Colorado Rockies 2020 Top 10 MLB Prospects Chat
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Adam from Boston asks:
Does Jesus Tinoco have closer "stuff" or was that more a sign of what the rockies have to fill the back end of the bullpen in the future?
He has the stuff to step into that role, but will have to get more comfortable in the late innings. With Davis and Oberg the Rockies have immediate options, which will provide Tinoco a chance to settle in.
Karl of Delaware from Georgetown, Delaware asks:
Of the pitchers moving up to Asheville from the short season leagues, which are your favorites?
Jacob Wallace is a legit reliever. Command with a fastball mid to upper 90s and slider in mid 80s. Has a closer mentality. Will Ethridge is a student, strikethrower and with a sinker/slider mix to go with a changeup shouldn't be bothered by that right field in Asheville. Helcris Olivarez has size and a tough arm angle for hitters. Lefthander sits mid 90s with fastball but hits streaks of inconsistency. He could go back to open the year. Gavin Hollowell hits 96 with fastball that has vertical movement, with a good slider and some funk. Fits well at back end of bullpen. Anderson Pilar big time curveball and a cut fastball. Jared Horn fastball 89-93 and curveball is 73-76. Decent slider. Too reliant on fastball.
Karl of Delaware from Georgetown, Delaware asks:
Former 1st rounders Nikorak and Pint have not progressed as expected, to say the least. Do you harbor much hope for either in the future?
Pint is still considered possible power arm in bullpen. Nikorak is in limbo. Both have battled injuries and have not made progress.
Karl of Delaware from Georgetown, Delaware asks:
Boise (short season) and Grand Junction (rookie) will be with us at least until 2021. What criteria do the Rockies use to place a player on one or the other?
Usually younger players go to Grand Junction. Boise is a step higher competition.
Sean from Virginia Beach asks:
Speculation hat on - Nolan Arenado is traded. Is Colton Welker the everyday 3rd basemen? Speculation hat off - Does Colton Welker have the ability/chance to be a utility player at 2nd?
He has a chance to be every day player but not this year. If somehow Arenado is traded -- which is up in the air -- McMahon could figure at third base, his original position.
Colton Welker from Bounceback 2020? asks:
Hi Tracy, thanks for chatting with us today. As mentioned in the write-up, I started the year red hot and was on my way solidifying myself in the elite tier of hitters in the minors, how my season took a 180 and nosedived the rest of the year. Do you think 2019 was actually a good development experience for me and I'm poised for a bounce back in 2020?
Obviously it's up to Welker, but the organization and scouts still feel you have the type of ability to be a Top 10 prospect. Eastern League managers voted him best hitter in the league. Tough finish but the shoulder sublaxation was likely a part of that.
John from Colorado asks:
Please elaborate on Riley Pint....best fastball and curveball in the org but not in the top 10?! What’s his future looking like?
He has to stay healthy and has to throw strikes. Both of those have been problems. His pro ledger is limited on innings.
Jeff from Idaho asks:
From scouts you talked to, were Grant Lavigne's struggles more centered around a young player making adjustments to a newer, more challenging level or were there legitimate concerns about his skillset (exit velocity, in-game power, etc.)?
At the full-season level, coming out of New Hampshire, the schedule was a challenge. He had a solid start but struggled as season went on. He has the athleticism and mental approach that there were no red flags.
Jonathan from Waverly, Ohio asks:
Where do you see Ryan Vilade in the future plans for the rockies? I think he improved last summer, it seemed his power showed up well at times. Thanks for your time!
He is getting every chance to stay at shortstop, but third base, first base or left field could enter into the equation.
Matt from Denver asks:
Colton Welker was truly breaking out as one of the best hitters in the minors the first 3rd of 2019 before getting hurt. Was his demise the rest of the year due to nagging injuries or was it a case of him trying to suddenly do too much at the plate? He has always hit everywhere he's been. Should we consider the 2nd half a blimp in his overall development and expect him to come back and tear up the Eastern League in 2020 en route to AAA?
I wouldn't be concerned about him. A shoulder sublexation can require some time to bounce back. The young man can and will hit. Challenges will show how mentally tough he is (which is not in question).
Dan from Cal asks:
Thanks for the chat. I see in the NWL top 20 Tovar is ranked above Toglia. Then Toglia is in the Rockies top ten but not Tovar. Is this a timing thing when rankings come out and Toglia impressed more between rankings?
The NWL top 20 would have come out before the Rockies top 10 was put together. Feeling is strong that Toglia will go to advanced A with potential to finish the coming season at Double-A. He has legit power and good strikezone command. Can't tell you anything about the NWL top 20. Wasn't involved in that.
Grant Lavigne from Approach Change? asks:
After getting off to an unbelievable start after being drafted in 2018, I really struggled to find consistency in 2019. Do you think I need to change my approach at the plate (a la Yoan Moncada) and attack the balls in the zone earlier in counts? It sounded like I was passive and often found myself in 2 strike counts. Did scouts still see all the tools (great approach/above average power potential) that made me BA's #1 Pioneer League prospect in 2018?
Like with a lot of young players, patience will be a key. He has good strike zone knowledge and raw power. He has to be more aggressive. It's a big adjustment from a limited high school schedule in New Hampshire to the challenge of the first full season in pro ball.
