Tuesday Rockpile Links, March 18: Rockies prospect notes, Brandon Barnes' mask

Keith Law has some interesting observations on a couple of exciting young outfielders in the Rockies system.

Dahl looks like an elite prospect again - ESPN (Insider)
Keith Law clearly likes what he sees this spring from Rockies outfield prospect David Dahl:

" ... any time a talented player can bounce back from a lost year and show up faster and stronger than he was before, it's cause for real optimism. He ranked 47th on my ranking of the top 100 prospects in baseball before this year, and I'll predict a jump into the top 20 after a healthy 2014 for him."

Law also has a note about fellow Colorado outfield prospect Raimel Tapia, who has some issues with his swing:

"When he swings it's always hard, but he rolls over his front foot more than half the time, which means he can't shift his weight to his front leg and doesn't have a lot of time to pick up an off-speed pitch."

I noticed the same thing about Tapia, but the thing that perhaps separates him from other players with oddities in their swing is that Tapia still makes HARD contact even when he is forced off-balance by the pitch. Anybody who has a realistic chance of seeing him hit should certainly do so.

Barnes trains with high-altitude mask - Denver Post
Seriously, check out this photo Patrick Saunders took of Brandon Barnes wearing a Darth Vader-like mask for training purposes. Anything to get an edge is something the Rockies should be doing, so good on Barnes, who has a legitimate chance of making the 25-man roster out of camp.

Dickerson taking a swing at playing center field for the Rockies - The Denver Post
The Rockies still aren't sure how they'll handle their CF dilemma, but I'm not so sure Corey Dickerson is the answer based on his defense--though he might be the best hitter of the bunch. At any rate, he's going to have a chance to make his mark on the Rockies' outfield sometime soon, even if it's not at the beginning of this season.

Rutledge's performance making Rox take notice | Rockies.com
Josh Rutledge homered and doubled in the Rockies' win yesterday and now owns a .304/.333/.609 line with three extra-base hits in 24 spring plate appearances. He's not going to be the starter at second base, notes Thomas Harding, but Rutledge is fighting for a spot on the roster and will probably earn one if he finishes Cactus League play on a strong note.

Around the league

Jimmy Rollins is basically being told to shape up or ship out, says ESPN's Buster Olney.

Let baseball fill out your bracket for you, writes SB Nation's Grant Brisbee. Todd Helton makes an unceremonious exit in the first round because of unfairly steep competition. And check out that second-round matchup between Texas and Arizona State.

Three managers are already on the hot seat. One of them is the skipper of a hated division rival.

OFF-TOPIC

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