Colorado Rockies: Top 10 Prospects Chat With Tracy Ringolsby

Colorado Rockies: Chat




Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects lists are based on projections of a player's long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven't exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible. Ages are as of April 1, 2009.

Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
What are your thoughts on Delta Cleary? Did he make your top 30?
 A: 

Moderator: Cleary came in at No. 11, and he has a chance to shoot up. He's a tremendous athlete and made a nice transition to pro ball.

 Q:  Ben from Leland Grove asks:
Could you compare Fowler to Maybin, tool for tool?
 A: 

Moderator: I would say Maybin has a bit more home run power, but other than I give Fowler a big edge. What makes Fowler even more impressive is he has makeup and intelligence that are as strong as his athletic ability. Fowler is going to be one of those players people remember seeing when they think back on time.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
I'm a bit surprised Holcomb didn't make the top 10, especially given the year he had. How close did he come, and what kept him off?
 A: 

Moderator: Holcomb came in at No. 20. He had a very good year. He was, however, at Low A, and given the Rockies third base sitaution he is going to have to continue to develop home run power.

 Q:  Aaron from Queens asks:
Did Chris Nelson get consideration for your list? Did he at least make the 11-20 range?
 A: 

Moderator: Chris did get consideration and wound up No. 13. He had a solid AFL which reinforced the hopes of a year ago. His summer was a mess because of injuries. He has unbelievable bat speed and a great arm, although he figures to wind up at second base or in the outfield.

 Q:  Bob from Initech asks:
How do you see Eric Young Jr. fitting into the Rockies' long-term plans? Will he ever be a 500 AB regular?
 A: 

Moderator: EY Jr., is a lot like his father in that he is going to have to work defensively to get regular playing time in the big leauges. He has the offensive tools and teams will look for a place to play him, but the arm is a little short in center field and he has to soften his hands to be solid at second base.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
What does the future hold for Koshansky at this point? Why hasn't he been dealt, since he's perpetually blocked from playing in Denver?
 A: 

Moderator: Koshanky is basically in limbo. He has legit power, but a long swing and slow bat that will make it a challenge for him. The trade market has not existed for him, which is a sign that other teams have reservations.

 Q:  Ben from Leland Grove asks:
Could you tell us what scouts are saying about Aneury Rodriguez? Thanks.
 A: 

Moderator: Rodriguez has a live arm and big-league potential. Consistency remains the challenge.

 Q:  Jake from Erie PA asks:
Did Connor Graham merit any love for your top 10?
 A: 

Moderator: Graham did. He wound up No. 12 so he is in the edge.

 Q:  Toby from Detroit asks:
Does Brian Rike have the tools to succeed? What are your thoughts on his approach?
 A: 

Moderator: Rike has the arm and power to make it. He has to be more focused defensively and at the plate.

 Q:  Ralph from Williamsville, IL asks:
Is Hynick still on your top 30? What does he need to improve upon? Can he make up for his lack of velocity?
 A: 

Moderator: Hynick is 22 this year. He has to have his command to succeed, but that isn't out of the question. When he throws quality strikes, which he has done at times that he is successful, he hits spots and has movement. He can change speeds and keep hitters off balanc.e

 Q:  Ben from Leland Grove asks:
Where did Colorado's system rank overall? How would you compare this year's top 10 to last year's?
 A: 

Moderator: The overall rankings aren't in yet. This is a solid top 10 but it is missing a few players who have impact potential like Stewart.

 Q:  Phil from Chandler, AZ asks:
Is there any chance that Morales returns to his 2007 form? He seems to be performing well in VWL - limiting the walks, with a lower K rate. Was 2008 an injury issue or a lack of development to full-time in the majors? Does he still have starter potential in the pros or do you expect him to be a lefty out of the bullpen
 A: 

Moderator: Morales definitely can return to form. He is now saying he has lower back soreness, but that sounds more like an excuse. It wasn't an issue during the season. It wasn't something that caused him to lose time, and he went right into pitching this winter. The walks were down in Venezuela, but hitters aren't as disciplined, either. Having Jim Wright around in the bullpen to help with mechanics will be a bonus that Morales could benefit from. While he will wind up a starter he could work out of the pen this year if the rotation is filled. That will give him a chance to get his feet on the ground. He didn't make the Top 30 because he no longer has rookie status.

