Another top prospect list has been released, and another data point is available for those of us trying to figure out exactly what the future will look like for the Colorado Rockies.
John Sickels at Minor League Ball has completed work on his yearly prospect book (If you are interested in prospects, it is well worth the money here), which means he had time to compile his top 175 prospects in MILB for 2016.
Here are the Rockies prospects in his top 175, followed by their grades:
24. Jon Gray A-
38. Brendan Rodgers B+
56. Ryan McMahon B+
60. Trevor Story B+
64. Jeff Hoffman B+
69. David Dahl B+
90. Dom Nunez B
91. Antonio Senzatela B
105. Raimel Tapia B
107. Forrest Wall B
132. Tom Murphy B
For people who have been following national opinions, the big shockers here are Trevor Story at no. 60. Story has missed the top 100 on nearly every other list. Sickels has been a fan of Story for a while, and he believes the shortstop has a bright future in Colorado.
Antonio Senzatela comes in at 91. This is notable because of the pitching prospects that surround him: Jamison Taillon (86), Jacob Faria (93), Archie Bradley (94), Grant Holmes (96), Reynaldo Lopez (97), Braden Shipley (98), A.J. Cole (99), and Dylan Bundy (100). Senzatela is also well ahead of Frankie Montas at 108, which is an aggressive ranking and a very nice surprise.
Conversely, Minor League Ball has a more cautious and measured approach on guys like Rodgers than some of the other national writers. Sickels values proximity to majors and the likelihood of a prospect reaching their projection more than some of the more tools based gurus, hence the lower rankings of high variance guys like Tapia.
Sickels highlighted both the strength of the system based on present projection and the massive room for growth from guys like Rodgers, Wall, Dahl, and Freeland, who had a decent years in 2015 as they overcame injuries. It's also exciting to note that 11 of the top 107 prospects here are in Colorado's system. It's very close to having 11 in a top 100, which is where most other outlets stop.
Sickels also identifies six honorable mentions:
These six names were included in the list where Sickels said they had a strong argument to be in the 140-175 range. That makes 17 names that he would consider strongly to put in his top 175. If you are tired of hearing about how the farm is going to help the MLB team, that is a fair viewpoint. But this system is truly at a different level, and it's better than it has ever been in team history.
Minor League Ball list doesn’t include names like Mike Nikorak, a guy that Jonathan Mayo from MLB.com considered the best High School arm in the 2015 draft, or Pedro Gonzalez, someone who set a Rockies international bonus record, or Daniel Montano, who broke it. The list also doesn’t include Jesus Tinoco, who mowed down the South Atlantic League as a 20 year-old, or Omar Carrizales, Carlos Herrera, Javier Medina, Robert Ramos. Perhaps most egregiously, it also leaves off Jordan Patterson, whose 143 wRC+ tied for 5th in the Eastern League among the under 24 years old crowd, and his was the only one that came with a sub .350 BABIP.
The amount of love the Rockies get from this list is crazy. What is veritably insane is that they deserve the love—and maybe more.