Dynasty: Colorado Rockies’ 2020 Preseason Top 50 Prospects

With the Rockies home field being the hitter haven that Coors Field is, their farm system is filled with players who could one day benefit from the spacious ballpark. With how challenging it has been for pitchers to make a name for themselves as a member of the Rockies, this list, similar to the Rockies home field, is going to be very hitter-friendly. Whereas a fringe starting pitcher prospect may be worth paying attention to on most teams, knowing Coors Field will one day swallow them up makes the dynasty upside hard to see.

This farm is impressive with its wealth of talent they’ve acquired via international free agency, which almost makes up for the ineptitude they’ve shown in the early rounds of the MLB Draft when selecting starting pitching.

The big question with this organization has consistently been “When are they gonna give their young guys a chance?” As part of an organization that’s frequently wishy-washy on giving their best prospects consistent MLB reps, Rockies prospects are always going to have that cloud over their head early in their careers, and if they struggle early there’s a constant worry of a benching or demotion.

Note: These Top 50 lists are all done through a fantasy baseball-focused lens. Many players who are ranked higher or lower on other platforms will get a boost here. For example, players who profile as middle relievers or glove-first infielders likely won’t have much fantasy relevance, so they won’t be ranked as highly. 

 

1. Brendan Rodgers

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: MLB 

The third pick of the 2015 draft, Brendan Rodgers is one of the more complete prospects in baseball. His lead trait is his power, which could translate to 30-to-35 home run seasons in his friendly home field. His hit tool is above average. His plate discipline isn’t great, but he makes up for that in a myriad of ways, such as continuously making hard contact. In the majors he will likely play second base due to Trevor Story’s presence, which increases his short-term value. He’s also above average in the field, and has a chance to be a gold-glove-caliber second baseman or shortstop. 

Rodgers is an average baserunner. In his prime I expect we’ll see some .280 seasons with league-average walk rates and 30 home runs. It’s just a matter of when Colorado gives him an everyday opportunity. Once he gets that opportunity he’s going to excel, as he’s one of the higher-floor prospects in all of baseball, and is far and away the best prospect in the Rockies organization. He missed the back-end of the 2019 season due to a torn labrum, which can be a tricky injury to come back from, but stay patient if he struggles out of the gate to start 2020.

 

2. Michael Toglia


Age: 21

Highest Level: Low-A

A 2019 first round pick from UCLA, Michael Toglia is a switch-hitting power bat with a ton of upside. Toglia has a huge frame at 6’5” 226 lbs, and there’s a chance he ends up having the best power in this organization; he has a swing with enough loft to make it play in the lower minors. In his first professional season, I was extremely impressed by Toglia’s plate discipline. The 25.6% strikeout rate was actually lower than I thought it would be, and the 15.9% walk rate may have been the most impressive part of Toglia’s 2019. If he’s already posting walk rates that high against older competition, he could post elite marks as he progresses through the minors. 

Toglia is a really good athlete, and may show enough in the field to play in the corner outfield spots occasionally, although in the big outfields of Coors I don’t know if he shows enough range to make that a regular occurrence. If Toglia can keep his strikeout rates around 24-27%, there’s a chance he’s a top-30ish prospect, especially with the looming help from Coors Field one day. There’s not many guys in baseball I have more confidence in becoming a middle-of-the-order bat than Toglia. 

 

3. Ryan Vilade

 

Age: 20

Highest Level: High-A

A 2017 second round pick out of high school, Ryan Vilade is coming off an extremely impressive High-A debut in 2019. Vilade’s hit tool is very good, he won’t strike out a ton, and he could have close to even K:BB ratios by the time he hits his prime. After going 22-for-40 on steal attempts in his first two seasons, Vilade had an impressive 2019 on the basepaths, going a much more efficient 24-for-31; however, given how he’s still adding to his frame, I don’t see him being more than a 10-15 steal guy in the majors. 

After struggling with his power in 2018, Vilade was impressive in 2019 with 12 home runs in 587 plate appearances, and increased his ISO from .094 to .163. I believe in the power being above average, and could see him hitting around .290 with 25 home runs and 10 steals if he hits his realistic ceiling. 

The only questions in his game are pretty much if he can sustain the power improvements he showed in 2019 and where will he play in the field, with the options likely being either third base or second base. Vilade is pretty close to a five-tool prospect, and the upside in Coors could be astronomical depending on how he develops. Vilade isn’t necessarily far away from being MLB ready, as a huge Double-A season could give him 2020 MLB hype, but the expectation given the organization he plays for should be that he debuts at the end of 2021 and is hopefully an everyday starter by 2022. 

 

4. Julio Carreras  

 

Age: 19

Highest Level: Rookie-Ball

A talented young international free agent signing, Julio Carreras was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2017. Carreras has a solid frame to build on, currently listed at 6’1” 166lbs, his lead trait is his raw power. Carreras is already starting to show his power in games, as his .168 ISO in 307 plate appearances last season is highly encouraging. He swings extremely hard, but is inconsistent with his swing-path and has a lot of swing-and-miss in his profile as well. 

Carreras combines that power with intriguing speed. It’s tough to project speed with guys who project to add weight to their frames, but right now I would project Carreras to be a 15-20 steal player, with a chance to fall to a 5-10 steal guy depending on how he develops. Carreras is very quick in the field also, and should be able to remain at shortstop as he ages. The things to watch for are hopefully an improved walk rate and how his power plays against more advanced competition, but Carreras is certainly already an extremely fun young prospect, and given his impressive tools already jumping off the screen, he is someone I’m highly buying in on. 

