Three of the Rockies’ top hitting prospects start the year in Double-A Tulsa’s lineup, led by sweet swinging third baseman Nolan Arenado. He’ll reunite with outfielder Kent Matthes and shortstop Josh Rutledge, who played with him in high Class A Modesto last year. Matthes and Rutledge were also college teammates at Alabama. Tulsa's rotation includes 2011 minor league strikeouts leader Edwar Cabrera and sinkerballing righthanders Parker Frazier and Joe Gardner in the rotation.
Leap Of Faith
Shortstop Trevor Story impressed the Rockies with his maturity in addition to his tools last fall. Story gave the organization the confidence to send the 19-year-old, who was the 45th overall pick in last year’s draft, to low Class A Asheville for Opening Day rather than hold him back in extended spring training.
Where Is That Guy?
Tulsa should get even more star power, as its pitching staff is expected to be anchored by righthander Chad Bettis, the Rockies’ second-round pick in 2010. But Bettis will open the year on the disabled list recovering from a triceps injury. Also, 2011 first-round pick Tyler Anderson, a lefthander out of Oregon, will start the year in extended spring training.
Time Is Running Out
After spending the last two years in Double-A, lefthander Christian Friedrich is getting the bump to Triple-A to start the year, but his career hasn’t come along as quickly as hoped. The Rockies’ first-round pick in 2008 from Eastern Kentucky, Friedrich turns 25 in July and needs to show some progress after going 9-16, 5.02 over his two seasons in Tulsa.
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