Colorado Rockies’ 2021 Pre-Season Top 50 Prospects

Nate offers up 50 prospects you should know from his hometown team.

Ahhh…the Rockies.  Welcome to an organization serving as a tricky conundrum for dynasty owners.  Pitching talent takes a huge hit in value. There is a slow-play approach often taken with their prospects transitioning into the big leagues. Veteran free-agent signings often take place when you think an everyday path is there for your prospect. I live out here. I feel your pain.

Let’s not forget the mouthwatering attraction that is Coors Field and the thought of a prospect getting to take advantage of its hitting environment. Balancing this dream and the frustration of their approach is hard for dynasty prospectors.

For me, it’s almost become a wash when evaluating how to prioritize a young Rockie hitter compared to others.  Their approach has served as a tie-breaker of sorts when comparing two prospects I find close in value, placing the Rockie below the counterpart.

Touted as a talent-rich system, I’m not totally sold on that.  The biggest riches may be further away with more roads open as to how it could go, and planting your flag which one to bet on at this point is hard.  To boot, the closer talent tends to have riskier profiles; power, swing and miss concerns, pitching, role questions.

Not an easy list to line up, so please don’t overvalue the numbers next to the names here.  Several ranges could be shuffled up and I wouldn’t fuss at all.  The first of such ranges being the top three.

Brendon Rodgers worries me, yet I feel a smidge safer with him than Zac Veen at this point, except I didn’t feel Rodgers deserved a #1 next to him.  Micheal Toglia‘s profile is a hard one to bet on and didn’t feel like a #1 either. I even tried to talk myself into Brenton Doyle, despite the crazy looks I’d get (Doyle and Veen may be closer in value as a prospect than some think.

Both need to prove they can do it against bigger competition. I’d argue Doyle has a chance at being a better all-around player and all that’s keeping him from more love by others is his Div II background.)  In the end, I went with Toglia using his potential gold first baseman’s glove as the tiebreaker.

 

1. 1B Micheal Toglia

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: Short Season (NWL)

The Rockies’ 2019 1st rounder out of UCLA looks the part of a big slugger at 6’5″ 230, and he’s more athletic than it may appear. Some think he may end up as a corner outfielder, but he is a plus defensive first baseman.  A switch hitter who can powerfully spray the ball to all fields which he displayed in Boise, hitting 9 HR in 41 games.

There is middle-of-the-lineup bat potential here if he can fine-tune some things at the plate.  Toglia has a good eye but currently swings and misses too much.  Dynasty owners have good reason to invest in Toglia’s profile, but it’s still a work in progress.

The top three here all have similar concerns, possibly being more power over hit, and as we are seeing with Rodgers, that could go south for even the best of such profiles.  Toglia should be owned in most dynasty formats.

ETA: 2022

 

2. MIF Brendan Rodgers*

(No longer “prospect/rookie” eligible by MLB standards having exceeded days on active roster limit, but he is yet to exceed 130 MLB AB which is the standard used in most dynasty leagues.)

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: MLB

The 3rd overall pick in the 2015 draft had long been on top of prospect lists primarily because of his raw power, fast bat, and contact skills.  Called up in 2019, his debut was cut short, 25 games due to injury, and then in the shortened 2020 he only appeared 7 times.  Rodgers has frustrated fantasy owners waiting to cash in on their investment, partly because of the Rockies’ slow approach which may have to do with the presence of All-Stars in front of him.

Rodgers is a SS, but will probably play 2B because of Trevor Story.  The former prep star (FL) has always taken a little time to adjust to a new level of competition, so putting too much stake in his .196 0 HR in 97 AB performance to this point may not be fair, not to mention the sporadic playing time received.

On the other hand, as Travis Sherer pointed out so well in his 2021 or Bust series, Rodgers has been swinging at everything and proving to be an easy out at the MLB level. Rodgers’skill set paired with 82 Coors’ games is an enticing proposition for dynasty owners, but are we hanging on to that dream too tightly?

Rodgers may get a chance to reward the owners who have waited on him, or found a fatigued owner and got themselves an exciting asset.  He may also be proving to be a bust.  2021 is a crossroads.

ETA: 2019 debut

 

3. OF Zac Veen

 

Age: 19

Highest Level: N/A

Arguably the top prep (FL) bat in June’s Draft, Veen is a physically imposing, athletic 6’5″ 200.  Selected 9th overall because of hit tool potential, and plus raw power.  He isn’t a burner, at that size most aren’t, but he’s also capable of handling CF for now.

As he grows into his frame, he will probably move to RF which he has the arm for.  Fantasy owners can dream of a gaudy-number-producing middle of the lineup run-producing bat enjoying the spacious Coors’ benefits, but the left-hand hit tool needs refining.