 

5. Aaron Schunk

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: Low-A

A 2019 second round pick from the University of Georgia, Aaron Schunk is a third base prospect with a lot of power. Schunk has a ton of bat speed, and has an aggressive, line-drive oriented swing. Schunk’s power may result in multiple 50-double seasons, rather than huge home run totals given the nature of his approach, but him getting to 20-25 home runs a season wouldn’t be surprising. Schunk has below average speed, but is fairly sound in the field. Schunk shouldn’t strike out a ton in the lower minors, and I would actually expect to see his plate discipline turn into a huge skill.

Schunk’s bat is probably ready for Double-A, and I could definitely see him being a quick riser. I’ll be intrigued if the Rockies try playing him in the corner outfield spots at all in 2020, with Nolan Arenado obviously blocking Schunk at some point. 

 

6. Helcris Olivarez

 

Age: 19

Highest Level: Rookie-Ball

A 2016 international free agent signing from the Dominican Republic, Helcris Olivarez has been a huge revelation for the Rockies. The 19-year-old lefty has a hard fastball that sits at around 94, it’s already an above average offering and has a chance to be a 60-grade pitch as he develops. Olivarez also has a nice curveball that needs some work, but shows signs of being a plus pitch. His third pitch is a changeup that needs a lot of tuning, but has been useful against immature hitting. He also has a well filled out frame at 6’2” 192lbs, meaning durability shouldn’t be a main issue for Olivarez. 

The primary red flag for Olivarez is his control. In his first sample in one of the many extremely hitter-friendly stops in Colorado’s minor league affiliates, Olivarez managed a 24:61 BB:K ratio in 46 ⅔ innings. The command of the secondaries is his biggest issue right now, and it’s one that I’m going to really hope he fixes, because 19-year-old lefties with plus velocity, multiple plus pitches, and a big frame are fairly rare. Olivarez is another young international free agent that I would consider a huge buy at the moment, as to me he’s the one starting pitcher in this organization that has a realistic chance to be special. 

 

7. Terrin Vavra


Age: 22

Highest Level: A-Ball

A 2018 third round pick from the University of Minnesota, Terrin Vavra has taken advantage of a mature plate approach to dominate lower-level pitching, but entering his age 23 season before having a plate appearance at High-A is a bit concerning. Vavra’s best skill is his hit tool, as Vavra makes consistently hard contact and has developed a repeatable line-drive swing. Vavra’s plate discipline is also potentially elite, as he managed a 62:62 BB:K ratio last season in A-Ball, but that was against mostly younger competition.Vavra has average speed and power, but at Coors that could result in 15 home run, 15 stolen base seasons. Vavra has the ability to play both middle infield positions, and he profiles very similarly to what was expected from fellow Rockies middle infielder Garrett Hampson

I’m extremely intrigued to see what he does against older competition, something that hasn’t been asked of him since his sophomore year of college. Right now, I see Vavra as more of a useful utility infielder, who’s production outmatches that because of where he plays his home games, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if he just continues to be extremely productive and makes his ranking look laughably low. 

 

8. Vince Fernandez

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: Double-A

A 2016 10th round pick from UC Riverside, Vince Fernandez is one of the best power hitters in this Rockies farm system. Since being drafted, Fernandez has been extremely productive. In his 2018 High-A debut season, Fernandez hit 24 home runs with a .902 OPS and also picked up ten steals. 

Fernandez’s lead trait is easily his power. There’s a chance with everyday time he’d be a 35-40 home run bat. Fernandez isn’t great in the field, but should be able to stick at left thanks to big arm, despite limited range. 

The flaws in his profile are he has almost no speed, and that there’s a bit too much swing-and-miss right now. In High-A and Double-A his strikeout rate has been at 33.5%, with the walk rate being fine at 12.3%, but a strikeout rate that high is going to be tough to play at the MLB level. Fernandez makes such good contact that if he can get that down to just a normally bad rate, he’d probably be a top five prospect in this organization, but the strikeouts combined with a bit of concern coming off a 50 game suspension  leads him to be lower on this list than his talent would indicate. 

 

9. Ryan Rolison

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: High-A

A 2018 first round pick out of Ole Miss, Ryan Rolison has quickly made a name for himself as the best pitching prospect in this organization for most scouts. Rolison already has a pretty legitimate four-pitch offering. His fastball is very good, sitting at about 92-93 from the left side with excellent command. His curveball has good movement, and is shockingly well controlled for a pitcher this young, I would say the curve is his best pitch at this point. Rolison also throws a changeup and slider that both need some work, but I expect both become legitimate secondaries. 

Rolison is going to need to have elite control, to make up for average velocity if he wants to be a legitimate high-end starting pitcher. Otherwise, I worry about a guy who’s reliant on soft contact and changing speeds being a great option, especially at Coors Field. There’s a floor of a No. 4 starting pitcher, which is why he’s so high on this list, but I do worry a bit about the upside for a pitcher who I don’t ever see running above average strikeout rates. There’s enough here to make me think of him as a future major leaguer with a long career, but if you need to see how this goes wrong, look at Kyle Freeland’s career arc. 

 

10. Bladimir Restituyo

 

Age: 18

Highest Level: Low-A

A 2016 international free agent from Venezuela, Bladimir Restituyo has quickly made noise in the Rockies farm at an extremely young age. Last season at just 17 years old, Restituyo hit for a .310/.326/.476 slash line in 90 plate appearances in Rookie-Ball, after starting his season in Low-A and looking a bit overmatched. 

