Colorado Rockies forgotten players: Gabe Kapler

We’ve been going through a number of forgotten Colorado Rockies players. We already covered one National League manager that two plate appearances with the Rockies but today, we’re going to discuss another National League manager who played with the Rockies a little bit more.

If you look back on the Colorado Rockies all-time roster, they have had a lot of players that you may have forgotten. They also have had a lot of players that later became MLB managers. One of those was former Philadelphia Phillies manager and new San Francisco Giants manager, Gabe Kapler.

Kapler had been in the major leagues since 1998. The fact that he even made it to the major leagues is interesting because he was drafted just three years prior in the 58th round of the Amateur Draft by the Detroit Tigers. They don’t even have 58 rounds anymore.

He made his debut with the Tigers and he was an everyday outfielder for the Tigers in 1999. He was traded to the Texas Rangers in a nine-player deal before the 2000 season. The Rockies acquired Kapler from the Rangers at the trade deadline in 2002 along with a minor leaguer for Todd Hollandsworth and Dennys Reyes.

In the 40 games (128 plate appearances) he played with the Rockies in 2002, he played well as he hit .311/.359/.445 with an OPS+ of 99. He played to a 0.4 WAR.

In 2003, though, he regressed a lot at the plate as he hit .224/.307/.254 with an OPS+ of 41 in 39 games (76 plate appearances). Defensively, he still had 5 bDRS in only 129 innings in the outfield (this was the first season of the stat).

Due to his struggles at the plate, the Rockies let him go to the Boston Red Sox as they just purchased him outright. He became a World Series champion with the Red Sox in 2004. He played with the Red Sox through 2006. Entering his age 31 season, he decided to become a minor-league manager in the Red Sox minor league system after he announced his retirement.

After just one season, he decided that he wanted to return to a playing career. The Milwaukee Brewers signed him as a backup outfielder and he played well as he played to a 1.9 bWAR in 96 games.

He signed with Tampa for the 2009 season and he also spent the 2010 season with them before calling his playing career quits again.

He later joined FOX Sports as a studio analyst before becoming the Dodgers director of player development. From there, he was hired as the manager of the Phillies prior to 2018. He was relieved of his duties after last season but the Giants hired him as their manager, replacing the retiring Bruce Bochy.

Now, he is best remembered by his workout routines and his managerial career but he did spend parts of 11 seasons in the major leagues in the majors. In over 1,100 MLB games, he played with the Rockies for just 79 games, which makes him one of many forgotten Colorado Rockies players.