Christian Petersen

The Complete Fall 2012 PuRPs List

It's time for the Fall 2012 PuRPs list, the Purple Row community's list of the top 30 Rockies prospects.

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The Complete Fall 2012 PuRPs List

After revealing the PuRPs list five players at a time in six installments, it's time to wrap up the fall list by showing the full list. So without further ado, here is the full Fall 2012 Purple Row community prospect list:

Rank Player Points
1 David Dahl 671
2 Nolan Arenado 668
3 Trevor Story 648
4 Kyle Parker 625
5 Will Swanner 554
6 Chad Bettis 523
7 Corey Dickerson 523
8 Tyler Anderson 490
9 Rafael Ortega 489
10 Tyler Matzek 454
11 Edwar Cabrera 442
12 Tim Wheeler 428
13 Eddie Butler 420
14 Jayson Aquino 367
15 Tom Murphy 287
16 Rosell Herrera 252
17 Wilfredo Rodriguez 240
18 Cristhian Adames 227
19 Joe Gardner 203
20 Harold Riggins 188
21 Rob Scahill 179
22 Taylor Featherston 173
23 Peter Tago 156
24 Charlie Culberson 146
25 Christian Bergman 144
26 Julian Yan 129
27 Sam Mende 101
28 Zach Putnam 86
29 Parker Frazier 84
30 Ryan Garvey 74

23 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 8 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 30 players on the PuRPs list were named on at least 8 ballots.

It was a two horse race for first place in this edition of the PuRPs poll, between Spring's top PuRP and this year's first round draft pick. David Dahl took the top slot with 11 first place votes, while Nolan Arenado was 2nd only 3 points back (he got 9 first place votes). Behind those two, Trevor Story was a clear 3rd place and Kyle Parker was obviously in 4th, then 5-9 were a clear tier, as were 10-14 (all of which were named on at least 22 ballots). Looking back on past PuRPs lists, it appears that Colorado's farm system is a little thinner than the Spring list, due in part to the MLB graduation of five PuRPs to MLB.

  • In all, 12 players were on every ballot, 64 players received at least one vote for this PuRPs list, 52 got mentioned on multiple ballots, 35 were named on at least 8 ballots (and therefore were unmodified), and all of the top 17 were named on at least 20 ballots, showing that the half or so of the list was more or less agreed upon by the community, if not necessarily the order. Here is a link to the polling thread.
  • Players on the spring list that have exhausted their ROY eligibility and who therefore were no longer eligible were Drew Pomeranz (2), Christian Friedrich (6), Josh Rutledge (7), Charlie Blackmon (15), and DJ LeMahieu (18). In addition to those five players, David Kandilas (24), Kent Matthes (25), Ben Paulsen (26), and Dillon Thomas (28) all fell off the list.
  • If you've done the math right, you've realized that 9 new players made this fall's PuRPs list, including 5 from this year's draft class. The new entrants to the list are Dahl (1), Eddie Butler (13), Tom Murphy (15), Wilfredo Rodriguez (17), Taylor Featherston (22), Charlie Culberson (24), Christian Bergman (25), Julian Yan (26), and Ryan Garvey (30). Of the four new players that were in Colorado's system when the last poll took place, Featherston made the highest debut at 22.

Here are the five players who came closest to inclusion on the Fall 2012 PuRPs List:

35. Ryan Warner (40 points, 9 ballots), 2012 3rd round, RHP at Grand Junction (18)
34. Kent Matthes (48.1 points, 7 ballots), 2009 4th round, OF at Tulsa (25)
33. Miguel Dilone (51 points, 12 ballots), 2011 FA (DR), 2B at DSL (19)
32. David Kandilas (68 points, 9 ballots), 2009 FA (AU), OF at Asheville (22)
31. Max White (70 points, 13 ballots), 2012 2nd round, OF at Grand Junction (19)

Most of the five listed above are years away from contributing to a Rockies team. The names I'd watch in particular would be White (who had an abysmal pro debut, but has a 2nd round pedigree) and Dilone (who slugged very well in a league where that doesn't happen very often and who has MLB bloodlines).

Breaking the list down by position, there are 12 pitchers (11 of them are starters, eight are righties, four are southpaws, none are in the top 5), 7 outfielders (2-4 of which could play CF, depending on the scout you ask), 6 middle infielders (if you classify Herrera and Mende as such), 2 corner infielders, and 3 catchers. It looks like there will be several top prospects that will be MLB ready all in the next year or two, so it won't be long before we start seeing some of these guys producing for the Rockies.

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David Dahl Heads the 2012 Fall PuRP List: #5-1

It's time to show the top five Rockies prospects as voted on by the Purple Row community. Tomorrow I'll wrap up this series with a look at the list as a whole, but for now, let's take a look at the future stars in Colorado's minor league system. According to the community, they're all position players.

As a reminder, 23 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 8 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 30 players on the PuRPs list were named on at least 8 ballots.

For each player on the PuRPs list, I've included a link to their stats (via Baseball-Reference), their relevant "tool score indicators" compared to their league 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 2012 season to date. For what it's worth, I'll also include where I put them on my personal ballot.

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.

Here are PuRPs 5-1:

5. Will Swanner (554 points, 23 ballots) -- Spring 2012 Ranking: 13 -- High Ballot 4, Mode (most common when placed) Ballot 5

Swanner, a 21 year-old catcher who played for Low A Asheville this year, has been known for two things throughout his career -- his prodigious power and his poor contact rate at the plate. After all, in his first professional season Swanner swatted a homer every 11 PAs but didn't walk a single time, while striking out 40% of the time. Thankfully, the catching prospect has grown a little as a prospect since then, crushing SAL pitching to the tune of .302/.385/.529 as a 20 year-old catcher, bringing the walk rate up to 10% and the K rate down to 27%.

