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.
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No. 28, Taylor Motter: 0.0 rWAR
If you forgot that Taylor Motter appeared in a Rockies uniform this year, you can be forgiven. Of the hitters who spent time with the Rockies this season, only Ryan Vilade appeared in fewer games and amassed fewer plate appearances than Motter did this year.
The 32-year-old former-Rays draft pick signed with the Rockies in the spring and was assigned to Triple-A Albuquerque to start the season. After hitting .332 with 24 home runs in Albuquerque, Motter got his call to the bigs in early August to replace the injured Raimel Tapia. It was his first big league appearance since 2019, but it was not to last. He was DFA’ed less than two weeks later when Tapia returned. Ultimately, he claimed off waivers by the Boston Red Sox, bringing his time with the Rockies organization to an end.
Motter appeared in 13 games for the Rockies in 2021, starting just four of them. The Rockies had hoped he would provide utility and some of the pop he had shown in Triple-A, and while the utility was there - he split time between third and the outfield - the pop was not. He tallied three hits for the Rockies, all singles, and walked twice for an OPS of .377.
As previously mentioned, some of Motter’s appeal was his flexibility - he had previously made three appearances as a pitcher in the MLB, along with playing both corner infield positions and the outfield. While he didn’t get to pitch for the Rockies, he still did get the chance to show off his arm - both at third base, and from the outfield.
After being claimed by the Red Sox, Motter appeared in six games for Boston. Despite having more offensive output there on a rate basis - he went 2 for 5 with a double and a triple in one game alone - he was outrighted to Triple-A Worchester after clearing waivers in September. He elected to enter free agency at the conclusion of the year.