You’re reading the 2018 edition of Ranking the Rockies, where we take a look back at the season had by every player to play for the Rockies in 2018. The purpose of this list is to provide a snapshot of the player in context. The “Ranking” is an organizing principle that’s drawn from Baseball Reference’s WAR (rWAR). It’s not something the staff debated. We’ll begin with the player with the least amount of rWAR and end up with the player with the most.
★ ★ ★
No.4, German Márquez (5.3 rWAR)
Baseball is, by most accounts, fun. Sure, you don’t always have fun watching it; sometimes a team is just so bad or is struggling to such an extent that it is hard to argue that anyone is having fun. But, for the most part, it’s fun. At least it’s supposed to be.
German Márquez, possibly more than anyone else, was fun in 2018.
The (STILL ONLY) 23-year-old right-handed flame thrower took the expectations of a strong rookie season and blew them away. Márquez improved nearly every facet of his game, striking out nearly 2.5 more batters per 9 (8.2 to 10.6), lowering his WHIP and FIP, and of course, dropping his ERA a full point.
That shows how fun his stats were, how fun his season was. But does it capture the joy of watching Márquez? Probably not. How could it? The numbers are just that — numbers. Data points mapping a good player’s great season.
I could explain the team record 230 strikeouts, the eight consecutive strikeouts he fired to start the game against the Phillies, the sub-3 ERA second half — I could explain any of it. But when it comes to German Márquez, the fun is watching. So, let’s watch.
But maybe the most fun wasn’t when he was on the mound. The 23-year-old didn’t end 2018 with any pitching trophies after all. No, next spring when the team opens up at home and they hand out hardware, Márquez will have a silver bat.
Márquez won a silver slugger with his .300 batting average and .650 OPS. He lined 18 hits in 60 at-bats. He was a pitcher hitting, but it always felt like he could line a knock. In a lot of ways, that was more fun. In a year where the Rockies offense spent so many games frustrating fans and rolling over, maybe a pitcher not being an easy out was a fun relief.
Here’s Márquez hitting a home run off Daniel Descalso.
In a season of fun moments, especially for Márquez, it would be hard to not count that one as one of the funnest. German Márquez was fun. More than just being fun, he personified it. He was fun any moment he was on screen. Heck, it was fun just to think about watching him. That defined his 2018 more than anything else.