Rockies Prospects: Playoffs?! Are you kidding me?

Correlle Prime, Eddie Butler and Max White - Charlie Drysdale

A roundup of each team's chances of making the playoffs and how they've performed up to this point in the season. Embedded highlight videos showcase some of the best plays on the Rockies farm this season.

With just a little more than a week left in the season, the minor league playoffs are just around the corner and here's a look at where each team stands. All numbers are generated through Tuesday and includes a summary on each team's best player performances.

ALREADY IN

Grand Junction Rockies

Thanks to a 21-17 first half record the Rockies Rookie-level affiliate have already qualified for the Pioneer League playoffs. The Pioneer League playoff format is set up so the first and second half winners face each other in the first round, before moving on to the Northern winner in a Championship round.

Buoyed by a strong pitching performances from both Jonathan Gray and Zack Jemiola the Rockies leaped out to a first place finish in the opening half of the season. The second half hasn't been so kind however, as Gray was promoted and the Rockies pitchers have fallen off. Jemiola is laboring with a 8.84 ERA in the second half of the season. Joel Payamps was another starter for the Rockies who pitched well in the first half (4.10 ERA), but has since struggled with a 8.40 ERA in the second half and the Rockies team ERA (5.72) ranks second to last in the league.

Offensively, Grand Junction has had some solid individual hitters, with Raimel Tapia, Jose Briceno, Miguel Dilone and Ryan McMahon all posting an OPS over .900 for the season. As a team however, the Rockies rank as one of the lowest run-scoring teams in the league. The Rockies are most likely to face Orem, the Los Angeles Angels affiliate in the first round of the playoffs. The Owlz hold a two game lead over Idaho Falls for the best record in the second half.

Tulsa Drillers

It came down to the last game of the half-season and a rainout gift-wrapped the first half league title for Tulsa with a 34-34 record. The Texas League playoff format is similar to the Pioneer League, with the first and second half winners facing each other in the first round, before moving on to the Southern winner in a Championship round.

The Drillers have remained competitive in the second half and despite the promotions of Chad Bettis (MLB) and Kent Matthes (AAA), Tulsa remains within two games of first place in the second half of the season. Currently the Arkansas Travelers are the most likely to face Tulsa in the playoffs, but things are up in the air with just a couple of games separating the three teams.

Christian Bergman has anchored the rotation, after finishing second last year in the California League in innings pitched, the righthander now leads the Texas League with 159.2 innings and sports a 3.16 ERA. The addition of Eddie Butler and Dan Winkler bolsters the rotation as both are putting up fantastic ERA's at the Double-A level (Butler 0.60, Winkler 2.87). Tyler Matzek rounds out the rotation with a 3.54 ERA in 24 starts. The lefthander is experiencing his worst peripheral season with the most hits, home runs allowed and fewest strikeouts ever, but he's also lowered his walks and has one of the best ERA's of his career.

Offensively the Drillers have struggled and have scored the fewest runs per game in the Texas League. Outfielder Kyle Parker has led the team in most offensive categories with 23 home runs and a .819 OPS. First baseman Kiel Roling has provided a secondary punch in the lineup, usually batting behind Parker he's matched Kyle with 23 home runs on the season.

IN A PLAYOFF RACE

Modesto Nuts

On the strength of a nine-game winning streak the Nuts stand atop the California League for the second half with a 34-23 record. The California League playoff format is set up for the first half winner to receive a bye before facing the winner of a mini-playoff between the second half winners and the second best record. Currently the most likely scenario in this format would be Visalia to face the Nuts for a two game series. The winner would then go on to face the San Jose Giants who already won the first half title.

Modesto didn't skip a beat with the promotion of Eddie Butler and Dan Winkler to Tulsa as both were replaced by Jonathan Gray and the return of Tyler Anderson to the rotation. The Nuts don't score a lot, but they do own one of the best team ERA's in the league at 3.92. Since being promoted, Gray has simply posted a 0.95 ERA with a 0.74 WHIP and a 13.3 K/9. The lefthanded Anderson has been excellent in his return from injury, posting a 2.84 ERA in three starts with a .229 average against.

Offensively the Nuts have really been affected by the down years from Will Swanner and Trevor Story. In their stead, Ryan Casteel and Harold Riggins have provided the heavy lifting, each posting 20 home runs or more for the season. The Nuts have benefited from speed on the basepaths where David Kandilas' 23 stolen bases are good enough for 10th in the league. Despite his struggles making contact, Story is one of the team's leaders in walks and ranks just behind Kandilas with 20 swiped bags on the year -- and he has yet to be thrown out (knock on wood).

