Sign Up! Join our newsletters, get a FREE e-Edition
Use the options to filter your search.
The Rockies never had taken a high school outfielder with their first pick before drafting Dahl 10th overall in 2012 and signing him for $2.6 million, He won MVP honors in the Rookie-level Pioneer League in his 2012 debut, hitting a league-leading .379 with a 27-game hitting streak and 1.048 OPS. But 2013 was a lost season. After Dahl played Opening Day for low Class A Asheville, the Rockies sent him to extended spring training, a disciplinary measure for making his own airline reservation out of spring training. He returned to Asheville in late April but a week later suffered a season-ending torn right hamstring while running to first base. During his rehab, he developed lower back soreness that prevented him from participating in instructional league. Dahl returned to Asheville in 2014 seeking to be a team leader and he fulfilled that goal. After his long layoff, he was understandably rusty early in the season, but after hitting .368/.395/.513 in 117 at-bats to begin the second half, he earned a promotion to high Class A Modesto where he hit safely in his final 12 games. The Rockies wanted to give Dahl playoff experience and boost Asheville's chances in the postseason, so he returned there for the final two games of the regular season and then helped the Tourists win the South Atlantic League championship by hitting .367/.424/.700 in seven playoff games. Dahl is a potential five-tool player. He is a pure hitter with very good hand-eye coordination who doesn't strike out too often. He can drive balls to all fields with an easy, loose, lefthanded swing. Dahl is a line-drive hitter, who occasionally will get away from that approach and try to hit home runs and attack pitches not in his hitting zone. He has extremely fast hands and has shown the ability to turn on inside fastballs in the low to mid-90s, an indication he will hit for power. He has the potential to hit 20-25 home runs if he reaches his ceiling. Dahl is a good bunter and being an aboveaverage runner helps him maximize that part of his game. He's a gifted center fielder. He runs down balls without fear, running into walls twice in the same week while making catches at Modesto and charging and diving for balls without hesitation. Dahl's instincts, first-step quickness and routes are all above-average. He has an above-average arm that is very accurate. Dahl's misspent 2013 season was a good teaching tool as far as dealing with and overcoming adversity and helping him mature. He could begin 2015 at Modesto but at some point during the season should reach Double-A New Britain. Toward the end of the 2016 season, Dahl could reach the big leagues where he has the potential to hit first, second or third in the lineup.
Gray signed for a franchise-record $4.8 million after being taken third overall in the 2013 draft, topping the $3.9 million lefthander Tyler Matzek received in 2009. Gray began his pro career at Rookie-level Grand Junction, where he was told to throw only one slider per batter because he had thrown the pitch excessively at Oklahoma. He moved up to high Class A Modesto and went 4-0, 0.75 in five starts after the restriction was lifted. At Double-A Tulsa in 2014, Gray dealt with the rigors of his first full season and was shut down with shoulder fatigue after an Aug. 20 start and didn't return. After reaching 102 mph on multiple occasions in 2013 and sitting at 95-96 with his four-seam fastball in 2013, Gray topped out at 96 and pitched around 94 in 2014. He has above-average command of his fastball for someone who throws that hard. Gray tired as the 2014 season progressed, causing his front side to slightly drift open, and he wasn't able to maintain the on-line delivery he had earlier. He had enough feel that he could make the adjustment with his changeup, but he got around his slider a little bit. His changeup is above-average at 87-88 mph with a little run and sink, and Gray has plus command of the pitch. His slider is average but has the potential to be above-average and an out pitch. Expect Gray to begin 2015 at Triple-A Albuquerque, and he could easily reach the majors. He has a durable frame and projects to be as good as a No. 2 starter. His biggest advancements will come once he learns to read hitters and situations and develop pitchability with his quality stuff.
