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Pebble Report - Tri-City Preview

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The Dust-Devil pitchers have taken a little while and I had to leave for a bit this afternoon which didn't help so the position players will have to wait to be updated until tomorrow.

Pitchers

James Freeman - has a 90 mph fastball, but is inconsistent and slightly flawed in his delivery.

Zach Simons - was used a ton at Everett so hopefully he gets a lighter workload here with the Dust-Devils, but since he's added twenty pounds to his frame and five mph to his fastball he's become a very intriguing prospect. He doesn't have quite the ceiling of Chaz Roe, but he should definitely fit as a potential number three starter in the system.

David Bechtold - has three pitches he can use effectively, one of his best outings of the season for Liberty actually came against second round pick Daniel Carte, where Carte's solo shot proved the difference in a 2-1 loss.

James Burok - Burok's two main pitches, his low nineties heat and a 85 mph cutter are pretty decent and they served him well as Old Dominion's closer this season. He fared much better out of the pen then he did as a starter and is probably destined for the same should he eventually make the Rockies.

Andrew Kreidermacher - He comes out of the great northern wastelands with an upper eighties fastball (according to the link to follow, it tops out at 93) and hard slider to match. He did well enough this year at Minnesota State Mankato to allay any concerns the Rockies might have had about him sliding a bit from a very impressive sophomore year with Viterbo.

Ethan Katz - Katz really got the attention of scouts last yearwhen he shut down the Stanford Cardinal in a surprise upset with Cal State Sacramento. He mixes a fastball with okay velocity but good movement, a good slider and a decent change-up pretty well. Honestly Katz is already a darkhorse to watch in my book because being a fan of West Coast collegiate baseball, I know he had a tough reputation and has had a couple of big time wins notched in his career. He's been worked hard by Sacto though, so as with Simons, I hope we take it a little easy on him.


Stephen Edsall - Edsall pitched alright with the Dust Devils at first last year, then got moved to Casper and was hammered at first before improving toward the end. He needs to get off to a good start this year to get that bad experience with altitude behind him.

Efren Lira - A veteran of the Braves Dominican scouting program who walks too many and gives up too many hits to have much of a future despite his stuff.

Matt Prendergast - Not much shown so far, he'll be repeating the level also which doesn't bode well.

Ryan Fox - Ryan played catcher the last couple of years and is heading back to the mound now where he has a tiny window left to start a professional career in baseball.

George Delgado - A Venezuelan whose professional debut last year was several years in the making, Delgado shows quite a bit of promise by averaging better than a K an inning.

Shane Lindsay - One more of the Aussie invasion, Lindsay's career has been a little uneven thus far with the Rox, but he still has a lot of promise. He was considerably wild last year at Casper, and besides that he got hit regularly but then again he struck out better than 13/9IP so, yeah he remains an unknown at this point. Tri-City ought to give us a better idea of what we've got in him, though.

David Patton - Patton was a 2004 pick and he didn't do too badly starting at Casper, so he gets the call up to Tri City this year.

Pat Stanley - Stanley actually had a bit more success at Casper, the big righthander doesn't walk very many and he had a nice K/9 ratio. He's definitely a sleeper I'm keeping an eye on.

Buzz Vargas - An undrafted free agent sign, Vargas looked sharp in his Casper debut and takes another step forward this year with the Dust Devils and we'd all like a Rockie named Buzz, so obviously we want him to succeed too. Vargas was a high school teammate of J Brent Cox, who went in the second round this year to the Yankees out of Texas, and he himself was a 2002 pick of the Atlanta Braves as a draft-and-follow (36th round) and so far their loss has proven to be our gain.

Jeremey White - 2004's latest pick standing, White was a 36th round selection of our own and had a mediocre campaign in Casper but showed enough to be invited back and up a level at that.

Catchers

Brian Kirby - Kirby struck out 127 times in 308 AB's last year for the Ozark Ducks of the independent Frontier league, but he also hit sixteen homeruns. He's 26 years old now and was going to play for the San Angelo Colts of the Central League before the Colorado Rockies bought his contract. As such, he's not really a Rockies prospect, but just a journeyman catcher (he spent three years in the Tribe's organization) who will provide some instruction to our other young team members and will be especially helpful with the pitching staff.

Ramon Rodriguez - He was promoted from Casper last year where his most notable stat was his failry impressive .425 OBP. Unfortunately his other stats weren't that great, especially at a place like Casper.

James Sweeney - Sweeney makes his third pass at being a short season catcher after spending most of last year recovering from Tommy John surgery.

First Base

Michael Paulk - The Dust Devils at the moment don't really have a true first baseman, so I'm assuming Paulk will see a lot of time here since he played the position in college. Paulk's got the power and the bat to work at first, so don't worry about that. Like Ryan Shealy, Paulk was an excellent late first day pick that has the talent to reach the majors if he's willing to put in the work.

Second Base

Pedro Strop - he was in Asheville just a couple of weeks ago, but Chris Nelson's return demoted him once again to the Short season league. Strop is young and raw and will see time at both short and second this year. He gets mentioned quite a bit by Jack Etkin for a player of his statistical ho-hummedness. I think Etkin therefore is pretty high on him. He has more power than Van Kooten but lots less patience and less of an ability to make contact as well.

Sandy Almonte - Really these middle infielders for the Dust-Devils are more or less interchangeable, I think Van Kooten is the only one to really not play much second.

Shortstop

Jason Van Kooten- a 2003 draft and follow signed just before the 2004 draft, Van Kooten did well enough as a nineteen year old to get a second look, but not well enough to supplant anybody on the depth chart. He'll start at Tri-City this summer where he finished the last one.

Osacar Materano - He returns from injury being a Northwest League veteran. Materano needs to show the bat and skills that got him noticed in the first place quickly if he wants to be a part of the organization's future. I wouldn't be surprised to see Materano or especially Almonte also play a little first given the roster as we have it right now.

Michael Milliron - A scrappy shortstop from Penn State who won't have much power with wood, but he should be okay defensively.

Third Base

Phillip Cuadrado- he's a good defense, medium bat third baseman out of Cumberland. He's got a bit of pop, but not as much as you'd like from the hot corner, and he doesn't have the skills of Tulo or the potential of Chris Nelson or the raw power of Matt Macri at short, so Cuadrado's got a lot of work to do to get involved with the Rockies. His arm's solid, though, from what I've heard.

Outfield

Chris Frey - Given the Colorado Rockies' overall wealth of centerfield prospects, Frey is lucky to be relatively unencumbered by rivals at this level at the moment. Should Dexter Fowler move fast though he better watch out. Like Paulk, Frey could have been a tough Junior sign, but the Rockies made the deals happen and we're definitely happy to have both players in the system. Frey's got skills at center and at the plate, but he needs quite a bit of refinement with both before he really gets in our vision. Travis Becktel -

Rob Hosgood - a twenty-fourth round selection last year, Hosgood is 23 and won't be getting much of a glance from most prospect observers. Here included unless he really starts doing something special, and gets called up to Tulsa and still does that special thing. In other words, Hosgood's a real longshot.

Steven Boggs - Boggs is 21, so he's a little more on our radar than Hosgood at this point and he should see time in center as well. He's another undrafted free agent (having spurned the Red Sox in 2002 and following it up with a lackluster college career) he didn't do anything special in Casper.

Angel Valdez - We're still waiting for Vladez to fill out his frame and hit like an outfielder.