clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Rockies Prospect Rankings: PuRPs 10-6 prove development is not always linear

New, comments

The rollout of the midseason PuRPs rankings continues with players who have gone through trades, injuries, and ineffectiveness on their path to the Top 10.

We're now in the top 10 of the midseason 2016 Purple Row Prospects (PuRPs) list. the upper echelon of a farm system that is among baseball's best. Last week we revealed prospects 30-26, then prospects 25-21, prospects 20-16, and yesterday prospects 15-11. As a reminder, in this edition of the PuRPs poll, 52 ballots were cast, with 30 points granted for a first place vote, 29 for second, etc.

For each player on the PuRPs list, I'll include a link to individual stats (via Baseball-Reference), PuRPs voting stats, contract status (via Rockies Roster), a note on the 2016 season to date, and a scouting report from a national prospect writer. For what it's worth, I'll also include where I put each player on my personal ballot. All ages are as of the time the article was posted.

10. Tyler Anderson (1,078 points, 52 ballots) -- Preseason Ranking: 17 -- High Ballot 2, Mode Ballot 9

How did he enter the organization?

2011 first round, University of Oregon

Why did he make the PuRPs list?

Anderson was out of sight, out of mind for many PuRPs voters the last time around. After all, he'd just missed the entire 2015 season recovering and resting from an elbow injury he'd suffered in 2013 pitching for High A Modesto and aggravated pitching for AA Tulsa in 2014. Add in a sports hernia issue he'd suffered in 2012 and you see that Anderson's professional career had been marred near-constantly by injuries. Also germane to the conversation around Anderson as a prospect though was the fact that when he was active he had been a heck of a pitcher.

Entering 2016, the 26 year-old lefty starter had a 2.39 ERA, a 1.10 WHIP, and a 7.2 K/9. He'd never pitched above AA, but when he did pitch in AA he won the Texas League Pitcher of the Year award with a 1.98 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 8.1 K/9. In other words, Anderson's injuries obscured a potential impact arm in the Rockies system, something I identified in my preseason report on him:

In a very deep Rockies system, Anderson has arguably the best chance to be a surprise positive contributor to the 2016 team.

Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn, am I right? Anderson didn't start his 2016 campaign until May as he worked his way back into baseball shape, then he had one start with High A Modesto, two with AA Hartford, and three with AAA Albuquerque before getting the call to the Show. In those six minor league starts, Anderson had a healthy 2.35 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and 8.8 K/9 while averaging just over five innings per start as he built arm strength.

Anderson made his major league debut in June and has since been a revelation and just what the doctor ordered for Colorado's rotation. In nine starts, Anderson has averaged six innings a pop (54 overall if you've done the math) with a 3.33 ERA, 3.01 FIP, 1.28 WHIP, 7.7 K/9, and 1.7 BB/9. Anderson has already accrued 1.5 fWAR and 2.0 rWAR - making him already a league average starter with plenty of season left to go. To put a cherry on top, he also hit a homer for his second big league hit.

This is Anderson's tenth and final PuRPs list due to the fact that he eclipsed his rookie eligibility between the polling period and now - but what a way to go out!

What do the scouts say?

As stated above, Anderson was a bit of a forgotten name among prospect writers entering the season given the lost 2015 campaign. In fact MLB.com didn't even put him on their top 30 in 2015.

Dan Farnsworth of Fangraphs dropped Anderson down to #23 in the system preseason:

Anderson sat out the 2015 season due to continued discomfort from a stress fracture in his elbow after originally suffering the injury in 2013. He has a wiggle with his stride leg as he pauses at leg lift that helps add some deception to his delivery without sacrificing command. Even if it only works to throw hitters off the first few times they see him, it's fun to watch.

His best secondary pitch is a changeup with decent fade, though I'm not sure his arm speed is consistent enough on it to fool high-level hitters. It has above-average potential, likely the only pitch in his arsenal with that high a ceiling. He has a chance to work in the back of the Rockies' rotation as soon as this year, but it all depends on how his throwing progression goes this spring.

