This is your monthly update on the Rockies’ top prospects, as determined by the Purple Row community.
Note: all stats are through May 31.
1. Brendan Rodgers (High-A Lancaster)
.393/.416/.693, 8 HR, 14 2B, 2 3B
After a slow start (for him) in April, Rodgers was pure fire for the month of May hitting .409/.434/.748 with eight home runs. At this point, it’s a matter of when he gets promoted to Double-A this season, not if.
2. Jeff Hoffman (Triple-A Albuquerque, MLB)
Triple-A: 3.68 ERA, 44 IP, 38 K, 16 BB
MLB: 3.29 ERA, 132⁄3 IP, 17 K, 2 BB
Hoffman had three stints with the Rockies in the month of May. The first was out of the bullpen and the next two was as the sixth starter when the Rockies had a pair rain outs and doubleheaders mess up the rotation. He looked very good and will continue to be next in line if the Rockies need another starter.
3. Riley Pint (Single-A Asheville)
4.40 ERA, 30 2⁄3 IP, 20 K, 23 BB
Pint’s been struggling with his command; however, the good news is that the Rockies have been taking a very deliberate process with him, and he’s actually a full level ahead of expectations already. They skipped his last start again to work on things and that may be an ongoing routine this season as they keep his innings down and fix his mechanics.
4. Raimel Tapia (Triple-A ABQ, MLB)
Triple-A: .369/.407/.532, 15 2B, 4 3B
MLB: .000/.077/.000, 13 PA
Tapia had a weird May. At one point he had raised his Triple-A average over .400 before getting a surprising promotion to the big leagues. More surprisingly, he could get on the field for the week that he was in with the Rockies. Once joining the Triple-A team again it took him a little bit to get his timing back after not playing.
5. German Marquez (Triple-A ABQ, MLB)
Triple-A: 2.70 ERA, 10 IP, 18 K, 0 BB
MLB: 3.76 ERA, 40 2⁄3 IP, 35 K, 14 BB
No longer PuRP eligible for the next poll, Marquez has settled into a spot in the Rockies rotation. While there will still be some rookie struggles, Marquez’s stuff has been good enough to help him escape some of those jams. If he can get his big-league walk rate down near his minor-league rate, he’s going to be a mainstay in the rotation.
6. Tom Murphy (MLB Disabled List)
Still on the DL and still hoping to be back soon. Expect a minor-league rehab assignment in the near future.
7. Ryan McMahon (Double-A Hartford)
.326/.390/.536, 6 HR, 16 2B, 2 3B
McMahon continued to hit the ball well in May and earned a promotion to Triple-A to start June. Whatever caused his struggles season is now a thing of the past.
8. Kyle Freeland (MLB)
3.59 ERA, 57.2 IP, 36 K, 26 BB
Like Marquez, Freeland has graduated from PuRP eligibility. Also like Marquez, he would benefit from bringing his walk rate down to his minor league rate. Overall though Freeland has been as good as hoped for and been an essential part of the Rockies rotation.
9. Ryan Castellani (Double-A HFD)
5.24 ERA, 55 IP, 49 K, 19 BB
Castellani has had his share of struggles in Double-A. It’s nothing to worry about, as he was the fifth youngest player at the start of the season and he has plenty of time to develop and figure out this level.
10. Antonio Senzatela (MLB)
3.49 ERA, 67 IP, 44 K, 20 BB
Another PuRP graduate, Senzatela has had some recent struggles, but has also started to get more strikeouts. The big question for Senzatela might be how many innings the Rockies let him pitch this season after he missed most of last season.
11. Peter Lambert (High-A LAN)
3.99 ERA, 65 1⁄3 IP, 66 K, 17 BB
Pitching in the most hitter-friendly park in a hitter-friendly league hasn’t bothered Lambert. Interestingly enough his home-road splits are almost identical. As long he keeps striking out over a batter an inning, things will be good for Lambert.
12. Yency Almonte (Double-A HFD)
1.48 ERA, 30 1⁄3 IP, 32 K, 11 BB
Almonte missed most of May with a minor shoulder injury that the Rockies decided to be extremely cautious with. He made one start before the end of the month and picked up right where he left off.
13. Jordan Patterson (Triple-A ABQ)
.219/.302/.444, 8 HR, 10 2B, 2 3B
Patterson has been one of the biggest PuRP disappointments in the first two months of the season. The power has still been there, and he’s been drawing enough walks to cover up some of the issues at the plate. However, this is his second year in Triple-A and the step-back is extremely worrisome.
14. Dom Nunez (Double-A HFD)
.196/.359/.333, 4 HR, 2 2B
Another big disappointment would have to be Nunez. He’s drawing walks at an amazing rate and has also hit an acceptable amount of home runs. However, it’s batting under the Mendoza line is never a good thing.
15. Forrest Wall (High-A LAN)
.299/.361/.471, 3 HR, 4 2B, 1 3B
Just when it seemed like Wall had figured things out, he hurt his shoulder. It now looks like he will miss the rest of the season.
16. Pedro Gonzalez (N/A)
Gonzalez is in extended spring training awaiting an assignment to one of the organization’s short-season teams.
17. Ben Bowden (N/A)
Bowden is in extended spring training awaiting an assignment to one of the organization’s short-season teams.
18. Robert Tyler (N/A)
Tyler is in extended spring training awaiting an assignment to one of the organization’s short-season teams.
19. Colton Welker (Single-A ASH)
.370/.410/.566, 6 HR, 14 2B, 1 3B,
Welker is destroying Single-A opponents. In May, he hit .408/.438/.643 which while not quite as good as Rodgers’ May numbers are still crazy good for a teenager in Asheville. Welker was 14th on my list PuRP poll. He’s now 5th on my rankings.