Restituyo is extremely raw, but has multiple clear carrying tools. The one that jumps off the screen when watching him is his speed; Restituyo is legitimately one of the fastest players in this organization. He combines that with power that has a chance to be great, but for an 18-year-old is pretty solid already. It’s more gap power that he possesses now, but there’s a legitimate chance Restituyo ends up profiling as a potential 25 home run, 25 stolen base bat. He also has shown great range, although his arm isn’t great. It’s unknown whether or not he’ll primarily play second base, shortstop, the outfield, or all of the above as he develops.

The flaws in his game are also very clear, the plate discipline needs to improve. He’s only 18, and plate discipline is typically something that can be developed, so it’s not a disaster that he had a 4:69 BB:K ratio last season in 325 plate appearances for the season in 2019, but it’s definitely something that needs to show improvement in 2020 for him to be a legitimate top of the organization prospect. I’m pretty sure I’ll be higher on Restituyo than most, and when a guy shows this much potential and this many clear tools at such a young age, I’m okay with betting on that. 

 

11. Grant Lavigne

 

Age: 20

Highest Level: A-Ball

The only first round first baseman in the 2018 draft, Grant Lavigne combines a potentially elite batting eye with great raw power to make himself one of the most interesting prospects in this farm system. Lavigne has ran walk rates at 17.4% and 12.9%, with strikeout rates at 24.5% and 15.5% in his first two professional seasons, and typically that’s something that will get better with age. The fact Lavigne is already walking so much is a huge sign in his favor, but a .674 OPS in a less hitter-friendly environment than Grand Junction isn’t great, especially considering that’s where Lavigne had been dominant the year before.

Lavigne probably needs to be an above average-elite power hitter to make good on his draft pedigree, much more than what he showed in 2019, but he’s also very good in the field, has solid speed for a first baseman, and hits the ball very hard, so there are things for him to fall back on. Lavigne should debut in High-A to start 2020, in which the home field in Lancaster, is a more similar environment to where he dominated in Rookie-Ball, so look for Lavigne to see his stock rise in 2020, and possibly buy in on him before it does. There’s enough here to make me believe that he eventually becomes a productive regular in Coors at some point in the next 3-5 years, despite the ugly season he had in 2019. 

 

12. Colton Welker

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: Double-A

A 2016 fourth round pick, Colton Welker entered 2019 with top-100 prospect buzz, but an injury-shortened season with some regression in his ability to make consistently hard contact was a bit disappointing. Welker possesses clearly above average raw power, and has improved in the plate discipline department to a point where I’d project him to have slightly above average walk-to-strikeout ratios in the majors. He has almost no speed, and his range in the field isn’t great, but is made up for with a great arm. Welker’s plate approach is very line-drive heavy, and has at times led to extended droughts in the power department.

Despite performing admirably in Double-A for a 21-year-old, Welker is likely at least two or three years away from seeing the majors due to the organization he plays for and is currently being blocked by one of the best third basemen in baseball in Nolan Arenado. He started to play first base more in 2019, but still needs a lot of development before he’s playable in the majors there. If Welker can make consistently hard contact against more advanced pitching and further develops his raw power, he’s going to put up great numbers some day in Coors, but Welker needs to look closer to competent at first base if he wants to make an impact any time soon. 

 

13. Ezequiel Tovar

 

Age: 18

Highest Level: Low-A

Prospects that put up respectable numbers at 17 years old above the rookie levels are always going to be guys I’m high on, and Ezequiel Tovar fits that description. Tovar was signed via international free agency in 2017 out of Venezuela, and Tovar has looked like a great investment so far. Tovar is very solid in the field when it comes to his range, but has struggled with errors due to his arm, but that’s to be expected for somebody so young. 

Tovar was moved up to Low-A after a blistering start in Rookie-Ball, and the numbers weren’t awful for a 17-year-old. A .617 OPS isn’t anything great, but his 13 stolen bases on as many tries were fairly impressive, as was his 20.7% strikeout rate, although the walk rate was just 6.6%. Tovar has great speed, and an impressive hit tool, but needs to improve upon his 6’0″ 160lb frame and show some more power before being a complete prospect. With that being said, I’ll always be okay being wrong on prospects that perform competently against much mature competition, and Tovar fits that bill for me. He’s a great athlete and switch-hitting middle infielders with multiple tools have such high floors that Tovar is one of my favorite buys in this organization. 

 

14. Sam Hilliard

 

Age: 25

Highest Level: MLB

A 2015 15th round pick, Sam Hilliard has hit his way to the majors. Coming off a 35 home run season in the hitter-friendly PCL, the Rockies gave Hilliard a chance in the majors to end the 2019 season and the results were impressive. In 87 plate appearances, Hilliard hit seven home runs with a 1.006 OPS. The 9:23 BB:K ratio doesn’t look great, but if he can sustain a 26% strikeout rate and a 10% walk rate as he did at the end of his short major league sample last season, he’s going to hit for enough power to make that acceptable. 

Hilliard has elite raw power, with his massive 6’5″ 238 lb frame, you can tell in the box Hilliard is a power hitter. For someone with that frame, Hilliard also has surprisingly above average speed, as he’s stolen between 23-37 bases each of the last four seasons, including two in as many tries in his time in the majors, although he’s probably more of a 10-15 steal guy in the majors, that will certainly play with his power. In the field he’s passable thanks to his huge arm, but I would definitely only trust him to play the corners.

