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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (16) | 2011 (10) | 2010 (10) | 2009 (20) | 2008 (7)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [64-98] NL West
AAA: [75-69] Pacific Coast League – Colorado Springs
AA: [75-64] Texas League — Tulsa
A+: [73-67] California League – Modesto
A: [88-52] South Atlantic League – Asheville
A(ss): [32-44] Northwest League — Tri-City

Arizona Fall League PlayersSalt River Rafters
Isaiah Froneberger (LHP); Cory Riordan (RHP); Lars Davis (C); Jose Gonzalez (C); Corey Dickerson (OF); Kent Matthes (OF)

Graduated Prospects
Jordan Pacheco (1B); Wilin Rosario (C); Josh Rutledge (SS); D.J. LeMahieu (2B); Charlie Blackmon (OF); Drew Pomeranz (LHP); Christian Friedrich (LHP); Adam Ottavino (RHP); Rex Brothers (LHP) 

The Run Down
It’s difficult not to swoon at the fantasy upside of various bats in this Rockies system.  Every hitter on this list brings a ceiling that’s hard to measure based on MiLB figures, alone.  That’s what makes the top three guys so exciting — their potential would be impressive in any system, but throw Coors Field into the equation, and the intrigue swells substantially.  On the flip side, the arms of the Colorado system carry the stigma of being future Coors Field pitchers.  Their intrigue, conversely, is shrunk by the stadium at which they’re bound to play.  But ballpark factors aside, Colorado has put together a farm system with plenty of depth and plenty of hope.  No one here is to be ignored, so do keep an eye on these names as the 2013 season gets underway.

Top Ten Prospects
1.  David Dahl, OF:
  The 10th overall pick in June, Dahl debuted at rookie-level Grand Junction and obliterated the competition.  The 18-year-old hit .379/.423/.625 with 41 XBH (!!!) in only 306 PA.  He’ll move up to full-season ball in 2013, but there’s no doubt that Dahl’s on the fast track.  The ceiling on this one is enormous.  ETA:  2015

2.  Trevor Story, SS:  In his full-season debut, Story posted a Low-A line at .277/.367/.505 with 67 XBH (18 HR) in 548 PA.  The 20-year-old projects for all five tools, and figures to be coveted fantasy shortstop within the next few years.  Only problem is that Tulo is entrenched at short ’til next decade.  He doesn’t quite have the offensive ceiling of Dahl, but the polish and the position scarcity put him in a similar tier.  Story will move up to the Cali League as a 20-year-old in 2013.  His numbers there should be huge, and likewise, his hype.  ETA:  2015

3.  Nolan Arenado, 3B:  Arenado was utterly dominant in 2011.  A year ago, starry-eyed folks saw the flawless swing, the .832 OPS, the 122 RBI, the insane AFL numbers, and they earmarked the 21-year-old for arrival in Denver by mid-season.  But Arenado’s production slowed in 2012 at Double-A — his slugging average shrunk from .487 to .428, casting some doubt on his power profile.   Still, he managed a line at .285/.337/.428 with 36 doubles and 12 homers.  The environment in Colorado should help a few of those doubles find their way over the wall, too.  ETA:  2013

4.  Tyler Matzek, RHP:  Matzek features a helluva a fastball and nice secondary offerings, but command struggles have rendered him inconsistent.  If he can harness his fastball/curveball/slider repertoire, he could blossom into a #2-type starter in the bigs.  The greatest challenges are still to come for Matzek, however, as the 22-year-old enters the upper levels in 2013.  ETA:  2014

5.  Kyle Parker, OF:  Parker is an intriguing prospect mostly for his power potential — the 23-year-old out of Clemson has collected 44 homers in his first two years of pro ball, and if that sort of pop continues as he pushes through the upper levels, the Rockies could have quite the Coors Field masher on their hands in the near future.  ETA:  2014

