Due to the cancellation of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments, Purple Row is hosting our own Rockies Madness Tournament this year. We selected the 36 best players in Rockies history to determine the best player in franchise history. We sorted them into four regions to force the most interesting matchups: Infielders, Outfielders, Mile High (for relievers and starting pitchers who began their career before the humidor), and Humidor (for starters who began their career after the humidor). All stats are from Baseball Reference.
We have arrived to the Final Four of Rockies Madness, with the winners of the Humidor, Mile High, Infielder and Outfielder regions facing off. Semifinal number one features the winner of the Outfielder region, Larry Walker, taking on the winner of the Mile High region, Pedro Astacio.
Larry Walker, Outfielder
Walker Rockies Career Stats
- Top 10 NL MVP (1995-7th, 1997-1st)
- 5x Gold Glove (1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002)
- 2x Silver Slugger (1997, 1999)
- 4x All-Star (1997, 1998, 1999, 2001)
- MLB Hall of Famer (Class of 2020)
- From 1997 to 1999, Larry Walker led baseball with a .451 on-base percentage.
- Walker is the first player to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame with a Rockies cap.
- Walker is the only player in Rockies history to win the National League Most Valuable Player Award.
- In his Rockies debut (it was also the inaugural game of Coors Field) on April 26, 1995, Walker doubled three times, one of which tied the score in the ninth inning. The game resulted in an 11−9 win after going into extras.
What isn’t to like about Larry Walker? After an arduous #WalkerHOF campaign over the years, he was finally elected to represent the Rockies in Cooperstown. After growing up wanting to play hockey (and playing street hockey against Boston Bruins great Cam Neely), he eventually switched to baseball and it seemed to pay off. Walker started his baseball career by being signed as an undrafted free agent by the Montreal Expos in 1984. He finished seventh in the Rookie of the Year voting in 1990 and was voted to the All-Star Game in 1992, as well as winning his first Gold Glove that year. In 1995, he joined the Rockies and the rest is history.
During his Rockies tenure, he won a home run title in 1997; three batting titles in 1998, 1999, and 2001; five Gold Glove Awards in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002; and the NL MVP Award in 1997. He was also selected to the All-Star Game in 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2001. After finishing his Rockies career with a .334/.426/.618 slash with 258 home runs, Walker will be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2020 (or whenever the next ceremony is).
Pedro Astacio, Starting Pitcher
Astacio Rockies Career Stats
• In 1999, Astacio posted the most wins of his career with a 17-11 record and a 5.04 ERA in 232 innings spread out over 34 starts. His WHIP was 1.435.
• Astacio leads the Rockies all-time list with 14 complete games. His 53 wins are sixth best in team history and his 8.148 strikeouts per nine innings is fourth best in Rockies history.
• Astacio had the 5th best WAR (5.9) among NL pitchers in 1999 and the best fielding percentage (1.000) for NL pitchers in 1998 and 2000.
• Astacio was voted onto the Rockies all-time 25-man roster, which was voted on by fans and announced to celebrate the 25th year of the existence of the team in 2018.
Pedro Astacio was called up mid-season in 1992 for the Los Angeles Dodgers and threw a shutout and fanning 10 in his major-league debut. He was traded to the Rockies for Eric Young in late 1997 and it seemed like the Rockies finally had a pitcher who could tame the nightmare that was Coors Field. He won five of his first consecutive decisions in a Rockies uniform, including a career-high 12 strikeouts in eight scoreless innings against the Atlanta Braves. His best season came in 1999, where he finished 17-11 with a 5.04 ERA over 232 innings. Many of the records Astacio set in 1999 weren’t broken until Ubaldo Jiménez’s incredible 2010 season. Even though he didn’t finish with any accolades, Astacio retired in 2006 as one of the most productive Dominican pitchers and one of the most productive pitchers in Rockies history.
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Final 4, Game 2
This poll is closed
No. 1 Larry Walker, OF
No. 1 Pedro Astacio, RHP