The Rockies are loaded at the outfield position with two gold glovers and a pair of all-stars in current starters Carlos Gonzalez, Gerardo Parra and Charlie Blackmon. Down on the farm there are several talented players stockpiled in case the team needs to replace an injured or nonperforming player.
This is a subjective list of the five best Rockies outfielders on the farm based on a mix of overall rankings from our own PuRPs list, Baseball America and MLB.com. In the absence of a clear ranking, then I used ceiling or relative closeness to the major leagues as a determining factor.
The outfield is top heavy with two very good outfielders who can play any position and will likely be starting in Coors Field for years to come. After that, the quality drops off slightly and the list is rounded out by players with limited ceilings but high enough floors to be considered future MLB depth.
1) David Dahl, (No.3 PuRP, No. 2 Baseball America, No. 3 MLB.com)
6-foot-2, Weight 195 lbs, 1st round (10th) of the 2012 draft
Ranked No. 39 in Baseball America's Top 100, Dahl is a fringe five tool athlete whose power is still developing. The No. 10 overall pick in the 2012 draft whose top weapon is his defensive ability, where he has demonstrated an accurate and strong arm paired with speed and range at center field. Dahl's development has been stunted due to a spleen injury in 2015 and a groin injury prior to that. The soon-to-be 22-year-old has high upside at the plate where he has shown gap power from the lefthand side and the ability to consistently make contact with a .309/.345/.497 career minor league slash line. Dahl is likely an underlying reason why Corey Dickerson was traded in the off-season, as the Alabama native could move into the Rockies center field any time this season if the need developed.
2) Raimel Tapia, (No. 6 PuRP, No. 10 BA, No. 7 MLB)
6-foot-2, Weight 160 lbs, International Free Agent
A polarizing prospect due to his unique batting style, Tapia has ranked as high as No. 42 overall in Baseball Prospectus, to completely being left off of other prospect Top 100 lists. The Dominican native is controversial because of his long base which he uses to squat low in his stance with two strikes to cover the plate. The technique seems to work for the 22-year-old however, as the left-handed hitter has a career minor league batting average of .314 and is prone to extended hitting streaks. Tapia has demonstrated strong gap power where he is averaging 33 doubles and 5 triples over his last two seasons. An athlete who can play all three outfield positions, Tapia saw his home run numbers exceed double digits for the first time last season and will continue to improve as his slender frame begins to fill out.
3) Jordan Patterson, (No. 18 PuRP, No. 23 MLB)
6-foot-4, Weight 215 lbs, 4th round of the 2013 draft
A left-handed corner outfielder, Jordan has the size you look for in a power hitting outfielder and his numbers reflect that ability, as he posted 45 doubles and 17 home runs last season split between the High-A and Double-A levels. Despite his power, Jordan still can flash some speed as the Alabama native has 43 steals in his last two seasons combined. Older than his competition for most of his career, the 24-year-old was overlooked as an exciting prospect until he posted a strong campaign after being promoted to Double-A New Britain last year.
4) Omar Carrizales, (No. 26 PuRP)
6-foot-0, Weight 175 lbs, International Free Agent
One of the most consistent hitters in Asheville's lineup last season. The Venezuelan has a career slash of .295/.349/.386 over three minor league campaigns. The 21-year-old will likely begin the year as Modesto's starting centerfielder, where his quickness will help him run down balls in John Thurmon Field's large outfield gap. Carrizales has speed on the basepaths as well, swiping 23 bases last year and 30 in the short-season Dominican Summer League three years ago. Omar struggled with pitch recognition in his first full season of pro ball and High-A Modesto will be a good indicator of how well he can adjust to advanced pitching.
5) Michael Tauchman, (Not Ranked)
6-foot-2, Weight 200 lbs, 10th round of the 2013 draft
A solid outfielder who has hit consistently at every level, Tauchman shows a good understanding of the strike zone and is consistently one of the organizational leaders in walks and on base percentage. Tauchman was considered one of the best hitters in the 2013 college season, leading the nation with a .425 average. One of many talented left-handed hitters in the organization, the Illinois native has struggled to hit for power, notching just three home runs in Double-A New Britain last season and 7 total in his career. Tauchman adds depth and maturity to the position for the organization and could be called upon to play in the major leagues if the Rockies pull the trigger on a Carlos Gonzalez trade.
Daniel Montano, 6-foot-1, Weight 185 lbs, International Free Agent
Considered the top prospect coming out of Venezuela last year, the Rockies signed Montano for a reported $2 million. Praised for his defensive instincts and fluid left hand swing, Montano has gap power and will be a player to watch in the DSL this year.
Pedro Gonzalez, 6-foot-3, 160 lbs, International Free Agent
A tall and lanky player who is likely to outgrow his shortstop post, reports from spring training indicate Pedro was learning the center field position in Arizona this year. Pedro had a torrid start to the 2015 season, blasting six home runs and posting an OPS above 1.000 to start the season and finishing the year with a .251/.318/.418 line. The Dominican's size and arm strength are a bonus in the outfield and add in his defensive miscues which led to 25 errors last season makes it probable he'll end up with a future position switch.