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We at BSN Denver are running a series where we rank how valuable each of the Colorado Rockies’ 51 players was to the team in 2015. Value was calculated by statistics, viewing, and how memorable each player’s contributions were. The rankings will be from last to first, you may view the full rankings (here)
Player: Nick Hundley
Stats: 103 G, 389 PA, .3o1 AVG, .339 OBP, .467 SLG, 10 HR, 43 RBI, 5 SB, 1o3 wRC+, WAR 2.3
Big Moment: May 19, the Colorado Rockies are at home taking on Philadelphia. Hundley would hit a game-winning solo home run in the eighth inning off of Justin De Fratus. The Rockies catcher also singled in the second run of the ballgame in the bottom of the first inning. To boot, he also called a fine game leading the young Chad Bettis through six innings of work.
Season Recap: Not only did the 32-year-old become the first good Rockies catcher in years, he resurrected his career back into relevance. After poor 2012 and 2014 seasons, Hundley came to Colorado as a free agent on a two-year contract. He proved to be the biggest acquisition for the 2015 Rockies bolstering good numbers and true leadership. His backstopping ability plugged a sizeable hole that had been left in the franchise since the departure of Chris Iannetta.
When he was signed many didn’t even think he was going to start on Opening Day. Hundley started behind the plate on day one and showed day-in-and-day-out why he deserved to be there. If he had not missed the final portion of the season there easily could be a case to be made for him as most consistent Rockie of 2015. Hundley’s attitude towards the young pitchers can not be discussed enough and that’s really not to discredit his above average offensive production or stellar defense.
What’s Ahead: Hundley will be a free agent after the season as his two-year six-plus million dollar deal will expire. It’ll be interesting to see if the Rockies consider another two or more years with Hundley on their roster, considering he was so good in 2015. First, Hundley must have a repeat performance of last year’s which he should be able to top in 2016 if he is healthy for the full season. More interesting than Hundley’s final contract year is the question of who will be the backup catcher. Colorado will either use a stopgap in Dustin Garneau or will look towards the future in highly rated prospect Tom Murphy. Each played at the end of last season when the Rockies regulars were hurt during September Callups. The backup will most likely be Garneau to start the season to allow Murphy a few more moments of developmental time in Triple-A.