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Rockies 2014 minor league review: Short Season A outfielder Drew Weeks says he 'can face any pitcher'

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A couple of late-round 2014 draft picks headlined the Dust Devils' lineup this past season.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Typically one of the most difficult parks to reach base and hit for power in the Northwest league, Tri-City featured two late-round draft picks who overcame the handicap to kickoff their rookie campaigns. Much of the team struggled in the short-season league of the Pacific Northwest, as the Dust Devils were not only one of the oldest teams in the league, but also finished in the lower ranks of the league in hitting overall.

2014 Draft

Drew Weeks: .281/.343/.415, 2 HR, 9 SB, 113 wRC+

Outfield, 7th Rd 2014 Draft

Expected to be gone by the seventh round, the Rockies were lucky to end up with the nation's leading college hitter in the 2014 draft. The junior out of North Florida led college baseball with a .430 average and kept hitting as he turned pro for Colorado.

The 21-year-old was a finalist for the Gregg Olson award, given to the breakout college player of the year, and he's not lacking in confidence. In an interview with Minor League Ball reporter Jessica Quiroli on her blog High Heels on the Field, Weeks revealed his mindset before suiting up to play for Tri-City.

"Someone told me I was leading all college players in average, even though I wasn't paying attention to my numbers. That did give me confidence at the plate. Not to sound cocky, but I just thought if I'm hitting better than anyone, then I can face any pitcher. It just gave me a huge boost."

Showing his versatility, Weeks played all three outfield positions this season, but was primarily stationed in left field. The outfielder displayed good gap ability and was one of the league leaders in triples with four in 56 games. Weeks did a good job limiting strikeouts, keeping his K-rate under 20%, while maintaining a solid walk rate.

Shane Hoelscher: .332/.427/.466, 2 HR, 11 SB, 154 wRC+

Third base, 17th Rd 2014 Draft

Usually guys drafted this low aren't expected to perform well, Shane Hoelscher begs to differ with that approach however. The third  baseman finished the year as one of the leaders in nearly every major offensive category in the Northwest league with an impressive .332 average and 16 doubles.

Relying on an approach that emphasized patience, the right-handed hitter excelled at drawing walks while limiting his whiffs. Hoelscher is going to make it a crowded infield for Asheville next year as the teenagers Kevin Padlo and Luis Castro have demonstrated they're ready to move up. It's possible the 22-year-old may have to repeat short-season ball in Boise next season, but he could also jump a level to Modesto, where he would team with Ryan McMahon at the hot corner.

International prospects

Miguel Dilone - .225/.319/.342, 3 HR, 5 SB, 89 wRC+

Infielder, International free agent 2011

His season line doesn't necessarily deserve to make this list, but Miguel had one amazing night in August that does. On August 18th, Dilone was part of a 21-12 romp over Spokane, a night in which he launched two home runs and was responsible for eight RBI while going 3-for-4. Son of a former major leaguer, Dilone is versatile, appearing at five different positions in his minor league career.

A 6-foot-2, 174 pound left-handed hitter, Miguel has decent size and has excelled at previous stops in Grand Junction and the Dominican league with an OPS above .800 at both locations. Miguel struggles with strikeouts, which resulted in his lowest career batting average. His patience resulted in an on base percentage nearly 100 points higher than his average.

Wilson Soriano - .385/.407/.538, 0 HR, 6 SB, 163 wRC+

Outfielder, International free agent 2008

Wilson Soriano finished his season in Tri-City, playing in just 14 games there after being bounced around several levels throughout the year. Perhaps the best defensive outfielder in the Rockies system, Soriano appeared in every outfield position for the Dust Devils -- and every position except pitcher, catcher and first base throughout the entire minor league season.

Undersized at 5'9, 140 pounds, Soriano will be nearing the end of his contract after 2015 and may be looking for a new club next season. The outfielder excelled in his time as a Dust Devil, batting close to .400 while posting a .946 OPS.