With the designated hitter likely coming to the National League in 2022, we could well have seen the last of Colorado Rockies starting pitchers stepping up to the plate to take their swings.
So, as we potentially say goodbye to the National League pitcher hitting, let’s take a look at the top three hitters who were also pitchers in Colorado Rockies history (with a minimum of 100 plate appearances and played at least 90 percent of games at pitcher).
Mike Hampton, Germán Márquez, and Brian Bohanon make up the top three hitting pitchers in Colorado Rockies history
Coming in third on the list of best-hitting pitchers is Brian Bohanon, who suited up for the Rockies from 1999 through 2001. He pitched in 87 games for the Rockies (78 of those being starts), totaling 471.1 innings on the mound.
While Bohanon’s ERA was lofty (5.82), he also posted a .226 batting average and .604 OPS in 181 plate appearances. His three home runs are the second-most hit by a Rockies pitcher.
Germán Márquez ranks as the second-best-hitting Rockies pitcher of all time, posting a .241 overall batting average. That includes a Silver Slugger season in 2018 where Márquez went 18-for-60 at the plate (.300) with a home run and five RBI.
Márquez also holds the distinction of being one of seven Rockies pitchers in franchise history to hit a triple. Along with that three-bagger, Márquez has 11 doubles and a pair of home runs, including the first one of his career (during that 2018 Silver Slugger season) hit off Daniel Descalso when he was a position player pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Yes, in a nice twist of revenge, a pitcher hit a home run off a position player.
His 30 career RBI are the most of any Rockies pitcher in franchise history.
So who is the top hitting pitcher in Rockies history? That would be Mike Hampton, who earned five Silver Sluggers during his 16-year MLB career, including a pair in the two seasons he would pitch for the Rockies (2001 and 2002).
During his time in Colorado, Hampton slashed .315/.329/.552 with 10 home runs and 21 RBI, good enough for a cumulative OPS+ of 109.
Which pitcher could go down as the last one in Rockies history to get a base hit? The answer is Daniel Bard, the reliever who singled in the fifth inning of Colorado’s last game of 2021, a 5-4 loss at the Arizona Diamondbacks.