Around the league, there are always players who just have another team’s number. Sometimes these are good players who take it to another level. Sometimes these are mediocre players who for whatever reason just seem like they turn into an All-Star when they face a certain team. We don’t know why Ben Paulsen produced a 130 wRC+ against the San Francisco Giants in his career. It’s just how it worked out.
There are four active players who have always filled me with fear when they bat against the Colorado Rockies—namely Wil Myers, Paul Goldschmidt, Trea Turner and Matt Kemp. I thought I’d take a shallow dive into the numbers and see what a Rockies wrecking ball of an active 26-man roster would look like. This is simply looking at lowest ERAs for pitchers and highest wOBA for batters (however, to make sure all positions are accounted for, these aren’t necessarily the position players with the highest wOBA overall; Ketel Marte didn’t make the top 13 but was highest among second basemen).
Let’s take a look:
Starting pitchers (5):
Jacob deGrom, Justin Verlander, Lance Lynn, Adam Wainwright, Taijuan Walker
Relief pitchers (8):
Kenley Jansen, Mark Melancon, Tony Watson, Pedro Báez, Tyler Clippard, Craig Stammen, Andrew Chafin, Kevin Quackenbush
Buster Posey, J.T. Realmuto
Miguel Cabrera, Trea Turner, Ryan Zimmerman
Dexter Fowler, Matt Kemp, J.D. Martinez, Giancarlo Stanton
Derek Dietrich, Ketel Marte, Max Muncy, Wil Myers
Here’s how the starting lineup might look:
1. Trea Turner—SS
2. Max Muncy—3B
3. Miguel Cabrera—DH
4. Giancarlo Stanton—LF
5. J.D. Martinez—RF
6. J.T. Realmuto—C
7. Ketel Marte—2B
8. Ryan Zimmerman—1B
9. Dexter Fowler—CF
This lineup can easily go toe-to-toe with any in the league. And with Myers, Kemp, Dietrich and Posey on the bench—I don’t see how the Rox can overcome this one. Some highlights:
- Cabrera isn’t quite the potent bat he once was, but his .495 wOBA against the Rockies leads the pack.
- Turner has two career cycles against the Rox.
- Fowler has reached base 51 times in 27 games against his former club.
- Muncy has 31 RBI in 32 games against the Rox.
- Stanton has 20 homers and 58 RBI in 51 games.
- Goldschmidt was a surprising omission, but it’s hard to leave Zimmerman off when he’s hit an obscene 50 extra-base hits in 81 career games against the Rockies.
- Martinez has turned into one of the premier offensive players in all of baseball, but he did a good deal of damage against the Rockies from 2011-13 when he was still a member of the Houston Astros (.358/.371/.507 in 70 plate appearances).
- The Rockies are fortunate to now have Kemp on their side, considering his 46 home runs are the most any player has ever hit against the club.
- And Myers has 52 extra-base hits in 83 games against the Rox, which comes as no surprise to any of us.
We haven’t even mentioned the starting rotation yet, which can also definitely go toe-to-toe with any other staff (especially the deGrom/Verlander 1-2 punch).
The Rockies have recently seen what Lynn can do, with his Friday night complete game effort.
The National League West is featured prominently in the bullpen, with Jansen and Báez representing the Los Angeles Dodgers, Watson representing the Giants, Stammen representing the San Diego Padres and Chafin representing the Arizona Diamondbacks. We also have a former Giant in Melancon and a former D-Back in Clippard. Quackenbush is a notable former Padre and is still technically active even though he hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2018 (he’s currently in the player pool on a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals).
With all that being said, perhaps the Rockies would be wise to score more of these players for themselves, as they did with Kemp. Or perhaps they can hope that more of them move out of the NL West or out of the National League completely, like Miguel Cabrera. Either way, this is a good-looking team overall, and it would definitely take down the Rockies if history is any judge.