Fastball: 50/50/55 Slider: 40/45/50 Changeup: 45/50/55 Command: 45/45/50
Overall: 40/45/50

John Sickels of Minor League Ball, in his rookie report on Anderson, provided some commentary on Anderson's present and future that mentioned his performance in his big league debut:

Anderson has always been a successful pitcher and his first game against the Padres showed what he's capable of. His fastball is generally right around 90, bookended by 87s and 93s, but he locates very well. He has a full arsenal with various varieties of breaking balls and change-ups giving him spots to work with along the entire velocity band between 78 and 93. His pitching instincts can't be criticized and he's shown the ability to make needed adjustments. Despite the lost time, his secondary pitches have improved steadily.

Two things work against Anderson: durability and Colorado. Like all Rockies pitchers he'll have to deal with the altitude but even if he does that successfully, his health history is obviously a big factor. He's never gotten past 120 innings and even that was four years ago.

Anderson has the skill set to be a mid-rotation starter but may never have sufficient durability to be a 32-start, 200 inning guy. He'll need to be handled judiciously but on a per-inning basis he should be effective.

When's he going to get to the Rockies and how good will he be once he's there?

The short answer is that Anderson is in MLB now long enough to use his rookie eligibility and he's been one of Colorado's most effective pitchers (if not the most effective pitcher) straight out of the gate. Scouting reports on Anderson would arguably have projected his ceiling below the level of performance he's already given the Rockies, so we're in uncharted territory right now with just how good he can be.

Assuming the effective above average MLB starter Anderson has been this season is close to the most effective Anderson will ever be, the 50+ Future Value I tagged him with when I rated him as the eighth best prospect on my ballot would seem to be fair. If he keeps this pace up though, that evaluation would be wildly (and wonderfully) inaccurate. Here's hoping!

***

9. Kyle Freeland (1,097 points, 51 ballots) -- Preseason Ranking: 8 -- High Ballot 3, Mode Ballot 9

How did he enter the organization?

2014 first round, University of Evansville

Why did he make the PuRPs list?

The 23 year-old Denver native was the hometown favorite when the Rockies picked him in the first round two years ago and signed him for $2.3 million. Freeland then spent the rest of 2014 pitching well for Grand Junction and Asheville. The lefty starter seemed on the fast track to the Show, but unfortunately 2015 was a tough season for Freeland. First shoulder fatigue and then bone chips in his elbow limited Freeland to just 46 2/3 innings of sub-par work, mostly in Modesto. Freeland was able to pitch more effectively in the prestigious Arizona Fall League, which helped to shore up his flagging prospect stock (though Freeland was ejected from the top 100 lists on which he'd debuted before the year).

The mission then for 2016 has been to get Freeland back on the fast track to the big leagues. He began the year with AA Hartford and in 88 1/3 innings over 14 starts with the Yard Goats, Freeland held his own against opposition that was on average 1.5 years older (3.87 ERA, 1.23 WHIP), though his 5.2 K/9 rate left much to be desired. He was promoted to AAA Albuquerque late in June and since then has made six starts with the Isotopes. In 36 1/3 frames against players 3.8 years older on average, Freeland has elevated his strikeout rate to 7.9 K/9 but his ERA (4.71) and WHIP (1.65) have also risen.

What do the scouts say?

In general scouts don't appear to have soured too much on Freeland despite the hiccups he's had thus far, though he's certainly not in the top 100 discussion at this point. The repeated concern here is durability given the effort level of his mechanics.

MLB.com had Freeland eighth in the system in their recent list:

As a left-hander with two plus offerings and control to match, Freeland has a chance to become a frontline starter. His fastball sits in the low 90s and tops out at 96, appearing quicker because hitters don't seem to see it well and it features heavy sink. His slider can be a wipeout pitch at times, a low-80s breaker that arrives on the same plane as his heater before darting at the plate, and he also can turn it into a mid-80s cutter.