 Q:  DB from Princeton asks:
Cory Riordan had an incredible strikeout to walk ratio of over 5-1 in low A last year. How close was he to the top 10 and how likely is it that he has a future in the major leagues?
 A: 

Moderator: Riordan came in No. 24. He has a very leigitmate shot to pitch in the big leagues.

 Q:  Brian Daniels from Atlanta, Ga asks:
Tracy, Character is very important to me as a fan of baseball (see Delmon Young). Dexter Fowler seems to be heads and tails above reproach, what do you hear from the Rockies in terms of make up? I have personally met Dexter and was blown away of the quality of player/person he was. Thanks
 A: 

Moderator: Fowler's makeup is probably stronger than his ability. Anyone who meets Fowler or his parents walks away impressed with the quality of individual. Fowler will be a very special player.

 Q:  Alex from Mass asks:
Seth Smith over Carlos G? How is that possible?
 A: 

Moderator: Easy. Carlos G isn't a rookie so he doesn't quality.

 Q:  Dave from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL asks:
Will Christian Colonel have an opportunity to make the big club out of spring training? Do the scouts see him as anything more than a 4th outfielder?
 A: 

Moderator: Becuase of Colonel's versatility he will be in the mix. What scouts like about him is he can play first, third and the corner outfield spots, and makes contact.

 Q:  Bryan from San Francisco asks:
What is the story on Brandon Hynick? Do the Rockies still like him as much as they did a year ago? Will he have a shot this year or next?
 A: 

Moderator: Hynick is still on the rockies list of big league candidates. He seemed to get comfortable as the 2008 season wore on, and he needs to start off strong htis year. He's probably a year away from getting a big-league shot.

 Q:  Dave from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL asks:
Given C Kiel Roling's advanced age for the Pioneer League and his performance, how aggressive do you think the Rockies will be in moving him up the ladder? What does he have to work on to become a legit MLB player?
 A: 

Moderator: Roling has to work on his conditioning. He has exciting power but there are a lot more demands in the daily grind in pro ball.

 Q:  Dave from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL asks:
Parker Frazier's performance hasn't quite matched his tools. In what areas does he need to work to improve his performance and advance through the system?
 A: 

Moderator: Fraizer just needs to mature. He has a live fastball and quality slider and he throws strikes. The Rockies have protected his innings and pitch counts but should let him open up this year. He's on a very good big-league path.

 Q:  David from Denver asks:
Besides Hector Gomez, who are the other SS and 2B prospects that we should keep an eye out for?
 A: 

Moderator: chris Nelson, Eric Young, Jr., Cory Wimberly, Jonathan Herrera, Carlos Martinez, Helder Velasquez are all worth keeping track of.

 Q:  Craig from Calgary, Alberta asks:
Where did Shane Lindsay land in the top 30? Do you see his role as being a starter, or reliever in the majors if he stays healthy?
 A: 

Moderator: Lindsay wound up No. 17. He has the stuff to be a starter and if a need arises, with his fastball potential, he could work at the back end of the rotation. The key, as you point out, is health.

 Q:  Jason from Chicago asks:
Considering Jhoulys Chacin's breakout year in 2008, how likely is it that he cracks the Rockies' rotation in 2009?
 A: 

Moderator: The Rockies have added depth so they hope they won't have to force any of their young pithcers. Chacin, however, could well be the one who forces the issues. He could work as a middle reliever right now, but why waste a year of development if there isn't a desperate need?

 Q:  Scott from Chicago, IL asks:
Hi- What kind of MLB careers (if any) do you expect Chris nelson and Eric Young, Jr. to have? Are either a likely candidate to take over the starting secong base job in Denver in the next year or two? Thanks and enjoy the chat.
 A: 

Moderator: Defense is a key for both. Their big-league careers will hinge on how well they adjust in the field.

 Q:  Brett from Boston, MA asks:
Is Casey Weathers still seen as a potential closer? If so, what closer/reliever in the game would his stuff most compare to?
 A: 

Moderator: Weathers won't pitch this year becuase of the reconstructive right elbow surgery, but he could still emerge as a closer. He seems more likely an eight-inning pitcher initially who could evolve into the ninth.

 Q:  DJ from Florida asks:
David Christensen-Prospect or Suspect?
 A: 

Moderator: Christesen is slipping into the suspect category. He is an atheltic individual with big time power but has to make contact for the power to be a factor.

 Q:  Craig from Calgary, Alberta asks:
You have Parker Frazier as having the best slider and control in the system. What else is there to like about him, and does he have future top 10 potential?
 A: 

Moderator: You have to like his makeup and feel for the game.