20. Sam Howard (Triple-A ABQ, Double-A HFD)
Double-A: 1.80 ERA, 35 IP, 29 K, 6 BB
Triple-A: 3.38 ERA, 2 2⁄3 IP, 3 K, 0 BB
Howard continues to fill up the transactions sheet as well as the stat sheet. A lot of people may have missed it, but Howard spent the last week of the month on the 7-day DL. He was activated on May 31 to start the last game of the month. However, that game didn’t finish due to rain and also shortened his outing.
21. Daniel Montano (N/A)
Montano will probably start the season in the DSL, though he may follow the Pedro Gonzalez path and get promoted once the short-season teams start play.
22. Garrett Hampson (High-A LAN)
.308/.383/.408, 2 HR, 8 2B, 3 3B, 16 SB
Despite skipping all the way to High-A this season, Hampson continues to produce. He will never produce a lot of power, but his ability to steal bases and get on at a high rate will help mitigate that.
23. Tyler Nevin (Single-A ASH)
.218/.319/.269, 1 HR, 1 2B,
Nevin’s last game was on May 3. He was placed on the DL on May 5 and we’ve heard no word about why or when to expect him back, and yes we’ve asked.
24. Jairo Diaz (Triple-A ABQ)
0.00 ERA, 1 IP, 0 K, 0 BB
Diaz has not pitched in a competitive game since April 15. However, the report is that it is not injury related, but instead something personal. Considering the state of his home country, Venezuela, one can only imagine the possibilities. Hopefully, things will work out soon and Diaz can return to baseball.
25. Harrison Musgrave (Triple-A ABQ)
6.49 ERA, 26 1⁄3 IP, 19 K, 12 BB
After spending most of the month of May on the disabled list, Musgrave started the Isotopes game on May 26. The results were better as he avoided giving up any walks though he did allow two earned runs.
26. Parker French (Double-A HFD)
4.31 ERA, 56 1⁄3 IP, 32 K, 18 BB
French alternated good and bad starts for most of the month of May. When he’s been good, he’s been really good, but allowing eight runs in a four inning outing hurts.
27. Mike Nikorak (N/A)
Nikorak has undergone Tommy John surgery and won’t be pitching for the rest of the season.
28. Sam Moll (Triple-A ABQ)
3.43 ERA, 21 IP, 15 K, 7 BB
Moll lowered his ERA from 5.68 to 3.43 in the month of May which is good news. The bad news is that it was all the way down to 2.45 before he allowed three more earned runs in his last two outings. He may have figured out some of his command issues as he has not allowed a walk in his last six outing and only walked one in his last 10 appearances.
29. Wander Cabrera (N/A)
Cabrera is expected to lead the wave of top DSL prospects to come stateside this year. Expect to see him in either Boise or Grand Junction when short-season ball starts in June.
30. Jose Gomez (Single-A ASH)
.304/.344/.425, 3 HR, 9 2B, 2 3B, 11 SB
Gomez has taken a step back from last season’s numbers. Thankfully, last year’s numbers were so good that a step back is still a good place to be.
★ ★ ★
I included eight non-PuRP players in the last update and have added a ninth to this update. With the three players who have already lost their eligibility for the next poll and two more that may soon join them, these are the lead candidates to replace them.
Here are nine of the top performers this season not listed on the PuRPs list, in alphabetical order.
Matt Carasiti (Triple-A ABQ)
1.04 ERA, 17 1⁄3 IP, 23 K, 8 BB
Carasiti continue to long strong for the Isotopes. The walk rate still needs to come down, but the sheer number of strike outs is mouth-watering.
James Farris (Double-A HFD)
1.45 ERA, 18 2⁄3 IP, 28 K, 2 BB
Facing Farris has been an unfair proposition for Double-A hitters. Thankfully for them, they won’t have to try anymore as he was promoted to replace Carlos Estevez in the Triple-A bullpen.
Vince Fernandez (Single-A ASH)
.328/.393/.539, 7 HR, 15 2B, 1 3B, 11 SB
Fernandez hit .372/.449/.617 in May to further bolster his case to be included on the Rockies top prospect rankings.
J.D. Hammer (Single-A ASH)
0.77 ERA, 23 1⁄3 IP, 37 K, 4 BB
A converted college starter drafted in the 24th round last summer, Hammer has been light-out for opposing hitters. Unfortunately he does not throw a curveball but his fastball velocity keeps climbing as he adapts to his new relief role and he pairs it with a nice slider.
Sam Hilliard (High-A MOD)
.317/.392/.527, 8 HR, 9 2B, 3 3B, 15 SB
Hilliard cooled off in May, but still had a .896 OPS for the month. With the potential for five plus tools, Hilliard should climb up the prospect rankings in a hurry if he can continue to keep the strikeout totals down
Austin House (Triple-A ABQ)
1.78 ERA, 25 1⁄3 IP, 25 K, 9 BB
Five of House’s 11 appearances in the month of May were more than one inning in length, which may point to the Rockies future plans with him.
Brian Mundell (High-A LAN)
.313/.386/.547, 11 HR, 12 2B, 1 3B
Mundell hit seven home runs in May and had a .989 OPS for the month. Been overshadowed by Rodgers, but is putting together a nice season for the JetHawks and may be in line for a promotion soon as well.
Antonio Santos (Single-A ASH)
4.30 ERA, 52 1⁄3 IP, 44 K, 12 BB
Santos had some struggles in May as he allowed opposing hitters to bat .376 against him.
Max White (Double-A HFD)
.264/.347/.439, 3 HR, 11 2B, 3 3B
White has cooled off substantially from his red-hot April. The real question now is whether or not April was an aberration or if he can tap back into the adjustments he made and finish the season strong.