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Colorado Rockies 2010 Minor League Review
Overall farm ranking via Baseball America (2010)
2010 (10) | 2009 (20) | 2008 (7) | 2007 (2) | 2006 (11) | 2005 (6) | 2004 (15)

Record of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [83 – 79] NL West
AAA: [73 – 69] Pacific Coast League – Colorado Springs
AA: [74 – 66] Texas League – Tulsa
A+: [ 75 – 65] California League – Modesto
A: [68 – 70] South Atlantic League – Asheville
A(ss): [47 – 29] Northwest League – Tri-City
R: [28 – 46] Pioneer League – Casper

The Run Down
Seems like every year the Rockies are making some magical run in September. Helps with their homegrown talent and successful development of their minor leagues through trades. It also helps that Carlos Gonzalez had a monster breakout year. Furthermore, the past year saw Jhoulys Chacin provided a solid 137 innings, even if Grey’s SAGNOF call outs for Eric Young Jr. and Dexter Fowler struggled. This year there might just be some middle reliever success stories. As if the Rockies need more outfield help, there seems to be a glut of depth here. I don’t expect another Jhoulys this year, but in 2012 some young arms will be close (Friedrich and Matzek).

Graduating Prospects
#4 (RHP) Jhoulys Chacin; #6 (2B) Eric Young Jr.; #9 (RHP) Esmil Rogers; (2B) Jonathan Herrera

Arizona Fall League Players – Scottsdale Scorpions
Pitchers: (RHP) Bruce Billings; #8 (LHP) Rex Brothers; (RHP) Adam Jorgenson; (RHP) Greg Reynolds
Hitters: # 18 (C) Jordan Pacheco; (IF) Thomas Field; #12 (CF) Charlie Blackmon

Players of Interest
All rankings are from Baseball America 2010 with information from Baseball America 2010 and 2011 along with John Sickel Prospect Handbook 2010 and 2011.

Hitters
Cole Garner | LF/RF | D.o.B: 12-15-84 | Stats (AAA): .304/.374/.520 | 469 AB | 54 XBH | 13 Hr | .216 ISO | 8/5 SB/CS | 89:39 K:BB | .360 BABIP
Garner is an aggressive hitter with good power, a quick bat, and makes solid contact. He chases breaking pitches out of the zone but has become more consistent. Defensively, he is average. Another Seth Smith? Can Colorado really handle another fringe fourth outfielder? Probably not. If there is a rash of injuries, Garner could be called upon.

#12 Charlie Blackman | CF | D.o.B: 7-1-87 | Stats (AA): .297/.360/.484 | 337 AB | 37 XBH | 11 Hr | .187 ISO | 19/7 SB/CS | 43:32 K:BB | .309 BABIP
Blackmon has a compact stroke and power to the gaps. Even with above-average speed, he struggles with getting solid jumps when stealing. Defensively, his throwing mechanics are awkward but defense is above-average. BA expects a September ETA but don’t get your hopes up, Sickels thinks he’s another fourth outfielder. Could be part of a trade if the Rockies need a piece or two.

#29 Chris Nelson | SS/2B | D.o.B: 9-3-85 | Stats (AAA): .313/.376/.492 | 319 AB | 30 XBH | .179 ISO | 7/3 SB/CS | 53:29 K:BB | .348 BABIP
Nelson has struggled to stay healthy, but he has the tool for great upside. Baseball America states that Nelson’s bat speed is comparable to Gary Sheffield. Good power from MI position, struggles with defense and with breaking pitches. His ceiling is a poor man’s Dan Uggla. He could also become like Ian Stewart, never quite living up to expectations.

Pitchers
#2 Christian Friedrich | LHP | D.o.B: 7-8-87 | Stats (AA): 8.0 K/9 | 3.6 BB/9 | 87 1/3 IP | 5.05 ERA | 4.21 FIP | 1.55 WHIP | 10.3 H/9 | 1.0 Hr/9 | .342 BABIP
Injuries have dampened everyone’s expectations of Friedrich. Throws low-90′s fastball, a 12-to-6 curve, a sharp slider, and a changeup in the works. Still about two years away and projects as a middle rotation pitcher. See Scouting the Unknown article for further details.

#25 Matt Reynolds | LHP | D.o.B: 10-2-84 | Stats (AAA): 11.0 K/9 | 2.6 BB/9 | 55 IP | 2.62 ERA | 2.16 FIP | 1.18 WHIP | 8.0 H/9 | .3 Hr/9 | .333 BABIP
Throws a deceptive 90 to 92 MPH fastball, a split-finger and a curve/slider/slurve. Threw 18 effective innings in September. Baseball America stated that Reynolds should receive a position in the major league bullpen. Could provide stellar ratios for you MR. B’s.