6.  Tyler Anderson, LHP:  The Rockies’ first-rounder in 2011 out of U of Oregon, Anderson features a prototype frame (6-4, 215), but a fringy fastball might end up holding him back.  On the other hand, his changeup is a plus-plus offering and the lefty draws mostly ground ball contact.  Those assets should suffice to carry him to Colorado as a solid mid-rotation starter.  The fantasy numbers won’t be tremendous, but he has the size, the command, and just enough stuff to have a nice career in the bigs.  ETA:  2014

7.  Tim Wheeler, OF:  Wheeler hit 31 fewer homers in 2012 than he did in 2011.  Kinda concerning, I know… But folks in Colorado are attributing the power outage to the 24-year-old’s refined approach — one that saw his strikeouts shrink by more than 50%.  If he can find a happy medium going forward, Wheeler will make for a nice corner outfielder in Colorado, and one you’ll want to keep an eye on for fantasy purposes.  ETA:  2013

8.  Chad Bettis, RHP:  Bettis is a flame-throwing, plus-plus fastball guy who, after shoulder surgery, seems bound for bullpen work.  The torn labrum often marks the demise of a pitcher’s career, but reports on his rehab have been promising.  Provided his fastball return to form, he could find himself pitching in high-leverage situations, perhaps salvaging his fantasy stock with holds or saves.  ETA:  2013

9.  Will Swanner, C:  Swanner can hit.  The 20-year-old went .302/.385/.529 in 88 games at Low-A Asheville in his first year of full-season ball.  His 41 XBH in that span are evidence of very real power potential, but if he can’t stick at catcher — and most baseball folks suggest he can’t — he’ll need to show a bit more at the plate in order to profile appropriately at 1B or DH.  ETA:  2015

10.  Eddie Butler, RHP:  Butler was a supplemental first-rounder last June out of Radford University.  Scouts love his stuff, but it’s yet to be tested outside of rookie ball.  He’ll move up to Low-A Asheville for full-season baseball in 2013, and if development goes well from there, the 21-year-old could find himself in Double-A by year’s end.  ETA:  2015

From Around The Web

  1. TheNewGuy says:
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    About Story, when was he drafted by the Rocks? See he’s not owned in my keeper league in anyones farm system, if im available to grab him would you take him over any of these dudes:

    D DeShields
    J Segura
    N Castellanos
    G Sanchez
    M Olt
    M Choice
    D Straily
    J Bonifacio

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I’d definitely swap Bonifacio for Story… I think Bonifacio is still a little under-the-radar too, so good chance you can re-add him in-season if he’s looking good at High-A.

      Nice to hear from you, by the way!

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @Scott Evans:

        Yeah good to hear from you too man! Sorry with all Grey’s great ranking posts atm, got swamped and forgot about this, hope you still read this anyway.

        Also noticed that strangely it seems Jedd Jerko (I know how it’s really spelt this way is just funnier) isn’t owned nor never has been in my keeper league farms, strange how there’s one or two good ones who always get missed out. Considering 80 prospects are taken, I should be looking to add him right? Name another guy from above who I could drop for him. Really like what I’ve heard about this guy’s skills, despite moving into Petco I think he could be good as soon as next year (Headley showed how it’s done).

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          You could swap Gyorko for Straily. I’d say Jedd has a much higher ceiling than Straily, who was more of a hot in-season guy last year. Not saying Straily won’t be good, but with these off-season moves, I look for the guy with the best upside.

  2. Sean says:
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    I’ve been following the Dahl hype since August or so, and I have to be the one to ask, how crazy is it justified to get over Pioneer League stats? The numbers are awesome but the competition isn’t. Dahl is quite young of course but do these results really tell us much that we didn’t know from the draft?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Numbers beneath the full-season level are relatively unimportant & I’d say you’re right on point here — Dahl’s crazy stats v. rookie-level pitching only serve to substantiate the pre-draft hype. The significant nugget to draw from the immediate success is that he’s now on the fast track. If you look at a comparable high school outfielder, Bubba Starling scuffled after signing, got hurt & two years into his pro career, he’s compiled only 200 ABs above instructional-level. Dahl’s a year-and-a-half younger & he’s already more advanced, developmentally.

      Hasty ascension to the bigs is huge, if you ask me.

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