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, 2011.
Tracy Ringolsby will answer questions about the Rockies system beginning at 3 p.m. ET.
JAYPERS (IL): About how far down your top 30
list did Tim Wheeler fall this year, and could we get your evaluation of
his disappointing year in the CAL? What does he need to work on? Are
you still a believer in his tools?
Wheeler slipped to No. 21 this year.
He was given a challenge, jumping to Hi-A Moidesto. The power and run
production is still there. He did begin driving the ball the other way
during the season and that will help him. He is still in the future
Ben (Leland Grove): I understand Parker recently suffered a rib injury while playing football. Serious?
He suffered broken ribs. No reason to think that will be serious, although it could slow his spring training a bit.
JAYPERS (IL): Your thoughts on Albert Campos, and did he sniff the upper teens?
Cutting off the top 10 at 10 was
difficult, and Campos, along with Charlie Blackmon and Rosell Herrera,
both were victims of a talented farm system. Campos came to the mainland
for the first time last summer and cdominated with a solid bastball and
excellent curveball. His command is what is really impressive. It will
be fun to watch his advancement.
Morrie (Denver): Were you impressed with Corey Dickerson's campaign last season? Where does he begin this year, and is he in your 11-20 range?
He had a very good debut at Casper. He
profiles as a left fielder. With a good spring he could jump to
Modesto, which will provide a better challenge for him.
Ben (Leland Grove): Is there room at Coors for Charlie Blackmon? What are scouts saying about him and his future? Top 30 guy for you still?
Actually have him at No. 11. If he
continues to play the way he has the last two years they will find room
for him. Good athlete who has quickly adjusted to the outfield after
initially pitching in college.
Josh Slaats (Tri-City): Hey Tracy, how did I do in your eyes last year? Was there room on your 30 for me?
You did real well. I have you just
outside the top 30. The Rockies have a strong group of right-handed
starters, and you are right in there with the Cory Riordan-Bruce
Greg (Denver): Should we expect Kyle Parker to take a little while to adjust to a wood bat?
It could happen but I don't think it should take him that long.
Russ Oates (PurpleRow.com): Any hints on where Cristhian Adames and Rafael Ortega slot in the Top 30?
Both finished outside the top 30.
Christy (NE): If Gomez stays healthy and gets to Coors sooner than later, what does this mean for Nelson? Utility guy, or trade bait?
Christy, it will depend on what Nelson
does. He showed some good signs in his limited exposure last year. He
will be in battle this spring for the second base job. If he doesn't win
it, my opinion, the best thing for him would be to go back to Colorado
Springs so he can play second base on a regular basis. There is so much
potential offensively with his bat speed. Now that he has had a
big-league taste, I would imagine that whets his appetite and I wouldn't
overlook Nelson's potential.
James (Steamboat Springs): Future backup to Wilin Rosario: Chris Iannetta or Jordan Pacheco?
First Wilin Rosario has to get here,
which means Iannetta has at least another year to claim the No. 1 job
himself. Pacheco most likely will be a super utility guy. He has the
great bat and versatility. He is still learning to catch.
Grant (NYC): Chaz Roe - prospect or suspect?
He is a prospect in Seattle. Rockies dealt him for Jose Lopez.
Kevin (Evergreen): Catcher Will Swanner showed a nice power bat in limited time with Casper. Where should we expect him to start 2011?
Spring will tell, but with a high
school kid it wouldn't be a total surprise for him to go to extended
spring and then Tri-City. He could, however, force his way into the
plans at Asheville with a solid spring.
Shawn Nelson (Chippewa Falls,Wi.): What does
Charlie Blackmon have to do to get respect? He hits for average,hits
home runs and steals bases! He's also a plus defender! What gives?
Did not know he was lacking in respect.
Kade Nelson (Chippewa Falls,Wi.): Has Friedrich been injury prone or have they mostly been fluke injuries? Thanks
The shoulder has been a problem, although the word is it is not serious.
Jesse (Fort Collins): Will George see Parker Frazier pitch in a Rockies uniform in the next several years?
I suspect Parker could be in the big
leagues by the middle of 2012 if not the end of 2011. He's healthy,
throwing hard and has great strikezone command.
Al (Arvada): Since the Rockies added Cole Garner to their 40-man roster in November, do you think he'll see the majors this season?
If the Rockies were to keep a fifth
outfielder (instead of Jason Giambi), I would expect Garner to be in
that battle this spring. Regardless, if a need arises during the season
he is at the top of the list of players in line to get a big-league
Kyle (South Park): Bruce Billing's conversion to a relief role looks like a good move given his pitches. Is he a possible 2011 call-up?
Definitely. He was discussed as a possiblity last year, late in the season.
Mike (Bailey): If Nolan Arenado is the future at 1st, where does that leave Ben Paulsen?
That will be determined by how Paulsen
plays. He could be the first baseman. Arenado could wind up at third.
