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Wednesday Rockpile: Arizona Fall League Kicks Off

Are we looking at the 2012 Rookie of the Year?
Are we looking at the 2012 Rookie of the Year?

Since I'm going on two weeks without a functioning computer (I'm writing this very quickly on a public computer), this Rockpile will be brief. And yes, prospect mavens, when I do get my (hopefully now functioning) computer returned to me in the next few days, I'll begin posting the Fall 2011 PuRPs list.

In the meantime, even as playoff fever envelops eight seven MLB cities, the rest of the baseball world casts their eyes to the Arizona Fall League -- the place where highly touted prospects from every team go to strut their stuff. All the Rockies prospects are on the Salt River Rafters. Fangraphs has an article on AFL arms to watch, and there's a Rockies prospect on it. It's probably not the one that you would expect though.

In the first AFL game of the year for the Salt River Rafters pulled off a 12-9 victory. Colorado bats (Tim Wheeler, Nolan Arenado, and Ben Paulsen) were sharp, each notching multi-hit performances and pitcher Parker Frazier got the win in relief, though reliever Casey Weathers allowed two runs in 2/3 of an inning.

In keeping with the prospect vein, Jon Sickels at Minor League Ball  reviews how his top 50 hitting prospects going into 2011 performed this year. Both Wilin Rosario (28) and Nolan Arenado (40) made the list, with Arenado likely a serious helium (top 20 perhaps?) hitting prospect next year.

Also at Fangraphs, Rosario gets some love (sort of) and Drew Pomeranz gets a mention as a potential 2012 NL ROY candidate. I personally believe that Pomeranz is a stronger candidate for Colorado given the fact that he's going to be a regular in the starting rotation while Rosario will likely be playing second fiddle to Chris Iannetta, but a pitcher is an inherently riskier bet in general. I'm hoping both are in the running next September.

For those of you who like baseball infographics, you're in luck. From Grantland, here's the 2011 MLB playoff field in infographic form.

To conclude, here's your Baseball Reference Rockies nugget of the week -- Colorado's XBH leaderboard (and what % those XBHs were of their overall hit totals):

1. Troy Tulowitzki: 68 (42.0%)

2a.Seth Smith: 56 (41.5%)

2b. Carlos Gonzalez: 56 (39.4%)

4. Dexter Fowler: 55 (43.0%)

5. Todd Helton: 41 (32.2%)

6. Ty Wigginton: 38 (39.2%)

7. Chris Iannetta: 32 (39.0%)

8a. Jason Giambi: 19 (55.9% -- 38.2% of which were HR!)

8b. Mark Ellis: 19 (26.4%)

Conclusion -- Giambi is never leaving