A place where Colorado Rockies baseball card collectors (all 3 of us) can waste some time reading about our favorite sport. The Rockies and their cards will be the primary focus, but I like to go off on tangents as well so anything and everything baseball related may be covered here.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rock Stars - Shortstop

Aside from the outlier that is first base, shortstop has been among the most consistent positions for the Rockies.  8 players have started the 19 Opening Days for the Rockies and 4 players accounted for 15 of those.  Only first base and right field have had fewer OD starters.  Barring injury, I don't expect that number to go up for a number of years obviously.  This position has also been fielded mainly by "true" Rockies, or players that were originally signed or drafted by the team.  Here are the nominees for the starting shortstop on the Rock Star team.

Walt Weiss (1994-97)
Walt Weiss was acquired as a free agent from the Marlins before the 1994 season and became the first player to play for both expansion teams.  Weiss spent four seasons in Denver and posted a line of .266/.375/.347 with 14 home runs and 42 stolen bases.  Aside from one very poor season in 1996 in which he led the league with 30 errors, Weiss played relatively good defense for the Rockies.  He left via free agency to join Atlanta after the 1997 season.

Neifi Perez (1996-2001)
Neifi Perez was one of the first ever signings of the Rockies organization in 1992 as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic.  In his 6 seasons with the big league club, including 3 and half as the undisputed starter, Perez hit .282/.313/.411 with 43 HRs and 33 SBs.  Defensively, Perez was very good to great at times, winning the NL Gold Glove in 2000.  Perez was traded to the Kansas City Royals at the 2001 trade deadline for outfielder Jermaine Dye, who never played a single game for Colorado.

Juan Uribe (2001-03)
In 1997, Juan Uribe was also signed as an amateur free agent from the Dominican Republic.  He made his way to the majors in mid-2001.  In 2 and a half seasons, Uribe posted a line of .258/.298/.408 with 24 homers and 19 steals.  Defensively, Uribe was average at best committing 27 errors in his one full season in 2002.  Uribe was traded following an injury-plagued 2003 season to the White Sox for second base prospect Aaron Miles.

Clint Barmes (2003-10)
Clint Barmes was selected by the Rockies in the 10th round in the 2000 amateur draft.  He made to the big leagues in 2003 and bounced back and forth between MLB and AAA several times.  His Rockies career can be almost perfectly divided in two between his time as the starting shortstop and his later years as the second baseman.  He played about 30 total games more at shortstop, so that is his position.  In his 8 seasons with the Rockies, Barmes hit .254/.300/.404 with 61 HRs and 39 SBs.  Defensively, Barmes was fairly pedestrian committing 35 errors in his two seasons as the main shortstop.  Barmes was traded in the 2011 offseason to Houston for Felipe Paulino (ugh!).

Troy Tulowitzki (2006-Present)
Troy Tulowitzki was selected in the 1st round (7th overall) of the 2005 draft.  He quickly rose through the minors and took over at shortstop near the end of the 2006 season.  He has been a big part of the two most recent postseason runs of the Rockies.  In his 6 seasons in Denver, Tulo has been an All Star twice, a Gold Glover twice, a Silver Slugger twice, finished 2nd in Rookie of he Year voting (don't get me started), and had 3 top 10 MVP finishes AND he is still just 27 years old.  Overall, Tulo has posted a line of .293/.364/.505 with 122 HRs and 51 steals.  Defensively, Tulowitzki is quite possibly even better leading the league in range factor in 4 of the past 5 years. 

Honorable Mention: Freddie Benavides, Royce Clayton, Jose Hernandez

Voting for the Rock Star shortstop can begin immediately and will, as usual, run until Saturday at 4PM Eastern.  Once again, I appreciate your votes and comments since that makes all this work worthwhile.  I am still working on how next week's position will work, but I should have more of an idea on Saturday when I post the results of this vote.

1 comment:

SpastikMooss said...

I loved Weiss growing up as a Rockie and a Brave, and I was a Royce Clayton fan too. But it's gotta be Tulo.