Top 10 Rockies Killers of 2011
In honor of James Loney, who hit his 8th home run of the season and 6th against Rockies pitching on Saturday, I present the top 10 guys who dogged the Rox this season (minimum 25 plate appearances). These guys made every Colorado fan and pitcher tremble when they came to the plate. Nobody seemed able to get them out. The only surprise about this list is that Cody Ross isn’t on it, and you can thank the DL for that.
10. James Loney
That Loney has hit 75% of his home runs this season off Rockies’ pitchers is reason enough to call him a Rockies killer. He also has a total of 15 RBIs, 12 runs scored, and just 5 K’s in 68 at-bats. What is it about Loney? Maybe it’s just the sadness and irony of this season. Loney batted .152 against the Rockies last year with only 1 homer.
9. Freddy Sanchez
It seems like Sanchez has spent his entire Giants’ career eating the Rockies for dinner. This season, not even the disabled list could keep him out of this top 10. In 38 at-bats this season, he’s batting .421. He’s scored 5 runs against the Rox in 2011, which doesn’t sound like many until you consider that he plays for San Francisco. No other Giant has crossed the plate more times this year when Colorado was in the field.
8. Cameron Maybin
The Padres are having a very tough season, but a bright spot for them has been Cameron Maybin, essentially the Dexter Fowler that Dexter Fowler would be if he learned how to run the bases. Maybin leads the team in stolen bases with 32, though only 2 of those have come against the Rockies. More damaging is his .368 average against Colorado pitching, with 7 extra-base hits and 9 runs scored.
7. Rod Barajas
I wasn’t shocked to see that several Dodgers made this list, but I was shocked that Barajas was one of them. He’s not exactly dominant in any offensive category, but he does hit for power, and because of that he has the Rockies’ number this season. His .711 slugging percentage speaks for itself, and he has collected 4 home runs and 10 RBIs in just 38 at-bats. Who knows what his numbers would be like if he’d come to the plate as many times as Loney has.
6. Matt Kemp
Kemp is mashing against everyone this season, so it makes sense he’d be here considering the number of times the Dodgers have played the Rockies. But despite his overall 2011 greatness, he saves a special brand of it just for the Rockies. We all saw the disaster that was July 26th, when the Rox committed an error on every other play and Kemp scored 1 run and drove in 2. And then there was that walk-off home run over the weekend. His slash line against the Rockies (.329/.392/.700) isn’t the best of the bunch, but his effect on the team somehow transcends it, to the tune of 19 RBIs.
5. Michael Morse
Poor Michael Morse is a member of the Washington Nationals, but that isn’t his fault. If he played for a team more deserving of his prodigious talents, he would have scored more than 1 run against the Rockies this season. Nobody else is hitting better than his .464 (13-for-28), so he’s the closest the NL has to a sure thing when sending someone to the plate against Colorado pitchers.
4. Justin Upton
J-Up is having an MVP-caliber season, and if/when the Diamondbacks make the play-offs he’ll have a very good case for himself. Without him and Ian Kennedy, Arizona would have sunk to the bottom long ago. Upton has done his work against the Rockies for sure; nobody has better than his .518 on-base percentage. He has walked 8 times and has 20 hits, including 7 doubles. He’s collected 6 stolen bases against Colorado, more than any other player this season.
3. Dan Uggla
Uggla was struggling when the Braves and Rockies first met each other in July, and the Rockies granted him the favor they’ve given to so many this season: sudden hotness. Not long after that, Uggla embarked on a 33-game hitting streak that belied his actual level of talent. No doubt he has the Rockies to thank for setting him off, at least partially. He’s only had 25 AB’s against them in 2011, but he’s made the most of them: 9 hits, 6 for extra bases. You’re welcome, Dan.
2. Mike Stanton
Stanton is the kind of power hitter that Coors Field was made for, and he’s taken advantage of his time there this season. In just 21 at-bats against the Rockies, he has 4 homers and 8 RBIs, good for a 1.000 slugging percentage. Please go back to Pro Player or whatever your stadium is called Mike. Hitters like you should be confined to sea level for life.
1. Freddie Freeman
On a team full of young stand-outs, including fellow Rookie of the Year candidate Craig Kimbrel, Freeman is having a killer season with the Braves (though when all’s said and done, I don’t see how the ROY isn’t Kimbrel). He has been a one-man wrecking crew against the Rockies, especially in Atlanta’s 4-game sweep of them at Turner Field. Freeman’s 1.579 OPS against Colorado is far better than anyone else’s this season, and he’s recorded 6 home runs and 3 doubles in 32 at-bats. We can only hope he stays in the NL East, where at least his damage against us will be minimal.
Honorable Mentions: Prince Fielder, Ryan Zimmerman, Jamey Carroll, Miguel Montero, Aaron Miles and yes, Cody Ross.
Only a few weeks left in the season, and I’m running out of top 10 list ideas … feel free to give me yours by emailing me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or tweeting me (@rockieswoman1).