Two Colorado Rockies Ready To Break Out In The Second Half
Jun 13, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Colorado Rockies catcher M. McKenry (8) connects for a triple during the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Catcher Michael McKenry
Michael McKenry had a breakout season in 2014, and was a bit of a surprise at the plate for the Rockies, slashing .315/.398/.512 in 168 at-bats with eight home runs, nine doubles and 22 walks. He played just 57 games but found himself more and more valuable as the season went on last year.
This year, he’s been a bit of a forgotten man — the stereotypical backup catcher. Slashing just .224/.336/.429 in only 116 plate appearances, McKenry isn’t playing as much as he was by the end of the year in 2014.
That’s fine, considering how well Nick Hundley has played this year, but there’s a few things to consider here regarding Hundley’s playing time: (a) now that the Rockies are firmly out of the playoff chase, it makes sense to split the Hundley-McKenry playing time slightly more evenly, and (b) Hundley is a prime trade candidate.
As for (a), Hundley’s playing better than a platoon situation, but that’s not to say you couldn’t see McKenry starting two games a week from here on out simply to keep Hundley healthy in preparation for next season, since the Rockies don’t have much to play for right now.
And as for (b), Hundley could be shipped out to a team who needs a catcher. Hundley is on an incredibly team friendly contract with one year of control left, he’s a proven starting catcher who handles pitchers well, and he’s hitting better than most catchers, even in spite of his home field advantage.
All that goes to say that for various reasons, McKenry may see more playing time this summer. With it, comes a better chance to get more consistent at-bats, and put up numbers closer to what he did last year. He probably won’t be hitting .315 again by the end of the year, but there’s reason to believe McKenry could play a lot more come August and September.
Next: Get Ready For A Brand New Breakout Star