Colorado Rockies Top 10 Prospects

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TOP TEN

PROSPECTS

1. Tyler Matzek, lhp
2. Wilin Rosario, c
3. Nolan Arenado, 3b
4. Christian Friedrich, lhp
5. Peter Tago, rhp
6. Kyle Parker, of
7. Rex Brothers, lhp
8. Juan Nicasio, rhp
9. Chad Bettis, rhp
10. Hector Gomez, ss
BEST

TOOLS

Best Hitter for Average Nolan Arenado
Best Power Hitter Kyle Parker
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Jordan Pacheco
Fastest Baserunner Russell Wilson
Best Athlete Russell Wilson
Best Fastball Tyler Matzek
Best Curveball Christian Friedrich
Best Slider Rex Brothers
Best Changeup Edwar Cabrera
Best Control Parker Frazier
Best Defensive Catcher Wilin Rosario
Best Defensive Infielder Thomas Field
Best Infield Arm Nolan Arenado
Best Defensive Outfielder Eliezer Mesa
Best Outfield Arm Tim Wheeler
PROJECTED 2014

LINEUP

Catcher Wilin Rosario
First Base Nolan Arenado
Second Base Hector Gomez
Third Base Ian Stewart
Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki
Left Field Kyle Parker
Center Field Dexter Fowler
Right Field Carlos Gonzalez
No. 1 Starter Ubaldo Jimenez
No. 2 Starter Tyler Matzek
No. 3 Starter Jhouyls Chacin
No. 4 Starter Peter Tago
No. 5 Starter Christian Freidrich
Closer Rex Brothers

TOP PROSPECTS

OF THE DECADE

Year Player, Position 2010
2001 Chin-Hui Tsao, rhp Out of baseball
2002 Chin-Hui Tsao, rhp Out of baseball
2003 Aaron Cook, rhp Rockies
2004 Chin-Hui Tsao, rhp Out of baseball
2005 Ian Stewart, 3b Rockies
2006 Ian Stewart, 3b Rockies
2007 Troy Tulowitzki, ss Rockies
2008 Franklin Morales, lhp Rockies
2009 Dexter Fowler, of Rockies
2010 Tyler Matzek, lhp Rockies
TOP DRAFT PICKS

OF THE DECADE

Year Player, Position 2010
2001 Jayson Nix, 2b

(1st round supp.)

Indians
2002 Jeff Francis, lhp Rockies
2003 Ian Stewart, 3b Rockies
2004 Chris Nelson, ss Rockies
2005 Troy Tulowitzki, ss Rockies
2006 Greg Reynolds, rhp Rockies
2007 Casey Weathers, rhp Rockies
2008 Christian Friedrich, lhp Rockies
2009 Tyler Matzek, lhp Rockies
2010 Kyle Parker, of Rockies
LARGEST BONUSES

IN CLUB HISTORY

Tyler Matzek, 2009 $3,900,000
Greg Reynolds, 2006 $3,250,000
Jason Young, 2000 $2,750,000
Troy Tulowitzki, 2005 $2,300,000
Chin-Hui Tsao, 1999 $2,200,000
ROCKIES

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2010 Draft Report Cards: Colorado Rockies 

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Complete Index of Top 10 Prospects
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Colorado Rockies

The Rockies were Baseball America’s Organization of the Year and advanced to the World Series in 2007, then returned to the playoffs in 2009. They fell short of the postseason in 2010, but still won 83 games and look positioned to continue contending in the National League West.

The constant in Colorado’s recent success has been an emphasis on scouting and player development. The team has homegrown players throughout its roster, from franchise icon Todd Helton to ace Ubaldo Jimenez—who threw the first no-hitter in franchise history last April—to cornerstone Troy Tulowitzki, who signed a $158 million extension in November that will keep him under contract through at least 2020. Six of the eight hitters in the projected 2011 lineup and three of the five starters in the planned rotation were signed and developed by the Rockies.

And yet they weren’t satisfied with the quality of players they were getting in recent drafts. So in 2009 they took lefthander Tyler Matzek in the first round, even though he was considered a challenge to sign. After playing the waiting game, they signed him for a club-record $3.9 million.

Last June, the Rockies selected Clemson quarterback/outfielder Kyle Parker in the first round, knowing that he still had three years of football eligibility remaining. They eventually signed him for $1.4 million, agreeing to allow him to play football last fall before focusing on baseball.

Colorado had a reputation for adhering to the bonus guidelines prescribed by the commissioner’s office and for not gambling with its early picks. That has changed, as the organization realized it was putting itself at a disadvantage compared to others that routinely ignored MLB’s informal slotting system.

“We just got fed up,” general manager Dan O’Dowd said. “We just started taking the best player available. We felt we would make the effort to get them signed, and if it got to the point where we had to walk away, we would walk away and take the compensation pick for the next year.”

The wakeup call came for the Rockies after they spent three consecutive first-round picks on pitchers Greg Reynolds, Casey Weathers and Christian Friedrich in 2006-08. Reynolds, taken No. 2 overall instead of Evan Longoria because Colorado had selected infielders with its previous three first-rounders, has been healthy enough to make 20 starts just once in four full pro seasons.

Weathers, taken ahead of Jason Heyward, has pitched just 29 innings since having Tommy John surgery following the 2008 season. Friedrich has been limited to 155 innings in three years as a pro because of shoulder ailments.

The residual effect is that the Rockies do have a gap in their farm system. They don’t have any top rookie candidates for 2011 or an abundance of prospects in Triple-A, but they have done a good job of restocking their supply prospects and feel comfortable with a coming wave of talent at the Double-A level on down. Matzek and Parker are still a few years away, but catcher Wilin Rosario, lefty reliever Rex Brothers, righty Juan Nicasio and outfielder Charlie Blackmon may be able to make some big league contributions in the near future.

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