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Hunter Goodman’s ascent reached the game’s top level in 2023

Hunter Goodman flashed his potential at the plate in a brief MLB stint

Welcome to the 2023 edition of Ranking the Rockies, where we take a look back at every player to log playing time for the Rockies in 2023. 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. 48, Hunter Goodman: -0.5 rWAR

It didn’t take long for Hunter Goodman to start making a name for himself after the Colorado Rockies selected him in the fourth round of the 2021 MLB June Amateur Draft. The all-time leader in home runs at the University of Memphis quickly justified his power pedigree with 36 home runs between three levels in his first full pro season in 2022.

He picked up from where he left off in 2023, spending the first half of the year with Double-A Hartford to iron-out his swing before moving up to Triple-A Albuquerque in August. He continued to show the same thump, totaling 34 HR between the two levels and after 15 games with the Isotopes he was called-up to the big league squad.

He made a strong initial impression, gathering two hits, an RBI and scoring the winning run in his MLB debut on the road against the Baltimore Orioles on August 27th, helping the Rockies snap an ugly seven-game losing streak in the process.

Goodman’s time in majors was limited, appearing in 23 games and amassing 77 plate appearances. His pop was evident again with eight of his 14 knocks going for extra-bases. This included his first big league homer, coming on September 17th against the San Francisco Giants.

Goodman’s defensive home remains a question. He has slowly been weened off the catching position — his original spot as a draftee — and has been fit for a corner outfield/first base role instead. That was proven true in his big league stint as he split time between the dirt and outfield grass on the right side of the diamond in 18 games. His minor league numbers tell a similar story as he appeared in just 13 games behind the dish in 2023, splitting the majority of his time between the corner outfield spots and first base.

Goodman’s ability to serve as an emergency catcher provides some versatility in his case for a roster spot in 2024, however he does face plenty of competition for a regular role so long as players like Sean Bouchard, Elehuris Montero and Michael Toglia are around.

Given that fact, as well as his modest big league numbers, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Goodman start next year in Triple-A Albuquerque to ensure he gets regular at-bats and continue to polish his glovework. But if history is any indication, it would not be farfetched to expect him back on the big league roster and providing plenty more power to the lineup for a longer stretch in 2024.

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