Welcome to the 2020 edition of Ranking the Rockies, where we take a look back at every player to log playing time for the Rockies in 2020. 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 lowest rWAR and end up with the player with the highest.
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No. 16, Chris Owings: 0.1 rWAR
Similar to Matt Kemp, Chris Owings was a former-enemy-turned-teammate in 2020.
Owings, 29, was drafted 41st overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2009 draft. He made his MLB debut for the Snakes in September 2013 and spent six seasons in the desert before signing with the Royals as a free agent in the 2018-2019 offseason. He split time between the Royals and Red Sox in 2019 before eventually signing a minor league deal with the Rockies in December.
Even though he didn’t necessarily have the “Rockies killer” reputation like Matt Kemp did, Owings has actually hit pretty well against the Rockies over his career. In 236 at-bats, he has a triple slash of .343/.383/.542 with 32 extra-base hits (24 doubles, one triple, and seven home runs), 37 RBI, eight stolen bases, 16 walks, and 47 strikeouts. Comparatively, Kemp has a triple slash of .314/.365/.611 in 663 at-bats with 98 extra-base hits (45 doubles, 7 triples, and 46 home runs), 154 RBI, 14 stolen bases, 53 walks, and 159 strikeouts.
As a Rockie, Owings only played in 17 games in the pandemic-shortened 60-game season. In those 17 games, he started 11 and was used as a true utility player — spending time at every position except for first base, catcher, and pitcher. He also hit just .268/.318/.439 with three extra-base hits (a double and two homers), five RBI, three walks, 11 strikeouts, and a stolen base. He also posted a DRS of 0 at all of his defensive positions.
Owings was almost certainly brought in as a veteran presence to this team, but unfortunately he wasn’t able to stay on the field enough to leave any notable mark. Part of the reason that he was limited to 17 games was due to a hamstring injury he suffered in late August that kept him sidelined for the rest of the 2020 season. Given Ryan McMahon’s struggles and Brendan Rodgers’ shoulder injury, it is a possibility that Owings would’ve played more if he had been healthy. It’s difficult to say, but he is a free agent now and so far there hasn’t been any word as to whether or not the Rockies would like to bring him back in 2021.