There are certain clubs that get all the prospect hype in major baseball publications. You know teams like the Red Sox and Dodgers. That’s not a slight on those organizations in any way, but there is one organization that is flying under-the-radar. That team is the Colorado Rockies.
We all know the challenges of the Coors Field environment. It’s a hitter’s paradise with its thin air and sizable gaps. The opposite side of the spectrum, pitchers are up against much tougher circumstances. In order for a pitcher to be successful in Colorado, they must do two things well: induce groundball outs and strike out a high rate of batters.
Dan O’Dowd and company drafted Nolan Arenado in 2009, a pick that has since become an MVP candidate and the face of the Rockies franchise. Arenado is everything a team hopes for when they make a high draft pick. He moved through the system quickly, plays gold glove caliber defense and brings elite offense to the table. While the team chose to turn the page and move on from long-time face of the franchise Troy Tulowitzki, a new era is indeed underway in the Mile High city.
Identifying the right talent in early rounds and developing them into future major leaguers or trade assets are very important for any organization. For mid-market clubs such as the Rockies, it’s even more important, as it allows the team to build from within with youth, as well as providing years of team control and cost certainty.
The early rounds of the 2014 and 2015 MLB drafts, as well as the return from the Toronto Blue Jays in the Tulowitzki deal has injected this system with solid talent. From players on the cusp of arriving in Colorado, to intriguing young arms, to a couple of future stars, this system offers everything. While time will tell who will pan out and who won’t, we profiled three players below that will make an impact in Colorado.
Picked number three overall in the 2015 MLB Draft, scout Chuck Johnson had this to say about Rodgers:
“Not only was Brendan Rodgers the best SS in last year’s draft, but he may end up being the best player.”
A future left side infield comprised of Arenado and Rodgers could be a very exciting combination for Rockies fans.
In speaking with Bernie Pleskoff about Tapia he said:
“He hasn’t filled out yet. He has a lightning quick bat. Very good reflexes and twitch.
He can run, he can play defense, he can throw. I think his power will emerge over the next four seasons. I see him as an everyday player, eventually with a grade of 55.
He has a good hit tool that allows him to use that great speed.”
Drafted in the first round of the 2011 MLB draft, Story arrived at Triple-A last season, putting him at the door step of Coors Field.
He primarily plays shortstop but has also spent time at second and third base, offering the Rockies positional flexibility. Story possesses solid power and double-digit base stealing ability.
His versatility on the field and offensive prowess, make Story a safe bet to get to the Major Leagues before the 2016 season is through.
Thanks to strong recent drafting and a nice haul of talent acquired in the Tulowitzki trade, the Rockies have a deep farm system and are setting themselves up for a strong future. With continued development of top prospects and solid trades, the Rockies will continue their climb to the top of the mountain.