Baseball Prospectus on Monday released its 2015 top 10 prospect list for the Colorado Rockies. The new rankings show a shift in the impact performers within the organization, with several lower-level prospects replacing ones closer to the big leagues.
Beyond the Boxscore gathered 17 prospect lists including four fantasy lists. The most interesting thing to me about that aggregation is that they arrived at the same 10 names you will see in those three top 10 lists.
I highlighted the four new additions to Colorado's top 10 that that Baseball Prospectus has added for this year, and will discuss the four players who fell out.
The top two additions arrived on the list the same way the top two additions to last year's list arrived, namely they were our top two picks in the June drafts. The 2014 draft mirrored the plan that this franchise has been following for with varying success at the top of the last several drafts, namely grab a talented college arm (Butler, Gray, Freeland, Anderson and Christian Friedrich) and a high upside high school position player (Story, Dahl, Wall and Nolan Arenado). During that stretch, the only first-round picks (including supplemental) the Rockies took that didn't fit this model are Peter Tago, Rex Brothers, Kyle Parker and Tim Wheeler, so I kind of wish they had stuck with it.
So on this year's list, Freeland with his mid-90s heat from the left side, and Wall with his Chase Utley ceiling, are the new additions. They are joined by Tyler Anderson (1.98 ERA in Double-A) and the left-handed hitting, super toolsy catcher Dom Nunez (props to Drew Creasman, who predicted this kind of breakout with Nunez's shift back behind the dish).
Of the four prospects who fell off the list, two players -- Herrera and Murphy -- had injury riddled seasons and could easily bounce back into the top 10 in the midseason lists. The other two were disappointing in big league cameos but promising in Triple-A. Chad Bettis was awesome in Colorado Springs (3.09 ERA in 55 innings) and awful in Denver (24⅔ innings, 9.12 ERA). Kyle Parker (.289/.339/.450, 102 wRC+) wasn't as good as we were expecting after his 135 wRC+ campaign in Double-A in 2013 (which, by the way was better than Corey Dickerson's numbers in Tulsa the previous year), but he still has something to like.
This is the highest I have seen anyone not from around here rank Wall or Nunez but as both are right in line with my own aggressive rankings on the two teenagers (Nos. 9 and 13 on my fall PuRPs list), I tend to think BPro are geniuses.
That said, if you had the duo ranked lower, you may be more in line with a guy like John Sickels who values proximity to MLB and minor league track record, which may end up putting a guy like Ryan Casteel ahead of both.
Ranking prospects is hardly an exact science with guys like Dickerson never appearing in the the BA Top 100 at any level and Franklin Morales showing up at No. 8 overall prior to 2008. There is always a bit of group think and rumor mongering in prospecting, but one of the things I appreciate about guys like Sickels -- as well as the team at BP -- is that whether going stat heavy or scouting heavy, both are less likely to fall for the recency bias that dominates the industry.