Colorado Rockies: Ranking the 40-Man Roster: 36-31
By Nolan Lees
Dustin Garneau: Catcher Points: 187 Highest Rank: 27 Lowest: 34
One of the most depressing parts of professional baseball that is that for every player realizing their big league dreams, there’s always another guy who’s chances are now worse.
Last season, one of the most surprising stories in Colorado coming out of Spring Training was the emergence of Tony Wolters. The former middle infielder was shockingly good at the game’s toughest defensive position, and didn’t look overwhelmed in his first year facing MLB pitching.
Rockies fans quickly embraced Wolters and his unique backstory. So it’s easy to forget that his emergence was a crushing blow to the career path of a guy who’s definitely paid his dues in his own right.
Garneau was a 19th-round draft pick in the 2009 MLB draft, a member of the same class as Nolan Arenado, DJ LeMahieu and Mike Trout. When a team drafts a player in the 19th round, they aren’t picturing a future MLB superstar. A majority of 19th round picks will be never even be considered for a 40-man roster.
The climb through the minor league ladder has been a slow, tough one for Garneau. He spent four seasons struggling to get out of A-Ball, and he was already 27 years old when he made his MLB debut in 2015.
Last season, while Wolters won over Rockies fans and Tom Murphy destroyed Triple-A pitching, Garneau quietly put together the best offensive season of his professional career, posting a .292/.367/.595 line in Albuquerque.
The problem is, big league teams generally only carry two catchers, and the two the Rockies will likely carry in 2017 are both younger and more talented than Garneau. So in all likelihood, he will spend a ninth season in the minor leagues and wait for either an injury or a September call-up.
Alas, baseball, much like life, is not always fair.