Freeland was born and raised in Denver and drafted out of high school by the Phillies in the 35th round in 2011. He opted to attend Evansville and was taken eighth overall by the Rockies in 2014 and signed for $2.3 million. Some clubs had medical concerns about Freeland, but not the Rockies since their doctor performed arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow when he was in high school. Freeland is a strike-thrower with double-plus control and two well above-average pitches. His fastball ranges from 90-97 mph and sits in the 92-93 range. He commands it to both sides of the plate and comes inside fearlessly, not just for intent but to get outs. Freeland has a wipeout 84-86 mph slider. He can throw it with a very tight, late break with tilt and boring action or with more of a horizontal, late sweeping action--or anywhere in between. Freeland's main focus in instructional league was developing his changeup, which he didn't throw often in college. It's firm at 84-88 mph, but thanks to an altered grip has some fade. He throws across his body but has a loose arm action and is just where he needs to be when releasing the ball. If Freeland doesn't begin 2015 at Double-A New Britain, he should get there at some point during the season and might even reach the majors where he profiles as high as No. 2 in a rotation.
After being taken 46th overall in the 2012 draft and signing for $1 million, Butler finished the 2013 season at Double-A Tulsa. He returned there in 2014, and while trying to utilize his four-seamer more, he began overthrowing, causing his arm slot to rise slightly. His sinker didn't have the depth it had a year earlier, and his slider and curveball weren't as sharp. Hence, Butler wasn't ready when he made his major league debut on June 6. The following day, he showed up with soreness behind his right shoulder and ended up on the disabled list. Butler's sinker, changeup and slider are plus pitches with terrific movement. He also has a developing four-seamer that will get up to 97 mph and an average curveball that is more of a showme pitch. Butler's sinker, his most dominant pitch, sits at 93-94 mph and has late action. So does his 87 mph changeup, which is his best secondary pitch. His 86 mph slider is sharp and tight but needs a bit more downward tilt. Butler eventually returned to Tulsa and made two late-September starts for the Rockies, but after the second he developed upper-back soreness that caused him to miss the Arizona Fall League. He has gotten stronger, which should help him maintain his delivery in 2015 at Triple-A Albuquerque. His raw stuff gives him a ceiling as a No. 2 starter.
McMahon was a quarterback at perennial California power Mater Dei High but signed with the Rockies for $1,327,600 instead of following through on his commitment to play baseball at Southern California. After ranking second in the Rookie-level Pioneer League in slugging (.583) in 2013, he moved up to low Class A Asheville and tied teammate Correlle Prime for the South Atlantic League lead in RBIs (102) and finished second in OPS (.860) and doubles (46) and tied for second in runs (93). McMahon has a loose, easy lefthanded swing and impressive power to all fields, particularly his pull side, for such a young hitter. He also has a chance to hit for average once his pitch recognition and plate discipline improve and he becomes a more mature, patient hitter. McMahon has a plus arm, soft hands and should develop plus range because he's an instinctual player. He makes the difficult reaction plays at third base and will make the more routine plays that have given him trouble once he gets his feet in synch with his arm. McMahon has a good feel for the game and, drawing on his days as a quarterback, has proven to be a leader on the field despite playing with older players. He will play at high Class A Modesto in 2015 and profiles as an impact middle-of-the-order run producer in the majors.
Murphy is the fifth catcher the Rockies have taken as high as the third round since they began drafting in 1992. After beginning his first full season in 2013 at low Class A Asheville, he played his final 20 games of that season at Double-A Tulsa. He returned there in 2014, only to have his season end May 15 due to a right rotator cuff strain. Murphy avoided surgery and was at full strength toward the end of the season, but the Rockies decided not to risk playing him and having him enter the offseason in a rehab mode. Murphy is exceptionally strong and can impact a game on both sides of the ball. He has well above-average arm strength, an aggressive transfer and possesses above-average accuracy and receiving and blocking skills. Murphy is a leader who commands both the clubhouse and the pitching staff. He has a short, simple swing that generates plus power to all fields but needs to improve his strike-zone awareness and plate discipline. With his bat speed and strength, Murphy was looking to pull the ball too often early in the season, which made him vulnerable to pitches on the outer portion of the plate. Murphy likely will return to Tulsa to begin 2015, but with a few good months could move to Triple-A Albuquerque. The Rockies project him to be an everyday catcher, giving them an upgrade over Wilin Rosario.