Right now it's more a guessing game than anything written in stone.
Warren (New London): Hi, I'm wondering about Rafael Ortega. I thought he should
have been much higher on the Pioneer League top 20, and
I like him better than almost everybody on this list too.
Ortega made a good impression at
Casper. He just doesn't profile from rookie ball to the big leagues like
others. He, however, has more to say about that than either you or I
Grayson (Denver): Erik Stavert's writeup in the
Northwest League Top 20 sounded exciting: 91-94 mph fastball with hard
sink, a plus changeup and a solid slider. How close did he come to
making the Top 10?
He finished just outside the top 30, along with Slaats and Billings.
Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware): Last
years #18th best Colorado prospect, Jordan Pacheco,
kept on smacking the ball in 2010. So much so, that I thought he would
make the top 10. Did he come close? How is he doing developing
defensively as a catcher?
As a converted second baseman he has
moved in catching very well, but there is still a lot of defensive work
to be done for him to be considered a potential No. 1 catcher in the big
leagues. His bat, coupled with the fact he can play the infield, catch
and most likely play at least left field has him on a definite
big-league path. And his versatility could lead to a 120-game seasonal
Gary (Commerce City): If we see Charlie Blackmon receive a call-up this season, what does that mean for Seth Smith?
It depends on how Seth Smith plays.
Seth has the big-league spot right now and he has the offensive
potential to keep it for a long time. For some reason after the roster
was cleared for him to get regular playing time in the final weeks last
year he became passive at the plate. That is something Seth will need to
address this year.
Tara (Miami, FL): How would you rank Matzek against other top minor league lefties Matt Moore and John Lamb?
I see Matzek as being equal to any lefty in the minor leagues.
Nick (Boston): Tracy, where do you see Chad
Bettis eventually wind up? If he winds up in the pen, will it be just as
a reliever or a closer type?
Bettis can relieve and would be a
late-inning guy, but his work as a starter last year was impressive and
he will continue to get the opportunity to start for now.
Ken (Lakewood CA): Thanks for the chat Tracey.
Nobody knows the Rockies like you do. I was surprised that Charlie
Blackmon wasn't in the Top 10. How do you see him as a prospect and
what's his future in Denver? It seems with Parker, Foster & Cargo in
his way, he won't have the chance to be a starting OF for Colorado?
Blackmon has the ability to claim an
every day spot. The only outfielder I have rated higher than him in the
system is Parker, and Blackmon is several years ahead of Parker so he
has time to estbalish himself if he continues to play as well as he has.
Kenn (Lakewood CA): I misspelled my name on
purpose here, since I did the same with yours in my last question.
Sorry. My question is, do you see Arenado having any chance to stay at
3B. Or is it a foregone conclusion that he moves to 1B and it's just a
matter of when? Thanks Tracy.
When a young man is coming out of
rookie ball there can be no foregone conclusions. Remember, when Ian
Stewart was in high school the word was he could never play third base
in the big leagues. Well, now he's in the big leagues and his defense is
his No. 1 attribute. Whether Arenado stays at third is up to Arenado.
Mark (Fargo,ND): Outside of Rex Brothers does anyone else in the Rockies top 30 have closer potential?
Casey Weathers remains a possiblity.
and then it depends on what eventually happens with a pitcher like Chad
Bettis or Parker Frazier, both of whom are starters currently.
Whooper (Minneapolis, MN): Who in the Rockies top 10 has the best chance to be in the top 100?
That's not somethign I am involved
with, but I'd have to say Mazek, Rosario, Arenado, Friedrich and Tago
all will get consideration.
Phil (Denver Colorado): Give me your take on a sleeper in the Rockies organization from a position player and pitcher standpoint.
Stavert is a pitcher to keep and eye on, and outfielder Delta Cleary still intriques me, although he dropped out of the top 30.
Jon (Peoria): What type of ceiling does Russell Wilson have?
The ceiling is high. It's just a
matter of Wilson playing on a regular basis, something he was denied at
North Carolina State for some reason that remains a mystery.
Dean (Houston): Your top ten listing has
Christian Fredrich followed by Peter Tago, but you list Tago as the 4th
starter and Fredrich as the 5th starter in the 2014 projected lineup.
Breaking up the lefthanders.
steve S (Davis, CA): Tracy, two years ago you
predicted a brighter future in the Rockies organization for Tyler Massey
than for Carlos Gonzalez. Looking back, what are the key adjustments
which Gonzalez has made and Massey has struggled to make such that that
projection has now apparently reversed itself?
Carlos Gonzalez was never eligible to
be rated in the Rockies organization. He was, however, rated No. 1 in
Arizona's organization when he was in Arizona and No. 1 in Oakland when
he was with the A's. By the time he came to the Rockies he no longer has
rookie status. Goznalez didn't make any adjustments. He has merely
lived up to expectations.
