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, February 12, 2012

Rock Stars - Outfielders

Here is my second attempt at running a multiple pick poll following last week's mostly successful poll for right handed reliever that is still not finished.  Make sure vote before Tuesday afternoon for the winner.  But for today I am going to be focusing on the outfield.  I thought about making this three different positions, but this is first and foremost a baseball card blog and cards rarely separate the three positions.  So I will not either.  The voting and scoring will be exactly the same as the right handed relievers.  Three outfield slots equals fifteen candidates.  Without further adieu, here they are in chronological order.

Dante Bichette (1993-99)
Dante Bichette was acquired from Milwaukee following the 1992 expansion draft for Kevin Reimer.  It turned out to be a dream trade for the Rockies (no matter what Moneyball says).  Bichette would become a 4 time All Star and led the league in hits twice and HRs and RBIs once each.  He finished his 7 year Rockies career with a .316/.352/.540 line to go along with 201 home runs and 826 RBIs.  Bichette was traded to Cincinnati following the 1999 season for Jeffrey Hammonds and Stan Belinda.

Ellis Burks (1994-98)
Ellis Burks was acquired as a lucrative free agent from the White Sox after the 1993 season.   Following an injury-prone 1994 season, Burks was looking like an expensive bust.  But after that season, Burks really turned it on in Colorado finishing his 5 year Rockies career with a line of .306/.378/.579 with 115 HRs and 337 RBIs.  Burks was traded in a rare in-division deal at the 1998 trade deadline to the Giants for Darryl Hamilton and two others.

Mike Kingery (1994-95)
Mike Kingery was acquired as a free agent from Kansas City following the 1993 season.  After a very nondescript career prior to joining the Rockies, he found his way in Colorado.  Even though his numbers weren't "superstar" quality, Kingery surpassed a lot of expectations in Colorado.  In his 2 year career with the Rockies, Kingery hit .306/.374/.467 with 12 homers and 78 RBIs.   He would leave the Rockies following the 1995 season as a free agent landing in Pittsburgh.

Larry Walker (1995-2004)
Larry Walker was signed as a free agent from the Montreal Expos following the 1994-95 strike.  Walker was good in Montreal, but became a superstar with the Rockies despite missing chunks of several seasons with various injuries.  In his 10 year Rockies career, Walker made 4 All Star teams, won 5 gold gloves, and was top 20 in MVP voting 5 times including winning Colorado's only MVP Award in 1997.  He turned in a line of .334/.426/.618 with 258 homers and 848 RBIs.  Walker was traded to St. Louis in mid-2004 for three minor leaguers that never played for the Rockies.

Jeffrey Hammonds (2000)
Jeffrey Hammonds was acquired from Cincinnati for fan favorite Dante Bichette before the 2000 season.  Unlike all the other nominees on this list, Hammonds only spent a single season in Colorado.  But it was a good one.  He had a line of .335/.395/.529 with 20 home runs and 106 RBIs in his lone season with the Rockies.  Hammonds left Colorado after the 2000 season via free agency and ended up in Milwaukee.

Juan Pierre (2000-02)
One of my favorite Rockies cards ever
Juan Pierre was drafted by the Rockies in the 13th round of the 1998 amateur draft.  He quickly made the majors during the 2000 season and his arrival was a bit of a change for Colorado.  He was probably the first  Rockies outfielder that did not rely on power and instead focused on speed.  In his three seasons in Colorado, Pierre had a line of .308/.356/.371 with 3 homers and 110 RBIs in addition to 100 stolen bases.  Pierre was traded to Florida along with Mike Hampton for four players including Preston Wilson and Charles Johnson.

Todd Hollandsworth (2000-02)
Todd Hollandsworth was acquired along with two minor leaguers from the Dodgers for outfielder Tom Goodwin at the 2000 trade deadline.  Hollandsworth is most well known for his Dodger exploits, but he was decent in Colorado as well.  His Colorado line was .318/.367/.545 with 28 HRs and 90 RBIs in his 2+ seasons with the Rockies.  At the 2002 trade deadline in a four player deal, Hollandsworth was shipped to Texas for Gabe Kapler.

Jay Payton (2002-03, 2010)
At the 2002 trade deadline, Jay Payton was acquired in a five player deal with the Mets for starter John Thomson.  Payton immediately joined the starting lineup and proved very effective in his 2 seasons in Colorado.  Counting his very short 2010 stint, Payton had a Rockies line of  .311/.359/.532 with 36 HRs and 118 RBIs.  Following the 2003 season, Payton left Denver via free agency and joined the Padres.

