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10 best Rockies players
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04/08/2003  1:27 PM ET 
10 best Rockies players
By Allison Ann Otto / MLB.com

Larry Walker and Todd Helton rank 1-2 in the list of best Rockies players. (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
1. Larry Walker: Walker is in his club-record ninth year in a Rockies uniform. The 1997 National League MVP and Gold Glove winner led the league in batting from 1998-2001. He finished second in the league in 2002 with a .338 average. Walker also holds a number of other club records, including most runs in a season (143 in 1997), most runs scored (784) and most home runs (236).

2. Todd Helton: Helton, who was drafted by the Rockies in the first round of the 1995 June draft and is in his seventh season, has batted better than .300 each of the past five years. He is also the only player in the history of the game to post 100 extra-base hits in back-to-back seasons (2000, 2001). Helton has played in three All-Star Games and earned Rawlings Golden Glove Awards in 2001 and 2002. His .996 career fielding percentage is the top mark among Colorado first basemen.

3. Dante Bichette: Bichette was an All-Star with the Rockies from 1994-98 and challenged for the National League MVP award in 1995 when he had a 23-game hitting streak. He is among franchise leaders in games played (1,018), hits (1,278), home runs (201) and RBI (826).

4. Andres Galarraga: The Big Cat played five seasons, was an All-Star twice (1993 and 1997) and finished in the top 10 in MVP voting four times. Galarraga became the first player on an expansion team to win a league batting title, with a .370 mark in 1993, and led the league in RBIs twice -- 150 in 1996 and 140 in 1997.

5. Vinny Castilla: The Oaxaca, Mexico, native made 770 starts at third base. He was part of the Blake Street Bombers, along with Bichette, Walker, and Andres Galarraga, and was an All-Star selection in 1995 and 1998 when he batted .309 and .319 respectively.

6. Pedro Astacio: Astacio arrived in a trade in 1997. By the time he was traded to Houston in 2001, he had set the club standards for durability and success. He owns club career records for wins (53), innings pitched (827 1/3), strikeouts (749) and complete games (14). In 1999, as the Rockies fell to their first last-place finish in club history, Astacio tied Kevin Ritz's 1996 club single-season record for wins with 17 and threw in a club single-season best 232 innings.

7. Ellis Burks: Burks knocked 558 hits for the Rockies from 1996 to 1998. But he was at his best during 1996, when he an All-Star and MVP candidate. Burks led the league in runs with 142, and finished second in batting with a .344 average and second in hits with 211. He also led the team in doubles and triples that year.

8. Eric Young: Perhaps best remembered for his leadoff homer in the Rockies' first Opening Day at Mile High Stadium in 1993, Young also holds the club record for most stolen bases in a Colorado uniform (180), most stolen bases in a season (53) and most in a game with six against Los Angeles on June 30, 1996.

9. Steve Reed: Reed returned to the Rockies this season after a five-year absence. He entered the year with the best ERA in club history, 3.68 ERA, thanks to his work from 1993 to 1997. His .581 winning percentage (25-18) was second to Darren Holmes among Rockies pitchers.

10. Jose Jimenez: A one-time starter with St. Louis with a no-hitter to his credit (for the Cardinals against Arizona on June 25, 1999), Jimenez became an immediate success as a reliever after arriving in a trade in 2000. Last season, Jimenez set a club single-season record with 41 saves and became the club's career leader with 82.

Allison Ann Otto is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.





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