There are two huge questions that will decide how valuable Hilliard is in 2020. The first of which: Are the improvements against left-handed pitching legitimate? In 2018, Hilliard posted a .577 OPS with a 39.8% strikeout rate against lefties. However, that was by far the worst season of his minor league career, as his OPS against lefties has never been below .740 in any other season, and in 2019 there was just a 12 point difference in his OPS against lefties and righties. In Hilliard’s archetype of a left-handed power-hitting outfielder with a ton of swing-and-miss in his game, those guys normally can’t hit lefties, and while Hilliard has shown an ability to do so, I’d still look at him as mostly a platoon outfielder, who only maybe sees 50-100 plate appearances a season against lefties.

The other big question, and probably the more important one: Can Hilliard keep his strikeout rate at just bad instead of disastrously bad? In the PCL, Hilliard struck out 29.3% of the time, and in Double-A it was even worse at 31.2%. With strikeout rates that high with mediocre walk rates, it’s hard to see him as an everyday player. If he continues to mature (2020 will be his age 26 season) then the 26% rate he had in the majors could be sustainable, but in the majors with how inconsistent his plate approach can be, I’d expect that mark to be closer to 30-35%. I still believe Hilliard will be useful as a platoon outfielder fantasy owners always play in home games, but I don’t think he’s everyday starter material.

 

15. Willie Maclver

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: A-Ball

A 2018 ninth round pick from the University of Washington, Willie Maclver has shown tools he had never shown while in college with the bat, while transforming himself into a legitimately above average catcher behind the plate. In 2019, his first full professional season at catcher (he played third base in college), Maclver threw out 37% of runners attempting to steal on him, and while that number is always going to be higher with immature runners on the basepaths, that’s still an impressive number. Maclver also had positive reports of his framing and receiving, both of which are huge signs in him becoming a potential everyday catcher. 

His 2019 home in Asheville was certainly a hitter-friendly environment, but even with that being said Maclver’s numbers at the plate were a surprise. After posting OPS rates in the low-mid .600s in his last two seasons at UW, Maclver posted a .741 OPS with 13 home runs in 2019. The raw power has always been intriguing with Maclver, and with it showing legitimate development so early into his professional career, I am definitely in on his progression as a hitter. If his below average plate discipline can get better, I feel comfortable saying he’d be the Rockies catcher of the future, but for now, Maclver looks like an intriguing option with tools to build on in 2020. 

 

16. Tyler Nevin


Age: 22

Highest Level: Double-A

A 2015 first round pick out of high school, Tyler Nevin is a unique prospect as a high-profile first baseman who doesn’t profile as a good power hitter. Nevin’s ability to make good contact off of advanced pitching is his most important swing-skill, as the power isn’t great, and is definitely below average for a first baseman. Nevin makes up for this with very good plate discipline, as he posted a career best 12.0% walk rate in his debut season in Double-A, with a 16.7% strikeout rate. Nevin’s fast and athletic for a first baseman, but I don’t see it translating into stolen base success.

The key for Nevin is that he has to hit for a high average to be a high-level prospect. He’d shown the ability to do so in the lower minors, but in his debut Double-A season, Nevin hit just .251. If he can make enough good contact that his batting averages are closer to the upper .290s, then he’s a starting caliber first base prospect, but if not he’s probably a solid bench bat. It will be very interesting to see how Nevin’s power can play up in the hitter friendly PCL in 2020. 

 

17. Ashton Goudeau

 

Age: 27

Highest Level: Triple-A

A 27th round pick in the 2012 MLB draft by the Royals, Ashton Goudeau has had a super unique journey to making his way onto this list. After flaming out of both the Royals and Mariners organizations, Goudeau was a minor league free agent last season, meaning any team in baseball could’ve had him. It may be the only time this is ever said about a pitcher, but thank heavens the Rockies signed him because they figured something out with his fastball-curveball combination that unlocked the best season of his career.

In 2019, Goudeau threw 78 ⅓ innings with a 2.07 ERA. Even more impressively, his control, that has always been a bit of an issue for him, was just magically fixed, as his 91:12 K:BB ratio is just him out-classing his competition. The Rockies sent him to the notoriously hitter-friendly Arizona Fall League to end his season, and he won multiple awards there including being named to the all Arizona Fall League team at the of their season. This came after throwing 13 innings of scoreless baseball with an 18:4 K:BB ratio over six appearances out of the bullpen in his stint at the Fall League.

I don’t know what the Rockies long-term plan is with Goudeau, I’m not sure why as a 26-year-old they chose to let him stay in Double-A, rather than bringing him up to the majors, even if they did so just for the end of the season. I’m not sure if their plan is to use him as a starter as they did all season in Double-A, or as a reliever as they did in the Arizona Fall League. The only thing I am sure of is that his 95 MPH fastball, and sharp curveball (which was probably the best pitch in the AZFL), looked exceptional in 2019, and I want to be in on guys that have two great pitches, especially ones as under the radar as Goudeau was.

 

18. Jacob Wallace

 

Age: 21

Highest Level: Low-A

I don’t know if it’s possible, but the Rockies may have to turn into an organization that pitches primarily with openers, because the amount of electric arms in the bullpen for this farm system is incredible. Jacob Wallace was a third round pick in the 2019 draft, and after posting electric numbers in his senior year at UConn (68:10 K:BB, 0.64 ERA, 16 saves, 42.0 IP), Wallace joined the Rockies Low-A affiliate and had 12 more saves along with a 1.29 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 21 innings. 

