Welcome to the 2021 edition of Ranking the Rockies, where we take a look back at every player to log playing time for the Rockies in 2021. 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.
★ ★ ★
No. 36, Matt Adams: -0.3 rWAR
The Colorado Rockies’ Matt Adams experiment can only be considered unsuccessful. Despite Adams’ proven track record as a reliable pinch-hitter at first base—with a pair of World Series appearances and one win 2019 with the Nationals—things never really came to fruition for Adams in Denver.
After signing with the club towards the end of March, Adams spent most of the first month of the season at the Rockies’ alternate site until a call-up to the big leagues on April 29. At the time, the Rockies were 9-15 and in desperate need of some offense. Unfortunately for them (and Adams), he would not be a potent source of runs in the wake of his call-up.
In his fourth game with the club, Adams grabbed the first two hits of his 2021 season but wouldn’t manage another until nine games later. Sandwiched in that stretch was a stint on the 10-day IL after Adams fouled a ball off his shin that caused him to miss most of the second half of May. He’d make five appearances upon his return before going more than a month without seeing any game action again. Five more opportunities in the form of pinch-hit at-bats to start the month of July and Adams’ time with the Rockies was complete.
The stat line was unimpressive when all was said and done for Adams. In 22 games, he got just 36 at-bats. Six hits, none of which cleared the fence, resulted in a .167 batting average and two RBI.
While a quick look at the stat sheet points to a dreadful stint with the Rockies for Matt Adams, it’s worth noting that he never really got a chance. Confidence can go a long way for a player’s performance at the plate, especially when that player is a pinch-hit specialist the way Matt Adams is and was expected to be for the Rockies. The fact was, the Rockies had too many young guys—Connor Joe, Josh Fuentes, Brendan Rodgers—and even a veteran in C.J. Cron who performed well enough to prevent Adams from having any consistent opportunities. The trip to the injured list did him no favors either, and by July 27, nobody could have been surprised when the Rockies chose to release him.
No disrespect to Matt Adams, but it’s probably in the best interest of the Rockies’ future that he didn’t get more chances at the plate. At the time of his signing, fans were groaning on Twitter about the Rockies signing another aging player who would take playing time away from their young guys, and I’m glad it didn’t result in too much of that.
Matt Adams and the Rockies just weren’t meant to be.