Spring 2011 PuRPs List: #15-11

This is the 4th of six installments of the Spring 2011 PuRPs list. Here are PuRPs 30-2625-21, and 20-16. 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.

 

15. Corey Dickerson (454 points, 32 ballots) -- Stats -- Fall 2010 Ranking: 15

Dickerson, a 22 year-old outfielder playing for Low A Asheville, was something of a prospect that came out of nowhere from the 2010 draft. An 8th round pick who plied his trade for Mississippi State and Meridian Community College, Dickerson proceeded to crush the Pioneer league as a 21 year-old (1.046 OPS and 44 XBHs in 308 PAs). With cautious optimism, the Purple Row community placed him 15th on their ballots last fall.

Dickerson has repaid this faith with a good year at age-appropriate Asheville, hitting .283/.357/.610 with 13 HRs and 13 2Bs. It's definitely not a stretch to imagine Dickerson as being a Ryan Spilborghs type of player with a little more power -- or even if you squint a little becoming an average major leaguer. In a crowded outfield prospect field, Dickerson will have to continue his torrid offensive pace to stand out.

Hit Tools

Not available -- but he's got good power and hitting tools

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

MLB ETA: 2014

14. Jordan Pacheco (553 points, 35 ballots) -- Stats -- Fall 2010 Ranking: 14

After Dickerson, there is a clearly defined tier jump up in terms of voting. Pacheco, a 23 year-old catcher at AAA Colorado Springs, was the first player on this list so far to be named on every ballot, and the first to receive top 10 consideration (even a 3rd and 4th place vote). He wowed fans and coaches alike with an excellent spring training, securing a promotion to AAA and meriting serious discussion about breaking camp with the club. Unfortunately for the converted infielder, his AAA campaign hasn't been too successful (.277/.347/.342). In Colorado Springs, those are pretty bad numbers.

Still, Pacheco has hit well at every minor league stop before this one and his feel for catching is improving. Even so, Pacheco finds himself in an awkward place, what with Chris Iannetta performing well at the MLB level and top-tier prospect Wilin Rosario breathing down his neck at AA. Pacheco finds himself in a Michael McKenry situation, though I feel that Pacheco is the better player. I can see him having a long career as a backup catcher in MLB, though it might not be with the Rockies.

Hit Tools

Power
56
Batting
87
Speed
52
Contact
91
Patience
67

Contract Status: 2007 9th round, 40 Man Roster, 2 options remaining

MLB ETA: Late 2011

 

13. Chris Nelson (587 points, 35 ballots) -- Stats -- Fall 2010 Ranking: 5

In my opinion Nelson, a 24 year-old 2B/3B currently starting for the Rockies, fell eight slots on this list from the fall list not because of poor performance but rather because of the perception that the organization would never give his talents a fair shot to flourish. I know that's why he slipped a little on my list.

The former first-rounder seemed to take an interminable amount of time getting to the big leagues due to a confluence of injuries and...well, I'm not sure exactly. Given the ineffectiveness of Colorado's other second-basemen this year, it's great to see a player with Nelson's offensive upside finally being given the chance to be the man at second.

Hit Tools

Power
55
Batting
51
Speed
68
Contact
36
Patience
50

Contract Status: 2004 1st round, 40 Man Roster, using his last option

MLB ETA: Now

 

12. Rafael Ortega (595 points, 35 ballots) -- Stats -- Fall 2010 Ranking: 10

In a system filled with good outfield prospects, Ortega has perhaps the highest ceiling of anyone. Ortega, a 20 year-old center fielder at Asheville, is a potential five tool guy -- and if the power doesn't translate to higher levels, you could certainly do worse than an athletic center fielder who can hit with great contact ability. Yes, he has struggled a little offensively in Asheville this year, but he's only 20 and a year removed from hitting .358/.416/.510 as a 19 year-old in the Pioneer League. Trust me, this guy is going to be an absolute beast -- I can definitely see Ortega turning into a Carlos Gonzalez-type talent, though the likelier outcome is a league average starter.

Hit Tools

Power
57
Batting
96
Speed
80
Contact
88
Patience
58

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

MLB ETA: 2014

 

11. Chad Bettis (758, 35 ballots) -- Stats -- Fall 2010 Ranking: 8

When I compiled my PuRPs list ballot this spring, I split it into tiers, as I always do. The top 12 players made up the 2nd and 1st tiers for me. For the community, it was the top 11 players that really separated themselves from the pack (Nelson and Ortega from my top two tiers didn't make the community's top two tiers). I mention this now because I am really big on Chad Bettis as a starter (he was 5th on my ballot). I think he's a complete package with 2/3 starter potential (3/4 likelihood), and I think that he's got a high probability of reaching that potential and doing so quickly.

Bettis, a 22 year-old RH starter in High A Modesto, has exhibited excellent control and command in his young minor league career (he's got a 86/23 K/BB ratio this year). I maintain that he's been a little unlucky this year (4.52 ERA) and that he's closer to the pitcher that tore up Tri-City and Asheville last year (1.07 ERA, 56/13 K/BB). I look forward to a promotion to Tulsa to see if he can perfrom as well as Juan Nicasio did this year.

Pitch Tools

Control
54.25
K-Rating
47.25
Efficiency
51
vsPower
49

Contract Status: 2010 2nd Round, Not Rule 5 Eligible, 3 options remaining

MLB ETA: Late 2012

 

Prospects 10-6 will be revealed tomorrow.

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