Skrip (chicago): Can you tell us more about
Wilin Rosario? Where do you rank him among catching prospects in all of
baseball? Top 3? Top 5? Where do you see his ceiling? Thank you for
taking my question.
He is among the elite. He has the
ability to be an impact receiver behind the plate and offensively.
Unfortunately he suffered a knee injury that required surgery and cost
him a year of development.
Denim Boy (In My Mom's basement): Where do you
see Peter Tago fitting into the Rockies Plans? Will he stay a starter
and eventually find his way into the rotation?
He is listed as the No. 5 prospect, and No. 1 among right-handed starting pitchers, which says it about as well as anything.
John (Ashburn, VA): Tracy: As you have noted,
Kyle Parker has incredible power and the Rockies are ready to fast-track
him if he is ready. They have invested $1.4M in him so they definitely
know more about scouting and projecting than us nugs. But, Parker seemed
to exhibit a few bad habits while playing for Clemson (hole in swing,
high number of Ks, not a lot of speed on the basepaths). Is there any
concern amongst some Rockie insiders that his other tools may not make
up for some of these shortcomings? And, do you think that he may have a
rough time on the fast-track if (or when) he gets eaten up by
professional pitching trained to attack these shortcomings. Thoughts?
They were willing to give him $2.2
million but he opted to play one more year of college football so that
should give a pretty good explanation of how sold the Rockies are on his
ability to make the necessary adjustments. They will fast track him if
he is ready, but they won't rush him.
MJ (Valpo): What makes Charlie Blackmon a
utility/4th OF'er-type and not someone who can hold down a starting gig
in the bigs?
What's he missing in his set of tools? Seems to me he'd be a guy you'd
want to give a chance at starting to see what he could do...I mean,
power/speed guys are still pretty rare, right?
Didn 't know he was a utility/4th
outfielder type. Right now he is playing center field and shows every
sign of being able to continue to do so.
Henry Thompson (Sausalito, CA): Hey Tracy,
thanks for the chat! According to reports Matzek mostly operated at
88-92 with his fastball last season. In his senior year there were some
reports of him dialing it up to 97. Are the rockies concerned that
Matzek may never find any of that velocity ever again?
He touched 96 last year. There's no concern other than the need for him to be more consistent in the strikezone.
Henry Thompson (Sausalito, CA): Tracy, how does
Wilin Rosario not get get more fanfare? I see a solid defensive
catcher, with the ability to put up all star numbers behind the dish?
Are scouts outside the organization skeptical of his offensive
production? Or it because of his mid-season injury?
The injury basically cost him a year. Other than that, the talk about him has been very upbeat.
James (St. Augustine): With Chris Nelson, Eric
Young, Jr., and Hector Gomez all options at 2B now or in the near
future, how do you see the position shaking out short-term and
Jose Lopez is likely second baseman
this year. As for the other three, the big issue is whether Gomez can
ever stay healthy, but I'd say it goes Gomez, Nelson and EY II.
Danpers (Work): Thank for the chat. If you had to bet, where's your money on Matzek's future?
a) Perennial Cy Young contender
b) Occasional All-Star
c) Solid regular starter
d) Something less than C
Id' say at least b) Occassional All-Star and quite possbily more.
Jeff (Denver, CO): How is Casey Weathers come
back from Tommy John surgery progressing? Where is he likely to begin
the year and is he somewhere in the 11-20 range?
It has been extremely slow. He needs to be ready this spring. He is No. 14.
Henry Thompson (Sausalito, CA): Hey Tracy, big
Tago fan coming out of the draft, with that being said were there
positive reports coming out of instructs? I just have a feeling he will
end up being the steal of the draft.
The reports are good enough he was ranked No. 5, top among right-handed starters in the organziation.
Mark (Concord Ca): How close to the majors is Mike Mckendry?
He's at the decision point.
Robert Goldberg (Secaucus, NJ): Thomas Field had a huge offensive season in Modesto, but is he for real or were his numbers so big because of the Cal League?
He is a potential Jamey Carroll type,
capable of playing second, third and short. He is the blue-collar, get
the job done type who will exceed expectations because he won't limit
Shane (Denver): Cudos for all your hard work at
insidetherockies.com, really enjoy your coverage. Does Arrenado remind
you a little of Jeff Cirillo offensively?
I thnk Arenado is a more legitimate power guy.
JD (AZ): Tracy, wondering if any recent Latin signings are on your radar for possible breakout in the coming season?
SS Rossell Herrera is worth watching.
Spencer (San Diego): In 2010 Jhoulys Chacin
really emerged and looks to be a frontline starter. Do you believe that
he's going to take the next step like Ubaldo did last year and is there
someone in the system you think could have that kind of impact in '11?
Chacin will be at the top of the
rotation with Jimenez this year. The biggest question is whether there
will be an opportunity for any prospects in the rotation this year. The
starting five seems set with Paulino and Rogers in the wings if a need