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.
★ ★ ★
No. 47, Brian Serven: -0.4 rWAR
No. 46, Jorge Alfaro: -0.4 rWAR
As this year’s “Ranking the Rockies” makes clear, an unusual number of players had very short stints with the Colorado Rockies in 2023, and Brian Serven and Jorge Alfaro fall into that category.
After an “exciting” debut season that saw him ranked 27th in our 2022 “Ranking the Rockies” series, Brian Serven only played in 11 games for the Rockies in 2023. Comparatively, he played 62 games in 2022.
Serven made the Opening Day roster for the first time in his career, but went only 3-for-21 (.143) with an RBI double and nine strikeouts in nine games in April. He was optioned back to Albuquerque on May 5 after an 0-for-2 performance against the Milwaukee Brewers the day before, and was recalled on June 11.
He played one more game on June 14 against the Boston Red Sox, but didn’t record a single at-bat since he was a defensive substitution in the bottom of the eighth inning. In total, Serven finished the 2023 season hitting .130/.130/.174 with that RBI double and 10 strikeouts. After being optioned to Triple-A, Serven spent multiple stints on the IL and was ultimately recalled on October 2.
Alfaro started the year playing for in the Boston Red Sox system but was released on June 3. The timing worked out, as he was signed by the Rockies on June 10 to replace the struggling Serven. They were swapped on June 15, and Alfaro finished out the month of June for the Rox.
He played in a total of 10 games and hit just modestly better than Serven. In those 10 games, Alfaro went 5-for-31 (.161) with four doubles, one home run, four RBI, and 12 strikeouts. It was not enough to keep him on the team, and he was designated for assignment on June 30.
After electing free agency, Alfaro re-signed with the Red Sox. He was DFA’d by the Sox on August 1 and signed with the Miami Marlins, where he remains in their system.
Each player was a good experiment, and if Serven hadn’t experienced so many injuries, perhaps he would’ve spent some more time on the major league roster.
But the Rockies signed Austin Wynns the first time they optioned Serven, and he had some success in the backup catcher role (more on that later) before being outrighted on October 13.
Serven will likely get another crack at the job, but he will have to perform much better to secure his spot in 2024.