Wallace’s fastball has hit as high as 100 MPH, but sits closer to 95-97, but still projects as a very plus pitch. He also throws a mid-80’s slider with hard break, but if there’s any flaw it’s that it wasn’t great in his small minor league sample. Still, Wallace projects like a future star out of the bullpen, and it would not at all be surprising if he’s the first player from the 2018 draft class to make the majors. 

 

19. Fadriel Cruz

 

Age: 19

Highest Level: Dominican Summer League

A 2017 international free agent signing from the Dominican Republic, Fadriel Cruz is one of the toolsiest players in the Rockies farm system. Cruz has a projectable frame at 5’10” 170lbs, and has played shortstop, centerfield, and second base in the lowest levels of the minors.

Cruz has a mature plate approach leading to good plate discipline production and is extremely fast. It doesn’t really matter because you need to take Dominican Summer League stats with about 1,000 grains of salt, but Cruz did steal 36 bases in 56 games last season. 

Cruz is extremely far away, but a combination of speed and plate discipline isn’t the most common for someone who hasn’t even played in Low-A yet, more of someone to watch than a buy, but if the league is deep enough, I like taking flyers on guys like Cruz. 

 

20. Roberto Ramos 

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: Triple-A

A 2014 16th round pick, Roberto Ramos is a power-first bat that really doesn’t have any other major skills. He’s very slow, and will only play first base in the majors. His plate discipline has gone from awful-to-below average, which shows that there could be room for more improvement, but if not a 28% strikeout rate may be hard to overcome, although he has drawn walks at above average rates. I also believe there’s a legitimate question as to if Ramos can hit left-handed pitching at the major league level. The left-handed power hitting archetype typically struggle mightily against lefties, and while Ramos has been fine against them in the minors, he’s also been much better against righties and while I can’t say it’s definitive, I’d be surprised if he ever played consistently against them. 

Even with all of that, Ramos is still an intriguing prospect. When Ramos steps in the box he just looks like a pure power hitter. His frame is a huge part of that power, currently listed at 6’4″ 220lbs, although I wouldn’t be surprised if that was closer to 240 in 2019. Ramos has legitimate 65 grade raw power, and has certainly shown it off with 62 home runs over his past two seasons.

If Ramos can either cut his strikeout rate or draw crazy high walk rates, there’s a chance there’s an interesting option here, especially in the hitter-friendly Coors field. However, I think Ramos is the type of prospect who may really need Coors Field to make a legitimate impact, and Ramos is eligible for the rule five draft, meaning that if the Rockies don’t add him to their 40-man roster he would be eligible to be drafted to any team’s major league roster for 2020. This is a bit of a placeholder ranking, if Ramos is placed on the Rockies 40-man roster, he shoots up this ranking because you know you’re getting production in some way in 2020. However, if he isn’t placed on the 40, that likely means the Rockies don’t see him as part of their future, and whether he’s drafted or not it would be a negative to his value. 

 

21. Ben Bowden

 

Age: 25

Highest Level: Triple-A

A 2016 second round pick, Ben Bowden is very clearly a future lefty dominator out of the bullpen. Bowden’s fastball sits at around 95, but has hit as high as 97 from the left-side. His changeup has been dominant, and is already a plus-pitch. He’s been developing a slider, but it needs lots of work before being more than a throwaway pitch. 

The swing skill between Bowden being a future closer and a middle reliever is going to be his command of his secondaries. Bowden posted a 42:7 K:BB ratio in 25 ⅔ Double-A innings last season, but struggled to a 37:17 K:BB ratio in 26 Triple-A innings. Even if the control is an issue, Bowden should still be dominant against left-handed hitting, as Bowden allowed lefties to hit .104 with an insane 37.5% strikeout rate. 

 

22. Alexander Martinez

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: A-Ball

A 2014 international free agent signing from the Dominican Republic, Alexander Martinez is a hard-throwing reliever that is coming off a great debut season in A-Ball in which he had a 69:17 K:BB ratio over 58 innings. 

Martinez’s best pitch is his 96-98 MPH fastball. Martinez also throws a hard curveball that serves as a secondary strikeout pitch, and a changeup that needs a lot of development. Martinez looks like a future closer, but could be among the elite relief prospects in baseball if he can develop his changeup and show it against more advanced hitting. 

 

23. Will Ethridge

 

Age: 21

Highest Level: Low-A

A 2019 fifth round pick from Ole Miss, Will Ethridge posted mostly unspectacular numbers while in college, but good command, and an ability to draw grounders should make Ethridge a quick riser through this farm system. Ethridge’s fastball sits at about 92-93 with good sink, leading to a ton of soft contact. His other two pitches are a slider and a changeup that both need work, the slider needs to find consistent movement, while the change up needs a bit of a command tweak.

Ethridge is probably going to be something between a long relief pitcher, and a stable back-of-the-rotation starter. What decides that will be if either the slider or changeup or both can become plus pitches. I’ll also be intrigued to see how Ethridge’s contact heavy approach does in the extremely hitter-friendly confines of the Rockies minor league affiliates, as that should give us a bit of a preview on how his stuff will play in Coors.

 

24. Adael Amador 

 

Age: 16

Highest Level: N/A

The 12th ranked 2019 International Free Agent according to MLB.com, the Rockies signed him with a $1.5 million signing bonus this past summer. Amador is obviously extremely far away, but has shown a fluid swing, good speed, and a solid 6’0” 160lb frame that can be expected to get bigger as he develops. 