Cory Riordan | RHP | D.o.B: 5-25-86 | Stats (AA): 7.5 K/9 | 2.1 BB/9 | 161 2/3 IP | 4.01 ERA | 3.93 FIP | 1.27 WHIP | 9.4 H/9 | 1.1 Hr/9 | .310 BABIP
Has pitched 499 innings in three years. He’s a workhorse throwing a 87 to 93 MPH fastball with sinking action. He also throws a curveball, a slider and a fringe changeup. John Sickels thinks he would perform well at San Diego or Minnesota. Riordan has more real life value than in fantasy.

Honorable Mentions
Hitters
#3 Wilin Rosario | C | D.o.B: 2-23-89 | Stats (AA): .285/.342/.552 | 270 AB | 33 XBH | 19 Hr | .277 ISO | 1/0 SB/CS | 57:21 K:BB | .297 BABIP
A torn ACL in August 2010 will delay his ETA. As it currently stands, Rosario has a compact swing with good bat speed. He has power to all fields with the potential for 20 to 30 home runs during a full season. Defensively, he’s average. Could be another Brian McCann. Earliest arrival appears to be in September.

#10 Nolan Arenado | 3B | D.o.B: 4-16-91 | Stats (A): .308/.338/.520 | 373 AB | 54 XBH | 12 Hr | .212 ISO | 1/3 SB/CS | 52:19 K:BB | .326 BABIP
Flying under the radar, Arenado has above-average power. Doesn’t walk much, but Arenado is young and both Sickels and BA report that he is intensively trying to improve this skill. He is new to playing third as he was a shortstop in high school, but projects to play first long-term.

Pitchers
#1 Tyler Matzek | LHP | D.o.B: 10-19-90 | Stats (A): 8.9 K/9 | 6.2 BB/9 | 89 1/3 IP | 2.92 ERA | 4.32 FIP | 1.39 WHIP | 6.2 H/9 | .6 Hr/9 | .259 BABIP
Matzek throws a 88 to 92 MPH with a top of 96 MPH. Still is struggling to develop a secondary breaking pitch. He has a decent feeling for a curveball but his slider projects to be a better pitch. Mechanics are still a work in progress which has led to poor command. Ceiling is a front line starter.

#15 Juan Nicasio | RHP | D.o.B: 10-13-86 | Stats (A+): 8.7 K/9 | 1.6 BB/9 | 177 1/3 IP | 3.91 ERA | 2.89 FIP | 1.22 WHIP | 9.4 H/9 | .7 Hr/9 | .328 BABIP
Some scouts believe he could be a late bloomer like Ubaldo Jimenez. Nicasio throws a 89 to 94 MPH fastball that can touch 97 MPH. He also throws a curveball and slider that acts more like a slurve. His changeup is a work in progress. ETA would be mid-2012 if all breaks right.

#8 Rex Brothers | LHP | D.o.B: 12-18-87 | Stats (A+/AA): 10.5 K/9 | 5.6 BB/9 | 60 IP | 3.15 ERA | 2.42 FIP (A+); 4.46 FIP (AA) | 1.18 WHIP | 5.1 H/9 | .3 Hr/9 | .235 BABIP (A+); .226 BABIP (AA)
Throws a 98 MPH fastball typically running in the mid-90s. Also throws a hard biting slider in the mid-80s. Far more exciting than Matt Reynolds, but a step and a half below. Struggled in his 23 innings at Double-A and was aided by extremely low BABIPs. I wouldn’t expect to see him in the majors until late 2011 barring a rash of injuries.

  1. NewBVick says:
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    Am I wrong to say nothing really jumps off the screen here? Friedrich is intriguing, but that AA stint left a lot to be desired.

  2. GopherDay says:
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    Stephen, do you consider Friedrich to be a top 100 prospect?

  3. Buddo Chezuski says:
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    any tidbits on the 2 former ACC QBs – Kyle Parker and Russell Wilson? Just curious if they had any kind of future in baseball. I’m guessing Parker has a much better shot

  4. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @NewBVick: Correct. Their 2011 farm ranking from BA would indicate this as well.

    @GopherDay: Fringe at this point. The injuries and poor performance would and should raise some red flags.

    @Buddo Chezuski: I don’t remember reading anything about those names. Sorry.

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