Rockies Year in Review: Michael McKenry
Here at Rox Pile, we are starting a player review for each and every player that suited up in a Colorado Rockies uniform this season. This series will be going all the way up until Dec. 16 with player profiles posted every day.
Today, we are featuring Rockies Catcher Michael McKenry.
Michael McKenry is a reserve catcher who brings stability to the Rockies pitching staff. McKenry originally grew up in the Rockies system, then departed to the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, where he ultimately earned a lot of big league playing time. Before the 2014 season, McKenry and the Rockies mutually decided to reunite via the free agency process.
Coming off a career year in 2014, the bottom dropped out offensively for McKenry in 2015. McKenry played a total of 58 games for the Rockies in 2015, amassing 127 at-bats. In that time, McKenry hit a meager .205 with seven doubles, three triples and four home runs. In comparison, McKenry played in 57 games in 2014, totaling 53 hits in 168 at-bats, that is good for .315 AVG. What is even more impressive about McKenry’s 2014 season was his .398 OBP. One high note (if we can consider it that) for McKenry’s 2015 season was that he was able to maintain a .328 OBP despite that horrid AVG.
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Clearly McKenry isn’t consistent enough to handle everyday responsibility behind the plate, but that’s also not his role. McKenry was brought back to Colorado to handle the pitching staff and hold his own defensively every third or fourth day. Understanding his role, any offensive he can bring is a bonus (like this walk-off against Seattle). McKenry can block a lot of balls, therefore boosting the pitching staff’s confidence to throw breaking stuff in the dirt to get strikeouts. McKenry doesn’t have a particularly good skill-set when it comes to throwing out base-runners however. Mike only caught three out of 30 runners in 2015.
McKenry isn’t a free agent until 2018, but is currently arbitration eligible. The Rockies have an interesting situation happening at the catcher position heading into 2016. Nick Hundley is currently making $6.25 million, which tells me he is the starter. But, the Rockies have two young catching prospects in Dustin Garneau and Tom Murphy who are going to be given at-bats to show who is going to be the backstop of the future. I expect spring training to sort out this mess.
Overall Grade: C-