rockies All-Time 26-Man Roster

Colorado Rockies All-Time 26-Man Roster

by September 11, 2021 0 comments

Throughout their history, the Rockies have always had a stigma. Great hitters, terrible pitchers. Everyone is a product of the altitude of Coors Field. Looking at their all-time team, yeah, the pitchers may not be strong. But the Rockies have had their superstars, some of which are still in Major League Baseball. The 2007 team that made it all the way to the World Series is also prevalent here.

Make sure to check out all of our other All-Time Rosters.

Starting Nine

Jeff Reed, Catcher

The Rockies have not exactly been known for their all-time catchers. Reed here may be an unknown to a lot of readers, especially the non-Rockies fans. A backup catcher early in his career who won the World Series in 1990 with the Reds, Reed made his way to Colorado at the age of 33 during the 1996 season. From then until he was released in 1999, Reed posted a .286/.373/.456 slash line for an OPS of .829. Because this is the 90s and also Coors Field, his OPS+ of 99 does not look as impressive. Still, he was a good hitting catcher who had a walk rate of over ten percent in each season he was a Rockie.

Todd Helton, First Baseman

There is only one Hall-of-Famer on this list, but Todd Helton should join that list in the future. Drafted eighth overall by the franchise in 1995, Helton debuted in 1997 and was the Rookie of the Year runner-up the following season. From 2000-2004, he was one of baseball’s best hitters. Helton posted an OPS over 1.000 in every season, won four Silver Sluggers and three Gold Gloves. He was robbed of the 2000 MVP, as he hit 42 home runs while leading the league in average (.372), OBP (.463), slugging (.698), and OPS (1.162). Despite having a WAR 1.7 better than Jeff Kent, Helton finished fifth in the voting.

While he may have declined quickly after his peak, Helton did stay with Colorado. He retired after 2013, spending all 17 years in a Rockies uniform. He finished his career with a .953 OPS and a 61.8 WAR. Helton is the all-time Rockies leader in WAR, games played, hits, home runs, and many other counting stats.

Eric Young, Sr., Second Baseman

The second base race came down to Eric Young, Sr., and DJ LeMahieu by a good margin. While the two were close in many categories, Young made the difference in stolen bases. His 180 is the most ever by a Rockie. After being acquired from the Dodgers in the expansion draft, Young stole 42 bags in 1993. His 53 in 1996 led the National League. Young could hit, too. He had a .393 on-base percentage and a .814 OPS in ’96, which earned him his first and only Silver Slugger award. His OPS was over .800 in three of his five seasons as a Rockie.

Young was traded back to the Dodgers for Pedro Astacio in 1997 when he already had 32 steals. His career numbers as a Rockie included a .295 average, a .378 OBP, and a .790 OPS. Young’s son, Eric Jr., also played for the franchise. He stole 70 bases with the team from 2009 to 2013.

Troy Tulowitzki, Shortstop

“Tulo” really was great and it is a shame that injuries ruined his career. It’s unbelievable, but he is still just 36 right now. After just missing out to Ryan Braun on the 2007 NL Rookie of the Year award, Troy Tulowitzki led the Rockies to the World Series before losing to the Red Sox. He played in parts of ten seasons for the Rockies until he was traded to Toronto in 2015.

In his time with Colorado, Tulo was an all-star five times and won two Gold Gloves with a pair of Silver Sluggers as well. He hit .299 with 188 homers, 55 stolen bases, and an OPS of .885. His best season may have come in 2014, despite playing in just 91 games. Tulowitzki hit 21 home runs with a 1.035 OPS that year.

Nolan Arenado, Third Baseman

The latest face of the franchise to leave, Nolan Arenado is the all-time defensive WAR leader for the club. The voters agreed, as they rewarded him with a Gold Glove in all eight years he played with the club. By no means was he just a glove. Arenado won four Silver Sluggers and led the league in home runs three times. His OPS eclipsed .900 in four different seasons, only dropping under .800 twice. Arenado’s totals in Colorado amount to an impressive .881 OPS.

Larry Walker, Right Fielder

Larry Walker has just become the first Hall-of-Famer in Rockies history. And undoubtedly, it was well deserved. Walker signed with the Rockies in 1995 from Montreal and was with them until a trade to St. Louis in 2004. During his time with the franchise, Walker won the MVP award in 1997 when he hit 49 home runs, along with five Gold Gloves, two Silver Sluggers, and five appearances in the all-star game.

Walker never really had a bad season as a Rockie. His OPS was over 1.000 in six different seasons, twice leading the league. He could hit for average, get on-base, and slug over .700. Over ten seasons, his Rockies OPS was an insane 1.044. The Coors stigma caused him to take a lot longer to be inducted into Cooperstown, but it was deserved from the minute he retired.

Charlie Blackmon, Center Fielder

The first current Rockie to make the team, Charlie Blackmon‘s tenure is not done yet. He is 35 years old, although he has definitely passed his prime. Blackmon made four all-star teams and won the Silver Slugger award twice. He was a threat to beat Young’s stolen base record before he significantly lost a step over the past three seasons. His peak speed year was 2015, swiping 43 bags.

In 2017, Blackmon proved that he could slug. He hit 37 home runs with a league-leading .331 average. His OPS was exactly 1.000. Blackmon’s career average is still over .300 as of now and he has hit 191 homers with a .856 OPS. He spent most of his career in center field but now has moved to right field.

Matt Holliday, Left Fielder

After being drafted in the seventh round by the Rockies in 1998, Matt Holliday spent five seasons as a Rockie before a trade to Oakland for another player on this team. Holliday was an elite hitter and picked up three Silver Sluggers before a long career in St. Louis. In Denver, Holliday received MVP votes in three separate seasons including a second-place finish in 2007, when he led the league in average and his OPS was 1.012.

Holliday actually returned to the club to end his career in 2018, for a whole 25 games. Overall, he hit 130 homers with a .319/.387/.550 line.

Andres Galarraga, Designated Hitter

With Helton at first, Andres Galarraga will have to move to DH to stay in the starting lineup. He spent just five seasons in a Rockies uniform but was great in all of them. His season-by-season OPS ranged from .842 to 1.005. Galarraga hit 47 home runs in 1996 then followed it with 41 the next year. Not bad for a free agent signing.

Galarraga would leave the team after 1997 the same way he joined them. He hit 172 homers with a .944 OPS. Galarraga actually hit more home runs in a Rockies uniform than he did in an Expos one, despite playing nearly 300 more games in Montreal.

Starting Rotation

Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP

Before he became a back-end starter with Baltimore, Ubaldo Jimenez was the ace of the staff in Denver. The homegrown kid played in six years for the team until a trade in 2011 to Cleveland. He pitched in 138 games for Colorado, posting a 3.66 ERA with 773 strikeouts and a 3.58 FIP in 851 innings.

Jimenez’s peak came in 2010, his only all-star season. That is arguably the best season ever by a Rockies pitcher, as Jimenez was a Cy Young finalist while posting a 2.88 ERA and 214 strikeouts. For a guy who played half of his games in Coors Field, Jimenez did not allow home runs. In his three-year peak, his HR/9 was under 1.0 twice.

German Marquez, RHP

The current ace of the Rockies’ staff, German Marquez set a franchise record when he struck out 230 batters in 2018. He finished with a 3.77 ERA in the same year. In his six years (and counting) as a Rockie, Marquez has a 4.21 ERA with 801 strikeouts in 795.1 innings. His career ERA+ is 118, which looks a lot better than the actual ERA. Marquez has a 4.08 ERA this year and was named to his first all-star team. He also leads the majors with three complete games in 2021.

Aaron Cook, RHP

A 2nd round pick in 1997, Aaron Cook is more of a peak over total stats guy when it comes to this list. Thanks to awful seasons in 2003, 2010, and 2011, his Rockies ERA is bloated to 4.53. But he was a key contributor to the Rockies rotation for many years. Cook had a 3.67 ERA in 2005 and a 3.96 in 2008, making the all-star team in the latter year.

Cook was also a key starter during the team’s 2007 run. That year, he posted a 4.12 ERA with a 117 ERA+, then made two postseason starts. Cook had a 17.1 WAR in Colorado, ranking second among Rockies pitchers. Only Jimenez beats him, although Marquez is hot on Cook’s trail.

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP

Jhoulys Chacin is actually one of the few members on this team currently on the team. He has been a fine relief option for them, although his claim to this roster is from his first stint in Denver, from 2009 to 2014. He had a 3.28 ERA in 2010 then followed it up with a 3.62 the next season. Chacin missed most of 2012 but did not lose a step when he made 31 starts with a 3.47 ERA. Once again, Chacin is a pitcher whose total numbers get ruined by a bad final season. But his overall Rockies numbers are a 3.79 ERA with a 120 ERA+.

Kyle Freeland, LHP

Kyle Freeland has a chance to climb up the all-time Rockies pitching WAR leaderboards, as, after five seasons, he is at 13.8. In his sophomore season of 2018, Freeland finished fourth in National League Cy Young voting, with a 2.85 ERA in 202.1 innings. That gives for an elite 166 ERA+. In the years since Freeland has not been the same guy. But still, he has been an above-average starter in 2019 and 2020. This year, he has a 103 ERA+ despite a 4.69 ERA. The potential to grow more in Colorado puts him over Jorge De La Rosa, who had a 105 ERA+ during nine seasons in Denver.

Bullpen

Brian Fuentes, LHP, closer

The six-foot-four closer of the 2007 team, Brian Fuentes came over from Seattle in 2001 for Jeff Cirillo. Until he left in free agency to the Angels, Fuentes was dominant. He completed at least 30 saves three times with an ERA under 3.00 twice. He was an all-star three times and could strike batters out. He had a 10.3 K/9 over his seven years with the franchise. Fuentes had a 3.38 ERA altogether. He did struggle in the 2007 playoffs, which taints his Rockies legacy a bit. Especially when he was great in the postseason for the Angels and Twins.

Steve Reed, RHP

Over two stints with the Rockies, Steve Reed made a franchise-record 461 outings. He led baseball with 64 appearances in the shortened 1994 season, then made 71 and 70 in the next two years. Reed was electric in 1995, as he had a 2.14 ERA with 79 strikeouts in 84 innings. He was never a dominant strikeout pitcher, so Reed’s 8.5 K/9 that year was a big deal.

When he signed back with the team in 2003, Reed was no slouch for the two more seasons he spent. His ERA+ was 153 in 2003, then 134 in 2004. His total ERA+ in Colorado was an impressive 140.

Huston Street, RHP

After Fuentes left, Huston Street was the new closer in town. The first of two members on this squad to come from the Matt Holliday trade, Street saved 84 games in Colorado. He only played three seasons for the club but was never bad. He had a 3.06 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 2009, his best season with the team. Street could also close for this team, as he did for all four teams that he played for in his career.

Rafael Betancourt, RHP

Rafael Betancourt came over from Cleveland in 2009 for career minor leaguer Connor Graham and was a key part of the Colorado bullpen for years. In the 32 games he played in down the stretch, Betancourt had a 1.78 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 25.1 innings. He was great again in 2010 and 2011 before inheriting the closer role from Street in 2012. In his only full season with that title, Betancourt had 31 saves with a 2.81 ERA and a 3.10 FIP. He would post a 2.77 FIP over six seasons with the club.

