Keith Law's Top 100 prospects of 2011 -- ESPN (Insider)
It's that time of year again, where Keith Law unleashes his series of top prospect lists on ESPN.com. This year, he posted an overall top 100, top 10 by organization, top prospects that misses the top 100, and a sleepers list.
Included in his overall top 100 are four Rockies farmhands - Tyler Matzek (#24), Wilin Rosario (#69), Christian Friedrich (#87), and Nolan Arenado (#92). Law doesn't seem too concerned about Matzek's control issues in 2010, as he attributes it to a coach trying to alter his mechanics and says that he looks to be back to normal now. Law says he is "very bullish" on Tyler's future. As far as the other guys are concerned, Law thinks Rosario has the potential for 30-HR power in the big leagues, views Friedrich as continuing to be an injury risk because of his arm action, and doesn't like Arenado's athleticism but does like his energy and work ethic and opines that his bat could hold up even if he has to move to first base in the future.
Law's organizational top 10 looks similar to our PuRPs list, but instead of including Chris Nelson and Rafael Ortega, he has Juan Nicasio and Rex Brothers.
Finally, Law followed with thirty sleepers to watch in the upcoming season. The guy for the Rockies is none other than Will Swanner. Law mentions his strange low-OBP/high-SLG stat line, plus his poor strikeout rate. However, he thinks that Swanner can improve with experience.
Remember, you can check out capsules for each of our top 30 Rockies prospects in our Rockies Farm Report section.
MLB: Why a 'sure thing' can get derailed on the way to stardom - ESPN (Insider)
Staying with the ESPN Insider theme, Jason Churchill wrote a great article on why prospects fail. Much of the article is centered around Angels' third baseman Brandon Wood, but there is a lot of good information in there. Included in the article is a list of five red flags for prospects; at the top of the list is a high strikeout rate, which again is a concern early on for Swanner. Also on the list, surprisingly, is a low batting average - for which Churchill tabs Rockies' prospect Tim Wheeler as a current example.
More after the jump...
Rockies' Stewart taking a new stance - The Denver Post
Coming off the heels of Ian Stewart signing a new contract for the 2011 season, Troy Renck has another piece on Stew's attempt to improve at the plate. Apparently, Carney Lansford is having Ian move off the plate a little bit, as the team feels Stewart had trouble with pitches on the inside part of the plate last year.
MLB officials, more than 40 MLB players visit the residence of the U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic | MLB.com: Official Info
Ubaldo Jimenez was one of the players who paid a visit to Raul Yzaguirre.