Colorado Rockies 2015 Report Card: Catchers
By Andrew Dill
The Colorado Rockies backstop featured just four players this season, two coming in the month of September with the expanded rosters. Here at Rox Pile, we will feature a series of report cards regarding five categories; catcher, infield, outfield, starting pitching and bullpen. So let’s kick it off with the catching position.
Apr 28, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Colorado Rockies catcher Nick Hundley against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Hundey was Colorado’s starting catcher, signing a two-year, $6.25 million deal this past offseason. Hundley did everything the Rockies asked of him, providing a solid approach at the plate and not to mention, a huge upgrade behind the dish from the past couple of years.
Nick’s home/road splits were a product of Coors Field — .355 average at home opposed to an unimpressive .237 on the road. Combined, Nick finished the season hitting .301/.339.467 with 21 doubles, 10 home runs and 43 RBI’s.
As for his defensive abilities, boy was it a breath of fresh air compared to the past couple of seasons which featured Wilin Rosario behind the plate. Handley committed just five errors in 102 games; 866.1 innings allowing just five passed balls.
Overall Grade: B-
May 30, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Colorado Rockies catcher Michael McKenry (8) throws between innings against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Michael McKenry was back in action for the Rockies; his second-straight year with Colorado, third overall. “The Fort” provided a solid veteran presence behind the dish, committing five errors in 272.1 innings — only one passed ball.
McKenry, coming off an impressive 2014 season hitting .315, slumped most of the 2015 campaign. The 30-year-old finished the season hitting .205/.329/.402 with seven home runs, three triples, four home runs and 17 RBI’s.
Unfortunately for McKenry, he rejected Colorado’s assignment to the Minor Leagues, thus making him a free agent. McKenry was a fun player to watch in a Rockies’ uniform, especially when the going got tough. Best of luck to Mike and hoping the veteran can catch on with another team for the upcoming season.
Overall Grade: C
Sep 11, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Colorado Rockies catcher Dustin Garneau (50) watches his three-run homer against the Seattle Mariners during the seventh inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Dustin Garneau made his Major League debut this season, joining the team in September so the organization could get a better look at him. Garneau played in 22 games, posting a .157 batting average to go along with three doubles, two home runs and eight RBI’s.
Garneau spent the majority of the 2015 season with the Triple-A affiliate Albuquerque Isotopes, slashing at a line of .274/.335/.475 with 16 doubles, 15 home runs and 61 RBI’s.
As for the defensive aspect of his game, it was another sloppy season regarding passed balls. In his professional career, Dustin has allowed 79 passed balls in 519 games — nine of which came this season.
Fun Fact: Garneau’s career-high of 19 passed balls came back in 2011 during his stint with the Asheville Tourists.
Overall Grade: C-
Sep 23, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies catcher Tom Murphy (30) singles on a bunt in the fourth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Murphy is boasted as Colorado’s catcher of the future — okay, maybe that’s just me, but this kid has some potential. Tom appeared in just 11 games this season for the Colorado Rockies — all in the month of September.
Murphy showed some pop during his brief stint with the club, connecting for three home runs in 35 at-bats. Tom capped off his season hitting .257/.333/.543, going 9-for-35 with nine runs batted in.
Like Garneau, Murphy spent the majority of his 2015 season in the Minors, playing for the Double-A affiliate New Britain Rock Cats, then eventually shifting to Triple-A once Garneau got his opportunity in the bigs.
Murphy displayed his power for both New Britain and Albuquerque, combining for 26 doubles, 20 home runs and 63 RBI’s.
Overall Grade: C+
Colorado’s catching unit was much improved this year, thanks in large part to veteran Nick Hundley. Like I mentioned earlier, it was refreshing compared to the past couple of seasons, especially witnessing what we did with Rosario behind the plate. All-in-all, I was pleased.
Team Grade: C