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Sunday Rockpile: Denver Post spring preview, plus Rockies 2009 win values by original acquisition year

Before I get back to one last look on 2009, there are some Sunday morning links, namely several from Troy Renck at the Denver Post as he previews the issues for the team heading into Tucson:

Alright then, by the title, I'm referring to the year the Rockies originally obtained the player or players that would eventually turn into the contributions we got from either themselves or players they were traded for in 2009. I originally did something like this after 2007, but skipped 2008, well, because I'm not sure I wanted to know the results. All the values are FanGraphs WAR, which has its flaws certainly, but is good when you're trying to put pitchers and hitters in the same pot like this. 

Among the fascinating things I discovered by this exercise:


  • The Rockies either directly or through trade are still receiving contributions from players acquired by the team in every season since 1995. While some of these are Gebhard era successes, much of the credit should go to Dan O'Dowd for flipping talent.
  • Shawn Chacon was nearly as valuable for the Rockies in 2009 as Matt Holliday.., well, as long as you don't take into account JDLR's batting.
  • There was an awful lot of transaction energy put into producing what would eventually become Omar Quintanilla.
  • Speaking of Q, the Rockies acquired two Speiers in 2001, and both contributed (either directly or through their surrogate, in this case Quintanilla) at replacement level last season. Something has to be said for having most or all of a team's replacement players at least live up to that standard.  
  • The Rockies love the year of the Boar: 1995 and 2007 were magical years for the Rockies that seemingly just keep on giving, not only did they get playoff appearances, their transactions from those years were still contributing significantly to the team in 2009. For 2010, most of 2007's contribution will come in the bullpen from Rafael Betancourt, but don't count out Matt Reynolds or Casey Weathers adding to that as well.
  • Tulo plus Jason Hammel made 2005 the winner for total value added
  • 2004 has this workhorse thing going, making up in bulk what it currently lacks in star quality.
  • I actually believe acquisition years tend to peak seven or eight years after the fact, and with the Rockies strength in 2004 and 2005, that would point to something really special in 2012.
  • 2002 and 2003 seem like weak acquisition seasons relative to the years surrounding them right now. Part of that is due to Jeff Francis' injury, which brought down 2002's score quite a bit, and part of that is because 2003, outside of Ian Stewart, has turned out to be one of the worst Rockies drafts of the O'Dowd era, and thus far, we haven't received an International boost from that year to make up for it like we got from Ubaldo Jimenez in 2001. Esmil Rogers and I believe Juan Nicasio (I might be wrong on this) were both 2003 products, so that could be changing.

After the jump is the complete breakdown by year, starting with 1995, when the Rockies got a certain first baseman in the first round of the draft...

1995: 3.6 WAR

  • Todd Helton 3.6

1996: 3.7 WAR

  • Shawn Chacon 3.7

Jorge De La Rosa 3.7

1997: 1.9

1998: 3.9

  • Matt Holliday 3.9

Carlos Gonzalez 2.4

Huston Street 1.5

1999: 0.4

  • Manny Corpas 0.4

2000: 2.8

2001: 5.7

1/2 of Omar Quintanilla (via Joe Kennedy) 0.0

2002: 0.6

2003: 1.4

1/2 each of Joe Beimel 0.1


  • Esmil Rogers 0.1

2004: 6.6

Yorvit Torrealba* 0.8

2005: 9.3

  • Troy Tulowitzki 5.4
  • Aneury Rodriguez 3.8
Jason Hammel 3.8
Jason Grilli 0.1

1/2 of Omar Quintanilla 0.0

2006: 0.2

Jose Contreras 0.2

2007: 4.8

Jason Marquis 3.8

  • Connor Graham 1.0

Rafael Betancourt 1.0

2008: 0.3

Mike McCoy ** (-0.1)


2009: 0.3

* - Torrealba was acquired from by the Rockies in December 2005 in exchange for Marcos Carvajal, who was acquired from Milwaukee after the 2004 Rule 5 draft.

** - McCoy was originally acquired July of 2008 for Castro (who was signed as a free agent in May of that year) and then re-signed with the Rockies in January 2009 after testing the free agent market himself. In this case, since there wasn't a period in that time that he was officially with another team, I'm counting his Rockies service as continuous. It's the same sort of situation with Glendon Rusch. If I remember to do this next year, I'll treat Jason Giambi in a similar fashion.