Defensively, he’s shown potential to be a very good shortstop, but needs to add arm strength, I would guess he ends up a second baseman, but it’s extremely early to say that with any conviction. He’s interesting and will be worth watching in the Dominican Summer League in 2020. 

 

25. Tommy Doyle

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: High-A

A 2017 second round pick, Tommy Doyle looks like one of the best relief prospects in this organization. Doyle’s fastball is his best pitch, regularly hitting 95-97 and topping out at 99. Doyle also throws a hard slider with good movement, but spotty control. 

Doyle’s coming off a solid season as the closer for Lancaster, in which he had a 48:13 K:BB ratio with a 3.25 ERA in 36 innings. Doyle has a chance to be a future closer if his slider can develop into a dominant pitch. 

 

26. Brian Mundell

 

Age: 25

Highest Level: Triple-A

A 2015 seventh round pick from Cal Poly, Brian Mundell is a mature hitter that lacks any plus tools, but the sum of all of his parts may be enough to work in Coors Field. Mundell doesn’t have a ton of power, as the 11 home runs and .521 slugging percentage from a season ago in Triple-A aren’t indicative of what he is as a hitter. Mundell does have good plate discipline and at 6’3″ 230lbs he has the frame of a more powerful hitter. 

Mundell probably needs to hit for a high average or walk at an elite rate (both of which reasonably could happen given his skillset) to be in anyway useful. He’s played first base and left field in the minors, but I imagine he’s a first base only prospect as a major leaguer, and there’s pretty much no speed to speak of. Really, with Mundell the hope is Coors Field + good plate discipline + a breakthrough in either the power department or him being a better pure hitter than he’s ever shown turns him into a useful player, but betting on 25-year-olds to make huge skill improvements is a bit of a fool’s errand. However, given how friendly the hitting environment is in baseball right now (times ten in Colorado), I’d rather take a shot on a fringy hitter than a fringy pitcher if both have limited tools. 

 

27. Bret Boswell

 

Age: 25

Highest Level: Double-A

A 2017 eighth round pick from the University of Texas, Bret Boswell’s profile screams future utility player. Before 2019, Boswell had only played second and third base, but in 2019 Boswell played in the outfield for the first time and the results were very good. His positional versatility could end up being huge for him, because the bat needs some work for Boswell.

Boswell has above average power, and the fact that he’s shown it off with home run production is helpful. Other than the power, it’s not great for Boswell at the plate. His plate discipline has been awful his entire minor league career, and hasn’t shown signs of improvement, registering a 7.9% walk rate with a 30.2% strikeout rate. There’s no speed to speak of either, so Boswell is going to need to improve somewhere, or become a better power hitter if he wants to be viable as a fantasy option. 

 

28. Ryan Castellani 

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: Triple-A

A 2014 second round pick, Ryan Castellani has stagnated in the upper levels of the Rockies farm. Castellani looked like a potential breakout after his 2016 season, in which Castellani had a 3.81 ERA with a 142:50 K:BB ratio in his first season of High-A as a 20-year-old. However, Castellani has followed that up with back-to-back disappointing seasons in Double-A, and a disaster 2019 season in Triple-A. Castellani had an 8.31 ERA with a 47:30 K:BB ratio in just 43 ⅓ innings, before his season ended early due to injury.

There’s some hope for optimism, as Castellani had a very good stint in the Arizona Fall League at the end of 2019, as he posted a 20:7 BB:K ratio in 16 ⅔ innings, but needs to show extended improvements with his command before he’s a legitimate prospect again. 

 

29. Riley Pint

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: A-Ball

The fourth pick of the 2016 draft out of high school, it’s hard to imagine a worse start to a professional career than the one Riley Pint has had. There’s really not much more to say than in 2019 he had an 8.66 ERA across 17 ⅔ innings. The most disappointing part is the 31 walks surrendered in those 17 ⅔ innings. 

For what it’s worth, Pint has dealt with injuries for the most part over the past two seasons, and there’s still a ton of talent here. His fastball is great and his curveball has shown signs of being a plus pitch. The hope here is that you can build Pint’s health and confidence back up in the bullpen and he has a Hunter Harvey-esque renaissance, although he’ll need to show a lot before I believe in any legitimate development.

 

30. Eddy Diaz

 

Age: 19

Highest Level: Rookie-Ball

A 2016 international free agent signing from Cuba, Eddy Diaz is a speedy middle infield prospect, with an impressive hit tool. The hit tool is his leading skill, as his line-drive swing and plus-speed has led him to big babip’s in the lower minors. There’s not much power here, but the batted ball skills are good enough to make him worth watching. If he starts next season in Low-A and doesn’t get overmatched he’ll become a big riser. 

 

31. Brenton Doyle

 

Age: 21

Highest Level: Rookie-Ball

A 2019 fourth round pick from Division II Shepherd University, Brenton Doyle is an athletic corner outfielder, with potentially huge raw power. Doyle’s speed is his swing-skill, given his building frame (6’3” 200lb) I don’t think that the speed he showed in rookie-ball is legitimate, but he may be a 5-10 steal guy. 

There’s a lot of swing-and-miss in his swing, and he’s super far away, but the raw tools are interesting for a guy who wasn’t on many mainstream draft boards going into the 2019 draft. 

 

32. Francisco Palma

 

Age: 18

Highest Level: Dominican Summer League

A 2017 international free agent signing from Venezuela, Francisco Palma has above average speed and raw power, and scouts that have seen him live have said he’s played well at both corner outfield spots. Super far away, and could easily be nothing, but potentially interesting tools and projectable frame (5’11” 165lb) puts him on this list. 

