Spring 2011 PuRPs List: #20-16

This is the 3rd of six installments of the Spring 2011 PuRPs list. Here are PuRPs 30-26 and 25-21. As a reminder, 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.

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.


20. Casey Weathers (331 points, 32 ballots) -- Stats -- Fall 2010 Ranking: 18

 When Weathers, a 26 year-old (just turned on Friday) RH reliever at AA Tulsa, was drafted 8th overall in 2007, Rockies fans (by and large) groaned. Conventional wisdom states that you don't take a reliever with a high first round pick -- and so far, conventional wisdom has been right. Weathers, supposedly a guy with a quick path to the big leagues, still hasn't sniffed the Show while 2009 draftee and fellow reliever Rex Brothers has. Obviously, having Tommy John surgery and missing all of 2009 has a lot to do with that, but the former first rounder has yet to be truly dominant given his pedigree and stuff.

Now with that said, Weathers has reportedly touched 100 MPH this year and signs of his stuff returning have been encouraging. He's still got a closer arsenal, but Weathers has to improve his control (20 Ks to 16 BBs this season) if he wants to make it to the big-league bullpen. If his command and control find him, Weathers has dominant closer potential (and we could always use one of those) -- I just wouldn't expect it at this stage. Weathers will probably make MLB -- how effective he'll be when he gets there is very much up in the air right now.

Pitch Tools

Control
35
K-Rating
100
Efficiency
100
vsPower
84

Contract Status: 2007 1st Round, 40 Man Roster, 2 options remaining 

MLB ETA: Late 2011/2012

19. Ben Paulsen (355 points, 33 ballots) -- Stats -- Fall 2010 Ranking: 23

Paulsen, a 23 year-old first baseman at Tulsa, was doubtless helped in this poll by a strong spring training with the big league club and also by the fact that he's the highest rated 1B-only prospect in the system. Well, that and he's shown himself to be a well-rounded offensive player at an age-appropriate level. There's not a whole lot to dream about when talking about Paulsen, but I see his upside as an Adam Laroche -- and ther'es considerable value in that. He has struggled this year so far in Tulsa (.247/.323/.396), but if some more power develops he could be an intriguing option in a couple of years.

Hit Tools

Power
64
Batting
65
Speed
35
Contact
53
Patience
38

Contract Status: 2009 3rd Round, Not Rule 5 Eligible, 3 options remaining 

MLB ETA: 2013

 

18. Hector Gomez (390 points, 32 ballots) -- Stats -- Fall 2010 Ranking: 11

In my opinion, there is no prospect more difficult to rate in the Rockies' system than Hector Gomez. The 23 year-old AA shortstop prospect has at one time been in the top five in this list, and has been rated in the top 100 prospects of all MLB by scouts and prospect mavens (95th by Baseball America before 2008).

And yet, here he is, in the middle of his second-to-last option year, injured and scuffling at AA. Obviously, the myriad injuries Gomez has suffered in his minor league career have been frustrating, but early this year when healthy, Gomez rarely showed the quick wrists and five tool potential that had scouts drooling over him when he came to the US. What we've experience with Gomez the past few years is the worst case scenario for Cristhian Adames. The tools, damaged though they may be from many injuries, are still there for Gomez -- unfortunately, it looks as if he's almost run out of time. I hope that I'm wrong, because if everything clicks Gomez could be a great major leaguer.

Hit Tools

Power
57
Batting
63
Speed
74
Contact
60
Patience
10

Contract Status: 2005 Amateur Free Agent (DR), 40 Man Roster, 1 (bonus) option remaining

MLB ETA: 2012 or never

 

17. Will Swanner (390 points, 31 ballots) -- Stats -- Fall 2010 Ranking: 17

Swanner, a 19 year-old catcher in Extended Spring Training after spending last fall with rookie league Casper, is another guy who is hard to pin down. It's easy to dream on Swanner, whose prodigious power (7 HRs in 76 PAs) would play very well at any offensive position, but especially catcher. Unfortunately, Swanner also seems to have a pretty big K problem (33 out of those 76 PAs -- and oh yeah, no walks). Still, the fact remains that he tore up the Pioneer league as an 18 year-old catcher (.303/.321/.632) -- I'd love to see what he can do for an encore. I'm a sucker for raw power, and this kid's got it.

Hit Tools

Not available for Rookie League, but rest assured that the power would be close to 100 and the patience would be near 0.

Contract Status: 2010 15th Round, Not Rule 5 Eligible, 3 options remaining 

MLB ETA: 2016

 

16. Albert Campos (414 points, 30 ballots) -- Stats -- Fall 2010 Ranking: 20

Campos, a 20 year-old RH starter at Low A Asheville, has struggled so far this year, with a 6.13 ERA and 1.60 WHIP. So why is he so well regarded by many in the community? One, he's got great control, maintaining a 3.29 K/BB ratio this year. Two, he's still young but he's got a polished approach on the mound. Three, given his great peripherals, Campos has been getting awfully unlucky this year (his 12.4 H/9 is more than 3 more than his career average). Campos tore up the Pioneer League last year (2.05 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 68/17 K/BB) as a 19 year-old, so I can overlook his growing pains this season in Asheville.

Pitch Tools

Control
88
K-Rating
45
Efficiency
89
vsPower
78

Contract Status: 2008 Amateur Free Agent (VZ), Not Rule 5 Eligible, 3 options remaining 

MLB ETA: 2014

 

Prospects 15-11 will be revealed tomorrow morning.

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