Besides making up for lost innings, Freeland spent the AFL concentrating on improving his changeup, which shows some sink. He'll also mix in an occasional curve to show batters something different. Scouts don't love his delivery because he throws from a lower slot and with some effort, but he repeats it well and pounds the strike zone.

Freeland was ranked 11th in the system this winter by Dan Farnsworth of Fangraphs:

Freeland has the stuff to be in a big league rotation, and if it weren't for elbow surgery and shoulder fatigue he may have been knocking on the Rockies door this spring. I think his three-pitch arsenal is more than capable of getting him through a lineup multiple times, but I worry that his longevity and, to a lesser extent, his command may keep him from reaching his ceiling as a mid-rotation option.

...

What I saw [in the AFL] was a promising pitcher with mechanical issues that appear to be exacerbating the focused wear on his arm. He looked more crossfire with his delivery than during draft time, closing off his stride. All the effort in his delivery seems to arrive as his arm comes through its low three-quarter slot, and his follow through ends with a noticeable recoil as his arm bounces back up from its finish.

His fastball came in at 91-94 mph, touching 95, complemented by a slider he can throw at two speeds and a sinking changeup. Both his fastball and changeup look capable of inducing ground ball outs with regularity, and he was able to backdoor his slider or throw it down on his glove side with equal effectiveness. Both his changeup and slider are telegraphed by arm speed changes that big league hitters will pick up, but each has enough life to project as at least average offerings.

I also saw more of a strike-thrower rather than a command specialist, though his stuff is good enough to remain projectable even if his command stayed the same. He has excellent overall athleticism, and will prove adept at holding big league runners with his variety of set times and pickoff moves. Mostly because of his arm mechanics, I see a lot more potential in him coming out of the bullpen, where he can go 100% with his great stuff and have a future setup role. If he ends up starting, it may be as a five-inning guy with a few breaks to rest his arm throughout the year.

Fastball: 55/60/60 Slider: 45/50/55 Changeup: 45/50/55 Command: 40/45/55
Overall: 40/50/60

Baseball Prospectus dropped Freeland out of their top 101 and into ninth in the system preseason:

Freeland has an advanced three-pitch repertoire for a 22-year-old, and all three project as solid-average or better. He's got impressively quick arm action, and his fastball sits in the low 90s and can touch 94 with run. The slider is one of the better ones you will ever see in A-ball, an upper-80s offering that often shows up as plus with hard, late depth to it. Freeland also uses a hard change that functions like a split and has a good chance to be an above-average offering.

So, three better-than-average offerings, a strong amateur and draft pedigree... what is Freeland doing this far down a team list? It isn't just the injury issues or the depth of the Rockies system, although both play a part. He has a starter's arsenal, but he does not have starter's mechanics. There is some noticeable effort in the delivery. His lightning-fast arm action ends with an at-times violent recoil, and he is very stiff and upright when he lands. Freeland can wear down quickly and start to lose his command during starts, and it is tough to gauge how well the stuff will hold up across a full professional season since he hasn't really completed one yet. If he does end up in the pen, the fastball/slider combo could play in the late innings, but this is a riskier profile overall than you might expect from a college arm that went in the first 10 picks.

When's he going to get to the Rockies and how good will he be once he's there?

The Rockies seem motivated to put Freeland on the fast track to the Show given their treatment of him this year, though I must admit I don't know if the results to this point at higher levels agree with that path. Freeland seems to me like someone who will get good per-inning results, but I don't know how many innings there will be due to injury concerns. Collectively though, the consensus appears to be that Freeland will be given an opportunity to contribute to the starting rotation as soon as next year.

