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Track Record: Just what the Rockies think of Rodgers is as obvious as the franchise-record $5.5 million bonus he received after being selected third overall in the 2015 draft, behind shortstops Dansby Swanson and Alex Bregman. They both came out of college and have made the big leagues. Rodgers, a high school sign, is now on the verge of getting his own opportunity at the highest level. Selected to play in the Futures Game in 2018, he was promoted late in the season to Triple-A Albuquerque. He struggled there not only with shoulder tightness, but also a slight hamstring issue, which led to the Rockies deciding against a plan to send him to the Arizona Fall League. Scouting Report: Rodgers has worked to maintain consistency with the lower half of his body when he is hitting, helping him improve his ability to stay on breaking pitches, which at each level become more challenging because the pitchers are more refined. He is an active hitter, who is in attack mode, and his brief time in Triple-A underscored to him that veteran pitchers will exploit that aggressiveness with their mixture of pitches. Still, he shows the potential to be a plus hitter with above-average power. He was drafted as a shortstop and has shown the ability to remain at that position. The Rockies, however, in their organizational approach, also worked him at second base in his first three years, and in 2018 added third base as an option. He has shown an aptitude for all three thanks to above-average range and a plus arm. Crucially, he has recognized the importance of defense, which wasn't as big an issue in high school when he was such a dominant hitter. There is a growing feeling that he could wind up being a shortstop, though second or third base could provide a quick promotion in light of the recent loss of DJ LeMahieu to free agency, not to mention third baseman Nolan Arenado's potential free agency following the 2019 season. The Future: Given his power, Rodgers will be a plus offensive weapon as a middle infielder. He has shown the ability to adapt to the higher quality of pitching at each level, getting an education in his brief exposure at Albuquerque. Veteran pitchers at Triple-A have more thorough scouting reports on how to attack hitters and sharper pitches that will require ongoing adjustment by Rodgers.
Track Record: In his third pro season, Welker continued to establish the fact he has an impact bat. An injury kept him from qualifying for a batting title in the South Atlantic League in 2017. He was healthy throughout the 2018 season and claimed the batting championship in the high Class A California League. He has hit a composite .335 in his professional career. Scouting Report: Welker has natural leverage to hit for above-average power in his swing. As he fills out and gets stronger there is the expectation he will develop middle-of-the-lineup power, a lot like Nolan Arenado, who never hit more than 18 home runs in a minor league season. He has that hitting instinct, using the entire field. As part of the Rockies' versatility push, he put in some time at first base in the second half of 2018 at Lancaster. Third base, though, is his future. He has the reactions, soft hands and arm strength to handle both corners with an accurate arm. The Future: Welker should be big league ready some time in 2020. The expectation is he will settle in quickly at Double-A and be moved up to Albuquerque at some point in 2019, which could facilitate his rise to the big leagues. He remains the focus of the Rockies' future at third base.
Track Record: The Rockies jumped Lambert to Triple-A Albuquerque at midseason and he struggled for the first time in his career. That was a major step forward because it led to Lambert realizing adjustments needed to be made to offset the impact of altitude. It's promising, however, that he continued to throw strikes even as other numbers deteriorated. Scouting Report: Lambert has a legitimate four-pitch mix to work in a major league rotation. He is not going to overpower, but he understands the art of pitching. He mixes his repertoire, moves the ball around and has pinpoint control. His go-to pitch off his fastball is a legitimate plus curveball. He works his plus changeup in regularly. His fringy slider is a definite fourth pitch. He works off a fastball that sits in the low 90s, but with his feel for locating and deception in his delivery, hitters have trouble catching up to his heater. The Future: The Rockies have a young core at the big league level, so it will be easy to send Lambert back to Albuquerque, which is the same altitude as Denver. He can adjust there. Lambert is on a fast track to move into the rotation when a need arises and is seen as a No. 3 or 4 starter type because of his command and moxie.