Wall is the highest drafted high school second baseman--35th overall-- since the draft moved to a single phase in 1987. He committed to North Carolina but signed for an above-slot $2 million. He had labrum surgery on his right shoulder in November 2011 followed by a rushed rehab program that severely limited his arm strength. Wall is a pure hitter with loose hands who still finds a way to barrel up the ball because of his extraordinary handeye coordination, even when he opens his front hip prematurely and is off balance. He makes steady contact and drives the ball, especially to his pull side. His offspeed recognition is quite good for a young hitter, but he can chase fastballs up. Wall has above-average raw power that should become more a part of his game as he gains strength. Defensively, he needs work on his footwork and exchanges around second base turning double plays. His arm strength, while well below-average, improved during the 2014 season and could one day play as fringe-average as he continues in the Rockies' strength and rehab program. Wall should play at low Class A Asheville in 2015. If turning the double play proves too challenging, he could end up in center field, but he projects to be an impact bat at the top of the order.
Senzatela signed for $250,000 in 2011 and dominated in the Dominican Summer League in 2012 and half of 2013 before being promoted in the middle of that year to short-season Tri-City. He served as the youngest and best starter in a strong low Class A Asheville rotation in 2014, going 8-1, 1.84 in 13 second-half starts and allowing one homer in 73 innings. Senzatela has a plus fastball that will reach 96 mph and sit around 93 with late life and a good downhill angle. Despite his youth, he has a mature body with little projection, so future velocity gains are unlikely. His fastball is fairly straight but is somewhat sneaky and gets on hitters quickly. Senzatela is able to command the pitch to both sides of the plate. The same with his straight changeup, which is an above-average pitch that works well off his fastball. After showing little feel for a curveball, he began working on a slider in instructional league and threw some good ones in sessions and live batting practice. He has the makings of a good slider, but it's a work in progress and lacks consistency. Senzatela will pitch at high Class A Modesto in 2015. He could be a No. 4 starter in the big leagues.
Herrera signed for $550,000 in 2009, played well in the Rookie-level Pioneer League in 2011 but saved his big breakthrough for low Class A Asheville in 2013, when he won both the South Atlantic League batting title (.343) and MVP honors. Inflammation in both wrists sabotaged his encore at high Class A Modesto in 2014, forcing him out for five weeks early in the season and bothering him for the balance of the year. Herrera has a long, loose body and loose actions. The switch-hitter is much better from the left side, while his long limbs give him extension and enable him to make adjustments to hit different pitches in and out of the zone. Herrera still has breaking-ball and count-management issues, but he has good bat speed and has developed a balanced approach. His long actions are a hindrance at shortstop and third base, where he's a below-average defender, so the Rockies tried him in center field during 2014 instructional league. Herrera is instinctively natural when it comes to reads and first-step quickness in the outfield and has a solid-average to plus arm. His accuracy will improve as he gets experience with outfield hops. The Rockies say the outfield is an addition for Herrera, not a conversion from the infield, and now that he has been fitted for special wrist braces, he should be at full health in 2015, when he faces a likely return to Modesto.
Tapia signed for $175,000 in 2010 and after two seasons in the Dominican Summer League, he led the Rookie-level Pioneer League in batting (.357) and hits (92) in 2013 and had a 29-game hitting streak. At low Class A Asheville in 2014, he finished third in the South Atlantic League in batting (.326), tied for second in runs (93) and tied for third in hits (157). Tapia has exceptional hand-eye coordination, uses his hands well and has plus bat speed and the ability to manipulate the barrel. He has an upright stance until he gets to two strikes, when he spreads out and squats way down, and consistently generates hard two-strike contact. He can be overly emotional when things aren't going his way on the field, and he can lose focus on defense. In batting practice, Tapia has easy pull-side power, and given his great swing it should start to play as he as he gains strength. He mostly played left field at Asheville until David Dahl moved up to high Class A Modesto and then took over in center field, which he is equipped to play. He is at least an average runner, whose reads and jumps are decent. He has plus arm strength, but his accuracy needs work. Tapia has at least average tools across the board aside from his power, and should play at high Class A Modesto in 2015.
