Prospect Roundup: Rockies Ryan McMahon and Harold Riggins earn Player of the Week awards

Harold Riggins - by Charlie Drysdale

Summary of Rockies prospect news over the past week, including videos and quotes.

Two Rockies prospects earned Player of the Week awards for the week of April 13-20. Based primarily on the merits of his home run onslaught, Asheville's Ryan McMahon won the South Atlantic League's distinction for Hitter of the Week, while Tulsa's Harold Riggins garnered the same honor for the Double-A Texas League.

"You're going to enjoy watching Ryan McMahon play. He's an exciting young man who has a chance to be special." said Rockies scout Jay Matthews to MiLB.com.

It seems possible that Ryan McMahon may soon be wearing plaid and taking on a giant blue ox as a pet with the Paul Bunyan type feats he's been accomplishing of late. The left-handed hitter has really come into his own in the SAL, establishing a reputation of leadership and slugging prowess. The week of the award McMahon put on a hitting clinic while posting a .471/.526/1.059 slash line. The 1.059 was his slugging percentage, so don't confuse it for his OPS which is too ridiculous to calculate right now.

The California native slugged his eight home run this past week and is only three shy of his season total in Grand Junction last year. Don't blame the launching pad of McCormick field however, since five of his eight home runs have occurred on the road.

Tulsa's Harold Riggins may have led the minors in strikeouts last season and he may be striking out at a greater rate this season, but he's also causing some damage when he does make contact. The giant first baseman, posted a slash of .444/.500/.833 during the week the award accompasses.

His numbers are a little skewed however as both his road and splits against righties are at the extremes. Harold has a  home OPS nearly 300 points higher than on the road and he's performing better against lefties with a 1.209 OPS compared to a .567 OPS against right-handed pitchers. Harold has incredible power potential from the right side however, which was demonstrated when he won the SAL home run derby off the deck of the USS Yorktown two years ago. Riggins is pretty good against live pitching as well and has 51 career minor league home runs.

Rockies pitching for perfection

Three Rockies prospects came close to throwing a no-hitter this past week. Dan Winkler, Jon Gray and Christian Friedrich all saw their chance at perfection slip through their fingers.

"You can't really say you've ever seen a pitcher like me. I think it's the deception." - the 24-year-old Winkler told MiLB.com.

Dan Winkler may be the most dominant pitcher in the Rockies organization in this young season. The righthander has flirted with no-hit bids twice and came close on Tuesday, pitching a complete seventh inning while allowing just one hit. His final line included one walk, one hit and 10 strikeouts of shutout ball.

Of course Winkler attributes his success this year to learning a cutter, why don't more pitchers learn to throw that pitch in the offseason? In Dan's case, there could be some truth to the statement as his three-quarter delivery adds deception to a pitch repertoire that's already difficult to read.

"In Spring Training, guys were saying I should throw a cutter," he said. "I had flirted with it before, and once I started throwing it, it was really easy to throw it. It looks like my fastball, especially when I come with the four-seam fastball, then come back to the cutter."

Gray striking out his eighth batter.

Meanwhile, phenom Jon Gray has been up and down this season. At one point getting pulled in the first inning after allowing six runs to score back on April 11th. Since then, Gray has stepped up his game and allowed just one earned run in his last two starts combined.

Gray's best was on exhibition this past Wednesday as he carried a perfect game into the sixth inning. The Oklahoma native showed his grit, finishing with a line of six innings pitched, three hits, one earned run, zero walks and eight strikeouts. Gray attributes his better pitching to focusing on keeping the ball down and trying to induce more groundballs.

"[Ground balls were] a little bit of a priority in college," he told MiLB.com's Jake Seiner. "But being with the Rockies, you hear a lot about playing in Coors Field, and that's one of the things -- keeping the ball down. It's definitely something I've been working on for a while now. I think tonight, I really took a good step in that direction."

Lefty Christian Friedrich spent most of last year recovering from a stress fracture in his back. So it's to be expected that he might take a few starts before he's back to pitching well again. The Illinois native had given up 11 earned runs in his previous two starts before Sunday's big game. Things changed for the better on Sunday when Friedrich took a perfect game into the sixth and a no hit bid into the seventh, in what was probably his best outing in a long time.

Friedrich represents a select group of left-handed pitching prospects in the Rockies organization. Outside of Tyler Anderson and Jayson Aquino, the Rockies are a little thin on the left side of the pitching rubber. Besides being closest to the majors of the three, Friedrich has a history of sustained success in the minor leagues and was once ranked as high as No. 22 by Baseball Prospectus. Add in the fact that he's already on the 40-man roster and it's very likely we could see the lefthander in Coors Field later this year.

Hottest Prospects of the Week

Hitters (filtered by doubles)

Name

Age

Tm

PA

R

H

3B

HR

RBI

BB

K

SB

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

2B ▾

Kyle Parker

24.8

COL

29

4

9

0

0

3

2

6

0

0.333

0.379

0.444

0.823

3

David Dahl

20.2

ASH

25

1

8

0

0

1

0

6

5

0.320

0.320

0.440

0.760

3

Ben Paulsen

26.7

COL

22

2

6

0

0

3

3

3

0

0.316

0.409

0.421

0.830

2

Derek Jones

24.0

MOD

23

1

5

0

0

0

4

4

1

0.278

0.435

0.389

0.824

2

Jose Briceno

21.8

ASH

8

0

3

0

0

0

0

2

0

0.375

0.375

0.625

1.000

2

Patrick Valaika

21.8

ASH

21

4

8

0

1

2

0

8

2

0.381

0.381

0.619

1.000

2

Pitchers (filtered by strikeouts)

Name

Age

Tm

W

L

Sv

BF

IP

G

ERA

H

HR

BB

K ▾

Tyler Matzek

23.7

COL

0

0

0

46

11.2

2

0.00

4

0

6

11

Ben Alsup

25.8

MOD

0

0

0

48

13

2

1.38

13

2

1

10

Daniel Winkler

24.3

TUL

1

0

0

23

7

1

0.00

1

0

1

10

Matt Flemer

23.6

MOD

1

1

0

40

10

2

2.70

7

1

3

10

Carlos Estevez

21.5

ASH

0

0

0

23

6

3

1.50

4

0

1

8

Jonathan Gray

22.6

TUL

0

1

0

20

6

1

1.50

3

0

0

8

Stats by MinorleagueCentral.com 4/17-4/24

Hottest prospect videos of the week

It's a couple weeks old, but this video from Modesto's home opener includes a nice shot of catcher Will Swanner hitting a RBI double.

Dan Winkler strikes out his 10th batter in his complete game.

Ground rule double by outfielder Kyle Parker.

Another Ryan McMahon homer, this one possibly narrated by Harry Carry.

SB Nation Featured Video
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Purple Row

You must be a member of Purple Row to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Purple Row. You should read them.

Join Purple Row

You must be a member of Purple Row to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Purple Row. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker