Everyone else is doing it, why shouldn’t I?
The Rookies (notice the length of this list)
Wilin Rosario – A-: I know everyone loves to point out the negative (his defense) but I think his immense power potential that was shown in what amounts to 2/3’s of the season is enough to give him an “A” for the season. I will give him a “minus” because of the defense but I think the Rockies HAVE to get him time at first base next year to continue to get his bat in the lineup. On Todd Helton’s off days Rosario needs to play first.
Josh Rutledge – A+: Rutledge was ranked #8 by Keith Law before the season started in his prospect list by organization, Jonathan Mayo didn’t rank him in his top 20 and Baseball America ranked him 10th. After watching him for nearly 300 plate appearances I am thoroughly excited to see him play second base for the Rockies next year next to Troy Tulowitzki. While the Rockies might lack power at third and first base compared to the rest of baseball they will make up for that deficit by the extra power in the middle infield.
Jordan Pacheco – C-: For a guy learning a new position I guess Pacheco did OK. I know Tracy was in love with him because he batted over .300 for most of the year but I am a bit more pessimistic when I look at his on-base percentage with lack of power. The Rockies didn’t have any options at third and Pacheco was the best option out of a pile of no options. Make sense?
DJ LaMahieu – C: Another average player: no power and slightly below on-base percentage. Good D from what I saw this year but I think the Rockies have second base covered. Trade bait?
Andrew Brown – C: There was/is a run of very young players that saw time with the Rockies this year and many of these guys just didn’t get enough playing time to make a really good grade and Brown was one of them. In a crowded Rockies outfield there isn’t room for a guy who OPS’d .730.
Charlie Blackmon – C: Why do fans love this guy? I don’t get it and was really shocked when I read people wanting him to start over Dexter Fowler early in the season. His 83 OPS+ says otherwise.
Matt McBride – C: Another guy with too few plate appearances to give a good or bad grade, but in his limited time I wasn’t impressed.
Rafael Ortega – N/A: I’m including everyone, even a guy who had six plate appearances.
Thomas Field – N/A: Three plate appearances…
Todd Helton – D-: Another year gone due to him being old and his OPS+ tied for the worst of his career. He slugged a brutal .400 and while his ability to save errors for the rest of the infield his lack of bat is glaring when compared to the power displayed at fire base around baseball.
Marco Scutaro – D-: I am only grading his time with the Rockies. His defense was suspect at best and his mental errors were mind numbing. His OPS while with the Rockies was 50 points below his career average and his lowest OPS since his first two years in baseball in 2002 and ’03 with the New York Mets.
Chris Nelson – C+: I know thinking of Nelson as a “veteran” is a bit odd but he doesn’t quality as a rook by baseball standards. Nelson really started to show some potential towards the end of the year and he will be 27 next year – the prime age for baseball based on history – but I can’t see him as the everyday third basemen which is the best chance for him to play all the time. But among some of the young players his OPS did break .800 which is a positive.
Michael Cuddyer – C+: I only give Cuddy the “+” because while I didn’t like how he was utilized by the Rockies (playing the outfield too much and batted too high in the order) I loved how he hustled. Dan O’Dowd overpaid for him, immensely, and I think that showed this year. His OPS was the same as it was last year but when you factor in the park his OPS+ was much lower. He was an average player, at best, and was paid like a high contributor.
Will Nieves – C: I said I would include everyone and when Nieves did play with the Rockies he was serviceable.
Tyler Colvin – B+: Colvin’s OBP is the only thing keeping him from an “A”. He ended the year with 18 home runs but if he saw full playing time he would have hit 25. He played every position he was asked and I think he played them all well (as opposed to a guy like Ty Wigginton last year who played all the positions poorly).
Jonathan Herrera – C-: Herrera is not an everyday player as much as Tracy tries to fit that round peg into a square hole. A career OPS+ of 66 and an OPS+ of 69 this year scream DFA. With the team as it stands I don’t think Herrera even deserves a 40-man roster spot.
Eric Young Jr. – B+: What a shock EY2 was this year. His OBP took a huge leap and that’s what he needs to do: get on base. Once on base he is a terror to opposing teams and he showed on numerous occasions what his speed can do for the team on the bases. The knock on him in recent years was that he didn’t get on base and this year he did. Where he fits on this team in the field is another story.
Ramon Hernandez – F: Like we said on this site many times when he was signed: he will be hurt. But basically all year? And when he did play he posted the lowest OPS of his career – by nearly 50 points! He was awful in every phase of the game.
Jason Giambi – F: Same as Hernandez. Hurt too much and he slugged – SLUGGED – .303 in 2012. Five extra base hits is all Giambi had in 113 plate appearances.
Carlos Gonzalez – C: I give him a “C” because of his second half and horrid defense. While his first half was strong enough to give him at least a “B” his second half was bad, almost as bad as his defense. 1.046 OPS in the first half and .706 in the second. .437 OBP in the first half and .301 in the second. I have a hard time not thinking that CarGo (remember when the knock on him when the Rockies acquired him was that he didn’t “give it his all” all the time and quit on some plays) didn’t mentally check out after the All-Star break when he realized this team was going nowhere…and doing silly things like limiting their starters to about 4 innings pitcher per outing.
Dexter Fowler – A: I didn’t put Helton in The Stars section and am putting Fowler here instead. He is on the verge of being a star in baseball and I think his name will be mentioned A LOT this offseason in trade rumors. As much as I hate to say that. Fowler set career highs in home runs, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He showed that he is a viable option (made it obvious to even idiots like Tracy) at the top of the order and I think it is also obvious he can bat in the middle of the lineup. He sure would have been a better option protecting CarGo when Tulo went down than Michael Cuddyer or Jordan Pacheco…Pacheco? Really Tracy?
Troy Tulowitzki – C-: Bottom line is that Tulo has to stay on the field. Despite Bill Gievett’s idiotic implication that the excessive offseason training or altitude plays a large part in injuries; Tulo does need to figure out how to stay healthy. Unfortunately some athletes cannot. Sometimes physical limitations are not shown in box scores but rather simply in how many games a guy can play in during a season. When he is on the field he is great, but he needs to be on the field more often.