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Rockies prospects Jon Gray and Jeff Hoffman own pitches rated among the best in the minors

Rockies news and links for Monday February 1, 2016.

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Best tools of MLB's Top 100 Prospects list |

While nobody from the Rockies' system was crowned with the "best tool" tag, Jon Gray and Jeff Hoffman received honorable mentions in a couple categories.

Jim Callis names Lucas Giolito's fastball the best among's top 100 prospects. It sits in the mid-90s and can climb higher than that, and it has life. While Gray's fastball isn't rated as highly, Gray is listed as a player "in the running" for best prospect fastball. His company includes Pittsburgh's Tyler Glasnow and St. Louis's Alex Reyes.

Giolito also took the crown for best curveball, which is the 12-6 variety that he can throw for a strike. Here, Hoffman is listed as an honorable mention, along with Kyle Zimmer from the Royals and Hunter Harvey from the Orioles.

Being just below the consensus best pitching prospect in the minors is not a bad place to be for Gray, Hoffman, or those of us hoping that those two realize their potential.

Baseball Prospectus | Monday Morning Ten Pack: Next Year's Risers

With the release of Baseball Prospectus's Top 101 Prospects, the BP prospect staff asks: who was left off of this year's list that has a good chance to crack it in 2017? They count Rockies right-handed pitcher Antonio Senzatela among those prospect risers.

Wilson Karaman described Senzatela's fastball as "electric" and "some of the easiest velocity I saw last year." He added that Senzatela's deceptive delivery helps. While Karaman indicated that Senzatela's secondary pitches, the slider and the changeup, don't yet match his fastball, he suggested that his changeup has the potential to be a plus pitch on account of its velocity difference with his fastball and its vertical drop. He concludes: "Another step forward with the secondary development and a season of holding his own (or better) at Double-A, and he'll easily force his way into Top 101 territory."

Baseball America ranked Senzatela the ninth best prospect in the Rockies' system earlier this offseason. Likewise, he came it at number nine in our PuRP rankings. BP will release their Rockies' top ten next week. My guess is that he'll come in at number eight or nine, right after the seven Rockies prospects that cracked the Top 101. If that's the case, he'll follow Raimel Tapia and Dom Nunez as mostly unheralded prospects to receive an aggressive BP ranking.

SABR Analytics Conference Research Awards | Society for American Baseball Research

If you are reading this sentence, you presumably enjoy reading about baseball. If you enjoy reading about baseball, why not spend some time perusing the nominated articles and posts for The Sable Analytics Conference Research Awards. Prizes are awarded in three categories: contemporary baseball analysis, contemporary baseball commentary, and historical baseball analysis/commentary. Regardless of interests, you're sure to find something that draws you in among the nominees.

A Look Back And Forward At Rockies Pitching - Rockies Zingers

John Bristow at Rockies Zingers takes a dive into the Rockies' pitching staff, top to bottom. He concludes that, at least in terms of pitching, the Rockies aren't in as terrible of shape as it might seem at first glance.

Baseball execs can't lose sight of human element in decision making - FOX Sports

Ken Rosenthal had an eye-opening experience in Toronto last weekend, which he recounts here. As part of the "Pitch Talks" speaker series, Rosenthal and two Rogers SportsNet personalities took questions from the local crowd. One person asked about a José Bautista extension. In a different context, Rosenthal notes, it would be easy to lay out the myriad reasons why it would be a bad idea for the Blue Jays to extend a mid-30s outfielder, as well as why it might be a bad idea for Bautista. What surprised Rosenthal was a rousing argument for an extension by one of his session-mates and raucous approval from the Toronto crowd. Rosenthal suggests that was reminded of a word executives need to remember, even in this age of spreadsheets and proprietary databases and going granular to the nth degree.

Roll your eyes if you're sabermetrically inclined. Remind me that fans are playing to watch baseball in record numbers. Tell me that I'm living in 1970, and the game is never going back. Fair enough, but I'll remember what I heard Friday night in Toronto.


Baseball needs that, too.