Colorado Rockies 2019 Top 30 MLB Prospects Midseason Update
After making back-to-back postseason appearances for the first time in franchise history in 2017-18, the Rockies are trying to hang on in the National League playoff picture for the third year in a row.
Despite steps back from most of their young starting pitchers, the Rockies remain in the hunt in the NL wild card race and approach the trade deadline more as buyers than sellers.
Starting pitching remains their biggest need, and they have an interesting cross-section of young big leaguers and prospects they can trade to get a deal done. At the same time, those young big leaguers are increasingly contributing and figure to grow into larger roles over time, and the Rockies could benefit from hanging on to them.
With a window of contention open for the foreseeable future thanks to an impressive homegrown core, the Rockies don’t need to force a trade or overpay for a player to try and make the most of this year. They can hold steady knowing all their key players will be back next season, with more on the way.
1. Brendan Rodgers, SS/2B
Rodgers improved his patience at Triple-A and blitzed through the Pacific Coast league to earn his first big league callup in May. He saw time at both second base and shortstop for the Rockies before going on the injured list with right shoulder injury in late June, and he had season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum earlier this week.
2. Colton Welker, 3B
Welker started off hot before falling into a mid-summer slump at Double-A Hartford. His natural feel to hit and growing power have evaluators generally bullish on his future, even with an unconventional swing and thick body.
3. Peter Lambert, RHP
Lambert’s fastball made another velocity jump and now sits 93 mph and touches 96 mph. He received his first callup on June 6 and has remained in the Rockies’ rotation since.
4. Ryan Rolison, LHP
Rolison has shown advanced pitchability with his 90-93 mph fastball and potentially plus curveball and changeup, allowing him to survive two difficult pitching environments in low Class A Asheville and high Class A Lancaster.
5. Michael Toglia, 1B/OF
Toglia is a physical switch-hitter with power from both sides of the plate and impressive athleticism for his size—traits that convinced the Rockies to make him the 23rd overall pick in the 2019 draft out of UCLA.
6. Grant Lavigne, 1B
Lavigne continues to show advanced strike-zone awareness for a teenager, but he has shown a worrying lack of impact when he connects. He has posted below-average exit velocities throughout the year at low Class A Asheville, although the Rockies are encouraged by adjustments he has begun to make.
7. Sam Hilliard, OF
Hilliard’s huge power and plus outfield defense are playing at Triple-A Albuquerque, but the holes in his swing have resulted in a strikeout rate above 30 percent for the second straight season.
8. Tyler Nevin, 1B
Nevin’s ability to control the strike zone and make consistent contact have evaluators generally optimistic despite subpar numbers at Double-A. His lack of enough power for first base, however, presents a profile problem.
9. Ryan Vilade, SS
Vilade is taking quality at-bats and showing potential defensive versatility at high Class A Lancaster—two traits that have evaluators interested despite poor offensive numbers away from his hitter-friendly home park.
10. Ben Bowden, LHP
Bowden’s stuff keeps improving the further he moves away from the injuries that sidelined him for the entire season two years ago. He is sitting 94-95 mph with his fastball and has a plus changeup from the left side, good enough to project him as a solid eighth-inning reliever.
11. Jesus Tinoco, RHP
12. Yonathan Daza, OF
13. Tommy Doyle, RHP
14. Yency Almonte, RHP
15. Terrin Vavra, SS
16. Josh Fuentes, 3B
17. Ryan Castellani, RHP
18. Aaron Schunk, 3B
19. Riley Pint, RHP
20. Phillip Diehl, LHP
21. Alan Trejo, SS
22. Karl Kauffmann, RHP
23. Breiling Eusebio, LHP
24. Eddy Diaz, SS
25. Justin Lawrence, RHP
26. Rico Garcia, RHP
27. Brian Mundell, 1B
28. Garrett Schilling, RHP
29. Reid Humphreys, RHP
30. Roberto Ramos, 1B
Fantasy: A Dozen Late Surgers You Might Have Missed
Targeting these hitters and pitchers who excelled in August and September could make you look smart in 2020.
RHP Tommy Doyle has been one of the most dominant relievers in the high Class A California League, featuring a 94-98 mph fastball with steep plane and an average slider he throws for strikes.
SS Alan Trejo has begun barreling up more balls for hard contact, a development that gives him a better chance to make the majors in a utility role with impressive shortstop defense.
SS Eddy Diaz has shown a promising foundation at Rookie-level Grand Junction with plus speed, plus contact skills and a knack for performing when the lights are brightest.
RHP Garrett Schilling has followed up a strong season at low Class A Asheville with another one at high Class A Lancaster, pitching to a 3.90 ERA on the strength of a swing-and-miss changeup.
RHP Riley Pint was moved to the bullpen after three starts at low Class A Asheville. He has again showed a lack of control with 31 walks and 23 strikeouts in 17.2 innings. He can still top 100 mph in short stretches of dominance, but in other outings he can’t find the strike zone at all.
RHP Ryan Feltner’s fastball is too straight in evaluators’ eyes and has led to a .302 opponent average and 5.46 ERA at low Class A Asheville.
OF Daniel Montano has a sub-.300 on-base percentage as low Class A Asheville’s leadoff hitter, and he has not shown shown the offensive tools to project as a future big leaguer.
RHP Mike Nikorak walked 20 batters in 13 innings before going back on the injured list with elbow soreness, continuing his career-long trends of wildness and injury.
RHP Riley Pint (shoulder tendinitis) has been on the injured list since June 22 but is expected back within the next few weeks.
RHP Ryan Castellani (elbow) had surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow and has only a small chance to return this season.
3B Josh Fuentes (oblique strain) missed most of the month of June but recently returned to action.
RHP Reid Humphreys (shoulder) had season-ending shoulder surgery in June. The surgery was a minor cleanup and revealed no major issues.
OF Vince Fernandez (suspension) was suspended 50 games after testing positive for amphetamine. He is eligible to return in early August.
RHP Mike Nikorak (elbow soreness) has been on the injured list since mid-May and rehabbing slowly. He has no firm timetable to return.
LHP Breiling Eusebio (elbow) missed the first two months of the season finishing his rehab from Tommy John surgery but returned to make his season debut on June 15.
2B/SS Garrett Hampson has seen time at second base, shortstop, center field and left field while assuming a utility/bench role for the Rockies. His bat has yet to come around with a .206/.261/.291 slash line.
RHP Jairo Diaz has shown power stuff in relief with a fastball that averages 97 mph and a slider that averages 88 mph. He has a 4.97 ERA in 27 relief appearances.