Despite having a poor 2020 season, the Colorado Rockies did have some bright spots but which Rockies player was the team’s MVP in 2020?
The Colorado Rockies did manage to have a few bright spots on their 2020 team. For both Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs, they have the same four players in the top four in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) but each site has them in a different order.
Let’s present the case for each player.
Without a doubt, Trevor Story was the Rockies’ best offensive player in 2020 and he was their most consistent as well.
He led the Rockies in home runs with 11 (the next closest Ryan McMahon’s 9 home runs), stolen bases (15), doubles (13), hits (68), triples (4), walks (24), OPS+ (118), wRC+ (117), and 2nd in RBI (28).
Had Charlie Blackmon not fizzled out in the last month of the season, he would surely be the Rockies offensive MVP but considering his dismal stretch to end the season (.200/.276/.327 slash line and a 41 wRC+ in his last 31 games), Story is the clear winner on the offensive front. But is he the team’s overall MVP?
Antonio Senzatela just flat out had a bad season in 2019. He went 11-11 with an ERA of 6.71 in 25 starts. He averaged less than 5 innings a start (124 2/3 total innings) and he allowed 11.6 per nine innings, which was a career-high. His walk rate and home run rate were also career highs and his strikeout rate was a career-low.
However, he turned it around in 2020. He nearly dropped his ERA in half from 6.71 to 3.44 in 12 starts. His WHIP dropped from 1.749 to a much more palatable 1.214. He did that by dropping his walk rate nearly in half from 4.1 per nine innings to 2.2. He did see his strikeout rate fall, though, to just five per nine innings.
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Speaking of reclamation seasons, Kyle Freeland had a bit of his own in 2020 as well. In 2019, he had an awful 3-11 record with an ERA of 6.73 in 22 starts. He spent part of the season in Triple-A Albuquerque (where he also didn’t pitch well) and part of the season on the injured list too.
But he turned it around in 2020. Frankly, his season would have been even better if not for his final start as his ERA went up from 3.69 to 4.33 in the final start because he allowed six earned runs in just 2 1/3 innings on the final day of the regular season.
Overall, he led the NL in starts with 13 and he pitched 70 2/3 innings. His biggest saving grace was that he cut his home run rate in half from 2.2 per nine innings to 1.1. He also cut his walk rate down from 3.4 per nine innings to 2.9 and his hit rate from 10.9 to 9.8.
Record-wise, he only went 2-3 but he was a victim of the Rockies’ weak offense as he was one of the NL leaders in the least amount of run support.
German Marquez didn’t have as bad of a season as Freeland and Senzatela in 2019 but he did have a bit of a down season but in 2020, the trio were huge factors for the Rockies.
In 2020, Marquez tied Freeland with the NL lead in starts (13) and Marquez led the NL in innings pitched (81 2/3) and batters faced (344). He went 4-6 as he was, like Freeland, a victim of the worst offense in the NL for the last six-plus weeks of the season.
Marquez pitched to a 3.75 ERA and a FIP of 3.28, which led the Rockies starters. His hit rate dropped slightly (9.0 in 2019 to 8.6 in 2020) but his home run rate was cut in half (1.5 to 0.7). His walk rate did go up a fair amount but it is still very good (1.8 to 2.8).
So who do you think is the Rockies team MVP in 2020? Let us know on Twitter as we will have a poll up on Tuesday to see who you think is the winner.