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Colorado Rockies

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Player Reports

  1. 1. Brendan Rodgers | SS
    Brendan Rodgers
    Born: Aug 9, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 180
    Drafted: HS--Lake Mary, Fla., 2015 (1st round).
    Signed By: John Cedarburg

    BA Grade: 60. Risk: Medium
    Tool Grades: Hit: 60. Power: 55. Run: 50. Fielding: 55. Arm: 60.

    Track Record: The Rockies selected Rodgers with the No. 3 overall pick in 2015, the third shortstop taken in the draft’s first three picks. The other two are established in the big leagues—Dansby Swanson, who went No. 1 overall to the D-backs and was traded to the Braves; and Alex Bregman, taken second overall by the Astros and moved to third base. Swanson and Bregman were three years older than Rodgers, however, and debuted in the majors at the same age Rodgers was last May when he received his first big league callup. Rodgers played only 25 games for the Rockies before going on the injured list with a shoulder injury, and he had season-ending labrum surgery in mid-July. Rodgers compiled a 1.035 OPS in 37 games at the high altitude of Triple-A Albuquerque to earn his callup, but he scuffled to hit .224 with two extra-base hits in 25 games with Colorado.

    Scouting Report: Rodgers’ bat gets most of the attention when he is the subject of conversation. He has high-level bat speed, consistently hits the ball off the barrel and makes frequent contact. He has legitimate, above-average power and can drive the ball hard the other way, an approach that works well with the large outfield at Coors Field. Rodgers rarely walks and needs to control his aggression, which he has worked on at higher levels, where experienced pitchers will exploit a free-swinger. A shortstop out of high school, the Rockies are confident Rodgers could play the position in the big leagues. With Trevor Story entrenched there, however, second base is likely to be Rodgers’ long-term position. Rodgers played an increasing amount of second base in the minor leagues last year and during his brief big league exposure. He is still working on going to his left and adjusting to a different angle for the throw to first base, and his hands have been a little stiff in his initial move to the right side of the infield, but he should become an above-average defender at the keystone in time as he gets more reps and experience.

    The Future: A Rodgers-Story double play duo would give Colorado one of the most powerful middle infields in the game. Rodgers’ initial struggles in Colorado fits his history. At each level he goes through a growth period before settling in. He will get a late start on the 2020 season as he recovers from shoulder surgery, but he should be back in action by summer.

  2. 2. Ryan Rolison | LHP
    Ryan Rolison
    Born: Jul 11, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 195
    Drafted: Mississippi, 2018 (1st round).
    Signed By: Zack Zulli.

    BA Grade: 55. Risk: High
    Tool Grades: Fastball: 50. Curveball: 60. Slider: 45. Changeup: 50. Control: 50.

    Track Record: Rolison was a potential top-five rounds pick out of high school in 2016, but his commitment to Mississippi was so strong he fell to the Padres in the 37th round. Two years later after a pair of excellent collegiate seasons, the Rockies drafted him 22nd overall as an eligible sophomore. Rolison opened his first full season at high Class A Lancaster and held his own in unforgiving conditions, making the California League all-star game and standing out as one of the league’s best pitching prospects.

    Scouting Report: Rolison has a good handle on his fastball, changeup and curveball and is experimenting with a slider. He varies the speed of his fastball from 89-94 mph depending on the situation and locates it to both sides of the plate. His plus power curveball is his swing-and-miss pitch in the upper 70s with varying break, and his changeup is an effective, average offering. Rolison throws everything for strikes, works quickly and pitches smart. He focuses on hitter tendencies and adjusts to exploit their weaknesses.

    The Future: Rolison is ready for Double-A in 2020, and if he adjusts quickly it won’t be a surprise if he shows up in Triple-A Albuquerque by midseason. Given his maturity and ability to adjust, the Rockies won’t hesitate to promote him.

  3. 3. Michael Toglia | 1B
    Michael Toglia
    Born: Aug 16, 1998
    Bats: B Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 226
    Drafted: Drafted: UCLA, 2019 (1st round).
    Signed By: Matt Hattabaugh.

    BA Grade: 55. Risk: High
    Tool Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 50. Run: 45. Fielding: 60. Arm: 50.

    Track Record: The Rockies have liked Toglia since his days at Gig Harbor (Wash.) High. They drafted him in the 37th round even though he was considered unsignable at the time. After Toglia spent three years at UCLA, the Rockies drafted him again with the 23rd overall pick in 2019 and signed him for $2.725 million. He went out to short-season Boise after signing and finished tied for second in the Northwest League with nine home runs.

    Scouting Report: A switch-hitter with power from both sides of the plate, Toglia is a potential middle-of-the-lineup bat. He has an impressive understanding of the strike zone for a young player and is a tough out when his timing is right in the batter’s box. His swing plane gets inconsistent and affects his ability to make contact, but when he’s right he gets red hot and hits for both average and power. He is a strike-hitter who figures to get better as he moves up because pitchers will have better control. Toglia has the soft hands and easy actions of a plus defender at first base. He is the type of first baseman who makes other infielders better.

