The Colorado Rockies are, for all intents and purposes, reaching the end of their young years as a franchise. Entering their thirtieth season of operation, the team has won 2,133 contests, made five postseason appearances, and won one pennant. They still seek their first World Series championship. In fact, they’re still so relatively new that only their top 12 position players by WAR have totals in double digits. When it comes to deciphering their all-time team, it could be considered easy, due to their relatively limited number of players. However, it can also be difficult for all the same reasons. One thing is certain…it isn’t boring. Let’s dive right in!
Colorado Rockies All-Time Infield
Catcher: Chris Iannetta
.232/.352/.422, 7.0 WAR, 620 G, 435 H, 252 R, 95 2B, 10 3B, 80 HR, 293 RBI
A fourth round draft pick out of North Carolina, Chris Iannetta holds the all-time WAR mark among catchers in Rockies history. While he never made an All-Star team, he did have his best performances there. In 2008, he posted career highs in average (.264), homers (18), RBI (65), hits (88), and on-base percentage (.390). He was also a respectable defender, posting an overall dWAR of 2.2.
First Baseman: Todd Helton
.316/.414/.539, 61.8 WAR, 2,247 G, 2,519 H, 1,401 R, 592 2B, 37 3B, 369 HR, 1,406 RBI
Todd Helton is the finest ever to step foot on Coors Field’s playing surface. He holds the all-time records in most offensive categories. Home runs, at-bats, hits, runs scored, you name it, Helton holds it. He also holds the team mark for runs created with a staggering 1,848. To put this in perspective, the next player on the list has 1,102. He’s a five time All-Star, and took home the 2000 National League batting title by hitting .372. Finally, he was excellent at getting on base, only striking out over 100 times in a season once in his career. A standout player with all the tools a manager craves, Helton is definitely the easiest choice for this list.
Second Baseman: DJ LeMahieu
.299/.352/.408, 16.6 WAR, 918 G, 1,011 H, 498 R, 161 2B, 31 3B, 49 HR, 345 RBI
Once he arrived in Colorado, DJ LeMahieu made an immediate impact. He hit .297 with 68 hits in his first 81 games with the club. His bat never really fizzled out, but his best years were from 2015–2017. During that time, he hit .319 with 551 hits, a .430 slugging mark, and an OPS+ of 104 in 451 games. He was the 2016 NL Batting Champion, posting a sizzling .348 mark. A two time All-Star, LeMahieu also played more than capable defense at second, winning three Gold Gloves and having a dWAR of 8.6.
Third Baseman: Nolan Arenado
.293/.349/.541, 40.1 WAR, 1,079 G, 1,206 H, 649 R, 262 2B, 27 3B, 235 HR, 760 RBI
If Helton defined the Rockies of the early-00s, then Nolan Arenado did so for the mid-2010s. He made five consecutive All-Star Games from 2015–19, hitting 199 home runs in that stretch. He’s led the league in home runs three times, doubles once, and RBI twice. His 2,227 total bases are fifth in team history. However, his prowess with the glove is also legendary. A 15.6 dWAR is tops for any Colorado player. He won a Gold Glove Award in all eight seasons he was with Colorado. All in all, Arenado was the face of the franchise from 2013–2020, and that’s why he’s here.
Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki
.299/.371/.513, 39.5 WAR, 1,048 G, 1,165 H, 660 R, 224 2B, 24 3B, 188 HR, 657 RBI
Troy Tulowitzki was taken seventh overall in the 2005 Draft. After showing prowess with Double-A Tulsa in 2006, he was called up to the big roster. However, it was not until 2007 that he proved his worth. He hit .291 that year with 24 homers and 99 RBI, coming home second in Rookie of The Year voting. After a down 2008, he had a tremendous 2009–2015. During that stretch, he made five All-Star appearances and hit .304 with a 132 OPS+. Twice, he cracked 30+ home runs in a season and finished in the top 10 in MVP voting three times. He was also excellent defensively, winning two Gold Gloves and posting a 13.9 dWAR.
Colorado Rockies All-Time Outfield
Left Fielder: Matt Holliday
.319/.387/.550, 18.6 WAR, 723 G, 863 H, 482 R, 190 2B, 23 3B, 130 HR, 486 RBI
Matt Holliday was drafted right out of high school in 1998. He did not burst through the big league door until 2004. Once he did, he became one of the most high profile outfielders of that time. He made three All-Star appearances in Colorado, but his best year came during the Rockies’ memorable run to the pennant in 2007. Holliday won the batting title (.340), clobbering 36 home runs and leading the league in hits (216), doubles (50), RBI (137), and total bases (386). He finished second to Jimmy Rollins in the MVP vote that season. In spite of his massive defensive liabilities, Holliday was always intensely reliable at the plate, solidifying his spot on this list.
