The catcher position for the Colorado Rockies has not been a hot bed of talent in the franchise’s history.
Wilin Rosario, who bashed four hits in Saturday, April 13’s win over the San Diego Padres including a massive home run to left field, is changing all of that.
There has never been any doubt about Rosario’s power. He hit 28 home runs in 2012 which was his first full season in the big leagues. If he could hit for average and most of all his defense is what was questioned by critics. His .270 average was solid but he still seemed inpatient at the plate at times. He struck out 99 times. His defense was the real tough spot as the rookie catcher had 21 passed balls.
In the offseason, Rosario worked on his defense and the work has helped. This season he seems more confident and comfortable behind the plate. He has only one passed ball on the early season. His arm has been great as well as he has thrown out four-of-six attempted base stealers.
The Rockies have always had a hole at the catcher position. For years, they waited for Chris Iannetta to develop into the player he was predicted to be. It never really happened and he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels for Tyler Chatwood. They has also been young catchers like Ben Petrick and Jayhawk Owens that never become great players behind the dish. Yorvit Torreabla was with the Rockies from 2006-09 before leaving as a free agent. The veteran returned to Colorado in spring training and won the backup job forcing the Rockies to trade Ramon Hernandez.
Rosario is making the Rockies forget about all the catching failures of the past. On the young season, he is hitting .363 with four home runs and 10 RBI. He has been hitting seventh in Colorado’s powerful lineup but that could change soon. Manager Walt Weiss has said Rosario won’t be hitting in that spot for long especially if Todd Helton struggles in the sixth spot. Rosario also hits fourth when Troy Tulowitzki is out of the lineup.
If Rosario can stay healthy and also play good defense behind the plate, he will be another player to add to the young nucleus in Colorado. His powerful bat can be a huge asset to a team that is beating teams by out-slugging them.
Rosario is on the verge of All-Star status. A catcher with power, who can hit a little for average and is improving behind the plate. After many frustrating years, it seems the Rockies have finally found their catcher.
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