Castellani signed for $1.1 million as the 48th overall pick in the 2014 draft, then held his own against older players at short-season Tri-City. He has a strong, lanky pitcher's body, a loose arm action and a balanced, clean delivery. Castellani displayed a calmness and maturity beyond his years, a fearlessness about pitching inside and good downhill angle on his fastball. His sinker is an above-average pitch at 91-93 mph with late depth. He controls but doesn't command his changeup but can keep the pitch down and throws it comfortably and willingly. He worked on his glove-side fastball command and his slider in instructional league. He's working to make that pitch tighter with a late break. Castellani could have three plus pitches and projects to be a solid No. 3 starter if he reaches his ceiling. He could start 2015 in extended spring training but should end up at low Class A Asheville, if he doesn't begin the year there.
Story signed for $915,000 after the Rockies took him 45th overall in 2011, but his struggles to make consistent contact have kept him from fulfilling his potential. He has trouble with sliders down and away, and fastballs both in and up, and he needs to eliminate at least one of those holes in his swing. He carries his hands with him at times while striding, keeping him from reading and recognizing pitches. Story has good hand-eye coordination and plus bat speed but will pull off his lower half, causing balance issues that make it hard for him to get to anything spinning on the outer half of the plate. He has enough bat speed and bat strength to let the ball travel, and he did a better job last year of not sitting on his back side, though in Double-A he had trouble keeping his lower half closed. In the field, Story doesn't always react to balls as a shortstop must and seemed a step slow. He even played five games last year at second base, where he may end up. After struggling in Double-A last year, Story will probably return to that level to begin 2015 at the Rockies' new New Britain affiliate.
Jimenez started the 2014 season in extended spring training before heading to low Class A Asheville on May 20. The delay had nothing to do with his skills or injury. Instead, the Rockies wanted him to work on improving his English before heading off to a full-season league. Jimenez signed as a switch-hitter, but because he was undersized and lacked strength, the Rockies had him bat from his natural lefthanded side only. Now that he has filled out, Jimenez reinstituted his righthanded swing during instructional league in the Dominican Republic. He is an aggressive defensive player who can throw accurately from all angles with plus arm strength, and he makes all the agile reaction plays required of a premium shortstop. Jimenez projects to be a top-of-the-order hitter with the ability to hit line drives from gap to gap. He could open the 2015 season back at Asheville but should move to high Class A Modesto.
Padlo signed for an above-slot $650,000 bonus as the Rockies swayed him from a University of San Diego commitment. He is strong, with impressive power for a high school player. His strike-zone awareness is not bad for a young hitter, and he had nearly as many walks (31) as strikeouts (38) in his debut and thrived in pressure situations. He has no problem turning on a fastball, though he sometimes gets in trouble chasing fastballs up. Padlo can get pull-happy but drove the ball to the opposite field toward the end of the season. He has a solid, accurate arm with hands that are good enough for third base. He gets a little flat-footed at times and will emphasize skill work over strength work to gain agility and improve his footwork and first-step quickness. Padlo has a thick body for an 18-year-old and will have to watch his weight so his lower half get doesn't get too thick. He likely will play at low Class A Asheville in 2015.
If the flame-throwing Diaz looks like a pitcher in a catcher's body, that's because he spent the first two years of his career behind the plate. An anemic bat coupled with a strong arm prompted a move to the mound in 2010. His triple-digit fastball and nasty slider carried him all the way to Anaheim in 2014, and the Rockies grabbed him in a December trade for Josh Rutledge. Diaz shortened his arm action significantly last year, adding deception, helping him repeat his delivery and producing better velocity. His powerful delivery has effort as he turns his hip toward third base and then explodes toward the hitter. His plus-plus fastball sits 97-98 mph and hits 100 at times, though it has below-average life and Diaz will need to command it better. His hard slider sits at 87-90 mph and is a true out pitch when it's on. He has a changeup with split action, but he uses it infrequently. Diaz made incredible strides in 2014, and the Rockies will look for him to earn a spot in the big league bullpen out of spring training.
