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Colorado Rockies Top 20 prospects for 2018: mid-season review

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Finishing up the review project with the Rockies

Minor League Baseball: Eastern League All Star Game
Brendan Rodgers
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Continuing with our mid-season organization reviews, we turn our attention to the Colorado Rockies farm system.

This list was originally published February 7th, 2018

*****THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST******

THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE PRE-SEASON LIST

THESE ARE NOT NEW GRADES

1) Brendan Rodgers, SS, Grade A-: Age 22, first round pick in 2015 from high school in Florida, hit .275/.342/.493 with 17 homers, 12 steals, 30 walks, 76 strikeouts in 357 at-bats in Double-A, promoted to Triple-A and is at .220/.258/.271 through 59 at-bats with one walks and 15 whiffs; has played short, second, and third this year with good results at all positions; above-average power but feel for the strike zone comes and goes, needs 300 at-bats in Triple-A in my opinion.

2) Ryan McMahon, INF, Grade B+/A-: Age 23, second round pick in 2013 from high school in California; hit .290/.339/.531 in 224 at-bats in Triple-A, .239/.320/.387 in 155 at-bats in the majors seeing action at first base, second, and third; there’s really nothing left for him to learn in the minors, he needs big league at-bats to work the kinks out of his approach.

3) Peter Lambert, RHP, Grade B: Age 21, second round pick in 2015 from high school in California, excellent in Double-A at 2.23, 75/12 in 93 innings, 80 hits; more human in Triple-A at 5.54, 27/13 in 50, 69 hits; PCL and Albuquerque are heartless of course; needs more time but stock holding overall for me.

4) Colton Welker, 3B, Grade B: Age 20, fourth round pick in 2016 from high school in Florida; hitting .331/.383/.483 with 12 homers, 31 doubles, 42 walks, 100 strikeouts in 441 at-bats in High-A; sharp home/road split, .977 OPS at Lancaster, .754 on the road; transition to Double-A next year will tell us a lot.

5) Ryan Vilade, SS, Grade B: Age 19, second round pick in 2017 from high school in Oklahoma, .277/.356/.372 in 437 at-bats in Low-A, 16 steals, 48 walks, 95 strikeouts; heating up as season progressed, .320 in second half, stock holding.

6) Garrett Hampson, INF, Grade B-: Age 23, third round pick in 2016 out of Long Beach State University; .313/.384/.467 in Double-A/Triple-A with 10 homers, 36 steals, 49 walks, 71 strikeoutsu in 422 at-bats; promoted to majors, 6-for-22 so far; looks ready to me, stock up a notch.

7) Ryan Castellani, RHP, Grade B-: Age 22, second round pick in 2014 from high school in Arizona, 5.40 ERA in 128 innings in Double-A, 88/67 K/BB, 126 hits; rather disappointing season, worse than 2017 at the same level; stock down a notch.

8) Riley Pint, RHP, Grade B-: Age 20, first round pick in 2016 from high school in Kansas; hurt all year, just now getting into action in the Northwest League where he has thrown eight innings, giving up just one run but walking nine guys.

9) Tyler Nevin, 3B-1B, Grade B-: Age 21, first round pick in 2015 from high school in California, son of former major leaguer Phil Nevin; hitting .325/.381/.497 in High-A with 12 homers, 31 walks, 74 strikeouts in 360 at-bats, hitting well both at home and on the road.

10) Yency Almonte, RHP, Grade C+/B-: Age 24, drafted by Los Angeles Angels in 17th round in 2012 from high school in Florida, traded to Chicago White Sox in 2015 then the Rockies in ’16; busy roster year with two trips to the disabled list and two promotions back/forth between AAA and the majors, 5.06 ERA in 43 innings in Triple-A, 33/14 K/BB, nine innings in the majors with one earned run, seven strikeouts, two walks, seems ready for bullpen job.

11) Forrest Wall, OF, Grade C+/B-: Age 22, compensation round pick in 2014 from high school in Florida, was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays on July 26th for Seunghwan Oh; hitting combined .257/.340/.400 between High-A and Double-A, 10 homers, 35 steals, 53 walks, 129 strikeouts in 482 at-bats.