Track Record: Rolison has been on the radar for some time. He was a second-team All-American out of high school, but he slipped in the 2016 draft because of a strong commitment to Mississippi. He became the third pitcher in Ole Miss history to have at least 10 wins and 100 strikeouts in a season. Keeping with Colorado's philosophy in the draft, Rolison's workload in his pro debut was limited so the organization could get to know him and not overextend him after a heavy workload in the spring. He impressed enough in his nine appearances that he was held back to pitch a game in the Pioneer League championship series, only to see Grand Junction eliminated in the semi-finals. Scouting Report: Rolison is a Kyle Freeland type. He pitches at 92-93 mph with his fastball and commands a breaking ball that is more of a curveball than slider. His breaking pitch needs refinement. Rolison also has a changeup but was limited in using it at the college level. He commands both sides of the plate and repeats his delivery. The Future: Rolison figures to move quickly through the development process considering his awareness and willingness to adjust to situations. He has strong fastball command. The key now is refining the curveball and becoming more comfortable with usage of his changeup, which is a critical pitch at Coors Field. He has a No. 4 starter type of profile.
A 35th-round pick of the Rockies out of high school, Toglia hit seven home runs in the Cape Cod League last summer to set himself up for a big junior year. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound switch-hitter struggled with his timing early in the season, but he got red-hot the final month and was batting .316 with 16 doubles, 16 home runs and a .633 slugging percentage through the last day of regionals. Toglia has an easy swing from both sides of the plate with power to all fields. When his approach and swing are right, Toglia turns around high-end velocity and looks the part of a potential 30-home run hitter. He has had some dry spells when he gets too passive and allows his front side to drift, which causes him to lack hip rotation and leads to inconsistency with his swing plane. Toglia is athletic and has the tools to be a plus defender at first base or an above-average defender in the corner outfield. His power potential and athleticism bode well for his future, but scouts have some concerns about the swing-and-miss and inconsistency Toglia’s game, especially as he advances to the next level.
Track Record: There has never been a position player from New Hampshire who turned pro out of high school and made it to the big leagues. And now, along comes Lavigne, the highest-drafted high school player (42nd overall) ever out of the Granite State. He hit .400 or better each of his four years in high school, and as a senior walked 30 times in 90 plate appearances and struck out just six times, showing excellent plate discipline. He developed a feel for the wood bat when he played three summers in a wood bat league in New England. Scouting Report: Lavigne's strike-zone discipline and knowledge are upper echelon, particularly for a big-time power threat. Scouts talk about seeing him battle from an 0-2 count to 3-2 and hitting an opposite field home run. He ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Rookie-level Pioneer League in his pro debut after leading the league with 45 walks and a .477 on-base percentage. He also hit .350 with six home runs as an 18-year-old. Given his size, he is a first baseman all the way, and shows the fire to be elite. He has soft hands and agility, moving well around the base. He answered some questions about his lack of competition in high school quickly in Rookie ball. The Future: Lavigne has the type of bat that will put him on the fast track. He is a prototype for a Gold Glove, Silver Slugger-caliber first baseman. He is a big man but already has the work and dietary habits necessary to keep himself in check.
Track Record: Hilliard faced an emotional challenge in 2018, dealing with his father being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. He, however, showed mental strength and rebounded in the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .328. Hilliard was a highly touted pitcher out of junior college but struggled early at Wichita State and made his mark as a hitter. Rockies area scout Bret Baldwin said he was fortunate to be a first-year scout and wasn't turned off by Hilliard's mound struggles. Scouting Report: During the 2018 season, Hilliard adopted a bit of a leg kick that helped him keep his weight back and see the ball longer, which was a big help in starting to handle breaking pitches and show signs of cutting down a strikeout rate that was close to 30 percent. His size and physical skills profile perfectly in right field. His hit tool, power and arm all grade as above-average. Hilliard is a plus runner who could play center field, but due to his size and the demands of the outfield at Coors Field, the plan is for him to stay in right field. The Future: Given that Hilliard did not make the move to the outfield until 2015, he is more raw than a typical college bat. He has proven to be a quick learner and is pushing aside a label earlier in his career that he would wind up in a platoon role.
