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. 45, Yonathan Daza: -0.4 rWAR
If you’re like me, you honestly forgot that Yonathan Daza played for the Colorado Rockies in 2023.
After taking “major steps” in 2022 that ranked him eighth last season in our PuRPs ranking, Daza only played 24 games for the Rockies before being designated for assignment on May 5. He cleared waivers and was outrighted four days later. He then spent the rest of the season in Albuquerque, but only played 39 games before being placed on the 7-day IL on June 28. Daza was transferred to the 60-day IL on July 8 following shoulder surgery, and that was that.
In his 24 games for the Rockies, Daza slashed .270/.304/.351 with six doubles, seven RBI, three walks, 13 strikeouts and a stolen base. In his 39 games in Albuquerque, he was slashing .305/.35/.415 with 10 doubles, one triple, two homers, 19 RBI, nine walks, 24 strikeouts and four stolen bases (in seven attempts).
On the surface, Daza was performing fairly well before the shoulder started acting up again but underneath, it appears that the 2022 breakout season was his ceiling.
Daza will qualify for minor league free agency at the end of the season. If his shoulder is repaired and he is able to improve his performance, he might find a spot on a team needing a solid defensive outfielder. But with the emergence of Brenton Doyle as a potential-Gold Glove center fielder, Daza’s time in purple pinstripes is likely up.