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.

    Keith W (Jersey): I've heard really good things about Charlie Blackmon.... What is his ceiling and where was he ranked? Thanks!!!

Tracy Ringolsby: Keith, he's No. 13, just out of the top 10 and given the depth of quality in the organization that's a solid ranking. With Dexter Fowler now in the bigs, Blackmon is the top CF prospect in the system.

    Trent (Denver): Does Matt Reynolds get a shot in the majors this year? Does he fit the bill as a a setup man/closer in the bigs?

Tracy Ringolsby: Trent, at some point during the year I would fully expect Reynolds to be in the bigs in a setup role. He made a solid impression with his command and composure last year.

    JAYPERS (IL): How close did Alving Mejias come to making your list, and what are your impressions of him?

Tracy Ringolsby: Jaypers, he's just going to turn 18 and coming out of the DSL. I will be anxious to see how he reponds once he comes to the mainland. I think it will allow us to get a quick feel for where he stands.

    Ben (Leland Grove): Did Chris Balcom-Miller get consideration for this list?

Tracy Ringolsby: Ben, he did. He is a solid prospect in the system. He did make the top 30.

    Bill (Lakewood, CO): Can Shane Lindsay ever stay healthy for a full year? Would he be a top 10 guy if not for the injuries?

Tracy Ringolsby: Bill, if he could say healthy he would be in the big leagues.

    JAYPERS (IL): Which major leaguer does Tim Wheeler remind you of, and why?

Tracy Ringolsby: Right now I'd say he is a step above in most every area on a Ryan Spilborghs. I'll be interested to see how his power develops the next couple of years.

    Erica (Co Springs): What kept Kent Matthes off your list?

Tracy Ringolsby: Matthes is in the top 30. There is a lot of quality in the Rockies system.

    Sonny (Tallahassee FL): Is Chris Nelson still on your radar? Your thoughts on his 2009 campaign?

Tracy Ringolsby: Nelson is fading but still shows up as a blip on the radar. He had that half season at Modesto where it appeared he was ready to step forward, but it's been injuries and inconsistency the rest of the time. With his bat speed and arm strength, you keep waiting for his focus.

    Andrew (Toronto): Fact or Fiction: Hector Gomez is the Rocks #1 on this list in 2010. Finally healthy, He seems primed to take off!

Tracy Ringolsby: Andrew, he is fifth on the list again. He needs to put the season together that folks are waiting to see.

    Tim (Texas): Are u as excited about Nolan Arendado, as Rockies are about his bat and what is his ceiling??

Tracy Ringolsby: You have to be excited about what he is going to be able to do offensively, and he adjust quickly to third base. There are some who would love to put him behind the plate, feeling with his hands and arm and offensive potential he would be a dominate player at that position.

    Terry (CO): Why did Chacin take a bit of a tumble since last year's list?

Tracy Ringolsby: Terry, he went from second to fourth so I don't think you can feel like he is fading. To start with the rockies did at Matzek. Also Rosario adapted well to a major jump, from rookie league to Hi-A, and Friedrich made a major move forward, and could well be in the bigs, himself, at some point this year. Chacin did stumble when he was promoted from Tulsa, and for some reason started to pitch backward. That's not wise for him. His stright is his fastball and changeup and they have to be the pitches he uses to set things up.

    Bryan (San Francisco): Hi Tracy, thanks for the Chat! Any thoughts on Chris Balcom-Miller? Was he close to making this list after being named Pioneer League Pitcher of the Year? Thanks for any info you can provide.

Tracy Ringolsby: Bryan, Balcom-Miller showed a definite pitchability at Casper and is in the top 30.

    Bruce (Canada): Paul Bargas had a solid pro debut. Does he profile more as a lefty specialist at the higher levels, or can he be more for the Rockies?

Tracy Ringolsby: Bruce, he projects in a bullpen role.

    JAYPERS (IL): Just how close was it for the top spot between Matzek vs. Friedrich? Was it strictly ceiling that gave Tyler the edge?

Tracy Ringolsby: Let's say it was 1 and 1A. It was not an easy choice for me. I normally am hesitant to rank someone No. 1 when they have yet to pitch in pro ball, but Matzek's situation is different. He fell to the Rockies and it was hard to ignore the ceiling. Making it even harder is that Friedrich moved so solidly this year and is on the verge of the big leagues.

    Virgil Dahl (Waterloo, Iowa): Tracy; who, in your opinion, has a greater upside, Matzek or Bumgardner? thanks much

Tracy Ringolsby: I would say Matzek has as good an upside as any younger pitcher in the game. He has a great feel for the game, and a plus assortment of pitches. I'd give Matzek the edge.