Track Record: The son of Phil Nevin, who was the No. 1 pick in the 1992 draft, Tyler battled injuries his first three pro seasons, limiting him to a combined 518 at-bats. In 2018, however, the potential began to turn into results. He hit for average and power at high Class A Lancaster. And he followed that up with a breakout effort in the Arizona Fall League, where he won the batting title despite coming out of Class A ball. Scouting Report: Nevin is a taller, sleeker build than his father but has the bat speed that promises a productive offensive career. He showed developing plate discipline at Lancaster, giving him the potential for a plus bat with above-average power. Projected as a third baseman at the time of his draft, he has seen considerable time at first base as a consequence of spending the 2018 season on the same roster as Welker. He has the soft hands to be a plus first baseman, but given his athleticism, the Rockies will give him a look in the outfield as well. Plate discipline came over the course of 2018, capped off by the AFL effort in which he drew 15 walks and struck out just five times. The Future: Nevin's statement in 2018 underscores he has impact potential in the big leagues. He has the physical skills and work ethic to be a middle-of-the-lineup corner infielder on a contending team.
Track Record: Vilade was faced with failure on the field for the first time in 2018 and responded impressively. Hitting .209 on May 23 in his first full-season challenge, he was still hitting just .237 on July 9. From that point on, however, he hit .326 and cut his strikeout ratio from one every 3.6 at-bats through July 8 to once every 8.9 at-bats the rest of the season. His father is Oklahoma State assistant coach James Vilade, who has a long history of coaching at the minor league level. Scouting Report: Don't be deceived by Vilade's total of 10 home runs in his first two pro seasons. He can lift and drive the ball, which was apparent when he won the Under Armor All-America home run derby at Wrigley Field prior to his senior year in high school. The key for Vilade is making adjustments, which he showed in that late-season revival at Asheville. He has the defensive instincts to play shortstop, but there are some who question his range. The Future: Vilade is going to be given every opportunity to prove he is a shortstop, but given Colorado's approach with minor league players, he will also see time at third base and first base in the team's effort to create depth at multiple positions. His bat profiles a little lower down the lineup, and he could be one of those guys lurking in the No. 6 or No. 7 hole.
Track Record: After missing 2017 because of a hamstring strain and then a back strain, which he suffered helping a passenger place a bag in the overhead compartment on a plane, Bowden enjoyed a full-season return. He split 2018 between low Class A Asheville and high Class A Lancaster. The 45th player selected in 2016, Bowden was the closer on Vanderbilt's national championship team that year. Scouting Report: Bowden has a closer's mentality. He comes at hitters with a fastball in the 93-95 mph range and a decent changeup that keeps hitters off balance. At the Class A level, his command was evident. He walked 20 and struck out 78 in 52 innings, basically using a two-pitch mix. Bowden is working on a breaking ball but needs to firm up a what so far has been more of a slurve. If he can create more consistency with that pitch it would add a swing-and-miss pitch to his mix. The Future: With a third pitch, Bowden has closer potential. Without a third pitch, he provides a power lefthander to handle late innings. He is an intimidating figure on the mound and doesn't back down from difficult situations.
Track Record: In the five-player trade that sent Troy Tulowitzki to the Blue Jays, Tinoco was the low-level throw-in from Toronto to the Rockies. He has pitched his way into being the one with most potential impact. He has had dominant moments as a starter but has been inconsistent. Then came his trip to the Arizona Fall League, and his role in the bullpen, where he compiled a 1.72 ERA. Scouting Report: Tinoco's big pitch is a fastball that jumps from the 92-95 mph range when he is starting to 94-97 out of the bullpen. He is solid-average with both a curveball and slider but tends to be more comfortable with the curveball and its velocity differential. Tinoco is still working on a changeup, but if he becomes a reliever, his third pitch is more the cherry on top than the ice cream in his sundae. The Future: The Rockies say Tinoco could still become a starter, but the 23-year-old would seem a perfect fit in the bullpen, where his power arm dominates, and his AFL success gave him a confidence boost. He is headed to Triple-A to open 2019, which would seem a good place to give him an extended look in the pen considering the mile-high altitude of Albuquerque.
