Friday, August 3, 2012

Rosario and Rutledge profiles

Wilin Rosario
Rookies Wilin Rosario and Josh Rutledge could be foundational pieces for the Colorado Rockies.

Rosario has had his detractors regarding his defense but his 17 homers and serviceable batting average (.243) give him the look of the long-sought-after answer behind the plate, at least offensively. If he can maintain his average with his less-than-stellar defense of the strike zone, he's going to hit 20-plus homers annually with 60-70 RBI with good health. His catching skills will take time to develop but with Rosario's work ethic, they should and if they do, his value is even greater as a backstop.

Josh Rutledge still explosive with bat
Rutledge, still fresh out of the box, has continued to hit the ball hard, for extra bases (13 in 18 games), and has accelerated his evolution as a batter. He was strong but not dominant at Double-A and has made the major leagues look like spring training. He's going to slump and struggle like all players but right now, his talent is showing at a high level. Rutledge profiles to me as a second baseman/shortstop who will hit .280 - .290 with 30-plus doubles, 15 homers and 65-to-75 RBI annually. He's the answer in the middle of the diamond, a poor-man's (and I hate to write this) Craig Biggio. Rockies' fans are going to love him for a long time.

Players like these are a big reason Rockies' owner Dick Monfort is still a believer in general manager Dan O'Dowd.

Alex White held St. Louis to two runs in 5 1/3 innings, walking only one. He was strong in his final two starts at Triple-A and maintains that level of production for one night, at least, in the majors. White has to find consistency now or be considered a bullpen piece in 2013.

Rockies' Prospects Spotlight

Triple-A outfielder Charlie Blackmon had two more hits Thursday and is now hitting .331. Matt McBride had two more hits and is at .354 now. Look for both with the Rockies in September.

Jhoulys Chacin threw 45-of-62 pitches for strikes for Double-A Tulsa. That's the good news. The flip side of that is his stuff and command weren't solid as he allowed four runs in four innings.

High-A starter Christian Bergman has a 3.13 ERA on the season in the offensively-friendly California League but his last two starts - not pretty. He's surrendered 10 runs in 11 2/3 innings.

Outfielder David Dahl - two more hits - for Grand Junction and he's now hitting a scorching .370 on the season. Teammate Jeffrey Popick, who was born in Lakewood and played college ball in Grand Junction, had three hits and is now hitting .341.

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