Jorge de la Rosa is a unicorn.

He might well have had the unlikeliest career of modern times. A surface level look at his stats will reveal a roughly league average pitcher across 15 seasons with some good seasons and some bad ones. But dive deeper and you will find that he accomplished some things nobody else ever has…or maybe ever will.

From 2004-2007, de la Rosa pitched in parts of six seasons with the Brewers and Royals, posting an ERA of 6.23 and 5.64 in those towns respectively.

At 27 years old, having never pitched above the league average ERA+ of 100, a lot of guys might have found themselves at the end of the line and that could easily have been the case for De La, stopping off at the pitcher’s nightmare of Coors Field before disappearing into the shadows.

But instead, he bloomed in a way that no outsider ever has. Plenty of players have brought shiny resumes to Denver only to see them obliterated here, but Jorge is essentially the counterexample of someone who wasn’t good elsewhere but excelled at altitude. 

He was fine in his first season, posting an ERA+ of 95 but then rattled of six out of seven seasons where he was comfortably above that 100 mark and in the seventh one, he was hurt and only pitched 10 innings. So, for six straight healthy years Jorge de la Rosa climbed the Rockies all-time leaderboards and did so by dominating at home.

The pitcher Win is not the best statistic in the world, but it is no coincidence that the Mexican lefty went 53-20 at Coors Field, a winning percentage of .726. Recent times have seen a few Rox hurlers come kind of close with Jon Gray going 31-18 at Coors for a .633 winning percentage and Antonio Senzatela who is 27-14 for a winning percentage of .659.

Both players grew up in this environment, where de la Rosa did not, and still have a way to go to catch up to him in this regard. For now, he remains the King of Coors.

How did this happen? How did a pitcher with little to no fanfare arrive in Denver, Colorado and become the absolute best version of himself? How did a guy who looked potentially ready to retire at 27, end up as the Colorado Rockies all time franchise leader in strikeouts? Despite all the cheap runs he invariably gave up, how did he just keep managing to win at home?

A pitcher who found himself at Coors and actually tamed the beast, we may never know for sure how he did it, but we will never see another Jorge de la Rosa.

Make sure to keep up with the latest in the world of Colorado Rockies baseball, as well as deep dives on Rockies history with the 20th and Blake Podcast on the Mile High Sports podcast network.

Watch on the MHS YouTube channel for the best local coverage of Colorado sports. Take your podcasts on the go when you download the all-new free Mile High Sports Radio mobile app for Apple or Android. Make sure to like, rate and subscribe to each episode, and be sure to follow @DrewCreasman on Twitter.