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Rockies manager Walt Weiss intrigued by young players showing talent early in camp

The Rockies' skipper discusses David Dahl, Raimel Tapia, Matt Carasiti, and Carlos Estevez impressing in early phases of spring training.

Walt Weiss has reason to smile with some of the Rockies' young talent nearing the big leagues.
Walt Weiss has reason to smile with some of the Rockies' young talent nearing the big leagues.
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Scottsdale, Ariz. -- The Colorado Rockies have an intriguing core of minor leaguers rising through the system—as we've seen this winter, we can be reasonably certain they are among the best prospects in the game. And as those young players make the climb to the high minor leagues, so comes their arrival at Major League spring training.

Now getting some of his first looks at top prospects like David Dahl, Raimel Tapia, Matt Carasiti, and Carlos Estevez, Rockies manager Walt Weiss is impressed—and he didn't hold back in praising them Thursday at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick before the club's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

David Dahl has specifically caught Weiss' eye.

"He's a well-rounded player," the manager said on Thursday. "He defends, runs, can throw, can hit, can hit for power, and he’s got some sneaky power. I haven’t seen him a ton, just bits and pieces in spring training, but yeah, an exciting player. One of those guys that people bring up the five tool guys, and there are degrees of those five tools, but he does everything well."

Giving Dahl credit for being a natural athlete, Weiss also marveled at something not as measurable as tools or other variables more easily seen from outside the game.

"I’ve seen a quiet confidence and he’s a confident player, which is half the battle up here," Weiss said of Dahl's mental makeup. "So that shows up, too, especially in a young player that’s not in awe of the surroundings. He seems very composed and very confident in a Major League setting."

Dahl isn't the only one on Weiss' watch list early in camp. As you might expect, pretty much every big name prospect in spring training with the team right now has gotten the skipper's attention in one way or another, and with many, Weiss uses the same word: attack.

Raimel Tapia, ever the athletic, rangy outfielder with an unorthodox hitting approach, is right within Weiss' sights as a player on the attack when he steps between the lines.

"He’s a little maybe unorthodox in some ways, but extremely talented," Weiss said of Tapia, who will likely start the season in Double-A Hartford. "We’ve already seen him early in the camp now make a couple of great plays in the outfield, he covers a ton of ground, and he plays very aggressively every aspect of the game, he’s attacking the game."

"On offense, on defense, and on the bases, he attacks the game, and we talk a lot about that around here," Weiss added. "That’s who want to be."

It's not only outfielders that have attracted Weiss' attention, though. Shortstop prospect Trevor Story has impressed the manager early with his mature approach to the game and his own bit of quiet confidence, and there are two young pitchers that the big league manager is specifically interested in seeing more of during the month of March: Matt Carasiti and Carlos Estevez.

"Both are power arms, and both have impressed early in camp," Weiss said of the two power righties coming out of the bullpen just one day after each threw a scoreless inning in Wednesday's spring opener.

"Carasiti has got the split finger, that, it’s the real deal," Weiss added. "He’s had the success as a closer. And Estevez certainly looks the part, with a big, big body. He's a strike thrower, he attacks, he’s another guy that we are really excited about. Those are the guys that we’re excited about, the big powerful arms."

Though all five prospects Weiss singled out will likely be assigned back to minor league camp sooner rather than later, they still have at least another week or two to soak up all they can at the Major League level, and in that clubhouse. Weiss wants them around the team's big league veterans as much as possible.

"I preach to our veterans a lot about that responsibility, that passing of the baton and sharing information and helping guys grow," Weiss said of having the minor leaguers around the team's older guys. "The wisdom that the veterans have through experience, that’s valuable stuff. We take it seriously, and those guys do, too. I think it’s great we have guys that the young kids can look up to."