 Q:  Skillz from Denver asks:
Fowler or Andrew McCutchen long-term?
 A: 

Moderator: I think Fowler is as exciting as any player in the game and with his makeup I put him at the top of my list.

 Q:  Craig from Calgary, Alberta asks:
Kurt Yacko had a high strikeout rate in his pro debut while picking up 11 saves in rookie ball. Will he continue to pitch at the back end of the bullpen, or was his strong performance mostly due to pitching against younger players?
 A: 

Moderator: He will continue to get the opporutnity. He showed the ability to handle the situation at the rookie level and until he stumbles, he deserves to continue to move up in that role.

 Q:  Michael Stern from Rochester NY asks:
Is Corey Wimberly still on the Rockies radar? Whenever he's been healthy he's been a great catalyst - hitting over .300 and stealing tons of bases. Does he have the potential to be an everyday second baseman in the majors and a dynamic lead off hitter? Is his defense good enough?
 A: 

Moderator: Wimberly is on the radar. He is ranked 26th. He is another exciting offensive player but the defense is a challenge. He will help teams off the bench, an upgrade of Eric Yelding, with a chance to be more a part of things if he turns around his game defensively.

 Q:  Jason from St. Louis, MO asks:
Where would Ian Stewart rank on this list if he were eligible. What kind of year and role do you see him carving out on the 2009 Rockies team?
 A: 

Moderator: He would have been with Fowler at the top. Stewart has the athleticism and bat to get 400-plus at-bats this year. Where he fits will depend on the health of others, but he can get time at second, third and left field.

 Q:  Jason from St. Louis, MO asks:
What is it about Hector Gomez that allowed him to rank 5th after not even playing this year? Who in the majors/minors does he best compare to?
 A: 

Moderator: He had a broken hand last year. There was nothing about his ability that kept him from playing.

 Q:  cjb from madison, wi asks:
Fowler have Sizemore type upside?
 A: 

Moderator: Fowler will have a more consistent offensive approach than Sizemore.

 Q:  TJ from Starkville, MS asks:
What do you think of Aaron Weatherford? I know he hasn't thrown a professional pitch, but could he be the set-up guy of the future?
 A: 

Moderator: Weatherford has the potnetial to be a quality setup guy. even though he didn't pitch in his first pro season he is ranked No. 21.

 Q:  Larry from Grover, CO asks:
Where does Chaz Roe fit in the Rockies' plans?
 A: 

Moderator: Roe is coming to a time where he needs to make a statment on the field. He has not, however, been forgotten. He is ranked No. 25.

 Q:  Brent from Appleton, WI asks:
So where would you rank Morales if he DID have rookie status?
 A: 

Moderator: Morales owuld rank right behind Chacin.

 Q:  steve S from Davis, CA asks:
The projected 2012 lineup listed Tyler Massey instead of Carlos Gonzalez in right field. Really?
 A: 

Moderator: Yes.

 Q:  Brent from Appleton, WI asks:
What's your opinion on the humidor thus far? Has it helped at all?
 A: 

Moderator: If nothing else the humidor has provided a mental relief. It has helped pitchers grip the ball better, which lends itself to be command.

 Q:  Paul from Golden Co asks:
OK Tracy you are in charge this year and you have extra picks, do you go after pitching, pitching, pitching or cont to take corner OF's and athletic middle guy's?
 A: 

Moderator: I go for the best player available because by the time they get to the big leagues who knows what the needs will be. You draft quality players, pitchers or hitters, they will fit in to your plans. Teams get themselves in a bind when they become focused on a particular area in the draft. You have to go for the strength of the draft

 Q:  Karl of Delaware from Georgetown, Delaware asks:
Chris Blackmon hit pretty good at short season - how far do you think he goes?
 A: 

Moderator: Blackmon has a high upside. Remember he was a pitcher until the summer of 2007.

 Q:  Karl of Delaware from Georgetown, Delaware asks:
Four young starters for Tri-City had impressive stats last year: Parker Frazier, Ken Durst, Jonathan Aristil, and Chris Friederich. Which is your favorite?
 A: 

Moderator: Frzier has such a live arm, and good feel for the game it's tough not to like him.

 Q:  walter from plano asks:
Willan Rosario Future All Star or regular? As an added question...will Chris Ianetta continue to get better this year?
 A: 

Moderator: Rosario has potential but to brand him an All-Star after playing at the rookie level is not fair. He does have potential to reach that level, but there is a lot of distance to be covered. Iannetta has made excellent strides to the point people now talk about his offense and forget that he is extremely solid defensively.

