In 2021, the Colorado Rockies were hoping that some of their players would step it up, especially at the plate. One of those players that they were hoping for more out of at the plate was Garrett Hampson.
He made his MLB debut in 2018 and, in 24 games, he had an OPS+ of 103 but in 2019, he played in more games (105) and his offensive numbers had a steep decline. He had an OPS+ of 67 and in 2020, his OPS+ was just 70, or 30 percent below league average. It did get better in 2021 … but by one point, as he had an OPS+ of 71.
Hampson will always struggle a bit in that department because he doesn’t walk a ton and he doesn’t have great power but the batting average has also been an issue. From 2016 (his first year in the Rockies system) through 2018, he hit above .300 at every level in the minor leagues.
Given his speed and his relatively low power numbers, that’s still great for a leadoff guy but in the last three seasons, he has hit .247, .234, and .234.
But Garrett Hampson’s 2022 predictions say he will be better on offense for the Colorado Rockies
With the likely departure of Trevor Story, the Colorado Rockies have a big hole at shortstop. As things currently stand, Garrett Hampson (who is a natural shortstop) is at the top of the depth chart to take over for him.
But there are a few problems with that.
With Hampson’s bat, he’s not going to be able to adequately fill Story’s shoes unless something drastic happens. Defensively, he’s not as good as Story is but Hampson can play a lot of other positions, including second base, center field, left field, and (new in 2021) third base.
ZiPS projects him to have a bit of an improvement on offense in 2022 as it projects him to hit .250/.305/.404 with an OPS+ of 77 and an fWAR of 0.5.
In 2021, he had a slash line of .234/.289/.380 with an OPS+ of 71 and an fWAR of 0.5.
By the time baseball returns (whenever that is), the Rockies should get themselves another shortstop or someone else at another position and move someone else to shortstop because Garrett Hampson is best used as a defensive replacement late in games or as a pinch-runner, at least at this point.
Unless something unforeseen changes with his bat, we know what he will be entering the 2022 season and it’s very much like the Rockies, in general: a versatile player with a Triple-A bat.