Baker seems to be one of the unnoticed additions that are making the Rockies underrated this offseason, and he should definitely improve our chances late in ballgames. As Jeff Sackmann noted in his BTB preview last week, the Rockies had a less than .300 OBP from the seventh inning on last season. Our pinch hitters in 228 AB's combined for an OPS of .624. Baker can sop up a lot of that underproduction, as well as provide a decent sub for Helton, Hawpe, Holliday and Atkins, which should make Clint Hurdle's job a little easier this year.
According to Patrick Saunders, Willy Taveras is working on his contact skills in the hopes of raising his OBP to an acceptable level for a leadoff hitter. I'm hoping for a .350, but it has to be a true .350 and not some Coors .385, road .315 kind of line, or we'll still be in trouble.
Subscribers at Baseball Prospectus can take a look at Kevin Goldstein's top 100 prospects. A lot of Rockies clock in between #24 (Troy Tulowitzki) and #70 (Ian Stewart) but none before or after. No surprises among the Rox listed, but as I alluded to in my Tulsa preview, I think a couple of our prospects are getting the short end of the stick in these rankings. Notably, Greg Reynolds and Chaz Roe, but I'd think a couple others within our system have valid cases as well. Speaking of BP, as David noted in the comments yesterday, their PECOTA projections see Ian Stewart as a good prospect still. I think he will bump himself back up to the "great" category this season, but that's just the homer in me saying so.