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Player ratings for the Colorado Rockies: Iglesias proved in his only season in purple that a Rockie can hit the streets

Welcome to the 2022 edition of Ranking the rockieswhere we take a look back at each player to log playtime for them rockies in 2022. The purpose of this list is to provide a snapshot of the player in context. “Ranking” is an organizing principle derived from the Baseball Reference WAR (rWAR). It’s not something the staff discussed. We start with the player with the lowest rWAR and end with the player with the highest.

★★★

No. 7, José Iglesias: 1.2 rWAR

When it was clear that Trevor Story, two-time All-Star and Silver Slugger and Rockies shortstop for the past six years, would not re-sign with the Rockies after the 2021 season, the Rockies needed someone to hold the fort until the hot shot Ezequiel Tovar was ready for the big leagues.

Enter Jose Iglesias. Not only did he fill in well, he went on to become one of the best hitters in Rockies history outside of Coors Field.

Iglesias, who brought 10 years of MLB experience with the Red Sox, Tigers, Reds, Orioles and Angels before signing with the Rockies, signed a one-year, $5 million contract on March 10, six days after lockdown ended dollars . Despite a hand injury that forced him to sit out more than three weeks in September, Iglesias finished first among the Rockies with 400 shots and a .292 batting average and second with a .328 on-base percentage (qualified hitters required at least 500 at). -bats, making Brendan Rodgers the team batting champion with .266).

The most impressive stats came from Iglesias’ bat in the street. Off Coors Field, Iglesias batted .315/.348/.399. The second best street batting averages from players with at least 200 at-bats was Yonathan Daza at .289 and Charlie Blackmon at .241. The Cuban native even ranked 12th overall in the MLB on the road batting average for players with at least 200 at-bats between Michael Harris II’s .317 and just above Aaron Judge’s .313.

When most players come to Colorado, they relish the chance to score at Coors Field. Things didn’t go that well for Iglesias, who hit .264 at Mile High City. He spoke about this unique circumstance with MLB.com’s Manny Randhawa when he hit .353 on the road in late July, threatening to break Mike Kingery’s .362 batting average, which is Rockie’s all-time record.

“I feel like I’m on the street, the ball breaks like it’s supposed to,” said Iglesias. “Here, on the other hand, it’s not breaking like it should. It should be easier for a batsman [at Coors Field] — I think that once you get used to it, it’s better to strike here, of course. But having an idea of ​​where the ball will end up helps.”

While Iglesias was well behind Story’s 2.5 rWAR in 2022, he was one of only 10 Rockies with a rWAR above 1.0 and cost Colorado a quarter of Story’s salary (he made $20 million in 2022, the first of six years $140 million deal).

In 2019, Iglesias hit a career high with 11 home runs. He met three that year – two at Coors Field and one away. While not particularly strong, he was the Rockies’ top hitter for average and base percentage with runners in the scoring position. In 99 RISP at-bats, he hit .354/.402/.475 with 26 singles, nine doubles and a homer. He rode 40 runs, walked six times and struck just 14 times.

With his hand injury knocking him out on Sept. 6, Bud Black spoke to The Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders about the surprise boost Iglesias gave the Rockies at the plate.

“I hadn’t seen José live very often,” Black said. “We always looked at José as a glove first, but he has developed into a good hitter over the years. He’s a (.280) lifetime hitter and this year he was proven to have good hit-to-ball ability by using the entire field. All those things.”

Though his defense hasn’t been award-winning, Iglesias made a few highlight plays and was also involved in 69 doubles games (eighth-highest in MLB among shortstops) and served as a key tooth in the defense the Rockies rely on so much. He finished with a .981 field odd and eight penalties in 975 2/3 innings for a total of -4 saved runs.

Eighteen-year-old Iglesias, a man who defected from Cuba during a tournament with the Cuban national youth team in Canada, crossed the border, applied for asylum and spent time in prison in Montana trying to make a living playing baseball in the United States to earn . Little did he know if he would see his family again, and he had to establish residency in the Dominican Republic before finally receiving his American citizenship at a ceremony in Comerica Park in 2018.

In 2022, Iglesias brought his love of the game to Colorado. He also witnessed MLB history and was the first player to congratulate his former teammate, Miguel Cabrera, on his 3,000th struck when Antonio Senzatela gave it up on April 23.

At the end of the season, with his hand healed, Iglesias returned to the lineup and played four games on the final road trip of the season before becoming a free agent. It may be Tovar time in Colorado, but Iglesias made the most of his time at Lila.

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