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The Jump

Last season the Rockies had six players who started in the AA level or below make the jump to the big leagues, Manuel Corpas, Ubaldo Jimenez, Juan Morillo, Chris Iannetta, Alvin Colina and Troy Tulowitzki. Who are the players capable of making a similar leap in 2007? First of all, look at the list again to get some clues as to who might. The six that made it were either pitchers or played in a position of particular need for the team. The Rockies will always be in need of fresh arms, so the pitching corps should be looked at first in these situations. Second, there will be positions of less strength than others going into 2007, particularly if we make some dimwitted short-sighted absolutely moronic offseason acquisitions. You're not going to find any corner players making "The Jump" as we're pretty well stacked in those positions, but obviously we're going to have several AAA players like Ian Stewart and Seth Smith get the call there. Finally, keep in mind injuries can play a part, although as in the case with 2006 this is less likely with a younger team such as the Rox, but catchers seem to break down more than most so we should probably keep an eye there as well.

Anyway, here's my list of who I think we should watch as capable of leaping levels to the big club this season:

Safe Bets:

  1. Greg Reynolds - I think he easily has the best odds, even though he's not likely to be the first to get the call. As long as he makes a smooth transition to AA, and with his polish there's no reason to think he won't, we should be on pace to seeing our 2006 first round pick in Coors by the end of the season as a September call-up.
  2. Franklin Morales - Like Reynolds, a likely September call-up is in the cards for the Rockies best overall pitching prospect. I think we'll likely see a reliever or two brought up before these two, but there's little reason to believe either will be held back. Of course we can hope their seasons start particularly strong in Tulsa and they push the issue sooner, but I'm confident the future of our rotation will be in town by the end of the year.
Decent Odds:
  1. Corey Wimberly - Going into a season with Jamey Carroll and Kaz Matsui pencilled in at second base is one thing, going into it with Jamey Carroll and Craig Counsell is another proposition altogether. If Matsui flees to greener pastures, expect a midseason call-up of the fleet footed Wimberly if Carroll stumbles out of the gate, a strong possibility given his career stats. Counsell will keep the position warm and provide sound defense, but his batting skills have been in decline for some time and Clint Barmes wouldn't provide the same threat on the basepaths or at the top of a lineup. I think Wimberly's speed and contact skills will make him a highly sought commodity in Denver by the All-Star break. Of course if he doesn't adjust to AA...
  2. Jonathan Herrera - Herrera took a bit of prodding to wake his bat up this past season in Modesto, but it's come around nicely and he'd provide a teeny bit more pop then any of the aforementioned possible second sackers and a good bit of speed as well. I think both he and Wimberly have fairly decent shots of September calls even if they don't make the grade mid-season.
  1. Jason Burch/Adam Bright - I'm not so sure we've got another bullpen arm like Corpas in the system this season, but Burch's slider and Bright's left-handedness are two reasons to think that they might find their way to Coors by the end of the season.
  2. Dexter Fowler - Okay, so let's say the Rockies go ahead and do something so monumentally cretinous as signing Steve Finley, who has had one decent month out of the last two seasons he's played, or Darin Erstad who hasn't played center field since the turn of the century, to 2007 contracts, and us knowing how our manager loves these old players, would let them roam out there for months on end before he got the clue that they weren't helping the team any. Okay, so that's the scenario there, and there's not much we can do about it except hope we live in a state with a suitably high bridge for the new sport of base-jumping without a parachute. But wait, maybe there is hope... maybe Dexter Fowler, set to start the season in Modesto has had a discovery of the Albert Pujols type and he tears through Cal League pitchers like a puppy through a bag of potato chips and he then goes to Tulsa and smacks the TL like a fresh guy in a bar and to Colorado Springs where he spends all of two weeks before the front office decides...
Okay. You're right. Base-jumping, sans bungee or rip cord...


  1. EY Jr. - kind of the plan B to the aforementioned Wimberly scenario. From their seasons to date in Hawaii, I'm actually very high on both Fowler and Young for making some serious moves in 2007, they just have a long way ahead of them.
  2. Andrew Johnston - As solid an option as Burch or Bright, but further away in his development.
  3. Samuel Deduno - way too many control issues to make this a safe call, if Deduno does make it to the Rockies in 2007, it won't be as a starter.
  4. Ching Lung Lo - He might actually be more sure bet then Deduno and a couple others on this list. The Dragon remains an enigmatic talent in the system.