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. 11, Mychal Givens: 1.2 rWAR
Mychal Givens joined the Rockies at the trade deadline in 2020 coming from the Orioles in exchange for top infield prospects Terrin Vavra and Tyler Nevin. Entering the 2021 season, Givens signed a contract with the Rockies for $4.05 million. With that kind of money, it was implied that the Rockies were expecting him to find a way to perform and be a key piece of the
arm barn bullpen.
Givens found his way with the Rockies for the first half of the season. In his 29 2⁄3 innings pitched with the team in 2021, he posted a 2.73 ERA with 34 strikeouts and only gave up five home runs. Even though he spent some time on the injured list in June with a lower back strain, Givens still had a successful first half of the season with the Rockies. His 2021 season was a massive improvement over his 6.75 ERA in 2020. Granted, that was a much smaller sample size, but it definitely made the multi-million dollar contract seem like it was worth every penny spent.
In late July, Givens’ time with the Rockies was up. He was traded to the Reds for two pitching prospects — RHP and old friend Case Williams and RHP Noah Davis. With the Reds he posted a 4.22 ERA in 21 1⁄3 innings.
Following this season, Givens is now entering free agency. It’s possibly the Rockies will seek him out to be an anchor in the bullpen, but I’m not sure if they really have a chance in enticing him back to Colorado. He was seen as leader for the Reds bullpen and even ended the season tied for the Reds team lead in saves. With the success he saw and the leadership role he filled in Cincinnati, I expect they will have a better chance of courting him back for 2022.