Colorado Rockies 2020 Midseason Top 30 Prospects Update
STATE OF THE SYSTEM
The Rockies system is light after its top 3-4 prospects, but that’s because the organization graduated an incredible collection of homegrown talent over the last decade, including Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, Jon Gray, Kyle Freeland, Charlie Blackmon, David Dahl and, most recently, Ryan McMahon, Garrett Hampson and Peter Lambert. The Rockies are still replenishing their system, but the addition of 2020 first-rounder Zac Veen in the draft was a nice boost to the process.
1. Brendan Rodgers, SS/2B
Rodgers has fully recovered from last year’s labrum surgery and is in the Rockies’ plans for 2020. He got stronger during the rehab process and has no lingering effects from his injury.
2. Zac Veen, OF
Veen showed big lefthanded power in the spring and signed with the Rockies for $5 million after they made him the ninth overall pick in the draft. If all goes according to plan, he has a chance to become a middle-of-the-order, power-hitting outfielder in a few years.
3. Ryan Rolison, LHP
The Rockies added the polished lefty to their player pool even though he has yet to pitch above high Class A. Rolison’s low-90s fastball, swing-and-miss breaking ball and improving changeup have him poised to move quickly.
4. Michael Toglia, 1B/OF
The Rockies left Toglia, their 2019 first-rounder, out of their initial player pool. Though he played first base exclusively in his pro debut last year, the Rockies are interested in giving him time in the outfield in future years.
5. Grant Lavigne, 1B
Lavigne fell back to earth last year after a promising pro debut. The Rockies have seen improvements in his maturity, composure and ability to adjust and believe he would have had a bounce-back season this year if games had been played.
6. Colton Welker, 3B
Welker was a surprising omission from the Rockies player pool given he spent last year at Double-A. He got into trouble trying to lift every pitch last season rather than focusing on hard contact, but the Rockies have addressed it and believe he will find a swing that balances contact and power.
7. Sam Hilliard, OF
Hilliard had a smashing debut for the Rockies last season and has a chance at an expanded role this year with Ian Desmond deciding to opt-out. The sweet-swinging lefty has legitimate plus power, albeit with a fair amount of strikeouts, and now will have to adjust to pitchers being more familiar with him.
8. Ryan Castellani, RHP
Casetallani had season-ending surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow last year and tested positive for COVID-19 in June. He shook off both setbacks and sat 94 mph on his fastball with an improved slider in summer camp, impressing coaches and pushing him closer to his major league debut.
9. Ryan Vilade, OF/3B
The Rockies have decided to move Vilade to the corner outfield primarily, although he will still see some time at third base and keep shortstop in his back pocket. He was not added to the Rockies’ player pool, so he’ll make the first steps in that transition on his own.
10. Drew Romo, C
Romo was regarded as the best defensive catcher in the 2020 draft and signed for just under $2.1 million after the Rockies selected him 35th overall. The switch-hitter has power from both sides of the plate and now needs to prove he can make consistent contact against quality pitching.
11. Aaron Schunk, 3B
12. Chris McMahon, RHP
13. Tyler Nevin, 1B
14. Adael Amador, SS
15. Ben Bowden, LHP
16. Karl Kauffmann, RHP
17. Terrin Vavra, SS
18. Sam Weatherly, LHP
19. Jacob Wallace, RHP
20. Helcris Olivarez, LHP
21. Brenton Doyle, OF
22. Eddy Diaz, SS
23. Tommy Doyle, RHP
24. Julio Carreras, 3B
25. Ezequiel Tovar, SS
26. Yanquiel Fernandez, OF
27. Ashton Goudeau, LHP
28. Yonathan Daza, OF
29. Christian Koss, SS
30. Bladimir Restituyo, 2B
The Rockies have a deep group of infielders both in the majors and the minors, especially corner infielders. Rodgers should graduate soon to join one of the most impressive infields in the majors. The organization was already flush with lefthanded-hitting outfielders and added another by selecting Veen in the first round.
The Rockies have very little catching anywhere in their organization, but they took the first step toward rectifying that by drafting Romo in the supplemental first round. The Rockies also have little in the way of upper-level starting pitching, but that’s not a major issue with the solid young staff they have in the majors right now.
PLAYER POOL TIDBITS
The Rockies believe last year’s 71-91 record was an aberration after back-to-back playoff appearances in 2017-18, so they loaded up their player pool with veterans and upper-level prospects who could help them in 2020 . They omitted nearly all of their lower-level position player prospects including Toglia, Lavigne and Vilade. Upper-level prospects such as SS Alan Trejo, 1B Brian Mundell and INF Bret Boswell made the cut, as did RHPs Antonio Santos and Alexander Guillen. Rolison, Ben Bowden and Phillip Diehl headline the prospect lefties in the pool.
Castellani and Diehl, along with Blackmon, tested positive for COVID-19 in June but recovered and returned in time for the start of summer camp. RHP Riley Pint has recovered from shoulder tendinitis and is throwing bullpens on his own. RHP Mike Nikorak has recovered from last season’s elbow soreness and is also throwing bullpens on his own. RHP Reid Humphreys has begun a throwing program in his recovery from last year’s season-ending shoulder surgery.