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Colorado Rockies Top 20 2015 PRE-SEASON prospects in review

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Jon Gray
Jon Gray
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Today we continue our summer reviews of the pre-season Top 20 Prospects lists with the Colorado Rockies.

This is a review of the pre-season list.
It is not a new list.

These are the pre-season grades.

This list was originally published February 5, 2015

1) Jon Gray, RHP, Grade A-/B+: 4.33 ERA with 110/41 K/BB in 114 innings in Triple-A, 129 hits. That’s pretty good for Albuquerque. In the majors, 2.40 ERA with 14/4 K/BB in 15 innings over three starts. Looks ready for the Show to me.
2) David Dahl, OF, Grade B+/A-:
Hitting .278/.304/.417 with six homers, 22 steals, 11 walks, 72 strikeouts in 288 at-bats, rapid recovery after early-season outfield collision that cost him his spleen. The numbers aren’t terrific but they aren’t terrible and he earns a mulligan given the circumstances.
3) Kyle Freeland, LHP, Grade B+/A-:
Limited exposure due to injuries, 30 innings between rookie rehab and High-A, 2.40 ERA with 21/5 K/BB combined. Has looked good when healthy.
4) Ryan McMahon, 3B, Grade B+:
Hitting .303/.379/.517 with 37 doubles, 16 homers, 46 walks, 133 strikeouts in 433 at-bats in High-A. Good power, contact issues apparent and Cal League helps, but quite young at 20. Error-prone but good range at third base.
5) Eddie Butler, RHP, Grade B+/B:
Difficult season in the majors, 5.90 ERA with 44/42 K/BB in 79 innings, 102 hits. Poor strikeout rate is disturbing and his performance hasn’t improved much since getting sent down to Triple-A.


6) Raimel Tapia, OF, Grade B/B+:
Hitting .311/.343/.468 with 33 doubles, 10 homers, 24 steals, 24 walks, 91 strikeouts in 479 at-bats in High-A. Hot lately but was productive all year, would like to see a bit more power, has taken a step forward on defense.
7) Tom Murphy, C, Grade B/B-:
Hitting .257/.317/.497 with 18 homers, 26 walks, 105 strikeouts in 346 at-bats between Double-A and Triple-A. Good power, but a poor BB/K/PA ratio advises some caution, still has some rough edges with the glove as well.
8) Forrest Wall, 2B, Grade B-:
Hitting .275/.356/.430 with six homers, 22 steals, 36 walks, 63 strikeouts in 302 at-bats in Low-A. Not a bad year by any means and just 19 years old, but not dominant either. Needs more work on defense.
9) Rosell Herrera, INF, Grade B-/C+:
Disappointing season in High-A, hitting .256/.312/.357, four homers, 33 walks, 85 strikeouts in 403 at-bats. An outfielder now, putting additional pressure on his bat, hasn’t hit well since leaving the Sally League. Stock down.
10) Tyler Anderson, LHP, Grade B-/C+
: Out all year with elbow trouble.


11) Ryan Castellani, RHP, Grade B-/C+:
4.63 ERA with 78/26 K/BB in 91 innings in Low-A, 112 hits. Just 19 years old, throws strikes, not statistically dominant as yet but physically projectable.
12) Antonio Senzatela, RHP, Grade C+:
Excellent season in High-A, 2.40 ERA with 124/30 K/BB in 135 innings, 112 hits. All metrics are very good, plus heater, good change-up, breaking stuff developing. Stock up. Don’t sleep on this one. Just 20 years old.
13) Trevor Story, SS, Grade C+:
Hitting .276/.345/.514 with 37 doubles, 18 homers, 20 steals, 43 walks, 124 strikeouts in 442 at-bats between Double-A and Triple-A. Continues to show promising power/speed mix and solid defense in the infield, but contact/batting average remain problematic.
14) Kyle Parker, OF-1B, Grade C+:
Hitting .280/.326/.431 in Triple-A, which isn’t that good for Albuquerque, and .227/.277/.364 in the majors, which isn’t good anywhere. Outfield defense has deteriorated but bat at first base is less attractive. Seems stagnant at age 25.
15) Dom Nunez, C, Grade C+:
Hitting .277/.367/.427 in Low-A with nine homers, 47 walks, 53 strikeouts in 321 at-bats at age 20. Needs more defensive polish but a credible season with the bat.

16) Kevin Padlo, 3B, Grade C+: Hitting .262/.370/.455 with 10 homers, 21 doubles, 45 walks, 78 strikeouts, 31 steals in 286 at-bats in the short-season Northwest League. Also playing well with the glove, broad range of skills at age 19. Highly promising player, stock up.
17) Ryan Casteel, C, Grade C+:
Small sample due to injury but a nice one, hitting .343/.352/.490 in 102 at-bats in Triple-A, though with a poor 2/25 BB/K ratio. Age 24, still needs work with the glove.
18) Pedro Gonzalez, SS, Grade C+:
Assigned to Dominican Summer League, hitting .251/.318/.418 with eight homers, 19 walks, 81 strikeouts in 251 at-bats. Has stolen eight bases but been caught 12 times, defense has been poor at both shortstop and third base. Big potential across the board physically but quite raw at age 17.
19) Jairo Diaz, RHP, Grade C:
4.67 ERA with 47/37 K/BB in 54 innings in Triple-A, 51 hits, eight saves. Obviously needs better command but has shown flashes of it lately, pitching better in the second half.
20) Cristhian Adames, INF, Grade C
: Hitting .313/.363/.439 with 10 homers, 10 steals, 33 walks, 52 strikeouts in 431 at-bats in Triple-A. Versatile glove is best at second base but acceptable at third and short, utility player projection.

It is a tough year for the major league club, the Rockies standing at 49-70 in last place in the National League West. Although the farm system is in generally solid condition, significant change was inevitable and came in the form of the Troy Tulowitzki/Jose Reyes trade with the Blue Jays, closing this chapter in Rockies history.

The trade brought in three young pitchers of note: right-handers Miguel Castro, Jeff Hoffman, and Jesus Tinoco. Despite opening the season with the Blue Jays Castro still has rookie status though opinions remained mixed on what his long-term role will be. Hoffman looks like he’s made a successful recovery from Tommy John surgery and Tinoco has had a breakthrough season in Low-A. All three arms will rank highly on the 2016 Rockies list.

The 2015 draft looks good on paper. Brendan Rodgers was the top high school position player available according to most. Tyler Nevin could develop into a power-hitting third baseman. Right-hander Mike Nikorak has pitched poorly so far but his upside was among the highest in the prep class. Fellow RHP preps Peter Lambert and Javier Medina have been more effective early, and overall this is a nice trio if you like high school arms. College choices filled out the middle rounds, with RHP David Hill, RHP Parker French, and LHP Jack Wynkoop all looking like they could advance quickly.

Most of the holdover prospects have at least held their own. On the pitching side, Jon Gray is ready; Eddie Butler was not, Kyle Freeland needs to prove his health and Antonio Senzatela has been outstanding. Among the hitters, David Dahl deserves some slack due to the injury; Trevor Story should get a trial soon; Tapia and McMahon and Wall still provide a promising offensive core for the future. Outfielder Jordan Patterson has had a fine year (.304/.377/.568 in High-A/Double-A) and his stock has risen, though the BB/K (28/109) advises caution. Kyle Parker and Rosell Herrera have been disappointing, but the rising stock of Kevin Padlo is counterbalancing good news.