Matt Belisle, RHP

You may remember Matt Belisle as a reliever who pitched for the Twins as recently as 2018. He spent six seasons with the team and was a great reliever for many of them. In 2010, he pitched in 92 innings and struck out 91 with a 2.93 ERA. He had a 3.25 ERA over 74 outings the next year. In 2012, Belisle led the league with 80 games played. Overworking him came to Belisle as he struggled the next two seasons. But, he was still very effective for multiple seasons for a team that does not have many great relief arms.

Adam Ottavino, RHP

The current Boston reliever,  Adam Ottavino, had some down years over his seven seasons with the Rockies but was effective for the most part. In 390.2 innings for the franchise, Ottavino struck out 452 batters with a 3.41 ERA and a 136 ERA+. He had a WHIP under 1.000 and a sub-3.00 ERA in both 2016 and 2018 before leaving for the Yankees in free agency. Ottavino’s main issue for most of his career has been control. He did walk 165 batters with the Rockies.

Rex Brothers, LHP

The final reliever on the team is also the only southpaw aside from the closer Fuentes. Rex Brothers is not just here for being a lefty, either. He debuted in 2011, striking out 59 in 40.2 innings with a 2.88 ERA. Two years later in 2013, he was elite. In that season, Brothers posted a 1.74 ERA with 19 saves, a 3.36 FIP, and 76 strikeouts in 67.1 innings. In his five seasons for the Rockies, he had a 3.42 ERA with 278 strikeouts and a 132 ERA+ in 242.1 innings.

Bench

Chris Iannetta, Catcher

The second-best catcher in Rockies history, Chris Iannetta had two different stints with the team. In 2008, he showed that he could hit. Iannetta hit 18 home runs with a .390 OBP and an OPS of .895. He left in 2012 after he had a .370 OBP the year prior. His career walk rate was 13.5 percent, which was extraordinarily high for a catcher.

Iannetta returned in 2018 and spent what would become the final two seasons of his career in Denver. Iannetta was a below-average hitter in both seasons. He had a .352 OBP with a .774 OPS over eight seasons with the club.

Trevor Story, shortstop

The current shortstop of the Rockies, Trevor Story will almost certainly leave this fall as a free agent. His WAR currently sits at 25.5. Story has been a power, average, and speed threat while also being fine in the field. In his career, Story has eclipsed 35 home runs twice. He has 153 of them total and could get to 100 stolen bases by the end of 2021. His total OPS is also a fine .864.

Vinny Castilla, Third Baseman

Vinny Castilla ended up playing three stints with the Rockies, more than anyone on this team. He won three Silver Sluggers with them and made two all-star teams. In his nine total years with the Rockies, Castilla hit 239 home runs with a .294 average and an OPS of .870.

Castilla also hit 40 home runs in each season from 1996 to 1998, making a lethal corner infield duo with Galarraga. He never led the league in home runs or RBIs, until he came back. He had a resurgent season with the Rockies in 2004, and his 131 RBIs was a National League-high.

Carlos Gonzalez, Outfielder

The other piece of the Holliday trade, Carlos Gonzalez made a bid to start himself on this team. “CarGo” made three all-star teams and hit at least 20 home runs in six different seasons and hit 40 in 2015. He was often an on-base threat and led the league in batting average in 2010. Gonzalez’s OPS as a Rockie was .865 over ten seasons. What helps this team a ton is his ability to play all three outfield spots and be a strong left-handed bat.

Dante Bichette, Outfielder

Dante Bichette just nearly made this team. The reason it was close was due to his very bad defense, which made his WAR with the Rockies unimpressive. His son, Bo, maybe more famous now, but Dante was a four-time all-star of his own. From 1993 to 1999, Bichette hit .316 with a .892 OPS. He was also a big power threat, as Bichette’s 40 home runs led the National League in 1995. As did his .620 slugging. That was the year where Bichette came closest to the MVP award, finishing second. He was always a great hitter, but never a good defender.

Honorable Mentions

DJ LeMahieu, 2B
Jorge De La Rosa, LHP

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