Friday, December 30, 2011

Sickels' 2012 Rockies' prospects list is out

John Sickels' work in scouting and writing on pro prospects is highly regarded and working his way through all teams' farm pieces is something fans look forward to reading.

Sickels, who writes and produces Minor League Ball (can't-miss site for prospects evaluation) has just completed his work on and provided his Rockies' Top Prospects for 2012 list and he is very high on some recent draftees'.

Shortstop Trevor Story, a Texas prep and pitcher Tyler Anderson, a college lefty, are both considered quality talents with pro potential. The two were picked in the June 2011 draft.

Sickels is bullish, as many are, on third baseman Nolan Arenado, who tore up High-A ball at Modesto. Sickels' sees star talent in Arenado. He is also big on Arenado's teammate at Modesto, pitcher Chad Bettis, who he projects as high as a no. 3 starter or even a possible closer.

The Colorado Rockies' Prospects Report named Arenado and Bettis as the organization's top hitting and pitching prospects following the season and sees both as blue chip stocks.

Pitcher Drew Pomeranz is viewed by Sickels as a likely no. 2 starter.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Rockies receive pitching prospect for Street

The Rockies have received player compensation for reliever Huston Street and it's not a name that will excite followers of the Rockies.

Nick Schmidt comes to Colorado from San Diego to complete the player part of this week's trade.

The 26-year old Schmidt, a former no. 1 draft pick of the Padres, is a big lefty, going 6-5, 245, but his game isn't quite as large, posting a 4.61 ERA in 65 games, 61 starts.

What must have intrigued the Rockies is that Schmidt averaged 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings last season, a quality marker, while walking 3.3, an acceptable developmental number. He does, however, allow about a hit an inning and that, coupled with his ERA, in rookie and High-A ball shows that while Schmidt has talent he is both very old for his league and far from star-caliber material.

If he had these numbers at Double-A and was two-to-three years younger he would be an exciting prospect. At this point, he will have to prove himself quickly at Double-A Tulsa to be considered much of a potential major league player.

Currently, he is not a serious prospect, according to Colorado Rockies' Prospects Report.

The bottom line on this trade is the Rockies simply wanted to dump salary, primarily for roster flexibility. The Rockies get that flexibility but certainly not player value in the move. The front office will claim they do get value in the player or players they sign as result of not having to pay Street, that this is merely a reallocation of money.

If you see it that way, then this could be a wise move once we realize how the Rockies spend the money.

The other viewpoint is the Rockies lost big in this transaction, trading a proven, talented, productive, even-if-sliding pitcher for a prospect that is unlikely to reach great heights, if even the major leagues.


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Rockies give up on Weathers' and his wildness

Rockies trade Casey Weathers to Cubs
Casey Weathers has a great arm and the Rockies loved it. So much so they drafted him no. 8 overall in the 2007 MLB draft. That talent, that lofty draft status, didn't prove productive though, due to both a lack of control and injury. Thus, the Rockies have given up on Weathers and traded him, along with Ian Stewart to the Chicago Cubs.

In exchange the Rockies get outfielder Tyler Colvin and infielder D.J. LeMahieu.

Weathers was drafted in the first round before such players as Madison Bumgarner of the Giants, Rick Porcello of the Tigers, J.P. Arencibia of the Blue Jays, Jason Heyward of the Braves and talented prospects Devin Mesoraco of the Reds and Jarrod Parker of the Diamondbacks.

Supplemental picks selected long after Weathers include Travis D'Arnaud (now of the Blue Jays), Brett Cecil of the Blue Jays  and Tommy Hunter of the Rangers.

Weathers finished his Rockies' minor league career 4-5 with a 4.20 ERA in 132 relief appearances. He has struck out over 11 batters per nine innings in his career but walked over 6 per nine frames, negating his outstanding 92 hits allowed in 135 innings.



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Friday, December 2, 2011

2011-12 Rockies' prospects top hitter rankings

Colorado Rockies' Prospects Report's Top Hitters

1. Nolan Arenado (20 years old), 3B - sometimes a slow starter to the season but has warmed up each year. Doubles power and HR power improving. Loves to clean the bases and led the minors with 122 RBI at High-A Modesto. Plate defense is of the highest quality yet takes aggressive approach - he's there to swing the bat and make something positive happen. Is a .300 hitter but hasn't wowed in that area with a season way over that mark, maybe the only negative to even consider writing. Reportedly has also improved greatly defensively.

2. Josh Rutledge (22) SS - hit. 411 in the second half of the season at Modesto. Doesn't wait to draw walks, he's up there swinging but he makes extraordinary contact and has developing power as his second-half .664 slugging percentage attests. Here are some other attractive numbers - Rutledge hit .382 with runners on base and .357 with them in scoring position. For a middle infielder, his offensive potential is exciting.

3. Kent Matthes (24) OF - hit .334 with 39 doubles, 23 HRs and 95 RBI in but 93 games before getting injured. He clubbed .391 with runners in scoring position. He might be a little older for High-A but he dominated offensively. Is he capable of being a force at Double-A in 2012? How close he comes to his 2011 numbers will tell a big story about Matthes' future status.

4. Tim Wheeler (23) OF - 33 home runs, 28 doubles, six triples, 86 RBI and a .287 average. Only his weak strike zone defense (142 K's) holds him back from higher ranking.

5. Wilin Rosario (22) C - has 40 homers in two seasons at Tulsa but actually regressed offensively in 2011 coming off a knee injury, with his average dropping from .285 to .249 and his on-base and slugging percentages doing the same. He is still strikeout prone and not adept at working pitchers well. His plus-power is elite tool but if he can't make more contact that power will not be exploited for good.

6. Kyle Parker (22) OF - 23 doubles, 21 homers, 95 RBI in fast-start debut season in organization. Has to make more contact with two strikes as 133 strikeouts is potential fatal flaw. Looks the part of run producer with developing power. No. 1 pick in 2010.

7. Corey Dickerson (22) OF - has 49 doubles and 45 homers over last two seasons while hitting over .300. That's productive. Only hit left-handers, however, at a .245 clip and was a .193 hitter away from his home park at Low-A Asheville. Could pass Parker with splits improvement.

8. Rafael Ortega (20) OF - young, smallish but on-the-come hitter. Still raw but shows developing power and speed on the base paths, although he is reckless running the bags.

9. Trevor Story (18) SS - six homers, eight doubles, 13 steals in 47 games at rookie league Casper as recent high school graduate. Hit acceptable .268. Bat is still a question but maybe with hard work it won't be much longer. Story showed talent.

10. Sam Mende (21) SS - recorded .614 slugging percentage in rookie season in 46 games at Casper. Hit .281 with 11 doubles and 14 homers. Struck out 52 times in 46 games, a figure that has to improve in 2012.

11. Dustin Garneau (24) C - 29 doubles, 17 homers after dropping from High-A in 2010 to Low-A in 2011. Strong plate defense with 58/70 BB/K rate. At his age has to put together another productive season next year or else be seen as organizational filler. Charlie Blackmon (25) OF - reached Colorado in 2011, played 27 games, had 25 hits, but just two for extra bases and finished with a .255 average before getting hurt. Likely a reserve.


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