 Q:  walter from plano asks:
What will Chacin's ceiling be if he cant develope the curve as his 3rd pitch?
 A: 

Moderator: I don't see him having problems with the curveball, but right now, with his fastball-changeup he could be a back end rotation guy. With the curveball he does into a potnetial No.1 or No. 2 slot.

 Q:  Baseball Fan from FLA asks:
With the type of numbers that Corey Wimberly has put up since he was drafted.Any ball club would love to have that.He is a exciting player which the fans love too watch as well as a great individual. If they arent going to use him why wont they trade him so he can futher his career?
 A: 

Moderator: Remember he was left on the 40-man roster and any team could have taken him for $50,000 at the winter meetings.

 Q:  Bus from Colorado asks:
Tracy, who are the best colorado products in the Rockies organization? Do the Rockies value having players from Colorado?
 A: 

Moderator: Rockies don't put any special empahsis on any area, including Colorado.

 Q:  Ken from Denver asks:
Given Ian Stewart's somewhat of an emergence last season where do you see him fitting in this year for playing given that Garrett Atkins and Todd Helton are still on the roster and the fact that to begin the season or soon after Dexter Fowler will likely take a starting OF spot.
 A: 

Moderator: Stewart will have to be flexible early, getting time at second, third and in left field. Things have a way of working out for player with talent if they keep their thought process on being ready and don't get sidetracked.

 Q:  walter from plano asks:
Does Hector have to ability to subplant Tulo? I have seen both play and Hector GoMez is an incredible athlete with special talent.
 A: 

Moderator: Hector can be special, but he's going to be challenged to push Tulo off short. He could wind up at second base, at least initially, although Tulo does have enough bat to move to a corner spot, and is atheltic enough he could play in the outfield. Right now, though, Tulo has given the Rockies every reason to feel he is going to be a fixture at shortstop.

 Q:  Tony from Somewhere in Florida asks:
Any chance Everth Cabrera sticks with the Padres? Where would he have ranked if he'd been a Rocky still?
 A: 

Moderator: It would be a stretch for Cabrera to spend the full year with the Padres, and wouldn't be good for his development. If he had been in the organizaton he would have been in the bottom half of the top 30 with the expectation he would be going to Modesto in the Cal League, and is at least three years away from being big-league ready.

 Q:  Baseball Fan from FLA asks:
Sources tell me that Corey Wimberly was a top prospect to get taken in the rule 5 draft but because of a early injury that the Rockies didnt take care of until late November hurt his chances of getting drafted.What do you think about that?
 A: 

Moderator: I don't put much faith in your sources. A couple teams had some interest in him, but did went other directions in the draft.

 Q:  Tom from Dallas asks:
What happened with Pedro Strop? How'd he wind up out of the organization?
 A: 

Moderator: Strop suffered a stress fracture in his elbow, and there are concerns whether he will pitch again. For some reason Texas made an investment in him that will cost the Rangers at least $300,000.

 Q:  Derek from Little Rock asks:
Tracy, I hate to break up the lovefest for Dexter Fowler, but are you concerned that his .409 BABIP in Double-A last year contributed to his breakout and that it was a bit of an anomoly? What do you predict Fowler's MLB line in 2009 will be?
 A: 

Moderator: I expect Fowler to spend the bulk of the year at Colorado Springs. I see Fowler has doing nothing but getting better as he moves up the ladder. He is a development talent who did not being to switch-hit until pro ball. He is the type of athlete that he had options of basketball at Harvard and baseball at Miami (Fla.).

 Q:  Tony from Toronto asks:
Between prospects already playing the position (Mayora, EY Jr.) and those who may very well have to move there at the big league level (Nelson or perhaps Stewart if Atkins doesn't move), how do you see the position playing out in a few years' time?
 A: 

Moderator: My iniital guess owld be Nelson, whose bat would make him an eye-opening second baseman, but let's not forget about Baker, too. He worked hard to play the position last year and did a solid job, and he has big-time power possiblities, too.

 Q:  Baseball Fan from FLA asks:
So where does Corey Wimberly fits in the Rockies organization to make it to the big league.Two or three years or maybe sooner he deserves his shot?
 A: 

Moderator: He will have a shot as a speed guy off the bench but he is going to have to work defensively to force the issue. The Rockies do have pretty good depth.