I was lower than most in the electorate on Freeland, placing him 15th in the system on my list. Don't get me wrong - I still think Freeland is a decent rotation bet and I think he's a 50 Future Value prospect. I am concerned with the low K rate and just how hittable he's been so far in AAA (.345 BAA), but a large part of that lower ranking is just that I'm very bullish about some of the other young arms in the system.

***

8. Antonio Senzatela (1,123 points, 52 ballots) -- Preseason Ranking: 9 -- High Ballot 5, Mode Ballot 8

How did he enter the organization?

2011 International Free Agency, Venezuela

Why did he make the PuRPs list?

Senzatela has been effective at every minor league level so far in his career after signing for $250,000 with the Rockies in 2011, with his best season occurring last year when he won the California League pitcher of the year award. In 154 innings over 26 starts with the High A Modesto Nuts, Senzatela had a 2.51 ERA with a 1.07 WHIP, 8.4 K/9, and 1.9 BB/9. That performance led to a rapid rise up PuRPs ballots and the lists of several national prospect writers. Expectations were high for the 21 year-old righty starter as he made his way up to AA Hartford.

When he's been on the mound for Hartford, Senzatela has done nothing to disappoint those expectations. In 34 2/3 innings over seven starts (two of which were abbreviated by injuries), Senzatela has a sparkling 1.82 ERA for the Yard Goats, paired with a 1.04 WHIP, 7.0 K/9, and 2.3 BB/9 against competition that is on average 3.5 years older than him. Unfortunately, those are all the innings Senzatela has thrown this year, due to two separate bouts with shoulder inflammation that has put him on the DL twice for over two months so far with no return date in sight.

For more on Senzatela, check out this preseason profile of him by Bobby DeMuro.

What do the scouts say?

Opinions on Senzatela among prospect writers seem to depend on how they feel his secondary stuff will play at the major league level.

MLB.com bumped Senzatela up to ninth in the system from 12th in their midseason list despite his injuries:

Senzatela has an interesting fastball package with velocity, plane and command. He works at 92-95 mph and can reach back for 98 with modest life, and his heater plays up because he locates it with precision and uses his high-three-quarters arm slot to throw downhill. The development of his secondary pitches will determine whether he can become more than a back-of-the-rotation starter.

Senzatela's second-best offering is a changeup that ranges from 45-55 on the 20-80 scouting scale. He never had much luck throwing a curveball and started missing more bats last year when he switched to a slider that also shows flashes of becoming a solid pitch but lacks consistency. He helps his cause by throwing strikes and keeping the ball down in the zone.

Dan Farnsworth of Fangraphs stands out as the low man on Senzatela, listing him all the way down at 24th in the system this winter:

Senzatela [dominated the Cal League] almost exclusively on the back on his 91-94 mph fastball that he commands extremely well. That said, none of his secondary offerings have a great chance of being average pitches in the big leagues. That said, he is a tremendous competitor who has succeeded against age-advanced competition only three levels away from the majors.

Watching him throw, it's clear that hitters have trouble getting in rhythm with his delivery, and the ball comes out of an unexpected straight overhand slot after a closed stride. He has a loose, quick arm that works on top of a strong but unathletic base. He makes his delivery work by being more consistent than most pitchers his age with his mechanics, even if they are a little stiff and not offering much projection.

Despite topping out in the mid-90s with little movement, his fastball may already be a plus pitch due to how well he locates it. His changeup shows well at times, but like most pitchers who rely more on their arm than their body, his arm slows down noticeably to get the change of speed, enough that big league hitters won't have a problem picking it up early. He also throws a curve and a slider, but he lacks feel for both and doesn't get a lot of sharp break on either.

If he can continue to command his fastball the way he has, he may be an option in the back of a rotation, particularly if one of his breaking balls can find some consistency.