The big knock on Swanner is that he might not stick as a catcher defensively at higher levels (which is why I was hesitant to place him higher than 5th on my ballot), but those hit tools will play fine at first base or a corner outfield position. He's a little ways away, but with Swanner there's All-Star potential if everything breaks right.

Hit Tools

Speed
16
Contact
6
Patience
74
Batting
62
Power
97

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

MLB ETA: Late 2015

The composition (if not the order) of the top 4 PuRPs were agreed upon in 75% of ballots.

4. Kyle Parker (625 points, 23 ballots) -- Spring 2012 Ranking: 10 -- High Ballot 1 (1), Mode Ballot 4

Parker, a 22 year-old righty outfielder in High A Modesto, is a prospect that I missed on somewhat. The former Clemson QB and 2010 first round pick of the Rockies was expected to crush homers at the lower levels given his prodigious power, but he failed to dominate low A ball and in the first half of 2012 he was slowed by a hand injury. As a result, I looked unfavorably on Parker's development as a prospect.

However, there was a reason that Parker was a 1st round pick despite never fully investing all of his time in baseball. The power is there, the patience at the plate is improving, and the athleticism (for a corner outfield position, anyways) is certainly present -- though it's been said that he's the most likely internal replacement for Todd Helton down the line. And the results finally started to reflect the tools -- Parker's line in Modesto ended up a robust .308/.415/.562 -- and in the second half it ballooned to .326/.431/.628.

In other words, I'm finally becoming a believer in Parker (I slotted him 6th on my list) and I hope that he continues his rampage in AA Tulsa.

Hit Tools

Speed
24
Contact
35
Patience
75
Batting
63
Power
87

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

MLB ETA: Late 2014

3. Trevor Story (648 points, 23 ballots) -- Spring 2012 Ranking: 3 -- High Ballot 1 (2), Mode Ballot 3

Story, a 19 year-old righty shortstop who played at Low A Asheville, was ranked as the top prospect in the rookie level Pioneer League by Baseball America last year and he showed us why in Asheville this season (he was the #2 prospect in BA's SAL list this year). As one of the youngest players in the league and playing the toughest defensive position well, Story hit an impressive .277/.367/.505, including an impressive 67 XBHs.

Scouts have indicated that he's a potential 5 tool shortstop at the major league level, and Story has done little to gainsay them at this point. I ranked him 3rd on my list as an elite bat, and I'm excited to see if he can continue his success at the upper levels.

Hit Tools

Speed
72
Contact
51
Patience
82
Batting
52
Power
72

Contract Status: 2011 Supplemental 1st Round, Not Rule 5 eligible, 3 options remaining

MLB ETA: 2015

2. Nolan Arenado (668 points, 23 ballots) -- Spring 2012 Ranking: 1 -- High Ballot 1 (9), Mode Ballot 1

Arenado, a 21 year-old third baseman at AA Tulsa, was seen by many Rockies fans as the 2012 starter at 3B despite never playing a game above A ball. That's probably because Arenado had just been named the MVP of the Arizona Fall League last year and had hit extremely well in Low A Modesto as a 20 year-old. For people expecting MLB stardom in 2012, Arenado's year was a little disappointing...but by most other metrics, it was mostly a success.

After all, a .285/.337/.428 line at AA as a 21 year-old is just fine. The best part about Arenado as a prospect is his great contact rate -- facing pitching 2-3 years older than him, Arenado whiffed only 10% of the time. Despite having his defense maligned after he was drafted, Arenado has developed into a competent 3rd baseman. There have been some concerns about Arenado's attitude (specifically, how he deals with failure) expressed by none other than Dan O'Dowd, which is a red flag.

Even so, Arenado is the type of player who is going to be a league average or better third baseman in MLB for a long time because of his elite contact and hit tools. If you haven't been paying attention, 3B is kind of a black hole for most of MLB but particularly the Rockies, so even league average production is pretty note-worthy.

Hit Tools

Speed
18
Contact
95
Patience
35
Batting
80
Power
60

Contract Status: 2009 2nd Round, Not Rule 5 Eligible, 3 options remaining

MLB ETA: Late 2013

1. David Dahl (671 points, 23 ballots) -- Spring 2012 Ranking: NR -- High Ballot 1 (11), Mode Ballot 1

Dahl, a 18 year-old lefty outfielder for rookie level Grand Junction, was Colorado's first round pick (10th overall) in this year's draft. To say that Dahl impressed in his professional debut would be an understatement. Playing against pitchers 2-3 years older than him on average, all Dahl did was hit .379/.423/.625 (winning the Pioneer League batting title by 41 points), run away with the Pioneer League MVP, and get named the top prospect in the league.

In other words, Dahl had just about the best start to a professional career you could hope for from a first round pick, which is why he's ranked (by a mere 3 points) as the top Purple Row Prospect for Fall 2012. Dahl is a five tool talent that projects to stick in center field defensively and comfortably projects as a MLB regular with the potential for much more. Then again, Rockies fans will have to wait a while as Dahl is still years away from the Show.

Hit Tools

Speed
89
Contact
87
Patience
33
Batting
100
Power
84


Contract Status
: 2012 1st Round, Not Rule 5 Eligible, 3 options remaining

MLB ETA: 2016

Tomorrow, I'll post the entire list for discussion.

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Fall 2012 PuRPs List: #10-6

The penultimate installment of the Fall 2012 PuRPs list, the Purple Row community's list of the top 30 Rockies prospects

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Fall 2012 PuRPs Polling Thread

All right Purple Row community, it's once again time to vote on your top 30 Purple Row Prospects (PuRPs).

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