Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rosario named as top-5 catching prospect

Wilin Rosario still gets noticed by national writers and scouts, being tabbed the fifth best catching prospect in baseball by MLB.com. High praise indeed. Don't confuse rankings with any sort of guarantee because Rosario is overrated.

Rosario will turn 23 before next season, still young for a prospect. He's already reached the majors, hitting three homers in 16 games. He hit but .204 with 20 strikeouts too. He was clearly over-matched.

In his last two seasons at Tulsa at the AA level, Rosario rocked the house with 40 homers in just 175 games. Amazing power production, unquestionably. The problem arises in the fact that Rosario drew only 40 walks, struck out 148 times during those two seasons and hit but .249 in 2011. In another words, he has contact problems and if he's not hitting homers, he's not doing much else offensively..

Colorado Rockies' Prospects Report likes Rosario, it just doesn't swoon over him like scouts and other publications. He's not an All-Star waiting to happen or a big power hitter at the major league level.

He will be a regular with serious limitations or a backup with some punch in his bat.  

Ben Petrick and Chris Iannetta were, commence debate, better catching prospects. Since those guys are yesterday's newspaper and about as relevant, people forget what talent and production they showed before reaching Denver.

Be hopeful about Rosario, just don't believe the sales job some are presenting.


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Rockies trade Kevin Slowey for relief prospect

Rockies acquire relief prospect Zach Putnam
The Colorado Rockies have traded established major leaguer Kevin Slowey, acquired this offseason from Minnesota, to Cleveland for pitching prospect Zach Putnam.

The deal has a strange twist. The Rockies had long coveted the mediocre Slowey and this winter finally brought him to the team. Then, before he could throw a pitch in spring training, they traded him for a middling prospect in Putnam.

It makes little sense on the surface. Those behind the scenes obviously think it makes perfect sense.

For now, here are the particulars. The Rockies send a to-be 28-year old starting major league pitcher with a career mark of  39-29 out of town for a to-be 25-year old prospect with a 6.14 ERA in 8 major league relief appearances and a 3.65 ERA in 44 AAA relief appearances in 2011. Putnam struck out nearly 9 batters per 9 innings and had a 3/1 K/BB rate but nothing about him screams "exciting." The loss of Slowey subtracts depth from the starting rotation (the Rockies must have assumed he was not going to earn a spot there thought). Putnam will add depth to the bullpen, which the Rockies must feel needs more talent and quantity.

General manager Dan O'Dowd must like recent acquisitions Josh Outman and Guillermo Moscoso better as starting pitchers than Slowey.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

MLB.com loves Arenado as top third baseman

Nolan Arenado is a big name on the top prospects lists everywhere these days and now MLB.com has tabbed the Rockies' top prospect as the top third base prospect in the game.

Arenado was the choice over Minnesota's power-hitting 18-year old Miguel Sano with Washington's Anthony Rendon, a former collegiate star, picked number three.

Arenado, the Colorado Rockies' Prospects Report's Hitter of the Year in the Rockies' system, has yet to play AA ball but his resume indicates he won't stop hitting now.

He hit just under .300 (.298) with 55 extra-base hits and a minors'-leading 122 RBI in 2011.

I expect him to start slow this next season, just as he has done the last two seasons and then pick up the pace.

How hot he gets could determine whether he gets a chance at Coors Field in 2012 or has to wait to at least 2013.



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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Russell Wilson not interested in Rockies' career

Russell Wilson chooses NFL
Russell Wilson had a highly productive college career as a quarterback and that's where he feels his future is brightest, playing quarterback professionally, not being an infielder in the Colorado Rockies' system.

The 23-year old Wilson, who just completed his lone season at Wisconsin following three years at North Carolina State, was a fourth-round pick of the Rockies in 2010.

Wilson, a toolsy prospect, struggled to hit in the low levels of the minors, hitting just .229 in 93 games, with 9 doubles, 8 triples and 5 homers. He struck out twice as much as he walked. He rarely struggles in football. Thus, he will take the easier road to professional paydays and hope for the best in the NFL Draft.

Baseball would have been a tougher road but Wilson didn't lack talent and more patience, dedication, adjustments and faith could have made him a much better prospect. He didn't like that blueprint. Wilson's prospects, however, might still be better, long-term, in baseball.

He's choosing football, despite being seriously undersized (he will likely measure under 6 feet in height). Wilson is athletic and piled up big career numbers - 11,720 passing yards and 109 touchdown passes - but the NFL eats up guys like that regularly who don't have the physical skills.
Wilson's senior season for Wisconsin was stellar

Remember this too, Wilson looked better than he was because Wisconsin overwhelmed defenses with the running game. In the NFL, he likely won't have that superior advantage.

Bottom line, Wilson is a marginal prospect, even as a backup. He's about maxed out in football. He can get better at baseball but it's much more difficult challenge. That turned him off.

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Rockies give up on Brad Emaus

Brad Emaus' tenure in the Colorado Rockies' system was short lived as the club traded him to Boston for a player to be named or cash considerations.

This is a good move for both Emaus and the Rockies as the second baseman's performance hardly made the heart beat faster. If a hitter doesn't dominate a hitters' league then he's likely going to struggle to show well in the majors and that was the Colorado Rockies' Prospects Reports prognosis for Emaus - a fringe player.

The 25-year old Emaus controlled the strike zone, had a .389 on-base percentage and slugged .564 while hitting 9 homers in 45 games, all respectable numbers for his position but hitting .313 at Colorado Springs won't translate into an acceptable average at the big-league level. At his age, he should be more dominant in the minors. He wasn't so the Rockies quickly gave up on him.


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