Fastball: 55/60/60 Slider: 40/45/45+ Curveball: 40/45/45 Changeup: 40/45/45+ Command: 50/50/55
Overall: 40/45/50

Baseball Prospectus was the most bullish on Senzatela, rating him eighth in the system back in February:

Despite less-than-ideal size for a right-handed pitcher, he gets 92-95 mph out of his fastball and can dial it up to 98. Senzatela also hides the ball well in his delivery, breaking his hands almost behind his back hip, and pitches on an extreme uphill plane to get a bit more extension out of his frame. Although his command of the fastball is below-average right now, with further refinement it could be a borderline plus-plus offering given the combination of velocity, deception, and life. The command ceiling isn't huge given the somewhat unorthodox mechanics and stiff landing leg, but he already gets his fair share of swings-and-misses in the zone.

Senzatela has a full four-pitch mix, but moved away from his curveball to feature the slider more as 2015 wore on. It still only flashes major-league quality, and he has issues staying on top of the pitch despite the three-quarters arm slot. He will come around and under the ball at times and the movement will flatten out. If he tightens the slider up it could be an average offering that sits in the low 80s. The change is very much a work in progress and Senzatela struggles with his feel for it. His size and stuff may make him best suited for a bullpen role, but he holds his velocity into starts, and the feeling internally at Prospectus is that he can stick in a starting rotation long term.

When's he going to get to the Rockies and how good will he be once he's there?

When Senzatela has pitched, he's been very good, but the injuries he's had this season have introduced some risk into the profile that wasn't as evident before. At this point, it seems likely that Senzatela will repeat in AA next year if he doesn't make it back from his injury this season, though a 2017 MLB debut is still possible at that rate. Senzatela is already on the 40 man roster and is using his first minor league option this year, so the Rockies have an incentive to push the big righty towards the Show if they need rotation help.

The fact that Senzatela maintained his level of performance at the tough AA level this year continued to answer the questions I've had about his prospect status at every step of the way. I will say that I did dock him a little for the injury risk when I ranked Senzatela 11th on my personal ballot and gave him a 50+ Future Value as a mid-rotation starter with potential to be more than that.

***

7. German Marquez (1,186 points, 51 ballots) -- Preseason Ranking: NR -- High Ballot 3, Mode Ballot 7

How did he enter the organization?

2016 trade with the Tampa Bay Rays

Why did he make the PuRPs list?

Marquez missed the preseason list only because the trade that brought him into the system occurred after polling had closed in late January of this year. Panned by national writers and some Purple Row staff (myself included) at the time, Colorado's trade of outfielder Corey Dickerson and PuRP third baseman Kevin Padlo for reliever Jake McGee and Marquez now looks better for the Rockies even though McGee has been sub-par for the big league club simply because Marquez has broken out this year in a big way.

The 21 year-old righty (he's a month younger than Senzatela) had pitched well previously in the Tampa Bay system, but this year he added fastball velocity into the mid to high 90s and complements that pitch with two potential plus offerings. In 128 2/3 frames over 20 starts with AA Hartford this year against players that are on average 3.5 years older than him, Marquez has been one of the better (and youngest) pitchers in the league. He has a 2.66 ERA, 3.32 FIP, 1.15 WHIP, 8.3 K/9, and 2.2 BB/9 this season - all positive indicators for a player thought very highly of by the Rockies front office when they acquired him.

What do the scouts say?

Marquez is a prospect with some serious helium given his performance this year. MLB.com jumped Marquez up to 7th in the system from 14th in their midseason update:

Marquez has added velocity as he has gotten stronger, with his fastball rising from 88-91 mph when he signed to 93-96 with a high of 98 this year. He has aptitude for spinning a curveball that shows signs of becoming a second plus pitch, and he uses his changeup to keep left-handers in check.

Though he delivers strikes with ease, Marquez is more hittable than his pure stuff indicates he should be because his command isn't as sharp as his control. If he can continue to build on the progress he has made in the last two years, he could arrive in the big leagues at age 22 and develop into a mid-rotation starter.

