Top 20 PRE-SEASON Rockies Prospects in Review
This is the PRE-SEASON list. That means it was generated BEFORE THE SEASON STARTED and that the grades were PRE-SEASON. Anyone complaining about the grades based on 2006 performance will be smacked up the side of the head with a David Nied autographed baseball.
1) Ian Stewart, 3B, Grade A-
Hitting .287/.347/.460 in 87 games for Double-A Tulsa. Not doing as well as expected, although 31 doubles is a positive marker.
2) Troy Tulowitzki, SS, B+
Hitting .292/.372/.472 for Tulsa, with 26 doubles and 11 homers. Solid numbers.
3) Ryan Shealy, 1B, B+
Hitting .284/.351/.568 with 15 homers in 58 games for Triple-A Colorado Springs. He is capable of even more than this but needs a place to play.
4) Franklin Morales, LHP, B
6-7, 3.54 in 18 starts for Class A Modesto, 114/60 K/BB in 107 innings. Breakthrough candidate for 2007, watch him closely.
5) Chaz Roe, RHP, B
3-4, 3.99 in 13 starts for Class A Asheville, 54/28 K/BB in 68 innings, 75 hits allowed. Numbers are mediocre but he is quite young at age 19.
6) Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP, B
Was 9-2, 2.45 for Tulsa, now 0-1, 6.04 in five starts for Colorado Springs. Great stuff, command remains shaky and will hurt him in Triple-A and the majors unless improved.
7) Chris Iannetta, C, B-
Hitting .355/.473/.526 in 24 games since being promoted to Colorado Springs. Having an excellent season and looks like a major breakthrough prospect. Raise his grade to B+ and stick him on your top prospect lists.
8) Chris Nelson, SS, B-
Hitting .263/.324/.431 with 10 steals for Asheville, also has 31 doubles. Not awesome but is rebounding somewhat after a poor '05 season. Still not quite living up to the potential he showed in high school and rookie ball.
9) Jim Miller, RHP, B-
5.00 ERA in 28 games for Tulsa, 23/7 K/BB in 27 innings, 35 hits allowed. Not much to be excited about.
10) Juan Morillo, RHP, C+
7-6, 4.55 in 20 starts for Tulsa, 84/55 K/BB in 99 innings. Like Jimenez, he has blistering stuff but still struggles with his command.
11) Jeff Baker, 3B, C+
Staying healthy for a change. Hitting .298/.367/.456 with 11 homers for Colorado Springs. Main problems remains finding a place to play.
12) Omar Quintanilla, 2B, C+
Hitting .286/.354/.381 in 51 games for Colorado Springs. Plagued with nagging injuries, his stock is dropping.
13) Matt Macri, INF, C+
Hitting .233/.294/.372 in 83 games for Tulsa. Disappointing. Best bet now may be as a utility infielder.
14) Seth Smith, OF, C+
Hitting .292/.348/.472 for Tulsa with 34 doubles and 10 homers. Breakthrough is coming in 2007. He has cut his strikeout rate in half this year compared to last year.
15) Corey Wimberly, 2B, C+
Hitting .314/.388/.362 with 33 steals in just 49 games for Modesto. Speed with decent on-base skills but lacks power.
16) Ryan Spilborghs, OF, C+
Hitting .280/.325/.440 in 34 games for the Rockies. Would be a fine reserve outfielder for many clubs.
17) Andrew Johnston, RHP, C+
11 saves, 3.18 ERA in 29 games for Asheville since being activated in mid-May. 13/4 K/BB. Good control but strikeout rate is low.
18) Dexter Fowler, OF, C
Hitting .283/.360/.442 with 31 steals for Asheville. Toolsy, holding his own, has speed with some power potential. Grade will rise.
19) Jeff Salazar, OF, C
Hampered by an elbow injury, hitting just .246/.344/.372 for Colorado Springs.
20) Shane Lindsay, RHP, C
Activated from injury rehab in mid-June, went 2-2, 2.79 in five starts for Tri-City, with a 48/17 K/BB in 29 innings. Has made one start for Asheville, fanning five but walking six in five innings. If healthy, a very intriguing prospect.
I think this is another underrated system. I'm a bit worried about Stewart, although he is still very young and has plenty of time to get things going well again. There are some very live arms with control problems (Jimenez, Morillo, etc.). Hopefully one of them will pan out. I really like Chris Iannetta and strongly recommend him.