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Rockies Top Ten Prospect Lists

With the release of the Baseball America top ten Rockies prospect list today, we now have access to four notable top ten lists for the Rockies.

The only Rockies farm product that remains eligible for prospect rankings with MLB experience.
The only Rockies farm product that remains eligible for prospect rankings with MLB experience.
Stephen Dunn

On October 23, we released the results of the Purple Row community voting on the Rockies' top prospects. This is always done after the season is over, but before any top prospect lists start populating the offseason interwebs. That gives as an interesting angle in which to look back at the ratings as dictated by the community, before many scouting reports are published.

These lists tend to vary in length, but all have at least ten prospects. For comparison's sake, I truncated each list to the top ten so we can compare. Baseball America's list had an intro from Jack Etkin. The now Kevin Goldstein-less Baseball Prospectus was written up by Jason Parks with the assistance of several new young writers. John Sickels has been writing about prospects for a long time, over a half decade at Bullpen Banter is an amateur scouting blog featuring Al Skorupa, JD Sussman, Peter Wardell and some other graduated Baseball America interns.

Without further ado...

PuRPs Baseball America Baseball Prospectus John Sickels Bullpen Banter
1 OF David Dahl Arenado Story Story Dahl
2 3B Nolan Arenado Dahl Dahl Dahl Story
3 SS Trevor Story Story Arenado Arenado Arenado
4 OF Kyle Parker Parker Matzek Parker Parker
5 C Will Swanner Bettis Bettis LHP Edwar Cabrera Bettis
6 RHP Chad Bettis RHP Eddie Butler Swanner Butler Anderson
7 OF Corey Dickerson Anderson Anderson Anderson Cabrera
8 LHP Tyler Anderson Matzek Parker Dickerson Butler
9 OF Rafael Ortega LHP Jayson Aquino Aquino Matzek Matzek
10 LHP Tyler Matzek 1B/3B Ryan Wheeler Ortega Ortega Swanner

Some observations:

  • Dahl, Arenado and Story are the consensus top three prospects, though only Sickels and BPro agree on an order. It should be noted that the vote at BPro was very split and nearly went the way of the Bullpen Banter vote.
  • Kyle Parker is a near consensus at #4 after his breakout year in Modesto, but Baseball Prospectus is very down on him comparatively, citing worry that AA pitchers will exploit his average offensive hit tools.
  • Six prospects appeared in the top ten for all five lists: Dahl, Story, Arenado, Parker, Matzek and Anderson.
  • Chad Bettis seems to be the top pitching prospect in the system, but Sickels dropped him outside his top ten. Bettis was on the fast track until missing all of 2012 with a shoulder injury, which could seriously impact his future. Concerns about him ending up as a reliever are also part of this. At any rate, even in a world where TINSTAAPP, the Rockies' top guy has significant questions.
  • Purple Row was lower on Tyler Matzek than any other list. Considering those lists use up-to-date scouting more than we possibly can, this is encouraging.
  • Only two players on these lists have MLB experience. One is Ryan Wheeler with Arizona in 2012, who took the last spot in Baseball America's list, not ranking elsewhere. The other is Rafael Ortega, who had a brief cameo last September with the Rockies and fits consistently at the end of these top ten lists.
  • Will Swanner appears to be the guy the Purple Row community is "too high" on, if these other lists are any indication. Swanner did not make the top ten for BA or Sickels and got the last spot for Bullpen Banter. His breakout offensively in Asheville was legitimate, but the questions about his defense are bigger than ever.
  • The Purple Row community was unsure how to handle Jayson Aquino, who dominated in the DSL for 2 1/2 seasons and a half season in Grand Junction. He was 14th in the PuRPs list and pulled in 9th, 9th, 16th and 11th rankings in the other four lists.
  • Tyler Anderson had a sparkly ERA in Asheville but didn't strike out many, somewhat worrisome for a 2011 first round pick that should be moving quickly. He settled in in the middle of the back half of all of these lists.
  • Purple Row really bought in on Corey Dickerson, but he only appeared on one other list: Sickels' at 8. He continues to be an interesting guy to watch.