Preston Wilson (2003-05)
Before the 2003 season, Preston Wilson was acquired from Florida in a six player deal for Juan Pierre and Mike Hampton.  Wilson stepped up and became a star in his first year in Colorado, but a knee injury severely hampered his later years with the Rockies.  In his 3 year Colorado career, Wilson had a line of .269/.333/.498 with 57 homers and 217 RBIs.  At the the 2005 trade deadline, Wilson was dealt to Washington for two players including pitcher Zach Day.

Matt Holliday (2004-08)
Matt Holliday was drafted by the Rockies in the 7th round of the 1998 amateur draft.  Holliday was never really consider a top-flight prospect with the Rockies and put up fairly middling numbers in his 6 years in Colorado's minor league system.  The majors definitely agreed with him though.  In his five years with the Rockies, Holliday was a three time All Star and three times finished in the top 20 in MVP voting.  His Rockies line was .319/.386/.552 with 128 HRs and 483 RBIs.  After the 2008 season, Holliday was dealt to Oakland for three players including Huston Street and Carlos Gonzalez.

Brad Hawpe (2004-10)
Brad Hawpe was drafted by the Rockies in the 11th round in the 2000 amateur draft.  After four years seasoning in the minors, Hawpe made the majors in 2004 and became a starter midway through 2005.  From 2006-09, Hawpe was a consistent and underrated outfielder for the Rockies and made 1 All Star team.  In his 7 year Colorado career, Hawpe had a line of .280/.374/.492 with 118 HRs and 464 RBIs.  Midway through the 2010 season, Hawpe was quietly released and joined Tampa for the remainder of the season.

Willy Taveras (2007-08)
Willy Taveras was acquired with two others from Houston in a five player deal for starter Jason Jennings following the 2006 season.  Much like Juan Pierre before him, Taveras did not rely on power nearly as much as his speed and he had a lot of that.  In his two seasons in Coors, Taveras had a line of .281/.333/.334 with 3 HRs and 50 RBIs in addition to 101 stolen bases.  Taveras left Colorado via free agency following the 2008 season and joined Cincinnati.

Seth Smith (2007-11)
Seth Smith was drafted by the Rockies in the 2nd round of the 2004 amateur draft.  Following a quick rise through the minors and two bench seasons in the majors, Smith became a regular outfielder in 2009 and had pretty good production.  In his five seasons in Colorado, Smith had a line of .275/.348/.485 with 51 HRs and 181 RBIs.  During this 2011 off season, Smith was traded to Oakland for pitchers Guillermo Moscoco and Josh Outman.

Dexter Fowler (2008-Present)
Dexter Fowler was drafted by the Rockies in the 14th round of the 2004 amateur draft.  Following a normal rise through the minor league system, Fowler started getting noticed as a prospect ranking as high as #15 overall before the 2009 season.  Though there have been some minor setbacks, Fowler became the regular center fielder for the Rockies in 2009,  In his four season through 2011, Fowler has a line of .262/.355/.412 with 15 homers and 115 RBIs.  He is currently under team control through the 2016 season.

Carlos Gonzalez (2009-Present)
Before the 2009 season, Carlos Gonzalez was acquired from Oakland in the four player deal for Matt Holliday.  Much like Fowler, Gonzalez was also a very highly rated prospect ranking as high as #17 overall in 2007.  After an up-and-down first season in Colorado, Gonzalez quickly emerged as a superstar in 2010 earning a Gold Glove and a top 3 MVP finish.  In his three seasons with Colorado as of 2011, CarGo has a line of .311/.366/.557 with 73 HRs and 238 RBIs.  He is currently under contract with the Rockies through the 2017 season.

Honorable Mention: Jeromy Burnitz, Jerald Clark, Alex Cole, Tom Goodwin, Ryan Spilborghs

Voting for the Rock Star outfield can begin as soon as I get the poll up and will run through Saturday at 4PM Eastern.  Remember you are voting for THREE different players to make up the entire outfield.  As always you votes are highly encouraged and greatly appreciated.  While you are voting for the outfielders, don't forget to cast your vote for the right handed reliever tiebreakers as well.


Eric L said...

Toughest ballot so far. So many good players.

SpastikMooss said...

If Dante Bichette makes it over Ellis Burks I will be very, VERY sad.