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Sean Bouchard had a surprisingly strong debut in 2022

The 26-year-old infielder/outfielder made the most of his short cup of coffee

Welcome to the 2022 edition of Ranking the Rockies, where we take a look back at every player to log playing time for the Rockies in 2022. 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. 11, Sean Bouchard: 0.9 rWAR

Sean Bouchard had a remarkable rookie campaign, as evidenced by his ranking atop the 2022 class. Bouchard debuted on June 19 and hit .297/.454/.500 in 27 games. This was derailed by an oblique injury that landed him on the IL from June 27-July 16, followed by a minor league option from July 16-August 30. In total, Bouchard hit six doubles, three homers, walked 21 times and struck out 25.

Of course, though, the debut was the highlight of the season for the former ninth-round pick out of UCLA (even though he went 0-for-3 with a walk that day).

“Is it too easy to say getting called up [was the highlight]?” Bouchard chuckled. “It’s the classic, something you’ve obviously worked for your whole life. It felt pretty surreal when it happened, but it was cool.”

“It might sound like a basic answer — the obvious answer — but it’s the truth,” he continued. “Cliches are cliches for a reason.”

It took Bouchard a little time to get going — he went just 0-for-7 with two walks and two strikeouts in his first three games before hitting the IL. However, upon his return, he slashed .328/.477/.552 to finish the season. While he didn’t have any true ‘low points’ this season, other than the injury, Bouchard took his first season as a big learning experience.

“In a sense, on a surface level, [certain things] may seem like low points — bad performances, mistakes you make, whatever — but to a certain extent, those things can be good,” he said. “You can learn learn a lot from them and you can try to use them to your advantage and try to move forward. And at the end of the day, you just try to make yourself a better player because of it.”

Bouchard certainly made adjustments in his second stint with the Rockies — notching his first homer in his fourth game back off the IL and his first multi-hit game four games later. Bouchard had back-to-back-to-back multi-hit games from Sept. 24-27, going 6-for-9 with a double, three RBI, three walks and two strikeouts. In October, he went 6-for-18 with four doubles (two in back-to-back games), one home run, two RBI, two walks and seven strikeouts. It was a strong finish for the 26-year-old, who is excited about opportunities in 2023.

“Any chance that someone trusts you enough to put on the uniform and go out and play is an opportunity to showcase what you can do,” he said. “At the end of the day, the biggest opportunity for all of us is to be part of a winning team and any way that you can help the team is an opportunity that I don’t think anyone would take lightly.”