Dick Monfort has another Q and A with the Denver Post, this time with Troy Renck, and as usual, it's a bit more forthcoming than what we get from other members of the FO/ownership (not too forthcoming, though.) I encourage everybody to click through and read it, but the highlights:
- The Rockies can afford some big name players (like Mike Illitch admitted in Detroit, I'm guessing it's a very limited number of them, actually probably more limited than Detroit).
- The Rockies project their revenues to go up (some figure less than 20%) over the next ten years, making the Tulowitzki contract feasible, and they keep player payroll around 50% of revenue. Extrapolating from this, a 10% rise in revenue would sustain a $95 million payroll team, and there would have to be about a 15% increase in revenue to broach the $100 million payroll barrier. Monfort expects attendance to be up about 7% in 2011.
- In retrospect, Monfort would have liked it more had the franchise invested heavily in the Rule 4 draft and Dominican/Latin America earlier than they did and Rolando Fernandez is money.
Dave Krieger has a Hall of Fame ballot, and while I disagree on his assessment of Bert Blyleven, who he leaves off, I agree that Larry Walker needs to get strong consideration. Walker's elite defensive contributions at a historically weak position give him an added edge beyond the not so eye-popping offensive numbers.
HeltonFan's ProspectBot list correlates relatively closely with our most recent PuRPs list. I'm actually kind of proud of this for the community, as it's a possible indication that we're developing a diverse, independent thinking and informed prospect watching market that's not falling into the same groupthink traps that other sites seem to get. The "wisdom of crowds" only works if the crowd's not homogeneous. Ideally, an informed market should correlate to (but not be guided by) a quality projection system like this, and only go off the rails with information which the system is incapable of quantifying such as a recent injury or a player's high school scouting report.
His rankings (as do Sickels, even though there's a lot more to disagree with on the latter) do indicate how the Rockies system has been weak in on-field performance the last couple of seasons. I go back and forth on how much stock to put into this weakness, as the excuses of injuries or mechanical tweaks affecting the play of our top prospects can only go so far. At some point we and the team do need to see the potential translated onto the minor league field or there's zero chance the players will get to the majors. At the same time, in players like Hector Gomez and Delta Cleary (and to some extent Tyler Matzek), there's a huge gap between what their numbers say we should think about the players and what they are actually capable of.
Karim Garcia, who hasn't played in the MLB since 2004, but who's currently enjoying some success in the Mexican winter league, indicates that the Rockies have talked to him about a 2011 contract. Vinny Castilla, whose own winter league season with Hermosillo has been pushed back by a thigh strain that has him back in Denver recuperating, has been laying a lot of groundwork for the Rockies in Mexico over the last couple years. While Garcia and Edgar Gonzalez aren't the biggest prizes to come from our southern neighbor, they are indicating that the team's on the radar of the better Mexican players. Having Jorge De La Rosa is also obviously a big help in this regard.