I've always liked Wilin Rosario. I like his attitude. I like his athleticism and his awe-inspiring throwing arm. When he lines one up, I like to watch how far it goes.
But Wilin did not line it up nearly often enough this season for a player whose main contribution is his bat. That was a nice way of saying that Wilin remains a defense liability despite much hope (including by yours truly) that his defense would improve.
It has in small ways. And the always present -- especially in The Year of Apocalyptic Ailments -- injury caveat is necessary, but whatever small strides Rosario has made behind the plate are mitigated by the Carmen San Diego-esque disappearance of his offense.
Wilin Rosario didn't hit the baseball.
He was hurt for much of the season, but still managed to play in 106 games and posted a line of .267/.305/.435 with an 86 wRC+, his lowest mark since his next worst season by 21 points.
He hit only 13 home runs. In 117 games in 2012, he hit 28 home runs. It's entirely possible that the pitchers of the National League have figured out not to throw Wilin Rosario fastballs anymore.
Another theory is that his struggles behind the plate are killing confidence or in other ways manifesting themselves in his offensive game. Either way, the Rockies cannot accept an 86 wRC+ from a defensively challenged catcher. It would behoove them to much greater affect to give a starters load to a player like Mike McKenry.
2014 grade: D
With the current state of offense at the catcher position, I can't give Wilin an F. But there is no way to sugar coat it. In order to prove his value in his current role in the league, Rosario needed to hit much better than he did.
What to expect in 2015
Hopefully that he is rediscovering his swing ... for an American League team. Rosario is a great kid but the Rockies can't afford to devote innings behind the plate to him with such a young pitching staff and a strategy contingent upon excellent defense.
If he remains in purple, I hope it is solidly in a backup role for catcher and first base and as a potential right handed power bat off the bench. This may not be the best place for him to grow, but the Rockies young and promising pitchers deserve their best chance at success.