    The Future: Toglia will likely open his first full season at high Class A Lancaster. He is advanced enough to potentially move quickly to Double-A Hartford.

  4. 4. Grant Lavigne | 1B
    Grant Lavigne
    Born: Aug 27, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 220
    Drafted: HS--Bedford, N.H., 2018 (1st round supplemental).
    Signed By: Mike Garlatti.

    BA Grade: 55. Risk: Very High
    Tool Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 55. Run: 40. Fielding: 50. Arm: 45.

    Track Record: Lavigne became the highest player ever drafted from New Hampshire when the Rockies took him 42nd overall in 2018. He signed for $2 million and delivered a promising pro debut, but he struggled with the grind of his first full season in 2019 at low Class A Asheville and slugged just .327 despite a favorable home park.

    Scouting Report: Patience is key with Lavigne, who rarely faced good high school competition and is attempting to become the first New Hampshire high school draftee to ever reach the majors. Lavigne has potential as a hitter with an excellent feel for the strike zone and a strong lefthanded swing that produces plus raw power. He struggled to get to his power and posted below-average exit velocities in 2019, however, because he was often too passive, and evaluators noted he rarely drove the ball in games. Still, his approach, strength and youth earn him projections of at least an average hitter with at least average in-game power. Lavigne is a good athlete for his size who was a quarterback on his high school football team. He is comfortable in the field and moves well around the first base bag.

    The Future: Lavigne showed signs of making adjustments late last year. He has the bat, strike-zone knowledge and mentality to be an everyday first baseman.

  5. 5. Colton Welker | 3B
    Colton Welker
    Born: Oct 9, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 195
    Drafted: HS--Parkland, Fla., 2016 (4th round).
    Signed By: Rafael Reyes.

    BA Grade: 50. Risk: High
    Tool Grades: Hit: 55. Power: 50. Run: 40. Fielding: 50. Arm: 55.

    Track Record: Welker hit .337 over his first three pro seasons and won the California League batting title in 2018. He moved up to Double-A Hartford in 2019 and met his stiffest challenge yet. He hit .308 through his first 50 games and was recognized by Eastern League managers as the circuit’s best batting prospect. He hit just .190 the rest of the way in a season interrupted by a shoulder subluxation. He then hit .229 in the Arizona Fall League.

    Scouting Report: Welker’s natural feel to hit has been his calling card throughout his career. Usually, his level swing path keeps his barrel in the zone for a long time, and he has the strike-zone discipline to be an on-base threat. Welker began chasing power and trying to loft the ball in 2019, and the result was an uppercut swing that went in and out of the zone quickly and dramatically reduced his ability to make contact. He has the natural skills to be an above-average hitter with 15-20 home runs, but only if he rediscovers his best swing. Welker has good hands and an above-average arm at third base, but his thickening body and lack of speed have some projecting him to first base.

    The Future: The Rockies plan to keep developing Welker at both corners. He has the committed approach that should allow him to learn from the challenges of 2019.

  6. 6. Sam Hilliard | OF
    Sam Hilliard
    Born: Feb 21, 1994
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 238
    Drafted: Wichita State, 2015 (15th round).
    Signed By: Bret Baldwin.

    BA Grade: 45. Risk: Medium
    Tool Grades: Hit: 40. Power: 60. Run: 60. Fielding: 50. Arm: 60.

    Track Record: Hilliard was a pitcher at Wichita State who only started to make the conversion to position player as a junior. The Rockies drafted Hilliard in the 15th round in 2015 and he methodically worked his way up the system. Hilliard reached the pinnacle in 2019, hitting 35 home runs and stealing 22 bases at Triple-A Albuquerque to receive his first big league callup.

    Scouting Report: Hilliard’s size is deceiving. Though he’s 6-foot-5, 238 pounds, he showed well defensively in Coors Field’s spacious center field and stole 24 bases in 29 attempts in 2019. He is a plus runner and has a strong arm that precludes runners from being overly brave. At the plate, Hilliard boasts plus-plus raw power he gets to in games. That power has long come with lots of strikeouts, but in the majors he refined his leg lift to give him a better swing path and make more contact without sacrificing any of his line-to-line home run power.

    The Future: Hilliard’s athleticism and power make him a legitimate lineup threat, and his ability to play all three outfield spots gives him a greater avenue to the majors. He has to trim his strikeout rate, which is the final step in his conversion from a pitcher.

  7. 7. Ryan Castellani | RHP
    Ryan Castellani
    Born: Apr 1, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 223
    Drafted: HS--Phoenix, 2014 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Chris Forbes.

    BA Grade: 50. Risk: High
    Tool Grades: Fastball: 55. Slider: 55. Changeup: 45. Control: 45.

