Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Matzek and Rockies' Prospects Spotlight

Tyler Matzek can't find lasting consistency
The rollercoaster that is High-A pitcher Tyler Matzek allowed only one earned run, two total, in six innings with one walk and seven strikeouts. Never have I seen a more inconsistent, yet talented prospect.

For example, Matzek's ERA over his last three games - 2.65. His ERA over his four games prior to that stretch - 13.50. For the season, Matzek has a disappointing 4.63 ERA.

The Rockies 2009 first-round pick doesn't look promotable to Double-A (for 2013) at this point. The Rockies will likely keep trying him as a starter but his future might be that of a reliever and even that, with his control problems, might not extract MLB value out of him.

Outfielder Kyle Parker (first-round, 2010) hit his 13th home run at High-A Modesto. While his bat has cooled in the last week, his average is .317.

Nick Schmidt came to the Rockies in the Huston Street trade and looked good at Double-A (3.29 ERA in 14 stars with a nearly 5/1 strikeout-to-walks rate) but he's been overwhelmed at Triple-A and last night was another example, when he walked, yes, seven batters in three innings. In 29 innings at Colorado Springs, Schmidt's ERA is 8.07. The big lefthander walked 21 and struck out just 18.

Has the competition caught up to Coty Woods? The stellar reliever is also struggling at Triple-A, although the sample size is 8 1/3 innings. His ERA is 5.40 and he has walked as many (5) as he's struck out. Woods dominated at Double-A earlier this season with a 0.76 ERA in 35 2/3 innings out of the pen after having a 2.19 and 2.54 ERA the previous two seasons.

Low-A first baseman Harold Riggins now has 23 doubles, 17 homers, 73 RBI and a .301 average. The seventh-round pick in 2011 does have problems with plate defense though, with 101 strikeouts and just 36 walks in 84 games. That bears watching. To his credit though, in 151 career games, Riggins has 36 doubles and 25 homers.

To go with those numbers, however, go 186 strikeouts.

2012 first-round pick David Dahl hit his fourth homer for Grand Junction, finished with two hits and now is hitting .370. The Rockies' scouts and front office have to be giddy about their selection of Dahl at no. 10 in the first round. He's been even better than advertised.

Lefty Roberto Padilla threw five innings of one-run (unearned) ball at Tri-City, lowering his ERA to 1.31. He struggled at High-A Modesto earlier this season with 14 walks in 17 1/3 innings. His season ERA is now 2.13 in 38 innings.

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