Veen will be selected early this FYPD season.  Dynasty owners are putting a lot of faith into the OF prep bat, perhaps dreaming of a Jarred Kelenic kind of fantasy return. I feel good about Veen’s chances of becoming a solid fantasy asset, but wonder if we need to pump the breaks some.

Since NFBC began tracking ADP history in 2004, no prep OF taken in Veen’s MLB draft range has reached top 10 fantasy heights, which seems to be the chase so many are after (Using MLB and NFBC Draft Histories To Make Informed Mistakes).

Maybe Kelenic bucks that trend?  Veen may profile as more of power over hit bat now, and we have seen how those can go wrong.  (Scroll up one spot maybe.)  Perhaps during a normal season and a look in pro ball, I’d feel as comfortable as many seem, but I’m just not there yet.

Veen is definitely a desirable dynasty asset for owners, but I don’t condone passing up on considerably safer options around his price tag.  That being said, he still may be the best investment in the system.

ETA: 2023-24

 

4. 2B/3B Aaron Schunk

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: Short Season (NWL)

The Rockies selected Schunk in the 2nd round out of Georgia in 2019.  A two-way player in college, Schunk was selected as a 3B. Athletic, with a strong arm, and a projectable hit tool.  6’2″ 205, he has a frame capable of more strength, although he may never develop more than average power.

Schunk’s bat could carry him to bigs though, and he showed it in 2019 hitting .306/.370/.503 with 6 HR in Boise.  Perhaps in need of fine-tuning at 3B, he has the look to stick there.  Schunk is lauded for his baseball IQ and may have a relatively high floor.

He is a prospect dynasty owners should know and watch with an eye on what happens with Arenado as Schunk may get an MLB chance sooner than later if he hits at higher levels.

ETA: 2022

 

5. OF Brenton Doyle

 

Age22

Highest Level: Rookie (Pioneer)

Drafted in the 4th round out of Div II in 2019, Doyle had a monster debut leading the Pioneer League in average (.383) and OPS (1.088).  Doyle was old for the level but displayed his plus raw power (8 HR) and plate discipline 31 BB in 180 AB, but K’d 47 times because of high swing n miss he had while working through a swing change and altered approach.

An athletic 6’3″ 200 lb, fast (17 SB), strong arm, capable of CF, and more power to tap into, Doyle has 5-tool upside.  We will see if he continues to dominate, more than likely meeting his match somewhere, not having played against the highest level of competition.  Reports from fall’s instructs were very complimentary.  Doyle is the type of prospect a fantasy owner may be well-served being aggressive on if he starts to prove himself along the way.

ETA: 2022

 

6. LF? Ryan Vilade

 

Age: 21-22

Highest Level: Single-A+ (Cal)

The former prep (TX) 2nd rounder road a hot second half of the 2019 CaL season into a .303 12 HR .466 SLG, as a 20-year-old.  An athletic 6’2″ 194, Vilade has had more impressive second halves than firsts as a pro, which could be a sign he is progressing smoothly.

Vilade is all hit tool, with a smart line-drive oriented swing with pop.  Once considered to have below-average tools defensively, reports from instructs is he has improved in LF.  Vilade’s skillset offensively makes it reasonable he can become a desirable fantasy asset, but he’s gonna have to figure a way into the lineup.

Hard to see him in the expansive Coors’ outfield, and he doesn’t have the set to play the left side of the infield with poor range and below-average arm.  Worth a speculative fantasy roster spot, but poking through may be difficult for Vilade in an org already struggling to find MLB time for their prospects.

ETA: 2021

 

7. LHP Ryan Rolison

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: Single-A+ (Cal)

The lefty out of Ole Miss is a crafty pitcher at a young age. Rolison varies fastball velocities, break on his curveball, and exudes command throwing a lot of strikes.  The 2018 1st Rd pick out of Ole Miss might be the kind of pitcher who can succeed in Coors, relatively speaking.  The fastball and curve can be plus, the CHG may need some work.

Rolison’s numbers from High-A should probably be taken with a grain of salt.  They are not impressive, but the Rockies were happy with the way he handled tough conditions in the Cal. Perhaps a good sign for a pitcher who may be in Coors soon.

Put Rolison in any other organization, and I would condone rostering him.  At this point, I think he’s worth rostering in large leagues, but nothing more. A good pitcher at Coors is a different animal than a good fantasy pitcher.

ETA: 2021

 

8. SS Adael Amador

 

Age: 17

Highest Level: N/A

The Rockies prize signing of the 2019 J2 class (out of DR) has an exciting profile.  Currently around 6′ 170 lb and growing, his most attractive asset is his switch-hitting bat; projectable power, and high contact swing.

There are some conflicting reports about his athleticism, speed, and defensive potential.  At 17 there are still a lot of questions, but he has shown to be the best player amongst older international competition.  Amador fits the swing for the fences high risk/high reward dynasty prospect profile with so many ways it could go.  Amador is one of the more exciting dreams in the system.