Jeffrey Paternostro of Baseball Prospectus wasn't nearly as sanguine about Marquez in his report on seeing the righty pitch this June (not one of his better starts on the year), giving him a 45 realistic Future Value:

Marquez is a live arm with a present plus fastball that could play up further in a relief role or if he adds more stamina. In this look he gassed badly after about 50 pitches, losing even his early sitting velocity. That issue, coupled with the lack of projection in the changeup and the fringy command profile, makes him a better fit for a late-inning relief role where he can max out on the Fastball/Curve combo.

Dan Farnsworth of Fangraphs also wasn't high on Marquez, ranking him 22nd in the system prior to the season:

Marquez got a boost in attention with his inclusion in the Rockies/Rays Corey Dickerson trade, as a hard-throwing starter prospect with excellent walk rates in the Rays system. Another pitcher who is more control than command, he still has work to do to continue keeping his walk rate low without giving up more hard contact. He is primarily a fastball/curveball pitcher, both projecting to be above-average offerings, with a changeup that shows some promise but is presently below average.

At only 21 years of age heading into the 2016 season, he has time to develop his command and round out his arsenal. I think he comes up a little short in the command department, but he has enough weapons to be a decent four or five starter or a promising reliever. The potential for a mid-rotation starter is there, just less likely in my opinion.

Fastball: 50/55/55 Curveball: 50/55/55 Changeup: 40/45/50 Command: 40/45/45
Overall: 40/45/50

I wonder what Farnsworth would say after this year's performance?

When's he going to get to the Rockies and how good will he be once he's there?

Marquez, like Senzatela, is on the 40 man roster using up his first minor league option. Unlike Senzatela, he's both pitching well and healthy, which means there's an outside chance Marquez gets a September call-up to work out of the bullpen if the Rockies are in contention. That said, Marquez is more likely a contender for the 2017 rotation, if not the Opening Day rotation due to the arms already ahead of him. Most likely Colorado will put him in Albuquerque on the Jeff Hoffman development plan.

After some skepticism from me at the time of the trade, the easy velocity Marquez has shown on his fastball plus the development on his secondary pitches this year have won me over. I rated Marquez seventh in the system on my list, giving him a 55 Future Value as a 2/3 starter in a big league rotation and a fringe top 100 prospect at the end of 2016.

***

6. Ryan McMahon (1,235 points, 52 ballots) -- Preseason Ranking: 5 -- High Ballot 2, Mode Ballot 6

How did he enter the organization?

2013 second round, California HS

Why did he make the PuRPs list?

McMahon entered 2016 looking like an impact future major leaguer, as he had just posted a .300/.372/.520 line with 67 extra base hits (141 wRC+) in 556 plate appearances with Modesto. The lefty-hitting third baseman's breakout 2015 combined with the scouting reports and draft pedigree led him to be listed on the top 100 lists of most of the national prospect writers, including a top 50 designation for Baseball America (43), MLB.com (48), and Baseball Prospectus (36).

It hasn't been that easy for McMahon at the AA level against opposition that is on average 3.4 years older, however. In 405 plate appearances for the Yard Goats, McMahon is hitting just .239/.323/.396 with 33 extra base hits. Notably though, in 98 July at-bats McMahon appears to have settled into the level, posting a .286/.346/.561 line with six homers. McMahon's 29.7% strikeout rate is worrisome, but at least his 10.2% walk rate is acceptable.

The surface numbers for 2016 are much less impressive than his previous stats, but it's important to note that McMahon's line still equates to a 97 wRC+. That's very near league average and is not a bad sign for a young player. In fact McMahon's 2016 is not too unlike the line produced by Nolan Arenado in AA Tulsa (110 wRC+) back in 2012 at the same age. Defensively, McMahon has spent time at both first base and third base this year as he prepares for life in Arenado's shadow. While the field and arm tools still flash plus potential, McMahon has committed 19 errors this year already - down from the 39 he had last year but still more than I'd like to see.

For more on McMahon, take a look at Bobby DeMuro's Spring Training profile of the young infielder.

