Fall 2011 PuRPs List: #20-16

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 28: Tommy Field #6 of the Colorado Rockies dives but can't catch this line-drive that goes for an RBI single off the bat of Jeff Keppinger #8 of the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on September 28, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

This is the 3rd of six installments of the Fall 2011 PuRPs list. Here are PuRPs 30-26 and 25-21. As a reminder, forty ballots were cast in this edition of the PuRPs poll, with 30 points being granted for a first place vote, 29 for second, etc. Until a player was named on thirteen ballots, his vote totals were modified on a sliding scale to avoid an individual ballot having too much say over the community forecast -- but none of the below players had that problem, as all thirty players on the PuRPs list were named on at least fourteen ballots.

For each player, I've included a link to their stats (via Baseball-Reference), their relevant "tool scores" on a 1-100 scouting scale (which is explained here) per the wonderful Baseball Cube, their contract status (via Rockies Roster), their probable MLB ETA (assuming they do make the Show), and a note on their 2011 season.

Remember that neither the tool scores nor the statistics pages are the end-all be-all when evaluating these players. Context is hugely important (such as the player's age relative to the league's average or the league average offensive numbers), as is the fact that injuries to prospects can affect both their tools and their stats.

Results Post-Jump

20. Tommy Field (388 points, 38 ballots) -- Stats -- Spring 2011 Ranking: 27

After a pretty good offensive and defensive year for a 24 year-old middle infield prospect at AA (.271/.357/.439), Tommy Field got a September call-up to the big leagues and played pretty well. For Field, the ceiling coming up has been a Clint Barmes type glove with a more patient batting approach. Field is a well-rounded offensive player with a good glove -- that sounds perfect for Colorado's lineup problems.

If he wins the utility infield position (or even the 2B starter if Mark Ellis isn't re-signed) in 2012 over a field of contenders headed by Jonathan Herrera and Chris Nelson, Field could really be a useful depth piece for Colorado for the next few years.

Hit Tools

Speed
69
Contact
58
Patience
76
Batting
53
Power
64

Contract Status: 2008 24th round, 40 Man Roster, 3 options remaining

MLB ETA: Now

 

19. Corey Dickerson (431 points, 39 ballots) -- Stats -- Spring 2011 Ranking: 15

Remember how I mentioned that Will Swanner might have the best raw power in the system yesterday? Well, Corey Dickerson's long ball prowess thus far into his minor league career have given him a power hit tool score of 100 out of 100. Again, these tool scores are based on his performance relative to his peers, but a 100 score is something special. The 22 year-old (read -- a little old for Low A) lefty outfielder crushed 32 HRs, 64 XBHs, and 87 RBI in 106 games for Asheville in 2011, hitting .282/.356/.629 on the year.

A red flag when looking at these numbers is that, while he doesn't exhibit a particularly large platoon split, Dickerson killed the ball at home (.354/.417/.844, 49 XBHs in 57 games) but wilted on the road (.183/.280/.363, only 15 XBHs in 49 games). He was Barry Bonds at home and 2011 Adam Dunn on the road. This fact gives many serious pause when discussing Dickerson's prospect status -- is he a AAAA type player beating down competition that is too young for him in a friendly hitter's park? Or is there something more of substance there?

How well he does in High A Modesto's (relative for the California League) pitcher's park will go a long way to answering that question.

Hit Tools

Speed
61
Contact
31
Patience
59
Batting
71
Power
100

Contract Status: 2010 8th round, Not Rule 5 Eligible, 3 options remaining

MLB ETA: 2014

 

18. Joe Gardner (443 points, 36 ballots) -- Stats -- Spring 2011 Ranking: NR

The third best pitching prospect in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade draws immediate comparisons to Rockies pitcher Aaron Cook, in that Joe Gardner's bread and butter as a pitcher is inducing a LOT of ground balls. His ground out to air out ratio for 2011 was 2.30:1. The problem, like that with Aaron Cook, is that his strikeout rate is below average for a top prospect (5.5/9 innings in 2011). Even more foreboding, his walk rate (3.7/9 innings) is indicative of a problem with finding the strike zone.

 He was a much better for Colorado in 2011 than he was in Cleveland, but in order for Gardner to be successful he has to either keep the ball near the strike zone or generate more strikeouts with his deceptiveness. With all of that said, the 24 year old (in 2012) Gardner is a polished prospect that is close to the big leagues. With the Rockies badly needing some pitching depth this off-season, perhaps Gardner will provide a palatable back of the rotation option while waiting for Jorge De La Rosa and Juan Nicasio's return.

Pitch Tools

Control
33
K-Rating
49
Efficiency
57
vsPower
83

Contract Status: 2011 Trade, Not Rule 5 Eligible, 3 options remaining

MLB ETA: 2012

 

17. Christian Friedrich (593 points, 40 ballots) -- Stats -- Spring 2011 Ranking: 9

After Gardner, there was a huge jump up (150 points) to the top 17 prospects, creating another tier in the list. This seemed to be a pretty clear delineation for me too, as my top 16 prospects (all of which are in the top 16 of this list, remarkably enough) were all in two pretty well defined tiers on my list. The odd man out in my list was Friedrich, whose proximity to MLB and prospect pedigree helped him stay in the top 10 until this fall's list.

With Friedrich, you've got a polished southpaw starter who will turn 24 in 2012 who put up a decent strikeout and walk rate in 2011. The problem is that he also had a 5 ERA and 1.49 WHIP in his second year at AA Tulsa. The former first round pick, who topped this list in Spring 2010, just seems to have hit a wall in AA.

Even so, it's probably time to see what he can do in the major leagues, especially given Colorado's need for a lefty starter in their rotation. He has 3 option years left, but if he's going to break into the starting rotation of the MLB club, it's probably going to need to be this year (barring rediscovery of his 2009 form, in which he was brilliant).

Pitch Tools

Control
67
K-Rating
91
Efficiency
80
vsPower
68

Contract Status: 2008 1st Round, Rule 5 Eligible (will be protected on the 40 Man Roster), 3 options remaining

MLB ETA: 2012

 

16. Peter Tago (599 points, 39 ballots) -- Stats -- Spring 2011 Ranking: 6

The 19 year old Tago made his minor league debut (he was 18 at the time) to much fanfare (and with great success) right before the opening of the spring polling thread. This doubtless helped him reach a lofty perch on the spring list. There's a lot to like about Tago -- he was one of the youngest players in the Low A SAL, he's got filthy movement on his pitches, and he's got a very projectable frame.

The problem is that his statistics in 2011 give him the lowest pitch tool scores I've ever seen. Tago's walk rate in 2011 was a ridiculous 7.2/9, while he only struck out 5.8/9, allowing a 1.77 WHIP and 7.07 ERA. In other words, Tago was pretty terrible in 2011.

He's an obvious candidate for repeating Asheville -- and if he can find the plate, he'll shoot back into the upper crust of Colorado prospects. He's still young, but if his control problems persist his ranking will suffer.

Pitch Tools

Control
1
K-Rating
9
Efficiency
4
vsPower
25

Contract Status: 2010 Supplemental 1st Round, Not Rule 5 Eligible, 3 options remaining.

MLB ETA: 2015/16

Stay tuned tomorrow as PuRPs 15-11 are revealed, including two players from the 2011 draft class.

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