12) Sam Howard, LHP, Grade C+/B-: Age 25, third round pick in 2014 from Georgia Southern University; 5.20 ERA in 90 innings in Triple-A, 76/34 K/BB, 102 hits; one shutout inning in the MLB bullpen; relatively generic four/five starter or long relief type.

13) Tom Murphy, C, Grade C+: Age 27, third round pick from University of Buffalo in 2012, .255/.332/.567 in 231 Triple-A at-bats; .227/.253/.398 in 88 major league at-bats, now has 191 at-bats in the majors so we don’t have to worry about him on subsequent lists; no real change here, still has attractive power and defensive tools but still erratic on both sides of the ball.

14) Brian Mundell, 1B, Grade C+: Age 24, seventh round pick in 2015 from Cal Poly, hitting .265/.345/.378 with seven homers, 49 walks, 71 strikeouts in 423 at-bats in Double-A; power did not carry forward from last year, obviously a problem for a first baseman.

15) Yonathan Daza, OF, Grade C+: Age 24, from Venezuela, hitting .306/.330/.461 in 219 at-bats in Double-A but has made three trips to the disabled list; has hit for average at all levels but with very low walk rate (just seven this year); he’s made it work so far.

16) Sam Hilliard, OF, Grade C+: Age 23, 15th round pick in 2015 from Wichita State University; hitting .258/.323/.383 with eight homers, 22 steals, 39 walks, 147 strikeouts in 415 at-bats in Double-A; I thought he was a strong sleeper prospect but it hasn’t really worked out this year, though tools remain interesting.

17) Daniel Montano, OF, Grade C+: Age 19, signed out of Venezuela in 2015 for $2,000,000; hitting .282/.342/.440 with 19 walks, 49 strikeouts in 216 at-bats in the Pioneer League; high-ceiling player, plus speed, may develop some power but years away.

18) Breiling Eusebio, LHP, Grade C+: Age 21, from the Dominican Republic, out with Tommy John surgery.

19) James Farris, RHP, Grade C+: Age 25, ninth round pick by the Chicago Cubs in 2014 from University of Arizona, traded to Rockies last winter; was assigned to Double-A to start the season but hasn’t pitched; one report says he has retired from baseball but he’s not listed on the official voluntarily retired list that I can find.

20) Wes Rogers, OF, Grade C+: Age 24, fourth round pick in 2014 from Spartanburg Methodist; hit just .200/.269/.269 in 175 at-bats in Double-A, sent down to High-A and is hitting .299/.360/.455 in 167 at-bats, 23 steals combined; will try again next year.

OTHER GRADE C+:

Willie Abreu, OF; .258/.315/.398 between Northwest and California Leagues, seven homers, 21 steals, 22 walks, 68 whiffs in 279 at-bats.

Ben Bowden, LHP; 3.75 ERA in 48 innings in Low-A/High-A, 74/19 K/BB; bullpen type by 2020.

Shane Broyles, RHP; 5.74 ERA in 53 innings in Triple-A, 62/27 K/BB.

Ramon Marcelino, OF; .225/253/.436 with 21 homers, 12 walks, 112 strikeouts in 413 at-bats in Low-A; 14 of his 21 homers are in Asheville bandbox.

Mike Nikorak, RHP; Coming back from injury, has thrown six innings in Northwest League.

Dom Nunez, C; .225/.320/.349 in Double-A, 43 walks, 73 strikeouts in 315 at-bats; glove has improved.

Jordan Patterson, 1B-OF; Hitting .272/.367/.530 with 25 homers, 41 walks, 118 strikeouts in 394 at-bats in Triple-A at age 26.

Chad Spanberger, 1B; Traded to Toronto Blue Jays, hitting .301/.357/.549 with 27 homers, 17 steals, 33 walks, 101 whiffs in 448 at-bats between Low-A and High-A.

**************

And we finally come to the end of the review project with the Colorado Rockies. Although the direct results of the ‘18 list were mixed, the Rockies are 72-60 and in first place largely due to home-grown talent especially on the pitching staff.

Thinking ahead to 2019, Brendan Rodgers will remain at the top of the list followed by some combination of Hampson, Lambert, and Welker. 2018 first-rounder Ryan Rolison will also rank highly as will comp rounder Grant Lavigne. Right-hander Rico Garcia is a sleeper to watch. I don’t know what to do about Riley Pint yet.