2020-21 MLB International Reviews: Colorado Rockies
The Rockies added a deep group of players at the start of the 2020-21 signing period, with several prominent pitchers in the class led by one of the top righthanders from the Dominican Republic.
Top Of The Class
Dominican righthander Brayan Perez, a nephew of veteran righthander Edinson Volquez, was one of the top pitching prospects in the 2020 class. He continues to trend in the right direction, with a fastball that was touching the low 90s last year and has now spiked to touch 95 mph. With his easy delivery and lean, wiry build at around 6-foot-3, 170 pounds, Perez should be able to throw in the upper 90s and perhaps reach triple digits once he puts on more strength. Perez throws hard for his age but he's more than just a raw thrower. His pitchability is advanced among his peer group, throwing a lot of strikes with a smooth delivery, good arm action and feel for both a curveball and changeup. Perez trained with Kelvin Jimenez, with Volquez also helping coach him while he was at home in the offseason.
While Perez was the team's top pitching prospect in the 2020 class, Dominican outfielder Felix Tena was Colorado's top position prospect in the group. Tena is a physical, athletic outfielder, who in 2019 was an average runner who looked like he could be a power-hitting corner outfielder if everything broke right. Instead, Tena has not only maintained his athleticism, he has also improved his speed, becoming at least a plus runner now. At 6 feet, 196 pounds, Tena is a power runner who now has a better chance to play center field, with an arm that earns 55 to 60 grades on the 20-80 scale. Tena has the bat speed and strength that leads to hard contact for his age when he squares the ball up with a chance to grow into plus raw power, though with an aggressive swing and approach he will have to better control against more advanced pitching. Tena trained with Cachaza.
Names To Know
Abel Galva, RHP, Dominican Republic: Galva, who trained with Banana, has a projectable frame (6-foot-3, 176 pounds) to add to a fastball that touches 92 mph now, though his best pitch is a changeup that's extremely advanced for his age. He has a calm, easy delivery that he repeats well for his age to fill the strike zone. He also comes from a baseball family; his father (Claudio Galva Rodriguez) pitched up through Triple-A with Oakland before spending time playing in Japan and the Chinese Professional Baseball League, while his older brother (Claudio Enrique Galva Paulino) pitched for the Blue Jays and Orioles at the Rookie-level from 2016-19 and is now a free agent.
Jordy Vargas, RHP, Dominican Republic: Vargas' father, Yorkis Perez, is a lefthander who pitched nine seasons in the majors as a reliever, primarily with the Marlins and Phillies in the 1990s. Vargas is 6-foot-3, 165 pounds with a fastball that has grown from 86-89 mph to now touching 93 with the physical projection to develop into a power arm. He's another strike-thrower with a good delivery and feel for both a curveball and changeup. Vargas trained at the Quality Baseball Academy.
Andy Perez, SS, Cuba: Perez is 6-foot-3, 165 pounds and has shown good feel to hit in games from the left side, with a line-drive, all-fields approach and gap power now but the bat speed and the physical projection to develop more juice down the road. He's better in the field in games than he is in a workout, with a good internal clock, average arm strength and plus speed underway.
Gabriel Terrero, SS, Dominican Republic: Terrero was thin and lacked strength early on (6 feet, 139 pounds), but he has grown three inches to 6-foot-3, 170 pounds. Scouts were split on his hitting ability early on, but those highest on him liked his contact skills and ability to use the whole field, with a chance to hit for more power as he fills out now that he's hit a growth spurt, though that could ultimately lead him to another position.
Derian Morejon, RHP, Cuba: Morejon, who trained with Lucas Garcia, has a good delivery and a lot of physical projection remaining (6-foot-3, 180 pounds) to add to a fastball that touches the low 90s.
Aneudis George, RHP, Dominican Republic: A converted outfielder, George has a wiry strong build (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) with fast arm speed on a fastball that's up to 92 mph. He pairs it with a hard, sharp-breaking curveball that has power behind it in the low 80s, with solid strike-throwing ability especially for a conversion arm.
Luis Paredes, OF, Dominican Republic: Paredes grew a couple of inches to 5-foot-10, 170 pounds and showed improvements at the plate over the course of the scouting process, including an appearance at the U-15 World Cup Americas Qualifier in September 2019 in Mexico. Scouts highest on Paredes liked his lefthanded-hitting ability, with solid-average speed that gives him a chance to develop as a center fielder, though he could end up in a corner as he fills out. Paredes trained with Papiro.
Rony Cruz, RHP, Dominican Republic: Cruz pitched well at the U-15 World Cup Americas Qualifier in September 2019 in Mexico, where he was a 5-foot-11 righthander with a mid-to-upper-80s fastball. He has grown since then to a stronger, more physical 6-foot-1, 196 pounds and touches 90 mph now, with a sound delivery and a three-pitch mix with a curveball and changeup.
Bryan Mena, RHP, Dominican Republic: Mena is the younger brother of righthander Cristian Mena, who signed with the White Sox in 2019. Bryan Mena is 6-foot-2, 185 pounds with a good delivery and room to fill out to grow a fastball that touches the low 90s with feel for a curveball as well.
Venezuelan catcher David Rodriguez has a tall build for a catcher at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, with a chance to hit and hit for power. Rodriguez and righthander Redinson Gomez are two under-the-radar players to keep an eye on, with Gomez showing good mechanics and strength projection from his 6-foot-2, 170-pound build and a fastball up to 92 mph.