ETA: 2024+

 

9. C Drew Romo

 

Age19

Highest Level: N/A

Romo was the second prep catcher taken in the first round of the 2020 draft, which is somewhat unusual as prep Cs are hard to project and typically not taken early often. His biggest asset is defense. As team USA’s U-18 catcher for two seasons, Romo proved to be on the top of the list of future defensive backstops: high baseball IQ, glove, strong arm.

How much of an offensive threat he will be is questionable, but there is a foundation for a more than just serviceable switch-hitting bat.  The Rockies believe he will hit and hit for power.

Romo could be a safe bet for dynasty owners, in that getting to the bigs looks highly probable, and possibly much quicker than most C prospects, but he may be capped as a fantasy producer if the Rockies are wrong about his offense. Perhaps not worthy of an investment, but with the bar so low at the position, Romo may eventually be a viable everyday option.

ETA: 2024+

 

10. 1B Grant Lavigne

 

Age: 21

Highest Level: Single-A- (SAL)

The Rockies selected the northern prep (NH) with the 42nd overall pick of the 2018 draft.  Lavigne had a productive pro debut in the Pioneer League, showing off the hit tool and power he was drafted for going .350/.477/.519.

At 6’4″ 220 with nice athleticism, some feel there is plenty of raw power in his bat.  The patient hitter struggled in 2019 at LoA though, as swing adjustments were being made.  It’s not surprising a prep prospect from a northern state would meet his match early.

It’s a bump in the road Rockies’ personnel expected.  As a 1B though, Lavigne will have to get the bat going to become a major leaguer.  Lavigne could become a middle of the lineup power threat, but the results are going to need to come and stay.  The raw ability may be enough to earn a roster spot in the right sized dynasty league.

ETA: 2022

 

11. RHP Ryan Castellani*

(No longer “prospect/rookie” eligible by MLB standards having exceeded days on active roster limit, but he is yet to exceed 50 MLB IP which is the standard used in fantasy leagues.)

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: MLB

The former prep (AZ) star selected in the 2nd round of the 2014 draft hit the bigs in 2020 starting 9 times and one 2 IP relief appearance.  In his four best starts (2 home, 2 away) he combined to give up 3 ER, the other five he gave up a combined 25 ER.

A sturdy 6’4″ 223, Castellani can handle a starter’s load, and it seems he’s gone from more of a two-pitch guy to a 3-4 pitch arsenal.  His sinking fastball sits low to mid-90s but he can reach back for more.  Castellani also throws a slider and a curve, both of which are slurvy, and might be the same pitch just thrown at different velocities.

His changeup is a nice weapon, especially against lefties as it gets nice diving away action.  Castellani will get a chance to earn a rotation spot in 2021 with his repertoire well suited for Coors…well, as well suited as one might get.  Dynasty owners need to use the same caution they do with all Rockies’ pitchers, but Castellani is a young pitcher arriving in the bigs.

ETA: 2020 debut

 

12. RHP Chris McMahon

 

Age:21

Highest Level: N/A

The Rockies took Miami’s ace with the 46th pick of this June’s draft.  McMahon had some ups and downs as an underclassman and maybe more bully than a refined pitcher at this point, but a great run with team USA followed by a dominating start to the 2020 college season put him in the mix of top college arms in a loaded class.

McMahon is an athletic 6’2″ 220 and has a fastball hitting high 90s, and when he is on, it gets late movement and misses a lot of bats.  His secondary pitches are less refined and more inconsistent but both the changeup and slider show signs of being plus.

As far as pure stuff goes, there weren’t many pitchers in the draft as talented, but he wasn’t as consistent overall.  The Rockies think they landed a 1st round talent (if the season played out).  McMahon was a favorite of mine in college, with an intimidating mound presence and that fastball.

It’s reasonable to think he won’t get by as easily as a pro, but the foundation to become a real three-pitch threat is there.  For dynasty owners, McMahon couldn’t have gone to a worse spot, but I still think there is enough upside to warrant a roster spot in the right FYPD slot.

ETA: 2023

 

13. RHP Ryan Feltner

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: Single-A- (SAL)

The 5th RD pick out of Ohio State in 2018 has reportedly made the big gains which limited his draft stock a few years ago.  The knock on the 6’4′ 190 power pitcher was he didn’t have a breaking ball good enough to offer pro hitting.

Reportedly the slider has made leaps and paired with his high 90s fastball and changeup, Feltner may be ready to take a leap in 2021.  He is one of the more exciting pitching prospects in this system and too much weight shouldn’t be put on his past pro performance because things sound different now.  Dynasty owners may want to remember this name.

