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Rockies Top Ten Prospects, plus ten more for free!

Macri is rising now that he's wearing a better looking uniform

This has been a frustrating year to watch prospects in the system, almost as frustrating as it's been to watch the big club. None of our top positional prospects has jumped out and our top pitchers (with the possible exception of Samuel Deduno) have all had some awful games on their resume along with the great ones. Still the future remains promising. Look to the system to start to rebound by the end of the month and heat up through summer. I haven't seen Dexter Fowler play so I don't know where to put him yet, but he could easily be in the bottom half of this list if everything I'm hearing is true.

  1. Ian Stewart - Stewart and number three on this list, Chris Nelson, were only two of a handful of Rockies' prospects (Jordan Czarniecki, David Patton, Christian Colonel) to start the season with hamstring troubles. As these two get used to the rigours of professional baseball and the year round conditioning necessary for the sport, hopefully this will be the last time this happens. Stewart has started slow, but don't worry about his average or his power numbers as they will pick up, he's been playing for less than two weeks. What we are monitoring more closely instead are his BB/K rates as thus far, they haven't been pretty.
  2. Ubaldo Jiminez - U-ball has been getting back into the groove of things since being put on the shelf pretty much since the start of June of last year. Over the winter he developed some mechanical issues with his delivery that have been mostly corrected, but as his stats show: (26.1 IP, 11 R, 10 ER, 14 BB, 31 K, 1 HR, 3 HBP, .237BAA) he's not quite back to where he left off even though he's pretty darn close. Watch for him to get even more impressive for his next few starts and I expect him to be in Tulsa sometime before the All-Star break.
  3. Chris Nelson - The next time we may see him this season could be at short-season Tri-Cities the was he got started, but his upside remains huge despite the slow start at Asheville. Actually he should be back with the Tourists for the last week or so in May after heading back to AZ to recover more from the hamstring thing. Like with Stewart I'm not even going to put his numbers up since they are still fairly meaningless and they tend to upset me. Suffice it to say they were bad, really bad.
  4. Matt Macri (.271/.372/.390)- his OPS today stands at only .762, he has five errors thus far this season. Why do I like him enough to bump him up from number thirteen to number four? First, by transitioning to a premium defensive post from the corner he gets an automatic twenty percent upgrade in prospect status. Second, despite his stats hitting a plateau in recent weeks, I'm still predicting them trending north and he should have an OPS around 1.000 by the end of the year. His plus power in the middle infield with patience gives us at least a Todd Walker type of player, or possibly even more should his power mature, eventually he could be a thirty plus home-run hitter playing at Coors.
  1. Dragon Lo - another fast riser this year, one of our Four Horsemen of the Rockalypse (TM) along with Jiminez. Morillo, and Deduno. Lo got hammered in his last outing, but his overall line remains impressive despite this: 33.2 IP, 34 H, 16 R, 15 ER, 6 BB, 37 K, 5 HR, 3 HBP, .262 BAA. When you consider that his May 8th disaster alone accounted for thirteen hits, ten of the runs, two of the walks, and three of the homers, you start to see the kind of season he was having before then. A rebound in his next start is key to carrying on the season. Lo is still only nineteen years old and is just now hitting his potential.
  2. Samuel Deduno - Like Morillo, he's twenty-one so the couple of extra years put a note of caution in ranking him this high and drop him below the younger Lo and Jiminez. At this point his stats for the year have shown no slack from where he left off in Casper: 30.1 IP, 19 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 15 BB, 39 K, 2 HR, 1 HBP, .184 BAA. The next two steps are key for these three, as long as all of them are able to move smoothly up against tougher competition we can start to get our hopes up.
  3. Juan Morillo - After yesterday's K'fest his stats stand at: 33.2 IP, 40 H, 24 R, 17 ER, 13 BB, 43 K, 2 HR, 1 HBP, .290 BAA. He's giving up too many hits, but not a lot of homeruns, which leads me to think that the hits allowed should settle down as the season moves on. His K/9IP rate is high among starting pitchers, and his fabled triple digit velocity remains intact, although he usually has been working around 95-96 mph.
  4. Jeff Baker - Baker got a dose of humility in his cup of coffee filling in for Atkins, and he's carried that piece of humble pie with him his first couple of weeks of AAA ball, but he's finally getting on track. Look for a big season from him for the Sky Sox.
  5. Seth Smith (.272/.346/.430) He ranks higher than Thigpen because he's a couple of years younger and has more potential, but lower than Macri because he's an outfielder and I'm liking Macri's patience a little more than Smith's slugging right now. These two twenty-two year olds should move up through the system together and watch for their seasons to start heating up again as Stewart gets on track.
  6. Tony Miller (.236/.365/.430) It was a tough call for this slot between Miller and Jeff Salazar, but Miller's 5 HRs and 9 2B's trumped the more severely slumping Salazar and put him up here instead. Miller has gotten cold of late as his dropping average indicates. Should this trend continue with all of our AA prospects I will despair and lock myself in an upstairs room Emily Dickinson style writing nothing but poetry for the rest of my days.
Second Ten:
  1. Salazar
  2. Jim Miller
  3. Jordan Czarniecki
  4. Jayson Nix
  5. Choo Freeman
  6. Matt Miller
  7. Joe Koshansky
  8. Dustin Hahn
  9. Ryan Spilborghs
  10. Chris Ianetta - dropping a little bit but I still love his OBP
  11. Mike Esposito or Justin Hampson. They're both right around here, they get bonus points for being so advanced.