Health has become a major concern with Anderson, who won Texas League pitcher of the year honors at Double-A Tulsa in 2014 after leading the circuit in ERA (1.98), opponent average (.216) and WHIP (1.11). He left a Sept. 10 playoff start after three innings, however, and doctors found a stress fracture in his left elbow, the same injury that caused him to be scratched from the Arizona Fall League in 2013. Anderson dealt with a sports hernia in 2012 and also missed nine weeks in 2013 with shoulder soreness. He missed two May starts last year with elbow soreness but otherwise was healthy until September. Anderson is analytical, extremely competitive and has a good feel for pitching as well as a deceptive delivery. He challenges hitters on the inner half and pitches to both sides of the plate with an 89-90 mph fastball that will reach 93. He has added an 86-89 mph cutter that has become his best secondary pitch, followed by a changeup that has average depth. He also has a curveball that he uses sparingly. If healthy, he should begin 2015 at Triple-A Albuquerque and projects as a back-end starter.
It took an above-slot bonus of $800,000 to keep Nunez from going to UCLA out of the 2013 draft. He played second base and shortstop in his pro debut but was considered a step slow, and the Rockies moved him behind the plate in instructional league that fall. Nunez returned to Rookie-level Grand Junction in 2014 and served as a team leader. He is an exceptional receiver whose footwork and exchange are quick, leading to pop times on throws to second base of about 1.9 seconds. He has more than enough arm strength but needs to improve his accuracy. His baseball IQ may be his greatest strength. Nunez is a line-drive, gap-to-gap hitter with pull power. His stroke can get a little long, resulting in a lot of balls in the air, though he did a much better job last season of staying in the middle of the field and swinging at strikes he could hit. He will make his full-season debut at low Class A Asheville in 2015.
Briceno spent an entire year with a full-season club for the first time in 2014 and his catching improved dramatically. He has the tools to be a standout catcher, with a well above-average arm with above-average accuracy, and he recorded pop times of about 1.8 seconds on throws to second base thanks to an efficient exchange. He is working to block balls better, and if he gets that down he could move quickly. Briceno is a potential impact bat with impressive raw power to all fields. He tried too hard to hit home runs in the first half of the 2014 season, so he was pull-happy and guessing, which led to one in 141 at-bats. He settled down in the second half and hit 11 homers in 174 at-bats. Better posture at the plate helped him. Briceno used to be hunched over and was vulnerable to fastballs inside, so he had to cheat, but now he is more upright and can handle all pitch types. He is introverted, so he'll have to work on his leadership, which the Rockies stressed in instructional league. He'll move up to high Class A Modesto in 2015.
After not signing with the Athletics as an 18th-rounder out of high school in Puerto Rico, Gonzalez attended Bethune-Cookman, a historically black college in Daytona Beach, Fla., whose baseball coach Jason Beverlin recruits P.R. Gonzalez began the 2014 season at high Class A Modesto in a setup role but began closing in late May when Raul Fernandez faltered. Gonzalez did not allow a home run in 56 innings, making it two straight seasons totaling 110 innings in which he has not yielded a homer. He is an extreme groundball pitcher, whose groundout/airout ratio was 3.3 in 2014. Gonzalez has tremendous stuff and doesn't throw anything straight but has below-average command of three pitches. His heavy sinker ranges from 90-95 mph and sits around 93. He throws a changeup around 80 mph with good depth and a devastating 85-86 mph cutter with sharp bite and downward tilt. Gonzalez continually pitches himself into trouble, which shouldn't happen with stuff suited for the back end of the bullpen. But to be reliable in the eighth or ninth, Gonzalez will have to improve his control. He should begin the 2015 season at Double-A New Britain.