Track Record: Signed as a 16-year-old, Daza spent three years in the Dominican Summer League before coming to the U.S. in 2015. He responded to the new environment and has hit better than .300 in each of his four seasons since debuting at short-season Boise. His 2018 season at Double-A Hartford was limited to 54 games because of a hamstring injury that he re-aggravated. That kept him out of action for the final three months of the season. Scouting Report: Daza is arguably the best defensive center field in the organization--including the big league team. He has speed, a plus-plus arm with accuracy. He isn't a power hitter, but he creates offense. Despite not being a home run hitter, he has shown an ability to drive in runs. He had 87 RBIs at high Class A Lancaster when he won the California League batting title in 2017. In an organization loaded with lefthanded hitters, Daza provides the potential of an interesting righthanded bat. The Future: Daza has a clean bill of health for 2019, and it's not out of the question his big league debut will come at some point during the year. The presence of Daza is a factor the Rockies have already discussed with Charlie Blackmon, as in Daza could push Blackmon to an outfield corner.
Track Record: Vavra grew up around big league clubhouses. His father Joe is currently the quality control coach for the Tigers, but previously was a bench coach with the Twins. Growing up Vavra spent time at the ballpark and learned from big league players like Joe Mauer. He is more advanced than two older brothers, both of whom reached high Class A in their playing careers. Scouting Report: Vavra has feel for the game. Scouts compare him with current Rockies middle infield prospect Garrett Hampson, but without Hampson's speed. Vavra has been a shortstop, but his range and arm strength are issues that will need to be addressed. He hits for average and will surprise with his pop. He drove a grand slam out to dead center field at short-season Boise, which is not exactly a hitter-friendly park. Vavra's intangibles stick out. He was a leader in college and quickly assumed that role at short-season Boise in his debut. The Future: Vavra has the "it"factor. He has a long way to go to get to the big leagues, but his bat and versatility in the infield make it likely. He figures to wind up at second base as an everyday player or a utility infielder. He has the arm and instincts to handle that challenge.
Track Record: Fuentes is the cousin of Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, which gave Colorado an edge to sign him as a nondrafted free agent. In the last two seasons, Fuentes has created his own identity. After hitting .307 at Double-A Hartford in 2017, he brought home all the honors in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in 2018. He was a midseason and postseason PCL all-star and both the league's MVP and rookie of the year. He also claimed MVP honors at the Triple-A all-star game. The key to his success? Fuentes quit trying to be Nolan Arenado and blossomed as Josh Fuentes. Scouting Report: As he has moved up in the Rockies' system, Fuentes has responded to the challenge, improving his stock each year. He hit .327 at Triple-A Albuquerque with 65 extra-base hits, and a team-high 95 RBIs. He welcomes the challenge of getting better, but unlike the always-serious nature of his all-star cousin, Fuentes has allowed his laid-back approach and sense of humor emerge as he has become more relaxed and successful. He has the hands and arm strength to be an elite defensive third baseman. Critics will point to the fact Fuentes has reached double figures in home runs just twice in five minor league seasons, including 14 in the PCL in 2018. But for the record, cousin Nolan never hit more than 18 home runs in any minor league season. The Future: Fuentes established himself as a player to watch with his consistent effort and all-around strong play in 2018. His big year has positioned him to be a candidate to replace Arenado at third base if he departs as a free agent after the 2019 season.
Track Record: Sent back to Double-A Hartford in 2018, Castellani struggled and finally realized he was delivering the ball too much over the top, losing the action and velocity on his pitches. By the end of the Arizona Fall League he had dropped back to a three-quarters arm slot, regaining velocity, movement and command. He allowed one run in five innings in three of his final four AFL appearances. Scouting Report: Signed at age 18 out of high school, Castellani has a three-pitch mix built around a fastball that can hit 98 mph, but he sits at 93 mph. He has a curveball, but it takes a back seat to a slider that is a separator. Castellani isn't worried about pitching to contract because the sinking action on his fastball induces ground balls. The Future: Castellani can climb on the express lane to the big leagues if he builds off his success in the final weeks of the AFL. He has the competitive nature, and when he is right, his pitch assortment makes it difficult for hitters to sit on a particular pitch.
