2012 Colorado Rockies Top 10 Prospects

Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects lists are based on projections of a player's long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven't exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible. Ages are as of April 1, 2011.

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Jack Etkin
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1. Drew Pomeranz, lhp
2. Nolan Arenado, 3b
3. Chad Bettis, rhp
4. Wilin Rosario, c
5. Tim Wheeler, of
6. Trevor Story, ss/3b
7. Tyler Anderson, lhp
8. Kent Matthes, of
9. Kyle Parker, of
10. Josh Rutledge, ss
Best Hitter for Average Nolan Arenado
Best Power Hitter Kent Matthes
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Nolan Arenado
Fastest Baserunner Rafael Ortega
Best Athlete Trevor Story
Best Fastball Chad Bettis
Best Curveball Nelson Gonzalez
Best Slider Chad Bettis
Best Changeup Edwar Cabrera
Best Control Edwar Cabrera
Best Defensive Catcher Beau Seabury
Best Defensive Infielder Cristhian Adames
Best Infield Arm Hector Gomez
Best Defensive Outfielder Rafael Ortega
Best Outfield Arm Julian Yan
Catcher Wilin Rosario
First Base Kent Matthes
Second Base Trevor Story
Third Base Nolan Arenado
Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki
Left Field Tim Wheeler
Center Field Dexter Fowler
Right Field Carlos Gonzalez
No. 1 Starter Drew Pomeranz
No. 2 Starter Jhoulys Chacin
No. 3 Starter Chad Bettis
No. 4 Starter Alex White
No. 5 Starter Tyler Anderson
Closer Rex Brothers
Year Player, Position 2011 Org.
2002 Chin-Hui Tsao, rhp Out of baseball
2003 Aaron Cook, rhp Rockies
2004 Chin-Hui Tsao, rhp Out of baseball
2005 Ian Stewart, 3b Rockies
2006 Ian Stewart, 3b Rockies
2007 Troy Tulowitzki, ss Rockies
2008 Franklin Morales, lhp Red Sox
2009 Dexter Fowler, of Rockies
2010 Tyler Matzek, lhp Rockies
2011 Drew Pomeranz, lhp Rockies
Year Player, Position 2011 Org.
2002 Jeff Francis, lhp Royals
2003 Ian Stewart, 3b Rockies
2004 Chris Nelson, ss Rockies
2005 Troy Tulowitzki, ss Rockies
2006 Greg Reynolds, rhp Rockies
2007 Casey Weathers, rhp Rockies
2008 Christian Friedrich, lhp Rockies
2009 Tyler Matzek, lhp Rockies
2010 Kyle Parker, of Rockies
2011 Tyler Anderson, lhp Rockies
Tyler Matzek, 2009 $3,900,000
Greg Reynolds, 2006 $3,250,000
Jason Young, 2000 $2,750,000
Troy Tulowitzki, 2005 $2,300,000
Chin-Hui Tsao, 1999 $2,200,000
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Colorado Rockies

Coming off consecutive winning seasons for only the second time ever, the Rockies entered 2011 with playoff expectations. They started the season 11-2 but went just 62-87 afterward in one of the most disappointing performances in the franchise's 19-year history.

Colorado wound up 21 games behind the Diamondbacks in the National League West and just two games ahead of the last-place Padres. The pitching staff shouldered most of the blame, finishing next-to-last in the NL in runs allowed.

In the midst of a season gone wrong, the Rockies made a seismic trade. They shipped Ubaldo Jimenez, who set franchise records for wins and ERA and threw the franchise's first-ever no-hitter in 2010, to the Indians for four youngsters in July. The two biggest prizes were first-round picks Drew Pomeranz and Alex White, who finished the season in the big league rotation and should resurface there at some point in 2012.

Several factors led to the Jimenez deal, the most significant being Colorado's desperation to add young pitchers who were close to being major league-ready.

"We've had some draft issues as it relates to some of the pitching," GM Dan O'Dowd said, "and those holes have started to show up a little bit now."

The Rockies have reaped surprisingly little from their 2006-08 drafts, even though they took a pitcher with their top choice each year. They picked Greg Reynolds over Evan Longoria with the No. 2 overall selection in 2006, then tabbed Casey Weathers at No. 8 in 2007 and Christian Friedrich at No. 25 in 2008. All three have had injury issues since signing, and the team may not get a single big league regular out of those three drafts.

Colorado also invested a franchise-record $3.9 million bonus in a first-round pitcher in 2009, but Tyler Matzek regressed so much in 2011 that he got demoted to low Class A Asheville and left the team in June for two weeks to work with his youth coach. The Rockies haven't drafted and developed a pitcher who had sustained major league success since selecting Jeff Francis ninth overall in 2002, faring better with arms from their Latin American program such as Jimenez, Jhoulys Chacin and Juan Nicasio.

Marcel Lachemann, who had been a special assistant to O'Dowd for 10 years and his most trusted adviser, resigned in October because he disagreed with how the organization was developing pitchers. Other staff changes included senior director of baseball operations Jeff Bridich taking over as farm director for Marc Gustafson, who was given a role in the scouting department, and Triple-A Colorado Springs pitching coach Doug Linton trading places with roving pitching instructor Bo McLaughlin.

Fortunately for Colorado, its most recent drafts look more productive. Even if Matzek turns into a bust, the 2009 crop already has sent Rex Brothers to the big league bullpen and features three of the system's top position prospects in third baseman Nolan Arenado and outfielders Tim Wheeler and Kent Matthes.

The 2010 group includes a promising arm in Chad Bettis and two more bats in Kyle Parker and Josh Rutledge. Potential five-tool shortstop Trevor Story, a supplemental first-rounder, looks like one of the steals of the entire 2011 draft.

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