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2014 Rockies season review: Jackson Williams, gritty catcher who finally reached The Show

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Williams toiled in the minor leagues for seven-plus years before finally reaching the majors. He didn't do much there, but it was a great accomplishment for him nonetheless.

Joe Robbins

No type of baseball player seems to seize the hearts of fans (or maybe just me) quite like a catcher who spends a great deal of time in the minor leagues. For his first eight professional seasons, most of which were spent with the Giants organization, that's exactly what Jackson Williams did. He was a guy who earned his stripes -- as well as the respect of teammates and coaches -- at seven different minor league stops, racking up more than 2,300 plate appearances before finally getting the call he waited so long to receive.

On June 23, Williams' contract was purchased by the Rockies, and for the first time in his career, the 2007 first-round draft pick found himself on a 25-man MLB roster. Williams never saw the field during that three-day stint, likely a heartbreaking development for a guy who had waited to so long to reach the highest level.

Fortunately for Williams, who hit .256/.353/.368 in 286 plate appearances for Colorado Springs, the Rockies weren't done with him.

What happened

On Aug. 27, Williams finally made his major league debut, and did so against the team that drafted him. He entered that game as a defensive replacement before seeing his first plate appearances the next day. Williams went 1-for-2 with a walk in his first of four starts for the Rockies.

Williams finished just 3-for-14 with a pair of walks and accumulated exactly zero rWAR, but the 28-year-old native of Oklahoma had a memorable day against the Padres on Sept. 7, hitting a three-run home run -- the first big fly of his career -- and drawing another walk in a 6-0 win.

In his final game with the Rockies, Williams was used as a ninth-inning defensive replacement in a 15-3 win over the Diamondbacks. A week later, he was placed on the 60-day disabled list, and on Oct. 22, was claimed off of waivers by the Angels.

2014 Grade: A++++++++ (actual grade: Incomplete)

Dammit, I love gritty catchers. Here's to you, Jackson.