ETA: 2022

 

14. CIF Colton Welker*

 

Age23

Highest Level: Double-A (EL)

A 4th Rd prep (FL) selection in 2016, Welker progressed rapidly his first three pro seasons, started off scorching in 2019 and then seemed to fall off a cliff the second half of his AA debut.  Shoulder problem?  Struggles with a swing change? Both?

Welker has not shown a ton of pop (24 HR in his first three seasons), being more of a hit for average with gap power type, and he may have been trying to sell out for some in 2019.  Listed at 6’1″ 195, Welker may be heavier than that and is limited athletically, which may call for a move from third to first where the Rockies had been playing him.

Put all these things together and it feels like a transition of sorts was in the works.  Welker is worth a fantasy watch, but it’s tough for a corner infielder without a lot of power to be a highly sought fantasy piece.

ETA: 2021

 

15. LHP Helcris Olivarez*

 

Age:20

Highest Level: Rookie (Pioneer)

A 2016 J2 signee out of the DR, Olivarez was protected from the Rule 5 draft and added to the 40-man this winter.  A raw prospect and probably years away but he has been gaining buzz of late and the Rockies clearly value him.

Listed at 6’2″ 192 (although he seemed bigger to me in person summer ’19), he features a tailing mid to high 90s fastball which had people talking during fall instructs.  He also throws a curve and changeup which show promise.

He hasn’t logged more than 62 IP yet, but he is being developed as a starter.  A young signee, he hasn’t pitched past rookie ball but 2021 may provide a shot at higher levels and more innings.  The cancellation of the minor season leaves mystery regarding his development, but if the buzz is real, Olivarez could be an emerging prospect.

For dynasty owners, he’s probably nothing more than a low risk/high reward stash-away, but a name worth watching, and one you may want to be aggressive with if a 2021 assignment goes well.

ETA: 2023-24

 

16. CF Jameson Hannah

 

Age23

Highest Level: Single-A+ (Cal)

Traded twice since getting drafted in the 2nd round by the A’s in 2018, Hannah came to Colorado this last November from the Reds. Hannah is a rangy center-fielder who hasn’t quite translated his speed to the base paths yet having only stolen 14 bags in two years.

At 5’9″ 185 lbs, he isn’t any sort of power threat but has hit for average as a pro, .275 over his first two seasons. The projection is a speedy left-handed table setter at the top of the lineup, but he is not there yet.  A name to know for fantasy owners, but even if he does progress well, may be limited as a fantasy asset.

ETA: 2022

 

17. RHP Karl Kauffman

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: N/A

The Rockies 2nd round pick from Michigan in 2019 is yet to debut as a pro.  Kauffman logged a lot of IP in college, rested his arm, and then the 2020 season was canceled.

At 6’2″ 200 with a track record of handling a large load, Kauffman has a shot in the Rockies’ future rotation.  He features a mid-90s sinker and complements it with a changeup and slider getting mixed reviews.

He is able to command and induce ground balls at a nice clip which may play well at Coors.  Kauffman will be debuting the same season a lot of good college arms will be and may get lost in the dynasty crowd some, but he’s a name to watch.

ETA:  2022-23

 

18. SS Ezequiel Tovar

 

Age:19

Highest Level: Short Season (NWL)

Always young for his level, Tovar is a phenomenal defensive SS.  Fluid, quick, and able to make acrobatic plays few can.  He signed out of Venezuela in 2017, on his 16th birthday, and was not overmatched in his DSL debut, hitting .262, 22 BB to 33 K in 130 AB, and was able to hit .249 w/2HR in Boise while 3.8 years younger than the average competition.

Listed at 6′ 162 lb, there is a chance he may grow into some power, which was not his calling card as an amateur.  Considered raw at the plate, but able to hang with the older guys as he develops, the glove will allow him to move up levels.

If the offense comes around or continues to play as he advances, Tovar could turn into an everyday MLBer.  He was one of the more exciting players I saw come through Grand Junction and a career I am excited to watch.  There are still a lot of ways it could go, but the young guy is off to a successful pro career.

ETA: 2024

 

19. IF Julio Carreras

 

Age20

Highest Level: Rookie (Pioneer)

Carreras was not highly touted in 2018, signing out of the DR for just 15K, but he proved himself quickly during his DSL debut slashing .289/.398/.478 with 6 HR.  A strong 6’2″ 190 lb, he moves well but doesn’t scream athleticism.

Carreras’ swing is raw but he has made it work for him to this point.  An AZL assignment in 2019, he stayed consistent during his stateside debut.  Most likely best suited for 3B, Carreras may run into some snags as he moves up, but a developing powerful bat may be taking shape.  Carreras is probably more of a name to know than a dynasty priority at this point.

