4. 1996 Colorado Rockies (83-79)
The 1996 Rockies did not make the playoffs or finish 10 games above .500, but they did hit an astonishing 221 home runs as a team for the season, and saw one of the best individual performances in franchise history. The team finished the season with an 83-79 record, and finished in third place in the NL West.
As far as individual performances go, Andres Galarraga posted arguably one of the best in franchise history. The Big Cat exploded on the scene with 47 home runs, 150 RBI, and a batting average over .300. He was not alone in dominating opposing pitchers though, as Vinny Castilla and Dante Bichette continued to drive the team from the middle of the lineup.
One of the biggest surprises of the 1996 team was Ellis Burks and his contribution to the “Blake Street Bombers.” Burks enjoyed a productive 1995 season, but his 40 home runs, 128 RBI, and .344 average in ’96 hoisted him to the verge of stardom in Colorado.
Once again, the Rockies struggled to find dependable pitching throughout the season, and relied more heavily on the bullpen than lackluster starters. Ritz and Reynoso remained atop the Rockies rotation (say that five times fast), but performed at an even lower level than in ’95. Though Ritz posted a 17-11 record, he also carried a 5.28 ERA to the finish line. Reynoso struggled to help the team on the mound working just an 8-9 record with a 4.96 ERA.
The bright spot of the the pitching staff was the bullpen, led by closer Bruce Ruffin. Ruffin converted 24 of 29 saves and steadily maintained a 4.00 ERA through the season.
The outcome of the season may not have been as rewarding as the year prior, but the absolute onslaught of offense and power is enough to earn the 1996 Rockies a spot on the list.