    Track Record: Castellani overcame a failed effort to become a more traditional overhand pitcher in 2018 and returned to his usual three-quarters arm slot in 2019. He got off to an impressive start at Triple-A Albuquerque but he was slowed by bone chips in his right elbow and had season-ending surgery in June. He returned to pitch in the Arizona Fall League and posted a 2.16 ERA in five starts to reaffirm his status as one of the Rockies’ better pitching prospects.

    Scouting Report: Castellani is an outlier who throws harder from the three-quarters delivery than over the top. He has a three-pitch mix built around a fastball that can reach 97 mph, but he commands it best in the 91-94 mph range with heavy sink to induce ground balls. His best secondary pitch is an above-average hard slider more consistent than his curveball, and he also flashes a usable changeup. Castellani is a cerebral pitcher with thick, durable legs built to log innings, but his below-average command across the board makes him a likely reliever for many evaluators.

    The Future: Castellani will get a shot to pitch in the Rockies’ rotation at some point in 2020. How his elbow holds up and if his command improves will determine if he starts or relieves long term.

  8. 8. Ryan Vilade | SS
    Ryan Vilade
    Born: Feb 18, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 194
    Drafted: HS--Stillwater, Okla., 2017 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Jesse Retzlaf.

    BA Grade: 50. Risk: High
    Tool Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 50. Run: 50. Fielding: 40. Arm: 50.

    Track Record: The Rockies used their top pick in the 2017 draft on Vilade and signed him for just under $1.5 million. The son of a longtime coach, Vilade got off to a slow start before finishing strong at low Class A Asheville in 2018 and did the same at high Class A Lancaster in 2019. After hitting .250 the first two months, Vilade hit .330 from June through the end of the season and was one of just five minor leaguers to finish with double-digit doubles (27), triples (10) and home runs (12).

    Scouting Report: Vilade figures to develop more power but already has come to grips with the basics of hitting—using the right side of the field, staying in the gaps and focusing on line drives to the middle of the field. He generally makes whatever adjustments he needs to and has the physicality and aptitude to drive the ball consistently and be at least an average hitter with average power. Vilade’s challenge remains defense. His range, glove and arm are all below-average at shortstop and questionable even at third base.

    The Future: Vilade was drafted because of his offensive potential and has shown that potential. He needs to find a defensive home, but the Rockies will find him one as long as he keeps hitting.

  9. 9. Aaron Schunk | 3B
    Aaron Schunk
    Born: Jul 24, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 205
    Drafted: Drafted: Georgia, 2019 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Sean Gamble.

    BA Grade: 50. Risk: High
    Tool Grades: Hot: 55. Power: 50. Run: 45. Fielding: 50. Arm: 60.

    Track Record: A third baseman and reliever at Georgia, Schunk was drafted by the Rockies in the second round in 2019 to swing the bat. He signed for $1,102,700 and did just that in his pro debut, leading short-season Boise with a .306 average, .503 slugging percentage and .873 OPS.

    Scouting Report: Schunk is a well-rounded player who plays a mature game. Offensively, he knows the strike zone, stays inside the ball and drives it from gap to gap. He has plenty of bat speed and makes contact out front, resulting in balls jumping off his bat when he gets it. He shows the overall foundation of a potential above-average hitter with average power, and most are confident he’ll reach those benchmarks. Schunk still needs to improve defensively at third base, but he has the athleticism and arm strength to develop into at least an average defender. Just as important, he has the work ethic to get better. Schunk is a cerebral player always aware of the game situation and is a natural leader.

    The Future: Schunk will open 2020 at high Class A Lancaster and could move up quickly. He is mature beyond his years and consistently focused on getting better, which will only help him get the most out of his natural ability.

  10. 10. Tyler Nevin | 1B
    Tyler Nevin
    Born: May 29, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 200
    Drafted: HS--Poway, Calif., 2015 (1st round supplement).
    Signed By: Jon Luekens.

    BA Grade: 50. Risk: High
    Tool Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 45. Run: 40. Fielding: 40. Arm: 45.

    Track Record: Nevin has performed when he’s been on the field, but that hasn’t been often since the Rockies drafted him 38th overall in 2015 and signed him for $2 million. He played more than 100 games for the first time at Double-A Hartford in 2019 and finished on a high note, winning Eastern League player of the month in August to cap an otherwise underwhelming season.

    Scouting Report: The son of former all-star third baseman Phil Nevin, Tyler grew up around the ballpark. Like his dad, Tyler has a potent bat that drills hard line drives and a knack for hitting the ball the other way. Nevin is still learning to elevate for home runs, but he has enough natural strength and contact ability for evaluators to project a potential everyday corner infielder. Nevin is a well below-average third baseman who takes odd approaches and is destined for first base, where he is still gaining confidence and experience. Nevin is a resilient, tough individual who has rebounded from multiple injuries and responded well to his first extended struggles last year.

    The Future: Nevin is really going to have to hit to profile at first base, but he may be up for it. He’ll move to Triple-A Albuquerque in 2020 and has an outside chance to make his major league debut.

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