ETA: 2023

 

20. COF Vince Fernandez

 

Age: 25

Highest Level: Double-A (EL)

A 2016 10th round pick, Fernandez has been a power bat hitting for adequate average during his minor league career; 158 XBH in 342 G, .272 AVG.  6’3″ 210 lb with enough range to play a fine left field and a good arm, but his bat will have to carry him.  Not a priority for fantasy owners, but if he continues to hit at upper levels, a bat with pop at Coors could come into play.

ETA: 2021-22

 

21. MIF Eddy Diaz

 

Age: 20

Highest Level: Rookie (Pioneer)

A 2017 J2 signee out of Cuba as a 16 yo, the speedy Diaz is an exciting baseball player to watch; stole 104 bases in 126 rookie-level games, aggressive at the plate, and plenty of energy.  6′ 175 lb, there may be more strength to add, but he probably won’t ever provide much pop.  He is yet to hit a pro HR in three seasons.

Perhaps more suited for 2B, he has played around the infield.  Still very young, Diaz may get a crack at some higher-level baseball in 2021 as rookie ball seems conquered: .317/.366/.434 in 479 AB.  Diaz attacks at the plate, and he may need to tone it down at the plate, but thus far has remained aggressive without high strikeout rates, 71 in 479 AB.

He is a name to watch for dynasty owners, but a lot remains to be seen before we know if he will be a fantasy asset.

ETA: 2023

 

22. C/CIF Willie MacIver

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: Single-A- (SAL)

MacIver’s draft stock took a hit when he suffered an injury his senior season at Washington and ended up a 9th round pick in 2018.  He’s worked hard behind the dish, as it’s his newest position, but he’s shown vast improvements and is more athletic than most catchers.

Things are headed in the right direction defensively.  The Rockies like his offensive potential at the plate as he has shown the ability to hit for power and average.  A 2019 promotion to Single-A saw him struggle some early but ended with a .252 average and 13 HR in 117 games.

MacIver will need to cut down the strikeouts and show improvement along the way, but a C with offensive potential may be worth a dynasty owner’s watch.

ETA: 2022-23

 

23. LHP Ben Bowden*

 

Age: 26

Highest Level: Triple-A (PCL)

The Rockies took Bowden in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft after closing for Vanderbilt.  He was drafted as and has been groomed for a backend of the pen role.

Bowden is 6’4″ 235 lbs and has a mid-90s fastball that can tick up, a plus low 80s change that dives away, he misses bats to a tune of 13.15 K/9.

He does get wild at times though and has a propensity to walk to0 many hitters.  Bowden may have a chance to close someday, but how valuable is a potential closer in Coors going to be for fantasy owners?  Bowden was called up in 2020 but did not make an appearance.

ETA: 2021

 

24. OF Bladimir Restituyo

 

Age19

Highest Level: Short Season (NWL)

A 2017 J2 signing (his 16th birthday) out of the DR, Restituyo got a try against older competition in the NWL.  In 228 AB he hit .259/.266/.368, which isn’t eye-popping but for an athletic, raw kid, it could be a good sign.

Restituyo is fast but far from a polished centerfielder.  At a listed 5’10” 151 lbs, it’s hard to say how much growth is left and how much power will be had, but he does have impressive bat speed.

With projectability fantasy owners may want to be aware of, he may be worth a spec add in very deep formats, but nothing more at this point.

ETA: 2024

 

25. COF Niko Decolati

 

Age23

Highest Level: Single-A (Sal)

Decolati is one of a handful of local prospects from Colorado drafted by the Rockies in recent years, taking him in the 6th Rd of the 2018 draft.

A transition to the outfield went well where his athleticism and strong arm played.  6’1″ 215 lb with some pop and good speed, Decolati has a nice toolset to build on.

In 2019 he hit .265 hit 6 HR and stole 15 bags in 77 games.  His strikeout rate increased as he jumped a level and he is far from a major league bat at this point, but he’s got some skills to grow on a fantasy owner may find useful.

ETA: 2023

 

26. OF Coco Montes

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: Single-A (SAL)

Montes had a big senior season at South Florida which got him selected in the 15th Rd of the 2018 draft.  He then started to get some attention as a pro after hitting 21 HRs his first two seasons, adding some pop to his once hit over power offensive tool.

The 6’1″ 200, the 2018 Pioneer League MVP is probably athletic enough to play centerfield but isn’t a burner.  If Montes can continue producing as he did in the lower levels, he will become more of a watch for fantasy owners.

ETA: 2023

 

27. CF/OF Yonathan Daza*

 

Age: 26

Highest Level: MLB

Daza is a rangy centerfielder with a rifle who proved a capable line-drive hitter thru the minors.  His debut in 2019 didn’t go so well though as he went 20 for 97.  Daza doesn’t hit for power, and at 26 now, he is at the age where development starts to plateau.

