But within the Rockies dugout, Jordan Pacheco's value is so strongly felt that manager Jim Tracy singled him out, along with Dexter Fowler, among the Most Valuable Rockies for the 2012 season.
"He's been a model of consistency," Tracy said. "To get this kid moving along in his career and finding out exactly what you had ... what we did with him at third, he's become an even better first baseman because of the exposure at third base. And what a game he caught [behind the plate] the other night. He sure hasn't forgotten how to do that.
"So you've got a very versatile player who's consistently hit .300 for much of the year, line drives from foul line to foul line. He's a special guy. He's a winning player. In the right scheme of things, this is a winning, championship-caliber player."
Pacheco has the highest average of any National League rookie, entering Thursday's game at .307 and adding a pair of hits in his first two at-bats against the Cubs, including a three-run homer to put the Rockies ahead in the first inning.
"I'm not surprised anymore by anything," Pacheco said before Thursday's game. "[Being a valuable team player] is something I try to take pride in. My dad always said, 'Take care of the intangible stuff.' Playing hard every day, hustling, that's something I learned from a bunch of guys on this team, especially Michael Cuddyer. Watching him play every day, it's kind of easy to go out there and try to play hard."
Though Fowler was out of the lineup again on Thursday, getting a precautionary MRI on his strained left wrist, Tracy saved his highest praise for his Gold Glove-caliber center fielder, who is having a career year at .300 with 13 home runs and 53 RBIs.
"You're talking about a standard that's been maintained for much of the 2012 season," Tracy said of Fowler. "You go back and look at what Dexter Fowler did a year ago, compared to how consistent he's been this year. He had a very special second half in 2011, and was still standing out there at game 159, 160, 161 when we were very beat up like we are right now, but he was still out there grinding it. And you know what? Managers, they don't forget that type of stuff. Believe me."