 

33. Warming Bernabel

 

Age: 17

Highest Level: Dominican Summer League

A high-profile international free agent signing in 2018 from the Dominican Republic, Warming Bernabel has good plate skills, and even more impressive raw power. Obviously super far away, but definitely toolsy. Lacks a defensive position at this point, as I don’t think he has enough range to stay at third. 

 

34. Pedro Mota

 

Age: 18

Highest Level: Dominican Summer League

A 2018 international free agent signing from the Dominican Republic, Pedro Mota is a versatile infield prospect. Mota’s long frame at 6’1” 160lbs is definitely projectable, and despite the middling results there’s a good amount of raw power in his bat. The speed is also projectable, but it’s hard to say to what degree because of how fluctuant speed can be when bulking up. 

Mota showed promising plate discipline at a young age, and given how solid he looked in 2019, it wouldn’t surprise me if he puts up solid numbers in Low-A as an 18-year-old, which would make him a huge riser on this list. 

 

35. Robert Tyler


Age: 24

Highest Level: High-A

A 2016 first round pick from the University of Georgia, Robert Tyler has dealt with constant injuries, leading to a move from the rotation to the bullpen. Tyler’s fastball may be the best in the organization when he’s healthy, as it hits 97-100 with huge spin.  Tyler also has a pretty good changeup and has thrown a knuckle curve at times, but has mostly given up on that offering since moving to the bullpen. 

Tyler’s really only shown his upside at one point in his career, in 2018 he threw 38 ⅓ innings in A-Ball, while posting a 52:7 K:BB ratio in that span. Unfortunately, that was followed by a 9 ⅔ inning stint in High-A where he surrendered a 9.64 ERA with a 5:5 BB:K ratio. 

Tyler’s pure arm talent is keeping him on this list, but he needs to show something this season. His command was never great, but since the myriad of injuries it’s been a huge struggle for him. 

 

36. Casey Golden 

 

Age: 25

Highest Level: High-A

A 20th round pick in the 2017 draft out of UNC Wilmington, Casey Golden has one great skill, his power. That’s pretty much it. He can’t really make contact against mature pitching, and isn’t great in the outfield. He’s struck out at a 34% rate each of the last two seasons. He walks at an average clip, but he’s also been facing significantly younger pitching all of his professional career.

If he’s putting together similar production in 2020 against Double-A pitching he’ll belong slightly higher on this list, but he’ll still be a one-tool corner outfield with his first Double-A competition coming in his age 25 season. 

 

37. Josh Fuentes

 

Age: 26

Highest Level: MLB

A rare undrafted prospect, Josh Fuentes has just raked his way through the Rockies farm system. Fuentes has just continuously hit for OPS’s in the mid-high .800s before a 2019 in which he may have been the only player in baseball to not see a power bump from the PCL. Fuentes isn’t great in the field, and probably has limited time to make a name for himself as a platoon option at either first or third base. Fuentes hits the ball pretty hard and can get hot for stretches, but I think he’ll strike out too much to make a legitimate impact at the MLB level. 

 

38. Jimmy Herron

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: High-A

A Chicago Cubs third round pick in 2018 draft, Jimmy Herron was traded to the Rockies for international pool money. Herron has a solid frame at 6’1” 195lbs. After struggling mightily in his time with the Cubs, Herron slashed .338/.403/.544 in 77 plate appearances with the Rockies High-A affiliate. Herron has a bit of speed, and solid plate discipline.

There’s potential in his raw power, but he’s yet to show it over a long sample. I will definitely be intrigued to see what he does in a full season in a hitter-friendly environment. 

 

39. Rico Garcia

 

Age: 25

Highest Level: MLB

A 2016 30th round pick from Hawaii Pacific University, Rico Garcia has been a surprisingly quick riser through the Rockies Farm. Throwing from the right side, Garcia’s fastball has improved from where it was in college, and has hit as high as 98 MPH, but mostly sits from 93-95. His best secondary is his tight curveball, which has been his best strikeout pitch in the upper-minors.

Garcia has another solid secondary in his cutter/two-seamer, (it looks more like a cutter to me) which has been successful in forcing weak contact. I worry about how that pitch will play in Coors, but it’s done well in arguably tougher environments like the PCL, so he may be just really good at drawing soft contact. 

Some evaluators have looked at Garcia as a top 15-ish prospect in this organization, and while pitchers in this are always going to be more devalued in dynasty rankings, I really don’t see that. Garcia could be a No. 5 with good matchup appeal, but I think the more likely case is he’s a career long-man/spot-starter, with stints in the back-ends of bullpens by the times he hits his 30’s. 

 

40. Kyle Datres

 

Age: 23

Highest Level: A-Ball

A 2018 12th round pick, Kyle Datres is a mature hitter with good bat speed, and average plate discipline. He should be able to play the corner infield spots, potentially with some second base added in. I don’t think he hits for enough power to rise up this list, but good plate skills and average speed could be enough. 

 

41. Reid Humphreys

 

Age: 24

Highest Level: Double-A

A 2016 seventh round pick, Reid Humphreys had a breakout 2018, in which across High-A and Double-A, Humphreys posted a 2.03 ERA with a 58:20 K:BB ratio across 40 innings. Unfortunately, injuries ruined his 2019 season and he threw just three innings for the season. When healthy, Humphries combines a fastball that sits around 97-98, along with a cutter, changeup, and slider that had shown to be useful pitches.  