Hard to see Daza as much more than a fourth OF or Quadruple-A type.  The Rockies did not call Daza up in 2020, instead going outside the organization getting outfield help when they needed it.  Fantasy owners may not want to completely forget him, but not any sort of priority.

ETA: 2019 debut

 

28. C Dom Nunez*

(No longer “prospect/rookie” eligible by MLB standards having exceeded days on active roster limit, but he is yet to exceed 130 MLB AB which is the standard used in fantasy leagues.)

 

Age: 25-26

Highest Level: MLB

A prep (CA) SS coming out in the 2013 draft, Nunez made a steady transition and progression as a catcher coming up.  In 2019 things came together for him offensively in the PCL hitting .244 17 HR and playing well defensively earning him a call and a short 16 game stint where he went 7 for 39 with 2 HR.

Nunez has some pop in his 6′ 175 lb frame but he’s never been considered an offense over defense catcher.  Nunez did not get any major league action in 2020.  Perhaps best suited as a backup on the biggest level, dynasty owners won’t need to spend roster space on Nunez, but at that position, all kinds of unheralded names prove themselves useful at times.

ETA: 2019 debut

 

29. COF Yanquiel Fernandez

 

Age: 17-18

Highest Level: N/A

Signed out of Cuba during the 2019 J2 period, Fernandez is big and physical, already 6’2″ 200 lb at a young age.  Plus raw power and a fast bat leaves believing projectable power is there.  His athleticism limits him some, but a dream of a middle of the lineup power threat exists.

Fernandez is very raw and yet to debut, but a potentially exciting bat to keep an eye on for dynasty owners.  It is rumored Fernandez was highly sought after by organizations and he chose the Rockies because they sold him on a faster track to the bigs.  Interesting rumor considering their past, slower process with prospects.  Fernandez is a name near the top of my must-watch list this year.

ETA: 2024

 

30. C/OF Colin Simpson

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: Rookie (Pioneer)

The Rockies may have found a late-round steal in Oklahoma St.’s Simpson; drafted in the 29th round of the 2019 draft.  Simpson, albeit older for the league, had a sensational season, garnering him MVP of the Pioneer League.

Slashing .309/.383/.667 with 18 HR, 49 RBI in 56 games.  Simpson is a thick, strong 5’9″ 228 who is a leftfield/catcher-type.  Simpson’s quick left-handed stroke will be what carries him.  Let’s see how it fairs against higher competition before implementing any dynasty investments.

ETA: 2023

 

31. RHP Will Ethridge

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: Short Season (NWL)

A 5th round pick out of Ole Miss in 2019, Ethridge made a 30.2 IP pro debut in Boise.  A big pitcher at 6’5″ 240 lb and a nice three-pitch mix; a sinking fastball that sits low to mid-90sSLD/CHG, he has a repertoire the Rockies seem to be targeting in young starters.

Ethridge is a soft contact pitcher but can miss some bats with his fastball, and his breaking ball was reported to have improved and started missing bats more as well.  Ethridge may move quickly if he can continue to command and get groundballs.  A potential back-end starter for the Rockies is a tough sell in fantasy but Ethridge has a chance.

ETA: 2022

 

32. IF Jack Blomgren

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: N/A

The Rockies took Michigan’s three-year starting shortstop in the 5th round of the 2020 draft.  Blomgren, at 5’10” 180, doesn’t have any over the top tools but is probably good enough to play shortstop at the highest level.

He won’t hit for power, but his line-drive swing and patient approach could play well at the top of a lineup.  Blomgren’s ceiling may be that of a bench/utility type if he were to ever make the bigs, so at this point isn’t a priority for dynasty owners, but an intriguing name for the deep league owner.

ETA: 2023

 

33. OF Casey Golden

 

Age26

Highest Level: Single-A+ (Cal)

The 20th round draft pick in 2017 is all about power.  Across his three pro seasons, Golden hit 77 HRs……and struck out 412 times in 1052 AB.

At 6’2″ 185 lb with decent speed, Golden seems to fit the mold of a power-hitting corner outfielder, but his lack of hit tool may never get him there.  Take into account he’s always been older for his level, he may be best viewed as a AAAA type by fantasy owners.

ETA: 2022

 

34. UT Connor Joe

 

Age28

Highest Level: MLB

The Rockies signed Joe to a minor league contract this off-season, which makes this his sixth organization since getting drafted in the 1st round in 2014.

Joe has also struggled to really find a place in the field, playing corner infield, catcher, and some outfield.  He has hit well at times and does have the hit tool pedigree.  This might be Joe’s last chance to stick with a team if he shows well this spring.

The Rockies do have question marks at catcher if they try him there, which may be the only way Joe warrants any attention from fantasy owners.

ETA: 2019 debut

 

35. 2B Bret Boswell

 

Age: 26

Highest Level: Double-A (EL)

Taken in the 8th round of the 2017 draft out of Texas, Boswell cruised through the lower levels hitting for average and power but then it halted in 2019 at double-A Hartford where he hit .219 and struck out 122 times in 106 games.