What do the scouts say?

Obviously the reports written preseason will be more sanguine on McMahon than the midseason reports, such as this one by MLB.com, who dropped him out of the top 100 altogether and from fourth to sixth in the system while dropping his Future Value down to 50 from 55:

Colorado still believes in [McMahon's] offensive upside because he has a smooth left-handed swing with bat speed and loft, generating power to all fields. McMahon has some feel for hitting and the patience to take walks, but he must make adjustments and cut down on his strikeouts.

McMahon has the tools to be an asset at the hot corner, but he is an erratic defender who has led his league in errors by a third baseman in each of the past two years, including 39 in 2015. A good athlete with solid arm strength and reliable hands, he gets into trouble with his footwork.

This winter Dan Farnsworth of Fangraphs ranked McMahon fourth in the system with a 60 FV, ahead of Jon Gray:

McMahon has huge potential with his bat, and has made short work of each level he has faced so far in his career. He is one of the safest bets to be a power producer in the future, though his strikeouts have risen steadily as he has climbed the ladder. Despite the slight concerns about his future contact, McMahon makes up for it by being adept at taking his walks, and he will have the game power to continue making pitchers work around him.

...

Another important thing to remember with McMahon is how recently he began focusing solely on baseball, having been a quarterback in high school as well. Because of that, both his approach and his present average defense carry optimism for improvement as he gets more repetitions. Even if he strikes out in one third of his at-bats in the future, his power threat and hard contact will keep his average and on-base percentage at least above average. A good defender with an above-average hit tool and plus or better power is a great asset for the Rockies to have, one that will climb as quickly as he can improve his contact and plan at the plate.

Hit: 45/55/60 Power: 55/60/65 Run: 45/40/45 Field: 50/55/60 Throw: 55/55/60
Overall: 45/60/70

In the preseason Baseball Prospectus list, McMahon ranked third in the system, ahead of both Gray and David Dahl:

McMahon's swing is built for leverage and inducing backspin, and he is strong enough and covers the plate well enough to drive the ball to the opposite field as well. He could add additional power as he fills out, and his frame could handle another 10-20 pounds without giving up much of his present-day athleticism. There is some length and uppercut to tap into that power right now, and it does affect his raw hitting ability. He is aggressive at the plate and you can beat him in the zone when his swing gets long. There is an approach here, though the overall hit tool is raw. The transition to Double-A may be bumpy at first, but he should be able to make adjustments. He won't be a plus hitter in the majors, but will make enough contact to let the power play. McMahon could have some .270, 20-home run (context neutral) seasons at maturity.

Defensively, McMahon has all the tools to be a solid, everyday third baseman. He has good instincts and attacks balls with confidence. He also shows good hands and is comfortable making plays on the run. The arm is strong enough for third base, though he can get scattershot at times, especially on the move, but it could play closer to plus if he irons out the kinks. He's not much of a threat on the bases—despite run times that are only a tick below average—and should get the red light more going forward (he went just six for 19 on the bases in 2015).

As stated above, McMahon was the 36th best prospect in baseball for BP before the year but at midseason he didn't crack a top 50 that also didn't include 2016 draft picks.

When's he going to get to the Rockies and how good will he be once he's there?

If McMahon can continue the pace he's been on in July, this will end up looking like a pretty successful developmental year for the young third baseman, not something I would have said even a month ago. I believe that McMahon will also sneak back into preseason 2017 top 100 lists. I think that Arenado's presence will delay McMahon's MLB debut, but a need at first base and/or for another power bat could lead the Rockies to call him up as soon as midseason next year.

We all hope that McMahon's development path will adhere closely to Arenado's, but even if it doesn't McMahon is a future every day major leaguer who will provide great power production. For that reason, McMahon was sixth on my PuRPs ballot (he would be higher in most other systems) and received a 55 Future Value as an above average MLB regular.

***

Next time we'll look at Purple Row's top five Rockies prospects!