Colorado Rockies: Why has Tony Wolters been so good?

DENVER, COLORADO - APRIL 19: Tony Wolters #14 of the Colorado Rockies rounds the bases to score on a Charlie Blackmon 2 RBI walk off home run in the 12th inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Coors Field on April 19, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - APRIL 19: Tony Wolters #14 of the Colorado Rockies rounds the bases to score on a Charlie Blackmon 2 RBI walk off home run in the 12th inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Coors Field on April 19, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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The Colorado Rockies’ resurgence in the second half of April has largely been fueled by the club’s star players finally finding their groove. But another key to the team’s recent success has been a handful of surprise performances, perhaps none more surprising than the hot start of catcher Tony Wolters.

Tony Wolters has always been strong behind the plate defensively, whether it be his game calling, pitch framing or his quickness on balls out in front of the plate. But thus far in 2019, his defensive skill set has improved to also include throwing out attempted base stealers, catching a remarkable 42% of attempts against him when he is manning the backstop for the Colorado Rockies.

But it isn’t only the defense that has made an impact for the converted middle infielder. Wolters already has almost twice as many doubles as he had all of last season. Through just one month, he already has roughly half as many hits and half as many total bases as he had in all of 2018.

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This has been a huge surprise for Rockies fans after Wolters managed just a .170 batting average and a 48 OPS+ last season. But if we go back to 2016 and 2017, Wolters put together much more competitive seasons, hitting a respectable .249 over those two seasons.

Wolters wasn’t alone either. Recently, Blake Street Ball took a look at a handful of surprise performances for the Rockies in April:

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Wolters’ hot start is especially important since catcher has been the biggest hole for the team in recent years. If he can keep it up, he’ll spare the team from feeling the need to go out and spend big for a big-name catcher.

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