We continue our look at the top 100 Colorado Rockies of all time in this article. Here, we look at No. 70 on our list, Wilin Rosario.
Wilin Rosario is arguably the best hitting catcher in Rockies history. In 2016, he signed with the Hannah Eagles who are part of the Korea Baseball Organization. What happened and how did happen so quickly? If the Rockies were in the American League, Rosario might still be in the majors.
Rosario debuted in early September 2011. He showed his power immediately hitting three homers in just 16 games. His first full season might have been his best playing in 117 games, finishing 4th in the 2012 NL Rookie of the year voting. He hit .270 with 28 home runs (the most for catchers that year) and 71 RBIs.
More from Rox Pile
- A Colorado Rockies Thanksgiving
- Colorado Rockies: What if Todd Helton had played football instead?
- Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon out for the season
- Colorado Rockies: Injuries shift look of roster ahead of Dodgers series
- Colorado Rockies: Has Sean Bouchard earned a second look in 2023?
Rosario didn’t slouch at all in his sophomore year, playing 121 games, batting .292, 79 RBIs, and 131 hits, all career highs. Not to mention 21 home runs. Between 2012 and 2013 he had a 4.4 WAR.
The problem started for Rosario in 2014. Although his offensive production declined he was still was a formidable hitting catcher. Unfortunately Rosario’s defense didn’t improve much. His defense was easier to overlook when he was hitting 28 home runs. But the Rockies needed a catcher that could develop and guide their young pitching staff.
In came Nick Hundley for the 2015 season. Hundley took control right away limiting Rosario to 87 games. Many of those games were played at first base where he didn’t show much improvement with the leather. Rosario’s WAR for 2014 and 2015 was -1.4.
The disappointing aspect for both parties is that the team could not find any trade value in Rosario. Maybe trading him earlier in his career giving him the opportunity to DH would have extended Rosario’s MLB service and gave value back to the Rockies.
But few teams showed interest and Rosario signed with the Hannah Eagles in 2016. Rosario played well in Korea hitting 33 homers with 120 RBIs. There was talk that he might return to the majors but Rosario re-signed with the Eagles this offseason.
Hopefully his time in Korea will give him the opportunity to prove what he can do if he just has to focus on his bat. In the meantime, he was one of the best Rockies catchers.