Center Fielder: Charlie Blackmon
.300/.359/.495, 19.5 WAR, 1,269 G, 1,450 H, 820 R, 264 2B, 52 3B, 191 HR, 631 RBI
Charlie Blackmon was drafted three times but wound up signing with the Rockies out of Georgia Tech in 2008. A sharp eye at the plate has helped him to four All-Star Games and the 2017 NL batting title. That year, he hit .331 and led the league in triples (14), hits (213), runs scored (137), and total bases (387). When taking into consideration the fact that he did this while batting leadoff for over 630 at-bats, it becomes even more impressive. Much as with Holliday, Blackmon’s defense isn’t anything to write home about. However, his reliability at the plate and on the basepaths places him here.
Right Fielder: Larry Walker
.334/.426/.618, 48.3 WAR, 1,170 G, 892 R, 1,361 H, 297 2B, 44 3B, 258 HR, 848 RBI
Larry Walker is the biggest free agent signing in Rockies history. After inking a deal prior to 1995, he exploded out of the gates, hitting .306 with 36 homers in his first season. He went on to pick up three batting titles and the 1997 NL MVP Award. A four-time All-Star in Colorado, Walker also led the league in on-base percentage twice, slugging twice, and OPS twice. Speaking of OPS, Walker’s all-time Colorado OPS is over 1.000. He was extremely good at putting the ball in play, only striking out over 100 times in a season once. His defense was also noteworthy, as he picked up five Gold Gloves with the team.
Pitchers: Ubaldo Jimenez, Aaron Cook, Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin
Historically, pitching has been a troublesome area for the Rockies. Nevertheless, these are the best four when it comes to WAR. Ubaldo Jimenez won 56 games in Colorado with an all-time best 3.66 ERA. He also leads the team in all-time adjusted ERA+ (128) and holds the only no-hitter in team history (2010). Aaron Cook places second on the Rockies pitcher WAR list with a 17.1 mark. He won 72 games with a 4.53 ERA and a 106 ERA+. In 2008, he made his only career All-Star appearance, winning 16 games with a 3.96 ERA.
Jorge De La Rosa holds the team’s highest marks in wins (86) and strikeouts (985), posting a 4.35 ERA in nine seasons. He had two 16-win seasons (2009, 2013) and put up an ERA under 3.50 during the latter. His WAR of 15.5 is third on the list. He ranks second all-time in winning percentage (.585) and fifth in K/9 (7.767). Finally, we have Jhoulys Chacin. He won 41 games during his seven years in Colorado with a 3.83 ERA and a 119 ERA+. His best career year there was in 2013, when he won 14 games and posted a 3.47 ERA. He has yet to best this mark in any year during which he pitched in as many games as he did then.
Honorable Mentions: Carlos Gonzalez, Trevor Story, Vinny Castilla, Brian Fuentes
Carlos Gonzalez helped bridge the gap between the Helton and Arenado eras. His 227 homers as a Rockie rank fifth all-time and his 277 doubles are third. He picked up a batting title in 2010 while winning the first of three Gold Gloves, finishing in the top five in MVP voting. Next, there’s Trevor Story. A worthy successor to Tulowitzki, Story broke onto the scene in a big way in 2016, walloping 27 homers. He’s made two All-Star appearances and had two 30-plus home run seasons. His speed is noteworthy and he plays defense well (10.6 dWAR).
Vinny Castilla was one of the game’s feared home run hitters in his prime. He hit 239 in Colorado, including three consecutive 40-plus seasons from 1996–98. Three Silver Sluggers and a respectable 2.9 dWAR cement his status as one of the best Rockies ever. Finally, there’s the team’s all-time saves leader, Brian Fuentes. He’s a four-time All-Star who put up three years of 30 saves or more. From 2005–2008, he averaged 28 saves a season with a 158 ERA+.
Rockies All-Time Manager: Don Baylor
Don Baylor makes this list despite not being the winningest manager in team history. Simply put, he has the best winning percentage out of the two that have managed the team as much as he had. In over 900 games, Baylor posted a .484 winning percentage. The Rockies also had a slightly better average rank under his tutelage. Unfortunately, every manager in Rockies history has a losing record, so this was a difficult decision. However, Baylor seems to have made the most of what he was given to work with. That’s why he’s on here over Clint Hurdle, the actual winningest manager.
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Chris Iannetta, Todd Helton, DJ LeMahieu, Nolan Arenado, Troy Tulowitzki, Matt Holliday, Jimmy Rollins, Charlie Blackmon, Larry Walker, Ubaldo Jimenez, Aaron Cook, Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin, Carlos Gonzalez, Trevor Story, Vinny Castilla, Brian Fuentes, Don Baylor, Clint Hurdle