We continue our look at the top 100 Colorado Rockies of all time in this article. Here, we look at No. 77 on our list, Miguel Olivo.
Miguel Olivo didn’t play for the Colorado Rockies long enough. He had one of the single greatest seasons as a Rockies catcher. He emerged when Chris Iannetta was struggling at the plate. In 2010 Iannetta came in as the clear number one catcher. Olivo came in as insurance and ended up taking a leading role behind the plate.
Olivo never was the standout player on any team. Before he got to the Rockies he was on five different teams including White Sox, Mariners, Padres, Marlins and Royals. He never had a WAR above 1.4 in one season. Olivo changed that with the Rockies.
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Ianetta didn’t play terribly in 2009 playing 93 games batting .228 with 16 home runs. But it was nothing like his break out season of 2008. Olivio was was never there to take over for Iannetta.
Olivo’s legend grew that year in just his 12th game in a Rockies uniform when he passed a kidney stone during a game against the Diamondbacks and then came back into the game. That toughness translated into durability.
While Iannetta only played 61 games that year batting .197, Olivo played 112 games hitting .269 with 14 homers and 58 RBI. That ended up tallying a 2.5 WAR for Olivo.
While Olivo proved he was the superior catcher that year, the Rockies still traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays. It turned out to be the right move. Olivo never played for the Blue Jays declining their arbitration offer and resigned with the Mariners. He played the next two years in Seattle posting a combined .8 WAR. In 2013 and 2014, he played 41 games. He then played in the Mexican league and signed a minor league contract for the Giants in 2016 but never played in the majors.
Iannetta went to have a bounce back season in 2011 and was eventually was traded to the Angels for one of the best pitchers in franchise history in Tyler Chatwood. Olivo playing in Colorado for only one season happened for a reason. Doesn’t mean we can’t reflect how good that 2010 season was for Olivo.