John Thomas Coppinger
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 5", Weight 245 lb.
- High School Coronado High School (El Paso)
- Debut June 11, 1996
- Final Game October 4, 2001
- Born March 19, 1974 in El Paso, TX USA
Rocky Coppinger pitched five years in the majors with a record of 17-11. Most of his wins were as a 22-year-old rookie in 1996, when he went 10-6 for the Baltimore Orioles and was fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting. In the minors, Rocky was very successful with a 49-23 record in nine seasons.
Coppinger was born in El Paso, TX and attended high school there. Of the seven major leaguer pitchers born in El Paso (through the 2010 season), Rocky has the highest major league winning percentage.
Rocky started in the minors in 1994 and almost always had a winning record. In 1995, with three teams, he went 16-3. In 1998, with two teams, he went 10-5 and in 2001, with two teams, he was 8-1.
He made his major league debut in June of 1996 with the Orioles, on a team which finished 88-74 under manager Davey Johnson. Other pitchers on the staff included Mike Mussina, David Wells, Jesse Orosco and Randy Myers.
Coppinger had trouble with injuries, cutting his career short. However, in spite of the injuries, his handling by the Orioles (and eventual trade to the Milwaukee Brewers in 1999) was somewhat controversial. The Orioles slid under .500 after having two good years in 1996 and 1997.