    Alex (Atlanta): What does the future hold for Franklin Morales? Can he still be the ace he once looked to be?

Tracy Ringolsby: Alex, he could return to the rotation, but for now he's going to be in the bullpen. There's no reason he can't become a dominate closer with his stuff. It's all about focus and consistency. He has the raw ability.

    Paul (Denver): Where do you see Arenado ending up defensively? There was some talk that he might be tried behind the plate. Is he a defensive liability wherever he ends up?

Tracy Ringolsby: Paul, I see Arendado as a defensive plus whether he plays third or catches.

    Bill (Delaware): whats the status on Chris Nelson? is he healthy?

Tracy Ringolsby: He is supposed to be ready to play. It will be interesting to see if he goes out and plays up to his potential. He has been a puzzle.

    Matt (Denver): Will Juan Morillo ever figure out his control long enough to stick in the majors?

Tracy Ringolsby: Matt, I believe the Twins recently sold Morillo's contract to Japan.

    sportznut (Clinton Twp, MI): What is Hector Gomez's floor/ceiling?

Tracy Ringolsby: Sportznut, Gomez' ceiling is an All-Star caliber player. He has the tools to be an impact offensive player in the middle of the infield.

    Alex (Atlanta): Will Sam Deduno be able to stay healthy long enough to be a major league contributor?

Tracy Ringolsby: Alex, there is no reason that he should have ongoing health problems. I see him in the big leagues at some point during 2010.

    Nick (Boston): Tracy, I know projected 2013 Lineups do not mean much, but Tim Wheeler not a starter? Is it because of the depth ahead of him or do people really think he is just a 4th OF? Or is it another case of people reading into the 2013 lineups a bit too much, thanks!

Tracy Ringolsby: Nick, would you leave out Gonzalez or Smith or Fowler? There is some talent at the big league level and also in the system.

    Alex (Atlanta): What happened with Brian Rike? He looked pretty promising a couple years back, but then just seemed to fall apart.

Tracy Ringolsby: Let's see how he bounce back this year. You find out how good a player can be when you see how he handles bad times.

    Bob (Arkansas): Is Parker Frazier's career in jeopardy?

Tracy Ringolsby: Bob, not at all. Parker is, in fact, several weeks ahead of schedule in his rehab. He is in such good phsyical shape that the Rockies are going to have to be careful to not rush him.

    Paul (Boise): Shouldn't Jordan Pacheco be the one making the jump to Double A instead of a very much unproven Willin Rosario. Pacheco was the League MVP?

Tracy Ringolsby: Paul, I don't think so. Pacheco is coming out of Asheville. Rosario is coming out of Modesto. The natural progression will be for Rosario to go to Tulsa and Pacheco to Modesto, where he will benefit from working with Weinstein, who is a strong catching guy.

    Jon (Chicago): What does Eric Young, Jr. need in order be a full-time player? Shouldn't .290/.390/.400 with 60 SBs be enough? Does he need a trade, or is his defense so bad that his bat wont play at 2B or CF?

Tracy Ringolsby: He is going to have to prove himself defensively. He also needs to make more contact. He does have the stolen baes, but he also 18 caught stealings. So there are things he needs to refine, but the offensive potential and work ethic are huge.

    jack (colorado springs): where does DAn Housten stand?

Tracy Ringolsby: Jack, sorry, I don't recognize the name.

    Clint (Denver): Was Kiel Roling close to making the top 10? How is his defense at 1B?

Tracy Ringolsby: Clint, he did not. His power is a definite asset. The other aspects are going to have to be addressed.

    Bob (Dallas): What happened to Michael McKenry? Does he still have the talent to be a major league regular?

Tracy Ringolsby: Bob, McKenry is still on the radar and still moving up the system. He had a solid year but suffered a late-season injury when he was hit by the backswing of a bat and had to cancel his plans to be part of Team USA.

    Dave (San Marcos): Can you give us a quick run down on Julian Yan? Is he a legit prospect?

Tracy Ringolsby: Dave, he is young and athletic. Time will tell. He figures to go to Capser this year and we will start to get a better view of his potential.

    Louis (Denver): How are Jordan Pacheco receiving skills? If he repears the year he just had, could he be a top 10 guy?

Tracy Ringolsby: Louis, this will be a big year for him as far as his recieving skills. If he winds up at Modesto he will be with manager Jerry Weinstein, who is very strong on catching technique.

    tyler (san diego): what do you think about Juan Nicasio being added to the 40 man? He has only pitched as high as Low-A Asheville?

Tracy Ringolsby: When you have a pitcher with a live arm you have to be careful. Teams will take that type of pitcher and hide them for a year on a big league roster to just get the ability int he system.