Tri-City Dust Devils

It's a tight race in the Northwest League as only one game separates three teams for the second half title and the chance to face Everett in the NWL playoffs. The Dust Devils finished four games back in the first half with a 19-19 record and have performed worse in the second half going 11-15. Fortunately for TC, the other teams have done just as poorly since the Southern division has dominated the North with three teams posting a winning record in the second half. Tri-City will have a chance to control it's own destiny when it comes to making the playoffs with 8 of their last 11 games coming against division leaders Vancouver and Spokane.

Johendi Jiminian has stepped up for the Dust Devils pitching staff and has a .249 average against with a 3.08 ERA in 13 starts. The 6-foot-3 right hander is part of rotation that features four starters with an ERA under 4.00: Ryan Warner (3.77), Antonio Senzatela (3.45) and Sam Moll (2.28) -- although Moll has been out with an injury since July 20th and it's uncertain at this point if he'll return for the playoffs.

Offensively the Dust Devils have struggled and rank in the lower half of the Northwest League in runs scored. Alec Mehrten and Michael Tauchman lead the team in hitting and Tauchman has shown gap power with 15 extra-base hits and a .300 average. Meanwhile, Mehrten has shown incredible plate discipline batting .305 while posting a .439 OPS, but the 6-foot-3 shortstop has also shown very little pop, with only six extra-base hits on the season.

ALREADY ELIMINATED OR CLOSE TO IT

Colorado Springs Sky Sox

The Pacific Coast League is unique, where it goes off of the best record for the season to determine playoff seeding. The Sky Sox are 10.5 games back with a record of 62-66 and are within five games of being eliminated. Salt Lake City has a stranglehold on the first place record in the Northern division, with Tacoma being the only team within reach.

The Sky Sox have struggled to replace guys like Nolan Arenado and Corey Dickerson who were promoted to the major league club early in the season. On top of that, they lost Tyler Chatwood to the Rockies and haven't been able to fortify their rotation with the loss of Christian Friedrich and Drew Pomeranz to injury. Josh Rutledge and Jordan Pacheco have both hit well in Triple-A, posting an OPS above .900 in their time there, while Kent Matthes has provided a spark with eight home runs in just 33 games. Pitching-wise however, the staff has struggled with Chris Volstad, Jeff Manship and Corey Riordan posting ERA's near or exceeding 5.00 for the year.

Asheville Tourists

It's hard to believe the opening day roster featured Eddie Butler and David Dahl. Butler had seven strikeouts in a five inning shutout that day while Dahl went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Asheville was initially in the hunt for the first half title, finishing with a 38-30 record. Things changed in the second half as they went 21-37 the rest of the way to fall to last place in the Southern division. The Tourists have faced a ton of adversity over the season, with suspension and arrests tainting their season.

Pitching has been the undoing as T.J. Oakes, Matt Carasiti and Shayne Broyles struggled to match stats with their talent levels. Jayson Aquino was promoted in July and while the lefthander has been solid, he's yet to match the season he put up in Grand Junction last year.

The offense saw a breakout performance from shortstop Rosell Herrera, re-establishing himself as a player to watch in the Rockies system. The switch hitter has lost some of his power in the second half, but carries a .351 average on the year with a total of 16 home runs.

DSL Rockies

The Dominican League Rockies were eliminated last week and stand 17 games back with a 31-35 record. The Rockies have been very patient with their new crop of pitchers, limiting them to 4 or 5 innings per start. The team has worked through 12 different starting pitchers this season in an attempt to replace an entire starting five that was promoted to the United States in the past year.

Offensively there has been some solid performances, with Hamlet Marte batting .293 with seven home runs and Omar Carrizales hitting .295 with 28 stolen bases. Third baseman Luis Castro has shown a solid ability to hit with gap power and get on base. The 17-year-old Castro has 13 XBH's with a .372 OBP, but also needs to improve on his glovework as he's been charged with 31 errors on the season.

Second Half Club Records

Club

W

L

PCT

GB

ELIM #

Home

Away

L 10

Streak

Colorado Springs Sky Sox (COL)

62

67

0.481

10

4

34-27

28-40

4-6

L3

*Tulsa Drillers (COL)

28

31

0.475

2

10

14-16

14-15

3-7

W1

Modesto Nuts (COL)

35

24

0.594

-

-

17-11

18-13

9-1

L1

Asheville Tourists (COL)

22

37

0.377

13

E

15-13

7-24

3-7

W1

Tri-City Dust Devils (COL)

12

16

0.429

2

9

7-6

5-10

5-5

W1

*Grand Junction Rockies (COL)

5

16

0.238

9

9

2-8

3-8

2-8

L1

DSL Rockies (COL)

31

38

0.449

20

E

17-18

14-20

3-7

L4

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