Spring 2011 PuRPs List: #30-26

With the next crop of PuRPs on their way via the 2011 MLB Rule 4 draft, it's high time that I began revealing the Purple Row Prospects (PuRPs) list for Spring 2011. I will reveal these prospects five at a time to give people who aren't in the know a little bit more of information on them. I'll reveal the list a little bit more each day over the next week, with the top five coming out on next Friday.

Thirty-five 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 twelve 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 above players had that problem, as all thirty players on the PuRPs list were named on at least sixteen ballots. In all, 71 players received at least one vote for this PuRPs list, with 31 getting on at least 12 ballots.

All prospects who retained their Rookie of the Year eligibility (less than 130 ABs, 50 IP, and 45 days on the active roster) were eligible for selection on this list. Among last spring's list, only Matt Reynolds (#22) lost his rookie eligibility and was removed from consideration. In addition, three players on last year's list were traded or let go (#19 Michael McKenry, #28 Samuel Deduno, and #29 Ethan Hollingsworth).

More discussion on the voting will be included in the final installment of this series, but here are the five players who came closest to inclusion on the Spring 2011 PuRPs List:

35. Rosell Herrera (32.3 points, 9 ballots), 2009 Amateur FA (DR), IF at DSL (18)
34. Rob Scahill (38.7 points, 8 ballots), 2009 8th round, RHP at Tulsa (24)
33. Parker Frazier (47.7 points, 11 ballots), 2007 8th round, SP at Modesto (22)
32. Brad Emaus (69.8 points, 9 ballots), 2011 trade, 2B at AAA (25)
31. Russell Wilson (84 points, 15 ballots), 2010 4th round, 2B at Asheville (22)

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 so far.

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 past the jump.

30. Mike Zuanich (106 points, 15 ballots) -- Stats -- Fall 2010 Ranking: NR

Zuanich, a 24 year-old 1B/OF at High A Modesto, has been tearing the cover off the ball so far this year, hitting .383/.465/.689 with 11 HRs and 19 doubles in only 47 games. He's a little old for the level, but he's doing everything you could ask of him at that level. He's a candidate for midseason promotion to Tulsa. If everything clicks for him, he's a better Brad Eldred. Muzia has some scouting video on Zuanich from his trip to Modesto.

Hit tools

Power
74
Batting
77
Speed
33
Contact
48
Patience
81

Contract Status: 2008 draft 28th round, Not Rule 5 Eligible (will be after 2011), three options remaining

MLB ETA: 2013

 

29. Edgmer Escalona (111 points, 17 ballots) -- Stats -- Fall 2010 Ranking: NR

Escalona, a 24 year-old RH reliever at AAA Colorado Springs, has plus velocity and a strikeout rate that hovers at around a batter an inning but has a problem allowing the long ball. Right now, Escalona is the kind of guy you bring up when stuff has gone to pieces on you (I mean, he's been bypassed by 3 AAA relievers already this year despite being on the 40 man roster), but it's still nice to know that if you need him, you've got a reliever with a live arm in AAA. If everything clicks for Escalona, he's a less effective Matt Belisle.

Pitch Tools

Control
47
K-Rating
87.5
Efficiency
65
vsPower
9.5

Contract Status: 2004 Amateur Free Agent, On 40 Man Roster, 1 option remaining

MLB ETA: 2011

 

28. Joshua Slaats (112 points, 17 ballots) -- Stats -- Fall 2010 Ranking: 21

Slaats, a 22 year-old RH starter at low A Asheville, wowed us last fall with a great 2010 debut season at Tri-City, in which he posted a 11.7 K/9 rate and a 1.95 ERA as a starter. This year, things haven't gone so well (7.54 ERA, 5.1 K/9). Hopefully Slaats will turn out to be the 2010 version of himself and not the guy he's been this year. If he regains his form, he shoots up the Fall 2011 list, but if he continues to pitch as he has in 2011, he'll be off the list.

Pitch Tools

Control
46.5
K-Rating
83.5
Efficiency
66
vsPower
77.75

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

MLB ETA: 2014

 

27. Thomas Field (153 points, 23 ballots) -- Stats -- Fall 2010 Ranking: 24

Field, a 24 year-old 2B/SS for AA Tulsa, impressed last year with a .284/.397/.466 campaign at Modesto as a guy known primarily for his glove. This season, Field has gotten off to a slower start, but you can tell that the OBP skills (his greatest asset) have remained. If all goes well, Field recovers the hitting stroke he had last year and makes the Show as a solid utility infielder -- Clint Barmes with less power but more walks.

Hit Tools

Power
63
Batting
52
Speed
71
Contact
62
Patience
77

Contract Status: 2008 24th round, Not Rule 5 Eligible (will be after 2011), 3 options remaining

MLB ETA: 2013

 

26. Cole Garner (161 points, 16 ballots) -- Stats -- Fall 2010 Ranking: 25

At this point we pretty much know who Garner, a 26 year-old OF in AAA, is as a player. He's hit well all the way through his minor league career (though his plate discipline could use work) despite never really getting much of a prospect pedigree, and he's likely to become a decent 4th/5th outfielder in MLB with some pop in his bat if he's given a chance. Unfortunately for Garner, it probably won't be with the Rockies, who have Charlie Blackmon up with the big club and have Tim Wheeler in the wings in AA.

Hit Tools

Power
78
Batting
62
Speed
71
Contact
19
Patience
18

Contract Status: 2003 26th round, On 40 man roster, using his first option

MLB ETA: 2011

Stay tuned for more PuRPs, with #25-21 coming on Monday.

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