    ScottAZ (Phx, AZ): Why move EYJR to CF??? Makes ZERO sense since they alreayd have the future in CF (Fowler) and Young doesn't have the power to hit on a corner spot. If they had doubts about his glove at 2b why didn't they trade him when interest was so high last trade deadline? He was named "untouchable" which makes ZERO sense if they have him now pegged as just a speedy utility guy

Tracy Ringolsby: Scott, they are looking for versatility with him. by the way who named him untouchable? Also, where was the interest in him and what was being offered? You seem to have an insight that I would be interested in learning about. I did not hear of teams coming to the Rockies seeking him. And I never heard that he was untouchable.

    Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware): Speedster Delta Clery just missed being in the top 10 in 2008 coming in at #11 - did he get any attention for the top 10 prospect list this year?

Tracy Ringolsby: He is still in the top 20 but slipped a bit.

    Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware): 20 homers and a .331 average - that's Keil Rloing's numbers for Asheville last season. Is this due to McCormick Field's close outfield fence, or is Keil a super power guy?

Tracy Ringolsby: Both

    Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware): Tourist all-stars Jimmy Cesario and Jordan Pacheco - did they get any consideration for your Prospect Handbook top 30?

Tracy Ringolsby: Karl, they did. Pacehco made the top 30.

    John (Hotlanta): Christian Freidrich, Big League starter by the end of 2010?

Tracy Ringolsby: The opportunity should be there and he has the ability.

    Robert Goldberg (Lyndhurst, NJ): Juan Nicasio had an outstanding season in the South Atlantic League (led the league in ERA, had a 115/23 K/BB ratio in 112 IP), all seemingly under the radar. Did he crack the top 30? And, how do the Rockies view him?

Tracy Ringolsby: He is in the top 20 and he was placed ont he 40-man roster by the Rockies this winter, which shows the regard they ahve for Nicasio.

    Jeremy (DC): How's Casey Weathers doing in his rehab and how has TJ surgery impacted his prospect status?

Tracy Ringolsby: He is projected to be ready in spring training. It impacted it to the degree he lost a season and has to bounce back this year, but he is still very much in the Rockies plans in the near future.

    DLB (CO): Now that Ian Stewart has had 700+ ABs in the Majors we can see that he has legit 30-40 HR power and a pretty discerning eye at the plate (as evidenced by his 12% BB rate last year). However, the strikeouts continue to be an issue. Do you think he will ever be able to make enough contact to be a .280+ hitter?

Tracy Ringolsby: DLB, I feel Stewart will be fine. He is a strange case for a young hitter. He needs to be more aggressive. He takes too many hittable strikes.

    Michael Stern (Rochester NY): Is Scott Beerer considered a legit prospect? In the top 30? Is he in the Rockies future plans? Had a great year at the plate in 2009.

Tracy Ringolsby: Michael, this was his first year as an offensive player. It will be intriguing to watch his development in 2010.

    Jake (Denver): What is Friedrich's ultimate upside?

Tracy Ringolsby: A top of the rotation starter.

    Jon (Lexington, KY): He had a so-so AFL season but was added to the 40-man roster recently. What do you see in the future for Chaz Roe?

Tracy Ringolsby: Roe has a big league arm and is a great athlete. He has a curveball that is an out pitch.

    Jesse (NC): Going by what you heard from the Rockies, what was the biggest reason for not attempting a Rex Brothers-as-starter experiment?

Tracy Ringolsby: They feel Brothers has closer possiblities. They also feel he can get to the big leagues quickly, maybe even this year, out of the bullpen.

    Virgil Dahl (Waterloo, Iowa): Tracy; one more comp on Matzek. Can you envision a comparison againt Kershaw down the road?? thanks again

Tracy Ringolsby: I would say he is a shade ahead of Kershaw, potentially, in all areas.

    cjb (madison, wi): You were high in praise for Fowler in last years chat. How did his rookie year stack up for you and has his long term outlook changed at all?

Tracy Ringolsby: He is better than I thought. His makeup will be a major asset. He made a jump from Double-A to the big leagues and handled it well. He is an impact player and an impact person.

    Ryan (Tulsa): I was very surprised to see Matzek over Friedrich, as Christian has potential for 3 plus pitches & has already flashed them at the high A level. Is Matzek's ceiling really that much higher than Frriedrich's? Do the Rockies have 2 potential aces here?

Tracy Ringolsby: Yes and yes. It is not an easy decision.

    Casey (Palo Alto): Greg Reynolds...Where has he gone to? 2nd overall pick in 2006 but he didnt pitch almost all of last year.

Tracy Ringolsby: He had surgery in his scapula. The hope is he will be ready for spring training.