Mark Canha, OF, 33 years old on Opening Day
Mark Canha has history with the Colorado Rockies
Following up power with finesse, Canha has been one of the more underrated players across the sport, with many fans still unfamiliar with the former Rockies’ Rule 5 pick.
Since 2018, Canha has been worth 10.4 fWAR, ranking 48th in the league among hitters. While he’s regressed some since a monstrous 2019 season, Canha remains a rock-solid hitter.
In a league where power is king, Canha knows how to get by without selling out for long balls.
Though his average exit velocity ranks in the 19th percentile, Canha knows how to manipulate his barrel. His max exit velocity is above average, showing he can rip it when he wants to, and his sweet spot percentage of 36.1 ranked 38th in the league.
More importantly, Canha has an exceptionally impressive plate discipline profile. Here are some of Canha’s plate discipline ranks:
Outside the zone swing %: 12th (Juan Soto is first)
Swing %: 10th (Juan Soto first)
Swinging strike %: 26th (David Fletcher first)
To put these numbers into baseball terms, Canha is extremely selective and swings and misses far less frequently than the average hitter. This translates into the 20th-highest walk rate in the league, a figure that could boost the Rockies’ OBP.
Canha, at 32, isn’t as fast as he once was, but his sprint speed has remained consistent for years and he’s still an above-average runner.
As a result, Canha can admirably handle center field and offers substantial value in a corner. He recorded 2 Outs Above Average (OAA) in both left field and center field in 2021.
Canha and Miller come with similar contractual situations. Both had respectable 2021 seasons and want to cash in on a final multi-year deal. Canha might cost a smidge more than Miller given the Oakland star offers more bonafide defensive value.
Canha may also command a third guaranteed year, given that his offensive skillset is less variable.
Adding both of these hitters would give the Rockies one of the more disciplined lineups they’ve had in years and infuse some much-needed home run pop.
With those two potential targets out of the way, our focus turns to a trio of players worth bringing in on minor league deals. All three possess distinct upsides and have the talent to fill out a final bench spot.
Given the Rockies’ recent success discovering Daniel Bard, Elias Diaz, C.J. Cron, and Connor Joe on minor league deals, dipping back into this pool seems wise.