Today I reveal to you five more names on the Fall 2011 PuRPs list. Here are PuRPs 30-26. As a reminder, forty ballots were cast in this edition of the PuRPs poll, with 30 points being granted for a first place vote, 29 for second, etc. Until a player was named on thirteen ballots, his vote totals were modified on a sliding scale to avoid an individual ballot having too much say over the community forecast -- but none of the below players had that problem, as all thirty players on the PuRPs list were named on at least fourteen ballots.
For each player, I've included a link to their stats (via Baseball-Reference), their relevant "tool scores" on a 1-100 scouting scale (which is explained here) per the wonderful Baseball Cube, their contract status (via Rockies Roster), their probable MLB ETA (assuming they do make the Show), and a note on their 2011 season.
Remember that neither the tool scores nor the statistics pages are the end-all be-all when evaluating these players. Context is hugely important (such as the player's age relative to the league's average or the league average offensive numbers), as is the fact that injuries to prospects can affect both their tools and their stats.
25. Cristhian Adames (191 points, 22 ballots) -- Stats -- Spring 2011 Ranking: 25
After not making the PuRPs list last fall, many in the community were surprised when Baseball Prospectus named Adames, a 20 year-old shortstop in Low A Asheville, the Rockies' 10th best prospect going into 2011. They'll probably rank him in the top 15 again this year due to his great tools.
While Adames' numbers to this point might not be overwhelming, it's obvious given the fact that he played a full season as the every day shortstop in the Low A SAL at only 19/20 that the team thinks highly of his tools and his make-up. That's not to mention that he held his own at the plate .273/.350/.386 while handling a premium defensive position well.
Given the glut of highly talented middle infield prospects below and above him, Adames will need to continue to make himself stand out. I'd go so far to say that if he can maintain that level of patience at the plate and develop some power, he'll be in the big leagues as a better Jonathan Herrera within the next few years.
Contract Status: 2008 Amateur Free Agent (DR), Might be Rule 5 Eligible (if so, he'll be protected on the 40 Man Roster), 3 options remaining
MLB ETA: 2014-15
24. Jordan Pacheco (280 points, 25 ballots) -- Stats -- Spring 2011 Ranking: 14
From here on out, every player on the list was mentioned by at least 75% of the ballots. The top 24 shows a clear delineation from the next 20 or so prospects, who were named on multiple ballots but with plenty of inconsistency.
In any case, Pacheco (who will be 26 next year) falls 12 slots on this fall's list for three primary reasons:
1. He had a pretty miserable year as the primary catcher in the hitter's paradise in Colorado Springs (.278/.343/.377). For a guy with a reputation as an offense-first player, those are pretty poor numbers. It should be noted that before this year Pacheco hit well everywhere he played.
2. It is pretty clear that his primary MLB impact will not be at catcher, the most valued defensive position by many, but instead as a utility corner infielder/2B and 3rd catcher. If his bat continues to be a spark in MLB, there's nothing wrong with this.
3. Perhaps most importantly, the voting took place before his decent MLB cameo, during which he hit .286/.318/.369 while drawing rave reviews for his professional at-bats. Not bad for a rookie, but let's not get too carried away with small sample sizes either way.
The bottom line for Pacheco is that he's already providing major league value (and probably will in 2012 as a super-utilityman), which is more than can be said about the majority of this list's inhabitants. He's a classic lower-ceiling, high-floor guy (which is why he was ranked as high as 10th and unranked by 10 ballots) -- not a lot to dream on, but not a lot needs to develop either.
Hit Tools (taken from the Spring list -- he is now misidentified as a pitcher on the Baseball Cube)
Contract Status: 2007 9th round, 40 Man Roster, 2 options remaining
MLB ETA: Now
23. Albert Campos (282 points, 30 ballots) -- Stats -- Spring 2011 Ranking: 16
Campos has become something of a forgotten man, as he was neither terrible nor brilliant in 2011 as a 20 year-old in Low A Asheville. Considering the fact that he dominated as a 19 year-old in the Pioneer League (2.05 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 68/17 K/BB), this year (5.19 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 64/19 K/BB) was something of a disappointment. Even more alarming was his very high H/9 rate of 11.5 -- although he did maintain a nice 3.4 K/BB ratio.
Before you write him off, Campos is a very young pitcher for his level, he has shown great control, and he has a major league frame (6'4", 222). It's possible that he repeats his age 21 year in Asheville against more age-appropriate competition.
Contract Status: 2008 Amateur Free Agent (VZ), Rule 5 Eligible (will likely be protected by placement on the 40 Man Roster), 3 options remaining
MLB ETA: 2014/2015
22. Kent Matthes (365 points, 36 ballots) -- Stats -- Spring 2011 Ranking: NR
Yes, he was a 24 year-old corner OF in High A. Yes, his minor league career before 2011 was lacking in substance. No, he wasn't on too many radars coming into this year (41st in the spring list). But by golly did Kent Matthes have himself a great 2011 (until he was injured)! All the California League MVP did was hit .334/.378/.642 with 23 HRs (65 XBHs in all) and 95 RBIs in 93 games. He was a righty outfielder who crushed righties (1.063 OPS against them).
It's not incredibly likely that Matthes makes a significant MLB impact, but his handedness, position, and power give him a leg up on the competition going forward. If he is recovered by the beginning of 2012 and is mashing for AA Tulsa, he'll move up a tier next spring.
Contract Status: 2009 4th Round, Not Rule 5 Eligible, 3 options remaining
MLB ETA: Late 2013
21. Will Swanner (376 points, 38 ballots) -- Stats -- Spring 2011 Ranking: 17
Ask a number of scouts who has the most raw power in Colorado's farm system and you'll get a few answers. Many will say Kyle Parker, some a guy like Kent Matthes or Corey Dickerson. However, the correct answer to that question just may be the 20 year-old Casper catcher, Will Swanner.
All Swanner has done in his career, it seems, is hit home runs and strike out. When he hits the ball, it's an extra base hit more often than not (of his 65 career hits, 36 have gone for extra bases -- 17 left the yard) -- good enough for a career slugging % of .579. Unfortunately for Swanner, he has also struck out in about 36% of his minor league plate appearances. It's not that he wasn't patient in 2011 (he had a healthy 11% walk rate), it's that when he swung, he often missed altogether -- as you can see in the hit tools section below.
If Swanner stops striking out so much and maintains his walk rate in 2012, he'll deserve to be a top 10 PuRP because of his devastating power.
Contract Status: 2010 15th Round, Not Rule 5 Eligible, 3 options remaining
MLB ETA: 2015/2016
Tomorrow I'll count down PuRPs 20-16, which includes two players who were in the top 10 in the spring.