Parker made his major league debut in 2014, earning three stints with the Rockies that amounted to 18 games and three starts. He possesses righthanded power, which teams covet and which will be his makeor- break tool. A former quarterback at Clemson, he signed for $1.4 million after the Rockies took him 26th overall in 2010. Parker has decent bat speed but has had contact issues. He has the power to profile in right field, and he actually hits with more authority versus same-side pitchers, slugging .507 against righties since 2012, compared to .436 versus lefties. He started playing at first base in 2013, but right field is his best position. He is a below-average defensive player there but has a strong, accurate arm. At first base, he needs work reading groundballs and short hops. His plate discipline and ability to stay on the ball and go to right field have improved. Parker might not have the power output or show the on-base ability to start for a first-division team, but his power would play in a complementary role. He probably will head to Triple-A to open 2015.
Elbow soreness delayed Moll's 2014 debut until Aug. 2, after he missed a month with a broken toe at the end of 2013. A starter in college, he seems destined to end up in the bullpen, where he could work in a high-leverage role facing tough lefthanded batters. For now he might continue starting for developmental reasons. He has flashed three plus pitches at times, with a feel for how to use them. Moll sits at 93-94 mph and touches 96 with a fastball that has a lot of run. He commands the pitch well but can miss up at times while reaching for more stuff. He has a putaway, mid-80s slider that can overmatch both righties and lefties and comes right out of his fastball slot with no change in his delivery. His changeup has depth and sink and is at times a plus pitch. Moll had minor surgery on his elbow on Sept. 19 and is expected to be ready to open the season at high Class A Modesto.
Prime spent his first two seasons at Rookie-level Grand Junction before moving up to low Class A Asheville in 2014 and blossoming into a prospect. He led the South Atlantic League in doubles (47), tied teammate Ryan McMahon for the lead in RBIs (102) and finished second in slugging (.520). An exceptionally hard worker with good makeup, Prime always had power to all fields but shortened his swing and learned to use his lower half. He began his pro career as an inside-out hitter who primarily hit with his hands and filled up right-center field. New swing mechanics have given him better balance and control of the barrel, enabling him to get on top of the ball and pull pitches on the inner half. Prime can hit balls that are down and middle-in a long way. His ability to adjust the bat head within the zone will be key for him moving up. He is decent defensively with soft hands and a good arm at first base, and he is working to improve his lateral movement. He should play at high Class A Modesto in 2015.
Tommy John surgery caused Oberg to miss his junior year at Connecticut, but he returned as a redshirt junior in 2012, recorded nine saves and was drafted by the Rockies in the 15th round. With a competitive edge and high level of aggressiveness, he has a closer's mentality and has converted 61 of 68 professional save opportunities. The Rockies would have called him up last season to help their leaky bullpen, but right shoulder soreness ended his season in August. Oberg throws a 93-96 mph fastball for strikes, but he needs to refine his command. He also owns a power curveball and an improved changeup. He has worked on a slider, throwing it well in warmups--but not in games. His slider would give him a pitch to open up both sides of the zone, while also providing more of a command breaking pitch, which would allay concerns that his sharp curveball might not be called for strikes in the big leagues. Oberg had what was termed minor shoulder surgery on Aug. 28 but is expected to be ready for spring training. If healthy, he would probably open the season at Triple-A but could contribute in the big leagues in 2015.
The Cubs drafted Howard in the 48th round in 2011, but he went to Georgia Southern and signed for $672,100 after the Rockies took him in the third round in 2014. He has a lanky body and a clean and easy delivery, and his fastball sits at 91-92 mph, touching 94 consistently. He throws an explosive fastball and improved his command of it as the 2014 season went on. During instructional league he worked on throwing with a good downhill angle, and hitters have a hard time elevating it when he does. Howard came to pro ball with a poor curveball and cutter that was big and flat. In instructional league, he developed a better hybrid breaking ball with depth. He needs to tweak his grip on the pitch and stop trying to throw it so hard. His changeup is inconsistent but flashes plus and should be effective against righthanders. Howard does not handle failure well and needs to gain maturity in that area. He could start 2015 in extended spring training but should get a look at low Class A Asheville.