I worry that Humphries struggles upon returning, especially considering control of his secondaries was already his biggest worry, but before injury he looked like another future potential closer in this loaded relief system. 

 

42. Yonathan Daza

 

Age: 25

Highest Level: MLB

A 2010 international free agent signing from Venezuela, Yonathan Daza’s disastrous MLB sample in 2019 was a bit disappointing, but given his consistent minor league production there should be enough here to make for a useful 4th outfielder. Daza doesn’t have any power to speak of, he hit a career-high 11 home runs in Triple-A last season, but I would not consider than in anyway sustainable and would say that was entirely a product of the juiced ball and the PCL. 

Daza’s above average hit tool is his best skill for fantasy, and he probably has to hit around .280 to be useful, but I think that’s possible given his consistent swing and above average speed. Daza’s been great in the outfield in the minors, and I believe his struggles in the outfield last season were more based on trying to adjust to the spacious Coors Field. He’s not a super exciting option, but if he gets everyday at-bats he could be useful in the same way Raimel Tapia has been useful at times. 

 

43. Coco Montes


Age: 23

Highest Level: A-Ball

A 2018 15th round pick from the University of South Florida, Coco Montes has clear skills, but needs to mature his plate approach before being a legitimate prospect. After an impressive debut season, Montes struggled in 2019 with a 29:122 BB:K ratio in 549 plate appearances. Montes has slightly above average raw power, but for him to be a riser on this list it probably has to be good-great power, and I don’t know if I see that for a guy with below average skills and an average frame (6’0” 200lbs). 

Montes has played third base, second base, and shortstop, and if he’s more than average in the field then his ceiling raises. There’s average-below average speed, and I don’t think he hits enough to make up for the bad plate discipline.

 

44. Ronaiker Palma

 

Age: 19

Highest Level: Rookie-Ball

A 2017 international free agent signing from Venezuela, Raonaiker Palma is a very unique catching prospect. Palma has an extremely small frame for a catcher, listed at just 5’9” 180 lbs entering the 2019 season, Palma is a good blocker behind the plate, but there’s worries about if he can stay healthy catching full-time at such a small size. 

Palma has more interesting tools than most young catchers, starting with his speed. There’s average speed there now, but it will be interesting to monitor if that falls off as he continues to  bulk up. His raw power is intriguing, but his .065 ISO in 379 career plate appearances over two seasons.

Palma’s most unique trait is his plate discipline, as he has just a 19:30 BB:K ratio over his first two career seasons, both of which are extremely low marks for the amount of plate appearances he’s had. He’s very patient, but needs to improve his batted ball quality if he’s going to have such high contact rates to be a legitimate prospect. He’s super young, and should play his first full season in 2020 in one of the Rockies A-ball affiliates, but needs to show season-long durability and improved power to move up this list. 

 

45. Vladimir Dilone

 

Age: 19

Highest Level: Low-A

A 2017 international free agent signing from the Dominican Republic, Dilone has a small frame at just 5’9” 160lbs, but good plate skills and an ability to play second base, shortstop, and third base earned him a bump up to Low-A at just 18 years old. 

The results weren’t great, but he did post an acceptable 19:33 BB:K ratio. The bat just wasn’t ready, as he had just eight extra base hits and zero home runs in 164 plate appearances. If he improves notably from his rough 2019, he’ll be a huge riser. 

 

46. Niko Decolati

 

Age: 22

Highest Level: A-Ball

A 2018 sixth round pick, Niko Decolati is one of the best athletes in the Rockies farm system. Decolati has great speed, and showed great potential in the outfield after being moved there once he was drafted. He’s overly aggressive at the plate, and I don’t think he hits for enough good contact or power to make it, but being a really good athlete could carry him through the lower minors.  

 

47. Daniel Montano

 

Age: 20

Highest Level: A-Ball

An expensive 2015 international free agent signing from Venezuela, Daniel Montano has always impressed scouts with his tools, but has yet to show consistency over the course of a season. Montano’s raw power and speed are still alluring, but he’s going into his fifth professional season and has yet to show much improvement. He’s still worth monitoring, but is running out of time. 

 

48. John Cresto


Age: 22

Highest Level: A-Ball

A 2018 28th round pick, John Cresto has a big frame at 6’3” 225lbs and has been productive in the lower levels of the minors since being drafted. Cresto Needs to mature his plate approach and tap into more of his intriguing raw power, but as a corner infielder with pop, Cresto is worth paying attention to when he faces more advanced pitching. 

 

49. Juan Guerrero

 

Age: 18

Highest Level: Dominican Summer League

A 2018 international free agent signing from the Dominican Republic, Juan Guerrero was the 19th ranked IFA in the 2018 class according to Baseball America. In his first professional season, Guerrero showed good plate skills, and the raw power that makes his 6’1” 160lb frame so projectable. Obviously far away, he’s one of many guys in this farm system with enough potential to keep an eye on. 

 

50. Juan Brito

 

Age: 18

Highest Level: Dominican Summer League 

A 2018 signing from the Dominican Republic, Juan Brito showed impressive speed, plate discipline, and power as a 17-year-old in his first professional season. There’s not many reports out on him, but if you’re in a super deep league and need someone to take a flyer on there’s worse options out there. 

 

Jt Kohout

Twenty years old. Huge baseball, basketball, and football fan. Most importantly a diehard Orioles fan. Also write for FakeTeams of SBNation and Numberfire.

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