Boswell is a good defensive 2second baseman with a strong arm.   At 6′ 180 lb, he has more pop than you might think from the left side.  Boswell will need to prove the bat in upper levels before garnering dynasty attention.

ETA: 2021

 

36. 2B Adrian Pinto

 

Age: 18

Highest Level: N/A

Another modest but perhaps under the radar J2 signee from 2019, Pinto has a nice set of raw tools.  He’s fast, hits for a lot of contact, and is said to be almost impossible to strikeout, and is stronger than meets the eye, showing home run pop in his small 5’6″ 155 lb frame.

Still very raw and yet to debut, Pinto has a foundation to be an exciting package.  He is a name to watch for dynasty owners.

ETA: 2024

 

37. RHP Antonio Santos*

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: MLB

A 2015 J2 signee out of the Domincan Republic, Santos appeared in three games this season starting his last but not getting out of the first giving up 6 ER.

At 6’3″ 180 lb and having logged a full starter’s load in the minors, he could turn back-end starter, but his fastball, which is his main weapon, plays up out of the pen, so perhaps a little bit of a tweener right now.

His secondary offerings; changeup and breaking ball, are not spectacular.  Commanding his lively mid-90s fastball is his game.  With a lackluster profile and pitching at Coors, Santos is nothing more than a proximity watch.

ETA: 2020 debut

 

38. RHP Mitchell Kilkenny

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: Rookie (Pioneer)

The former Texas A&M Aggie was selected 76th overall in the 2018 draft.  At 6’4″ 206 lb and a track record of logging innings, going deep into games, Kilkenny has the look of a starter.

His arsenal isn’t overpowering, but he has a fastball, changeup, curve mix he commands well.  He didn’t debut until 2019, as the Rockies used 2018 as a rest year and he showed well in the Pioneer against younger competition.

Fantasy owners will have to wait and see how it goes once getting to higher levels, but he is a name to know.

ETA: 2022-23

 

39. RHP Jordan Sheffield

 

Age: 25

Highest Level: Double-A (TL)

The Rockies selected the former 36th pick of the 2016 draft from the Dodgers during this winter’s Rule 5 draft. The brother of Mariner’s pitcher Justus Sheffield will have to remain on the Rockies’ active roster for the duration of the season or be returned to LA. Sheffield, 5’10” 190 lb, will try to win a spot in the bullpen. Sheffield throws a high 90s fastball, slider, and changeup, none of which get rave reviews. Pitching in Colorado proves to be unpredictable from year to year. With that in mind and a shot at logging MLB IP, Sheffield is a name worth noting for large dynasty league owners.

ETA: 2021 (Rule 5 draftee)

 

40. RHP Riley Pint

 

Age23

Highest Level: Single-A- (Sal)

The prep (KS) righty taken 4th overall in the 2016 draft has had a disappointing career, leading to the Rockies exposing him to this year’s Rule 5 draft.  6’5″ 225, he’s big, like his fastball velocity and ERA.

He hasn’t gotten past single-A yet, and only has 28 IP under his belt since 2017 because of injuries.  He lacks command resulting in a 7.15 BB/9 during his minor league career.

Because he has raw strikeout power stuff, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him land in the bigs as a reliever if he gets things in check, but no need for dynasty owners to pay much attention here.

ETA: 2022

 

41. CIF Sean Bouchard

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: Single-A+ (Cal)

A 9th round pick in 2017 out of UCLA, Bouchard has done what he was drafted to do, hit and hit for power.  He has also done what limited his draft stock and strikes out a lot.  Producing at three of his assignments so far to a .275./346/.461 and 33 HR in 255 games clip, he’s also struck out 271 times.

Most likely a first baseman, he has played some third base too and has the arm for it.  A double-A assignment was probably in the cards for Bouchard in 2020, so we will have to see how he fairs at upper levels before a fantasy investment is warranted.

ETA: 2022

 

42. OF Elisandro Alcantara

 

Age18

Highest Level: N/A

Rockies signed Alcantara during the 2019 J2 period out of the DR.  An athletic kid with projectable power and speed, roughly 6′ 175 lb with room to grow, he has a lot of refinement yet to do and a canceled 2020 didn’t help.  Alcantara is a name to watch in 2021, most likely in the DSL.

ETA: 2024

 

43. IF/OF Juan Guerrero

 

Age: 19

Highest Level: Rookie (DSL)

The 2018 J2 signee out of the DR enjoyed a great debut in the DSL, hitting .319 and walking 21 times compared to just 26 strikeouts.

