MLB Rotation: Jeff Baker's September to remember

Jim Rogash

The Rockies had a whole bunch of talent debut down the stretch of the 2006 season, but the Tulos, Ubaldos and Iannettas didn't accomplish anything close to what one former Rockie did in September of that year.

Jeff Baker's name isn't brought up often when discussions take place regarding the best players to ever suit up for the Colorado Rockies. He was roughly a league-average player while in Denver, but in addition to his game-winning hit in Game 3 of the 2007 NLDS, Baker was best known for the ridiculous hot streaks in which he'd have the tendency to find himself.

Perhaps the hottest Baker has ever been in his career was in September of 2006, when the young Rockies were playing out the last month of another disappointing season but were filled with exciting talent. Troy Tulowitzki, Chris Iannetta, Ubaldo Jimenez and others made their debut appearances with the Rockies toward the end of that season, but none had a more memorable stretch of baseball than Baker.

A fourth-round pick in the 2002 MLB Draft, Baker actually made his big-league debut in April of 2005. He hit just .211/.302/.395 in 12 games that season and was sent back down to the minors. Baker didn't resurface with the Rockies until Sept. 8 the following year and started off 0-for-5 in his first two games.

The cold streak didn't last long.

Baker began a 15-game stretch in which he had at least one hit in 12 games. The three times Baker went without a knock were the three games during that span in which he registered just one plate appearance. Over those two-plus weeks, Baker hit .412/.423/.922.

He had one unbelievable game in particular on Sept. 18 against the San Francisco Giants. Baker homered twice, scored three times and drove in six runs as part of his 3-for-6 performance at the plate. The Rockies won that game, 20-8.

Baker finished the 2006 season with a .368/.379/.825 line with five homers and 21 RBI in 58 plate appearances across 18 games. The native of Bad Kissingen, Germany, never had another season like that, but has carved out a nice big-league career as a role player. He's certainly not doing so bad with the Rangers this year; Baker owns a .288/.361/.593 line with 10 home runs in 133 plate appearances.

The Rockies have certainly had more memorable September call-ups than Jeff Baker before and after the Clemson alum was brought up in 2006, but none have even sniffed the performance he gave in the season's final month almost seven years ago.

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