Welcome to the 2017 edition of Ranking the Rockies, where we take a look back at the in-season contributions of every player to don the purple this past season. The goal wasn’t and isn’t to quibble with order. Instead, it’s to get a snapshot of a player along with a look forward. For that reason, we simply sorted by Baseball-Reference’s Wins Above Replacement (rWAR) and will start at the bottom and end up at the top.
No. 27: Ryan Hanigan (0.0 WAR)
The Rockies signed Ryan Hanigan on April 2 to a minor-league deal. They did so to bolster a catching unit that would be without Tom Murphy for the first two months of the season.
Hanigan’s year wasn’t supposed to be what it was, by all accounts. Tony Wolters completely fell flat after a good 2016, Dustin Garneau couldn’t do enough to maintain a solid platoon, Murphy’s wrist injury proved to be bad enough that the youngster never regained his strength, and Hanigan’s veteran presence helped give confidence to a young rotation that had the unfamiliar task of carrying a Rockies team. For all intents and purposes, Hanigan’s year was a success. He helped where he could, he got the job done.
With only 101 at-bats and only a 67 OPS+ in that limited time, Hanigan’s year at the plate wasn’t memorable by any stretch. His performance behind the plate, however, could be argued as beneficial and necessary to a successful 2017 season. He was behind the plate when Kyle Freeland nearly threw a no hitter in Coors Field, he calmed more than one young pitcher when they faced trouble.
Ryan Hanigan’s season was good enough for what he was. A 36-year-old backup catcher looking to catch on for one more playoff run. Mission accomplished.
Hanigan likely won’t return to the Rockies in 2018. The team is targeting Jonathan Lucroy as its veteran backstop for next year, and Hanigan will try to do the same thing somewhere else.