A two-way player for the Bulldogs, Schunk ended the 2018 season as the team’s closer and has served in that capacity this spring in addition to being the team’s starting third baseman. Most pro teams prefer him as a hitter, however, despite his lack of clear, standout tools. Schunk is solid across the board and is having a career offensive season in 2019. Through his first 47 games this spring, Schunk led Georgia in batting average (.339) and slugging percentage (.556). He’s also hit a career-high nine home runs after hitting a combined four homers during his freshman and sophomore seasons. Schunk is a solid hitter and could project as an average bat with solid-average power, but he’s never walked much throughout his college career and he didn’t hit for much power in a 29-game stint in the Cape Cod League last summer. Defensively, Schunk is a safe bet to stick at third base, where he has good athleticism and a strong arm. On the mound, Schunk has a four-pitch mix with a fastball that has been up to 95 mph and solid strike-throwing ability, but his upside is higher with a bat. He could be a everyday third baseman at the next level if he can continue to increase his power potential moving forward.
Track Record: It's time for Pint to make a move. One of the most overpowering pitchers in the 2016 draft class, his results and durability in pro ball haven't been there. Able to get away with hitters chasing pitches when he was in high school because of his dominating velocity, Pint has had to work on his control. Hopes for a breakthrough season in 2018 weren't met because he was limited to just 8.1 innings of work in four appearances. Scouting Report: Pint can simply overpower hitters when he throws strikes. He is a starting pitcher who sits 97-99 mph and can run it up to 102 without any stress. He also has one of the better curveballs in the organization. It is all about consistency. If the pieces of the puzzle fit together he's a legit No. 1 starter--but that is a giant if because he hasn't gotten out of low Class A ball. He showed promise in 2018 but then came the injuries that flared up in the first inning of his first South Atlantic League start and kept him from getting back on the mound most of the summer, limiting him to three starts at short-season Boise. The Future: Pint's 2019 season has plenty of promise, but it is critical for him to take a step up and get in a full season to start answering the questions and concerns that have grown out of his history of injuries. Given Pint's size and ability to simply intimidate hitters in high school, the Rockies have shown a willingness to be patient, but this will be his fourth year in pro ball and an uptick is vital.
Michigan had a deep rotation this year with Tommy Henry and Kauffman serving as excellent anchors to the weekend rotation. When Kauffman is on, he pounds the bottom of the zone with sinkers and sliders. His above-average fastball has solid sink, and his velocity has ticked up to 91-95 mph in the later parts of this season. His slider gives him a second potentially above-average offering, and he generally shows feel to locate both pitches. He will sporadically throw a fringe-average changeup as well. Kauffman throws strikes and shows solid feel for setting up hitters. When he doesn’t get his sinker and slider down in the zone, however, hitters are able to tee off, as neither is a pitch that can blow hitters away. Kauffman’s delivery is clean and conventional, and he’s proven to be durable throughout his time at Michigan. He will likely begin his pro career as a starter, but as a sinker/slider righthander he could eventually end up as a useful reliever.
Track Record: The Rockies hoped that Eusebio, in his fifth pro season in 2018 and third in the U.S., would have a breakout season. Three starts into the year at low Class A Asheville and Eusebio was done for the season with Tommy John surgery. That comes on the heels of making just 11 starts in 2017 before having his season cut short by an oblique strain in early August. Scouting Report: Eusebio is an aggressive lefthander who pitches down in the zone. He has a quality fastball with the appearance of more velocity than the 91-93 mph range that shows up on the radar guns. That is because he has a strong stride, which allows him to get extended way out front and keep the ball down. He also has a quality changeup but needs to refine his curveball. The Future: The Rockies hope Eusebio will be able to be activated in the spring and open the season with a full-season team, or at least be ready by the end of April. Given his ailments the last two years, he needs regular time on the mound to get the kinks worked out and put him back on track.
Track Record: After adopting a lower arm slot his freshman year at Jacksonville, Lawrence transferred to Daytona State JC and refined his delivery. He has worked periodically with former Rockies submariner Steve Reed in refining his delivery. Lawrence suffered a setback in 2017 with a torn latissimus dorsi and teres minor, which sidelined him in late May for the remainder of the season, but he bounced back in 2018, earning selection to the high Class A California League all-star game. Scouting Report: Lawrence is the exception to the rule for a sidearmer. He has the typical sinking action on his pitches but did not suffer a loss in velocity. His fastball ranges from 97-101 mph. In fact, threw more 100 mph pitches (seven) than any pitcher in the Arizona Fall League. Lawrence also commands a slider. He's particularly tough on righthanded hitters, who can't help but feel that Lawrence's fastball is headed for their rib cage. He stays on the outer third of the plate versus lefthanded hitters, rarely coming inside. The Future: Lawrence is at worst a matchup righthanded reliever. As his confidence grows and he becomes more aggressive against opposite-hand hitters, he has closer potential considering the combination of velocity and movement.
