Last night the Colorado Rockies promoted rookie outfielder Raimel Tapia to the major league roster. He played two games for the Rockies back in April but we neglected to update him at the time. Let’s correct that with a quick review.
Tapia was signed by the Rockies out of the Dominican Republic in 2010. He got on the radar with his hitting skills by whacking a .357 mark in the Pioneer League in 2013 and has continued to thrive, including a .328/.361/.458 line between Double-A and Triple-A in 2016.
Tapia ranked sixth on the Colorado Rockies Top 20 Prospects for 2017 list with the following commentary:
6) Raimel Tapia, OF, Grade B/B+: Age 22, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2010; hit .328/.361/.458 with 23 steals, 27 walks, 61 strikeouts in 528 at-bats in Double-A/Triple-A, then .263/.293/.263 in 38 major league at-bats; best tool is speed, 60-grade; has some wiry strength but home run power won’t be a huge factor in his game; can handle center short-term but power would be stretched at a corner; could also use more patience to boost OBP but should hit for average. ETA 2017.
He’s certainly had no problems hitting for average in 2017, mashing Pacific Coast League pitching for a .400/.434/.583 line in 115 at-bats for the Albuquerque Isotopes. He also stole eight bases this year in 10 attempts, but has yet to hit a home run.
The pre-season report remains in force: his best physical tool is his running speed. He doesn’t have big raw home run power but has shown he can lash line drives to both gaps. He’s aggressive and doesn’t draw a lot of walks, but makes consistent and persistent hard contact. He’s sharpened up his fielding routes and can handle center field without trouble.
In a neutral environment Tapia looks like a speed-oriented .280 hitter to me, but in Colorado he could hit .300+ with moderate power.