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. 33, Connor Kaiser: -0.1 rWAR
Infielder Connor Kaiser played for the Colorado Rockies in 2023. In fact, he made his MLB debut, playing in three games and taking four at-bats while star shortstop Ezequiel Tovar was on paternity leave. In four at-bats, he went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts before being DFA’d on July 2 (after his contract was selected on June 19).
That said, it’s rather wild that he still remains No. 33 on our list!
Kaiser was drafted in the third round of the 2018 MLB Draft out of Vanderbilt University by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He immediately started with the Short-A West Virginia Black Bears and was promoted after 31 games to Low-A West Virginia Power.
He repeated Low-A (this time with the Greensboro Grasshoppers) in 2019 before splitting time in 2021 between Double-A Altoona Curve and Triple-A Indianapolis Indians.
Kaiser was released in May 2022 before being signed to a minor-league contract by the San Diego Padres in June. He played for the Double-A San Antonio Missions before electing free agency at the end of the 2022 season.
The Rockies signed him to a minor-league contract, and he played most of the year with the Albuquerque Isotopes. In 90 total games with the Isotopes, Kaiser slashed .238/.353/.404 with 14 doubles, five triples, nine homers, 39 RBI, 52 walks and 96 strikeouts. He also stole 16 bases in 19 attempts.
Before his call-up, Kaiser was slashing .278/.376/.506; after, he struggled again with injuries and only hit .195/.354/.265.
It’s hard to say what will happen to Connor Kaiser in the future, but there’s likely not room for him on the Rockies’ roster going forward.