Track Record: After spending the previous two seasons mostly at short-season Boise, Garcia made an emphatic impression in 2018 when he started at high Class A Lancaster. He earned midseason and postseason all-star honors in the California League and finished the year at Double-A Hartford. Going a combined 13-9, 2.96 and striking out 162 while walking 42 in 167 innings, Garcia became more than an organization player. The stronger the competition, the better Garcia has pitched. Scouting Report: Garcia has responded to coaching and a regular throwing program. He has worked on his delivery to provide better balance, which allows him to use his legs better. Garcia's fastball improved to an average of 92 mph with a peak of 96 on a regular basis. The uptick on his fastball combined with a quality changeup and solid curveball has elevated Garcia's prospect status. His curveball has good downward break that disrupts hitters' timing. The Future: Garcia is coming in a hurry, but only after he got the chance. In two full seasons, he already has put together an impressive effort at Double-A. Area scout Matt Hattabaugh deserves credit for staying with Garcia, even though he was at a smaller school in Hawaii.
Track Record: The first college player the Rockies drafted in 2015, Mundell has shed the DH label he carried in college, settling in at first base in pro ball. After splitting his 2017 season between high Class A Lancaster and Double-A Hartford in 2017, Mundell put in a full season at Hartford in 2018. As much as he is a factor in the lineup, Mundell is big in the clubhouse, where he takes on an elder statesmen role that belies the fact he is still 25. Scouting Report: The biggest surprise from Mudnell's college days is how well he has handled the defensive chores at first base. He has a good feel at the plate but has yet to make that next adjustment to turn his ability to make contact into home run power, having hit just 40 home runs in four pro seasons that included seven to go with a .372 slugging percentage at Double-A in 2018. The Future: Mundell needs to make the next step in terms of power. To get a regular shot in the big leagues, particularly in Coors Field, home runs are a part of the package. He makes enough contract and drives the ball into allies, so the adjustment to turn on a pitch should be something he can handle.
Track Record: Humphreys is the younger brother of former Mississippi State and then big league first baseman Tyler Moore. Humphreys, who was the Gatorade player of the year for Mississippi his senior year in high school, made the conversion from a light-hitting infielder to pitcher his junior year at MSU, when he became the team's closer. By season's end he made a strong enough impression to be drafted. Scouting Report: Humphreys offers an aggressive three-pitch mix. His four-seam fastball is consistent in the 94-96 mph range with a cutter that registers at 90-93. The change of speeds comes with a slider that is in the 82-84 mph range. He walked just 13 batters and struck out 51 in 34.1 innings at high Class A Lancaster, showing no hesitation to challenge hitters in the strike zone. The Future: Humphreys has a closer mentality. He converted all 22 of his save opportunities despite spending four months at hitter-friendly Lancaster. He closed the season with a glimpse of Double-A and most likely will return to Hartford to open 2019, but he could wind up in the big leagues at some point in 2019 in the first step toward a possible career in the ninth inning.
Track Record: Ramos has shown an ability to make adjustments and catch up with each league he has been assigned to. He was considered to have decent power potential, and it came through in 2018 when he hit a combined 32 home runs at high Class A Lancaster and Double-A Hartford. In three of the last four years, his first-half performance has resulted in a promotion to the next level in the second half. A native of Hermosillo, Mexico, Ramos returned there in the offseason to play in the Mexican Pacific League, but after an impressive start suffered a broken finger that ended his winter activity. Scouting Report: Ramos has legitimate power, but he also has a propensity to strike out, which is a focus for his ability to reach that next level. He is not quick-footed but has soft hands, which is important for a first baseman. He is a solid candidate to fill that spot and has worked to improve each year. Ramos is going to have to stay focused on cutting down his strikeout rate, which bumped 30 percent in 2018. The Future: Ramos' power potential is his ticket to the big leagues, but he can negate it by failing to make contact.
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