Colorado Rockies Top 20 Preseason Prospects in Review
1) Ian Stewart, 3B
Has come around after a slow start, currently hitting .280/.363/.495 for Class A Modesto. Still a premium prospect, no question.
2) Jeff Francis, LHP
8-7, 5.57 in 20 starts for the Rockies. Erratic at times, but generally holding his own considering the environment.
3) Chris Nelson, SS
Hitting .254/.323/.362 for Class A Asheville. Has struggled with injuries and plate discipline. I thought he would make faster progress than this.
4) Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP
5-3, 3.98 in 14 starts for Modesto, but just 1-3, 6.11 in 5 starts for Double-A Tulsa. Still struggling to find consistency with his command.
5) Jeff Baker, 3B
.306/.381/.459 in 29 games for Triple-A Colorado Springs, .211/.302/.395 in 12 games for the Rockies. Injuries have hampered his progress and he needs additional Triple-A time.
6) Ryan Shealy, 1B
.338/.393/.613 with 20 homers for Colorado Springs, and it isn't all a thin-air delusion. Currently 6-for-20 (.300/.391/.500) for the Rockies. The guy can hit, but can he find a place to play?
7) Seth Smith, OF
Toolsy outfielder hitting .305/.354/.473 with 36 doubles for Modesto. I like him, but his plate discipline can be inconsistent and he'll need time in Double-A/Triple-A.
8) Chris Narveson, LHP
Now with the Red Sox. 4-5, 4.92 in 19 starts for Triple-A Pawtucket. K/IP rate is down this year, and prospect status is slipping.
9) Clint Barmes, SS
Hitting .329/.371/.516 for the Rockies, but out until September with a broken collarbone.
10) J.D. Closser, C
Hitting just .214/.311/.371 for the Rockies. He is capable of much more than this.
11) Marcus Carvajal, RHP
Rule 5 guy being used in the bullpen, has 4.15 ERA in 39 innings, 27/15 K/BB. Good stuff but still learning how to pitch.
12) Sam Deduno, RHP
5.73 ERA with 70/41 K/BB in 55 innings for Asheville. Very impressive K/IP ratio, but control is a serious issue.
13) Ryan Speier, RHP
4.95 ERA for Colorado Springs, 5 saves, 31/11 K/BB in 36 innings, but has allowed 54 hits. Not helped by the PCL environment. I think he is capable of better, but he's not a favorite of scouts and doesn't have a lot of slack to work with.
14) Chris Ianneta, C
.276/.381/.490 at Modesto, with 11 homers, 45 walks in 261 at-bats. Just promoted to Double-A Tulsa, where he is 4-for-12 thus far. His stock is improving.
15) Juan Morillo, RHP
3.30 ERA, 6-4 record, 63/34 K/BB in 71 innings for Modesto. Doing reasonably well, though I'd like to see his walk rate come down a bit.
16) Brad Hawpe, OF
Hitting .295/.368/.464 in 75 games for the Rockies. Holding his own, and I think he will hit better than this with additional experience.
17) Garrett Atkins, 3B
Hitting .287/.346/.419 for the Rockies. Like Hawpe, he's holding his own and should improve in time.
18) Steven Register, RHP
4.66 ERA, 8-9, 79/22 K/BB in 112 innings for Modesto, 137 hits allowed. Average performance, good command being best attribute.
19) Matt Merricks, LHP
Rule 5 guy, sent back to the Dodgers system in June. Currently has 4.41 ERA at Class A Vero Beach.
20) Jim Miller, RHP
24 saves for Modesto, 4.12 ERA, 64/17 K/BB in 44 innings. Outstanding K/IP ratio, H/IP also solid. His ERA should be lower than it is, making him a sleeper based on his component ratios.
Stewart is doing better, and most of the young guys in the Majors are doing about as well as can be expected. I'm worried about Nelson, who I may have overrated. I should have paid more attention to his high strikeout rate last year.