Gregg from Minnesota asks:
Tracy, what are your thoughts on Brian Mundell in 2020. Know he is a little long in the tooth, but with their issues at 1B I thought he would have gotten a chance last year. What he lacks in power he seems to make up with strike zone control, glove and make up?
First basmean need to show power. Mundell is highly regarded with his work ethic, and leadership abilities. The position is going to be an issue that is addressed
Fred Vincy from Illinois asks:
To an outsider, the Rockies seem reluctant to trust their prospects at the big league level. Do you see them giving a starting job to Sam Hilliard (if not out of camp at least early in the season)?
If you look at their roster, they are a very home-grown team. They have never been reluctant to trust their prospects. Hilliard is very much in the running for an outfield position. He has come a long way from the junior college pitcher who transferred to Wichita State and after struggling on the mound made the move to the outfield. Excellent athlete, strong arm. Has to stay aggressive but cut down on strikeouts.
KB from NY asks:
Rockies have three former 1st round picks currently set to play 1B. Michael Toglia looks to have the most potential. Who is a good comp for this powerful, slick fielding switch hitter? How about Lance Berkman?
Don't like to make comparisons. Will say Toglia has power, and potnetial but he just came off a season at the short-season level. Obviously the Rockies like his potential and have for some time. They also drafted him out of high school, in addition to taking him in the first round last June.
Peter from Providence asks:
Colo. giving the 1B prospects of the world some love! Is Toglia the highest primarily because of his smooth defense? And between him, Lavigne, and Nevin, who has the highest offensive ceiling?
Toglia is a plus defensive player and also a proven hitter at a high level in college. They all three of high potential offensively. Why put a ceiling on any of them?
Rich from Col asks:
What happened to Grant Lavigne. There was so much promise coming off of his debut in the Pioneer League after being drafted in 2018. Was this a case of a guy who never really faced good competition adjusting to full season ball? Do you know if the Rockies worked with him during fall instructs to be more aggressive at the plate?
To go from a 20-game or so schedule in high school the full-season grind and bus rides in pro ball can be a challenge. He has the athleticism and mental approach to be fine. He needs to be more aggressive, but that will come with time.
PurpleFan from Denver asks:
Any pitching prospects to watch from Rookie and Short Season?
From Boise the top pitchers were lefty Reagan Todd, who finished the season at Asheville, and Jacob Wallace, who led the Pioneer League in saves and showed a strikeout ability. Wander Cabrera is a young pitcher out of Latin America worth watching. Righthander Anderson Bido made the move from the Rockies Latin Program to Grand Junction has tied for the league lead with six wins (no losses). Gavin Hollowell struck out 30 in 18 2/3 innings out of the bullpen, converting all seven save opportunities.
Tyler S from Framingham, MA asks:
What does Ryan Castellani still have to offer as a ceiling and floor at the major league level? I know he was decent in the fall league but there hasn’t been any sign of consistency in his numbers over the last 3 years at AA and AAA but he continues to rank highly in prospect status year over year.
I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the big leagues at some point in 2020. He got away from his three-quarter delivery for a while and it didn't work. He is a rare breed, better velocity and command when he drops a little bit.
hal from hawaii asks:
Thanks for the chat. What chance do you think Riley Pint has of becoming a ML starting pitcher? Can his problems be fixed?
His plus is he hasn't given up on himself. First, he has to stay healthy. Second, he has to throw strikes. If he does both of those things he has big-league potential.
Brian from Somewhere in GA asks:
Hi Tracy, hope the range is treating you well. (I gotta get out there to hike sometime). Who do you foresee in Asheville this year?
They have a group of potentially intriguing players from the short-season teams. Every reason to expect a competitive team.
Zach from Colorado asks:
Does Ryan Rolison have a chance to make it up to the majors this year? Or is he still a few years away?
There is always a chance, but there is no reason to rush a pitcher to Coors Field. The Rockies farm system is set up with ballparks that challenge pitchers so they get a chance to make adjustments (mentally as much as anything) before being put on the mound at Coors Field.
Sam from New Mexico asks:
How do you see the Rockies attempting to get enough at bats for all of the corner infielders (i.e., Welker, Nevin, Lavigne, Toglia, Schunk) in their system that will likely be at Advanced A & AA? Seems like there are more players than available positions.
There are at-bats at DH, first base and third base, and maybe some time in the outfield. I don't see that as a worry
Adam from Boston asks:
He was mentioned above, so what are your and scouts' thoughts on Ezequiel Tovar?
Athletic, but young and inexperienced. Has played shortstop and second base. Shows range and arm. He turn 18 last August. Let him fill out and make adjustments. Has physical skills.
Brad from NJ asks:
It seems like Rodgers does well moves up a level, struggles, then improves and this patter repeats. Is this a positive development wise to struggle and adjust over and over? Is he still a potential .270-25HR guy who when you add in the Coors effect that could go up higher?
I'd say it is positive because it shows his ability to adjust and move on, and not worry about what happened. He has impact potential. Most likely will start the season in extended in his recovery from surgery, but figures to be in the big leagues before mid-season.