Guerrero is 6’1″ 160 lb and growing, but it’s yet to be seen where he lands defensively.  He may be athletic enough to stay up the middle, but he is raw.  Guerrero may have some growing pains along the way but he has a bat worth keeping an eye on for dynasty owners.  A stateside debut in 2021 may tell a lot about who Guerrero can be.

ETA: 2024

 

44. LHP Colten Schmidt

 

Age: 25

Highest Level: Single-A+ (CAL)

A 23rd round selection out of UL-Lafayette in 2018, Schmidt dominated his single-A assignment in 2019, earning a promotion to HiA where the results were rougher in 30+ IPs.

Schmidt actually transitioned from a reliever to a starter throwing 135 IP his first go at it.  Schmidt is more pitcher than a raw stuff guy with a low-90s fastball, a changeup with 11-12 mph differential, and a breaking ball, all of which he commands and mixes well.

Schmidt will need to prove he can make his stuff work at upper levels before getting on any fantasy radar.

ETA: 2022

 

45. OF Daniel Montano

 

Age: 21

Highest Level: Single-A- (SAL)

Montano was the Rockies’ prized signing during the 2015 J2 class out of Venezuela.  Athletic, fast, a strong 6’1″ 204 lb frame, quick bat, and able to play centerfield, but it hasn’t come together consistently.  After three seasons of rookie ball with some gains made, he struggled to consistently produce in single-A hitting .218.  Montano will have to start producing quickly to be considered by dynasty owners.

ETA: 2024

 

46. SS Warming Bernabel

 

Age: 18

Highest Level: Rookie (DSL)

Bernanbel was one of the Rockies’ highest-paid 2019 J2 signees in 2019.  He hit .250/.309/.387 in 212 DSL AB during his debut.  6′ 180 lb with some room to grow, he’s athletic but may outgrow SS.  He hit to contact, was disciplined, and showed some of his raw pop hitting 4 HR.

He is still raw, and finding a home defensively may be a concern, but he is a young bat with some exciting potential to watch in the lower levels in 2021.

ETA: 2024

 

47. MIF Alan Trejo

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: Double-A (EL)

Trejo was a two-way prospect coming out of SDSU in 2017, despite not pitching much in college.  Drafted in the 16th round, the Rockies have groomed him as a middle infielder.   A 46 game debut in the Pioneer league saw him hit .346 with 7 HR.

He then hit .278 with 10 HR in LoA and then .243 15 HR in HiA.  Probably best suited as a nice sized, hit for some power, hit for some average second baseman, Trejo’s swing may need to improve to get past the higher levels.

There is a lot of swing and miss as he’s tried to get more bat speed out of his 6’2″ 185 frame.  An offensive second baseman with some power is a fantasy asset worth investing in, but Trejo is not there yet.

ETA: 2022

 

48. 2B Isaac Collins

 

Age:23

Highest Level: Short Season (NWL)

The Rockies took the second baseman from Creighton in the 7th round of the 2019 draft.  Collins may still be a bit raw as a pro-base-stealer, but speed is his greatest tool.  Collins may not be much more than average at anything else.  Undersized at 5’9″ 185, and a path to the bigs is a long shot, but with stolen bases at a premium, dynasty owners may want to know his name.

ETA: 2024

 

49. RHP Jared Horn

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: Rookie (Pioneer)

The Rockies 7th round pick out of Cal in 2019 had a decent 45 IP debut as a 20 yo in the Pioneer league; 3.80 ERA 1.42 WHIP in 11 starts, a few of which inflated those numbers.  Horn is mainly a two-pitch pitcher, low-90s fastball, 12-6 curve, but he has shown a slider and a change.  He has a starter’s build 6’4″ 225 lb and could have a future there if a 3rd offering comes along.

Horn suffered a horrible family tragedy while in college when a drunk driver struck the car he was driving, killing his father, uncle, brother and cousin.  Pulling for the kid, but at this point, just a name to watch for dynasty owners.

ETA: 2023-24

 

50. RHP Mike Nikorak

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: Single-A- (Sal)

Selected 27th overall in the 2015 draft as a prep (PA), Nikorak only got 29.1 IP in before needing Tommy John surgery, which held him out until 2018, whereupon he only logged 8.1 IP.  In 2019 he only pitched 13 single-A innings, struck with injury again.

It’s hard to draw many conclusions from his pro career so far, which may be on life support.  He does have the history of hitting high-90s with a good curve and a project changeup and slider, but chances seem bleak the Rockies will get that 27th pick value.  Thrown here because of pedigree and nothing else, he is still only 24 yo, and crazier things have happened.

ETA: 2023

Nate Handy

Nate enjoys picking up the prospect scraps, turning over rocks to share what muddy treats he can find. Residing high up the Rocky Mountains with his wife and children, trying to stay cool, getting a broader view. A fan of the underappreciated, overlooked and disregarded. A true mud person trying to make informed mistakes.

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