Aquino spent the bulk of 2014 at high Class A Modesto before making his final two starts at Double-A Tulsa. A major challenge has been to throw his fastball more and not be overly reliant on his well aboveaverage changeup. He improved in 2014, but more because of an organization mandate rather than making the adjustment himself. He touches 92 mph and pitches at 88-89 with his fastball that has run but not much sink. Aquino still needs to be able to command his fastball in to righthanders. His changeup is typically 10 mph slower than his fastball, has a little run and is his best pitch. But with runners on base, he falls into a pattern of throwing changeup after changeup. His 11-to-5 curveball is a tick above-average, but the pitch suffers because he tends to drift in his delivery. Aquino should return to Double-A to open 2015.
Estevez is broad-shouldered, with a big body and has a tremendous arm with a double-plus fastball and below-average secondary stuff. He creates a tremendous angle when he pitches down but doesn't do it enough. He topped out at 98 mph and often pitched at 95-96 with his fastball last season, but tends to pitch up in the zone. He has trouble spinning a curveball, which is why he began throwing a low-80s slider in 2014. His straight changeup is firm and sits around 87 mph. It's not a huge action pitch, but he throws it with enough speed variance from his fastball to be effective. Estevez's command is below-average on all his pitches, but he has an easy arm action and the potential to become a high-leverage reliever. He should pitch at high Class A Modesto in 2015.
Patterson was a two-way player at South Alabama, where he also threw 90-93 mph as a lefthanded reliever. After a solid debut in 2013, he got off to a slow start in 2014 at low Class A Asheville, hitting .220 in April and .222 in May before making an adjustment that got him on track. He toned down excessive pre-pitch movement in his hands and wrists, while simplifying a leg kick that improved his timing, especially on offspeed pitches. Patterson has plus raw power, which should enable him to approach 20 homers in the big leagues. His swing can get a little long, but when his approach is right, he keeps his hands inside the ball and incorporates his back side to make consistent hard contact. Patterson is an average to tick above-average runner. He has a well above-average, accurate arm to go with above-average first-step quickness and range in right field. He should play at high Class A Modesto in 2015, and the Rockies love his makeup and deceptive athleticism.
Rodriguez led the short-season Northwest League in innings (91) and WHIP (1.09) last season while ranking second in ERA (1.97). Rodriguez, whose twin brother Herlis is an outfielder in the Phillies system, is not afraid to come inside to batters on either side of the plate. He pitches at 90 mph with his fastball, touching 93, and commands the pitch to both sides of the plate. Toward the end of the season he tinkered with a two-seam fastball. He has a well above-average changeup that he'll throw in any count. It has late action when thrown at 78-82 mph but can be too firm. In instructional league, Rodriguez put his curveball aside to work on a harder breaking pitch with sharp, late break. A groundball pitcher, he generated 2.3 groundouts for every airout in 2014 because of the angle and depth on his fastball and changeup. His ceiling is that of a No. 4 starter, and he will pitch at low Class A Asheville in 2015.
Jiminian spent two years in the Dominican Summer League and two in short-season leagues before moving up to low Class A Asheville in 2014. He pitches at 91 mph and tops out at 94 with a fastball that is pretty straight, but he has an active front side that provides deception. He struggles to stay on line and in sync in his delivery. His curveball is below-average, and his changeup is average. Jiminian has stuff but needs to command all his pitches better, which should happen if he can develop a repeatable delivery and mound rhythm. Otherwise, he could end up in the bullpen. He sometimes lacks fire on the mound and needs to be tougher and pitch inside more. Jiminian should pitch at high Class A Modesto in 2015.
Rogers was drafted in the 28th round in 2012 by the Red Sox but didn't sign. He wasn't drafted after his first season at Spartanburg Methodist but hit .351/.479/.476 last season, and the Rockies signed him for $360,000 as their fourth-round pick. Rogers is a pure center fielder, and his lanky build and long strides have drawn comparisons to former Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler. His first-step quickness and speed enable him to cover a lot of ground. He has a fringy arm. Rogers has bat speed and the strength to turn on fastballs but needs to improve his breaking ball recognition and put the ball in play more. He has the speed to steal bases but needs refinement. Rogers could play at low Class A Asheville in 2015.