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Scouting the Arizona Fall League Rockies

Here's a closer look at how Rockies prospects look in the AFL.

Chris Rabago stands in the cage during batting practice.
Chris Rabago stands in the cage during batting practice.
Jen Mac Ramos

The Arizona Fall League is known for being one of the go-to places to see top-tier talent from a team’s farm system. The Rockies’ presence at the AFL is no different — representing the farm system is a couple of guys we have ranked as top 30 prospects here.

Raimel Tapia

Tapia’s approach at the plate hasn’t changed since I saw him in Modesto. He’ll try to pull bunt at times, and I’m convinced that’s mostly his own doing. He did this in Modesto when there’s a runner on base, but I noticed that he did it with no one on base in Arizona. Tapia's lower body is bent so much that his posterior is halfway down his calves when there’s two strikes on the count. He can extend the bat a bit by utilizing the left hand and tries to pull the ball fair, but would often just foul it off instead. He can see the ball well and can get a good portion of the barrel on the ball when he sees it; it’ll often result in a ground out, but he can hit. It may not be the hardest hit ball, but Tapia can find holes in the infield to poke it through, which he did a few times in the Fall League when I saw him.

On the bases, Tapia is still a bit raw. He didn’t get a good jump from first in the game on the Oct. 24, but he slid into the bag easily with the throw being high. He can move, though, with above average speed. I didn’t get a time on him (thanks to forgetfulness and leaving my stop watch at home), but he’s got wheels.

Jordan Patterson

One thing I noticed about Patterson’s at-bats is that he has a tendency to get the barrel under the ball and doesn’t hit it hard. It often results in soft liners that can be caught easily. Facing Angels prospect Ryan Etsell gave Patterson an advantage as Etsell doesn’t exactly have good stuff. Patterson was hitting hard foul balls and worked the count full until Etsell threw wide and outside, which Patterson took easily.

Chris Rabago

Rabago did a pretty good job catching the Mets’ Mickey Jannis, who is a knuckleballer. Since Rabago spent 2015 in Rookie ball, it’s easy to see that there’s still a lot of improvements to be made. He needs some work on blocking the plate and receiving, all of which he said he’s working on. He has good arm strength and showed it off with a quick and accurate throw to second to catch a runner stealing.

Hitting-wise, Rabago took some good hacks, but it didn’t result in much. Timing is key and I don’t think it’s all there yet. Rabago said he is also working on getting that timing down. He’s still young and his tools are raw, which is to be expected. But there are flashes of potential in his game calling. I don’t think he’ll be the best catcher ever or anything, but enough to be a serviceable catcher. What his potential is remains to be seen, I would say. He's playing at a level that might be a little too far advanced, but he's hanging in there and showing signs of solid work.

Matt Carasiti

No velocity reading as there’s no radar gun on the scoreboard at Salt River Fields and I don’t yet own a radar gun, but Carasiti had decent stuff. He mixed in a change-up and a sinker that was sinking well with a break that just hit maybe 15 feet from the plate. Carasiti kept the ball down a lot, regardless of pitch type, and got three ground ball outs in 1⅔ innings pitched. That ability bodes well if he were to pitch at Coors Field, due to the nature of the park.