With the Major League Baseball postseason just around the corner, I thought I would celebrate each of the franchise’s and their storied pasts by selecting an All-Time Team for every club.
The teams consist of one player per infield position (1B, 2B, SS, 3B, C), three outfielders, three starting pitchers, and two relief pitchers. Each American League squad also consists of a designated hitter.
The All-Time Teams will be in order, starting with baseball’s newest clubs (Rays and Diamondbacks) and conclude with the oldest franchise, the Atlanta Braves. Without further ado, here is part four of a 30-part series documenting each franchise’s all-time greats.
First Base: Todd Helton 1997-13
The greatest player in Rockies history, Helton holds the club records for hits (2,519), home runs (369), doubles (592), walks (1,335), runs (1,401), RBI (1,406), and games played (2,247), among others. During a career best year in 2000, he led the Majors in RBI (147) and batting average (.372), while leading the NL in hits (216). During the season he was named to his first All-Star team, winning his first Silver Slugger while taking home the NL Hank Aaron Award. Helton was named an All-Star again in 2001, winning a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, then repeated the feat in 2002. He again was an All-Star in 2003, winning a fourth Silver Slugger, and in 2004 was named an NL All-Star for the fifth time while taking home his third Gold Glove Award. In 2007, Helton helped lead Colorado to the NL Wild Card title, their first playoff appearance since 1995, where they won the National League and reached the Fall Classic. Helton helped the Rockies win the NL Wild Card again in 2009 before retiring in 2013. Following his retirement, Helton became the first player in team history to have his jersey retired (No. 17) in 2014.
Second Base: DJ LeMahieu 2012-present
Currently in his seventh season in Colorado, LeMahieu has become one of the top players in team history. He won his first Gold Glove during the 2014 season and was named an NL All-Star in 2015. After winning the NL batting title in 2016, LeMahieu was named an All-Star in 2017, winning a Gold Glove and Fielding Bible Award while helping the Rockies win the NL Wild Card, their first playoff appearance since 2009.
Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki 2006-15
Arguably baseball’s top shortstop during his prime, “Tulo” made an instant impact with the Rockies, helping them win the NL Wild Card and NL pennants in 2007. After another Wild Card title in 2009, he was named an All-Star for the first time in 2010, winning a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award. He repeated the feat again in 2011, and was named an All-Star again in 2013, 2014, and 2015 before being dealt at the 2015 trade deadline.
Third Base: Nolan Arenado 2013-present
In his sixth season with the Rockies, Arenado has become one of baseball’s best players. He won back-to-back Gold Glove Awards from 2013-14, followed by a breakout 2015 campaign where he led the NL in home runs and RBI while being named an All-Star and Fielding Bible winner while taking home another Gold Glove and Silver Slugger. Arenado had another spectacular season in 2016, leading the NL in home runs (41) and RBI (133) while being named an All-Star and winning another Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, and Fielding Bible. During the 2017 season, he helped the Rockies win the NL WIld Card, being named an All-Star, and winning third straight Silver Slugger and Fielding Bible and a fifth straight Gold Glove Award, while winning his first Platinum Glove Award. Arenado was again named an All-Star in 2018 for the fourth straight campaign.
Catcher: Chris Iannetta 2006-11, 2018-present
The longest tenured catcher in Rockies history, Iannetta was a backup during the team’s 2007 World Series run, and became the starter for the 2009 NL Wild Card champions. He returned to the team for a second stint in 2018.
Outfield: Matt Holliday 2004-08, 2018-present
During his first five-year stint, Holliday became on the NL’s top hitters. After being named an All-Star in 2006, he had a breakout 2007 season, being named an All-Star, while winning the NL batting title and leading the league in RBI. He also won his second straight Silver Slugger, helping Colorado win the NL Wild Card. During the 2007 postseason, Holliday was named the NLCS MVP, leading the Rockies to their first World Series appearance. He was named an All-Star while winning a third Silver Slugger in 2008 before being traded during the offseason. Holliday returned to Colorado during the 2018 season.
Outfield: Carlos Gonzalez 2009-present
Gonzalez made an immediate impact after being traded to Colorado, helping the team win the 2009 NL Wild Card title. During a breakout 2010 season, he hit for the cycle, won the NL batting title, a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, while being named the winner of the Luis Aparico Award (top Venezuelan player). He was named an All-Star for the first time in 2012, winning his second Gold Glove. After another All-Star and Gold Glove-winning campaign in 2013, Gonzalez would again win a Silver Slugger Award in 2015. He was named an All-Star once more in 2016, and during the 2017 season helped the Rockies win the NL Wild Card, their first playoff apperance since 2009.
Outfield: Larry Walker 1995-04
Joining the Rockies in 1995, Walker became the team’s first star. During his first season, Colorado won the NL Wild Card, the fastest an expansion team had ever qualified for the postseason (3 years). During a career-best 1997 campaign, he led the NL in home runs, being named an All-Star while winning a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, taking home 1997 NL MVP honors. Walker was named an All-Star again in 1998, winning a Gold Glove and NL batting title. During another great season, he was named an All-Star, winning both Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards while leading the NL in batting average. During the final years of his time with the Rockies, Walker was named an All-Star in 2001, while winning a third batting title and won two straight Gold Gloves from 2001-02. His tenure ended when he asked for a trade during the 2004 season.
Starting pitcher: Ubaldo Jimenez 2006-11
While pitching has never been the Rockies strong suit, Jimenez became one of the top hurlers in club history during his tenure. He helped Colorado win the 2007 NL Wild Card and NL championships, and helped the team return to the playoffs as Wild Card champions in 2009. During the 2010 season, Jimenez was named an All-Star, and threw the first no-hitter in Rockies history on April 17 against the Atlanta Braves.
Starting pitcher: Aaron Cook 2002-11
Cook is the longest tenured pitcher in Rockies history, playing 10 seasons with the club. He helped the team win the 2007 NL Wild Card and NL championships while reaching the World Series, and helped Colorado win the the 2009 NL Wild Card title. During a career best 2008 campaign, Cook set a career-high in wins (16) while being named an NL All-Star.
Starting pitcher: Jorge de la Rosa 2008-16
The Rockies all-time leader in wins (86) and strikeouts (985), de la Rosa became one of the top pitchers in club history during a nine-year tenure. In 2009, he helped Colorado win the NL Wild Card.
Relief pitcher: Matt Belisle 2009-14
Perhaps the best setup man in Colorado history, Belisle is Top-10 in team history in appearances and ERA. He helped the Rockies reach the postseason in 2009 as NL Wild Card champions.
Relief pitcher: Brian Fuentes 2002-08
Easily the top closer in Rockies history, Fuentes in the club’s all-time leader in saves (115) and ERA (3.38). He was named an All-Star for the first time in 2005 and was again selected in 2006. During the 2007 season he was named an NL All-Star for the third straight time, helping the Rockies win the NL Wild Card and NL pennants and reach the World Series.
Others considered: Vinny Castilla, Andres Galarraga, Dante Bichette, Charlie Blackmon