Colorado Rockies Countdown: Top Five Catchers

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Mar 13, 2016; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, AZ, USA; Colorado Rockies catcher Nick Hundley (4) throws the ball to first base for the out in the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during a spring training game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 13, 2016; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, AZ, USA; Colorado Rockies catcher Nick Hundley (4) throws the ball to first base for the out in the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during a spring training game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /
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Feb 19, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; A stack of baseballs sit on the pitching mound at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 19, 2016; Kissimmee, FL, USA; A stack of baseballs sit on the pitching mound at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports /

4.  Charles Johnson (2003-2004, fWAR 2.4)

The accomplished and well traveled Charles Johnson finished out the last two seasons of his career with Colorado. Never being much of an offensive force, Johnson only hit for a .233 average in his Rockies career, but Johnson did bring pop to the position. Despite only playing two years in Colorado, Johnson is fourth among Rockies catchers with 33 home runs. To illustrate how impressive that is, if one were to look at Isolated Power (ISO), which obviously measures a player’s power contribution, they’d notice that Johnson ranks first in that statistic out of the players on this list.

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Johnson made his way to Blake Street via a trade with the Florida Marlins in late 2002. Colorado sent Mike Hampton and Juan Pierre to Florida in exchange for Johnson, Preston Wilson and a few minor leaguers. By the time Johnson made his first start for Colorado, he’d already won four Gold Gloves, been named to two All-Star games and won a World Series. Johnson had made a name for himself by being one of the top defensive catchers of his generation. For four consecutive years, Johnson lead all MLB catchers in Total Zone Runs, which is a fancy statistic to measure how many runs a player saves. By the time Johnson arrived in Colorado however, Johnson was far removed from his most glorious days but was still serviceable in purple pinstripes.

Over a 12-year career, Charles Johnson played for six different organizations. Although he wasn’t the most gifted offensive catcher of his generation, Johnson brought raw power and incredible defensive skill to the position. Johnson’s time in Colorado was rather uneventful as the club combined to lose 182 games in his two seasons. Today, Johnson is a legend in Miami sports history as he played most of his professional life in Miami and attend the University of Miami.

Fun Fact: Johnson is the cousin of MLB Hall of Fame candidate Fred McGriff.

Next: Baby Bull Makes a Comeback

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