The calendar is hitting mid-December while the Winter Meetings and the Rule 5 Draft are in the rear-view mirror. As such, we’re at what is usually one of my favorite times of the Purple Row calendar: the polling for the top 30 Purple Row Prospects (PuRPs), which will be done in the comments of this thread over the next few weeks. This year, my usual joy is tempered by the general lousiness of 2020 and the upcoming structural changes to Minor League Baseball.
Since the last time we did this (here’s the pre-season 2020 list), somehow both a lot and not much has happened. For all but a few Rockies prospects, the 2020 season was a complete washout. Even for those prospects selected for the alternate site, their game action consisted of scrimmages against players with varying levels of experience and talent.
It was even worse, of course, for those not selected. For some of these players (most of whom have never received PuRPs consideration), the consolidation of the minor leagues for 2021 means that their professional careers will end. The decision by MLB to reduce the Rule 4 Draft this year from 40 to 5 rounds (and the likelihood that a shorter draft will be the norm moving forward) means that many such players will never be pros. The prospects who will be back in affiliated ball in 2021 face longer odds than they did before as they battle to overcome a year of rust and skill atrophy, with those who lack the family means to train year-round set back even further behind. It’s all just a bummer.
If all that wasn’t enough, the Rockies system is in pretty dire straits, lacking both depth and high end talent. With that said, any optimism the farm can provide Rockies fans in this tough year is welcome, and this is still one of my favorite Purple Row threads each year. Let’s get to it.
The polling rules are pretty simple:
- Your list must be at least 30 players long – partial ballots will not be counted. If you’re having trouble filling out your list, check out great resources like RockiesRoster.com, FanGraphs, and Baseball Reference to find any stats you might need. Only the top 30 names will be counted on the ballot; if the same player is listed multiple times on the ballot, the player ranked 31st (if applicable) will be moved up to fill the list. Same if one of the players on your ballot is traded or released between your post and polling ending. To reiterate: if there aren’t at least 30 distinct players on the list, the ballot won’t be counted. For that reason, it is encouraged that you list more than 30 players in case of a duplicate listing or a player move.
- Feel free to give a rationale about the placement of each prospect, but you aren’t required to do so by any means.
- Voting will be open from now until the end the year, December 31st. Once I tabulate the results, I will reveal the list one at a time over the next few weeks or so after voting ends.
- Players are eligible for inclusion if they still retain their Rookie of the Year eligibility (fewer than 50 IP, 130 ABs, and/or fewer than 45 days on the active roster, IL and post-Sept. 1 service time are not included — except for 2020).
- Even in a year with as little baseball as 2020, quite a few PuRPs from the pre-season 2020 list are no longer eligible. These PuRPs are: Brendan Rodgers (1), Sam Hilliard (5), Terrin Vavra (7), Tyler Nevin (10), Ashton Goudeau (13), Ryan Castellani (14), Roberto Ramos (initially 25 before leaving the org), Jacob Wallace (27), Brian Mundell (29), and Josh Fuentes (30). Rodgers, Hilliard, Castellani, and Fuentes exhausted their rookie eligibility. Vavra, Nevin, and Wallace were traded away. Goudeau was lost to waivers, Ramos to Korea, and Mundell to retirement. That’s ten of the top 31 from a year ago despite much of a baseball season.
- In addition, four other players who received votes last time are no longer eligible for various reasons: Vince Fernandez (HM PuRP), Reid Humphreys, Christian Koss, Robert Tyler, and Phillip Diehl. I suspect a few more who aren’t organizational priorities in the lower reaches might find themselves out in the cold come March.
- Any player who is eligible at the start of the polling period will be eligible for the list even if they lose eligibility before the final list is posted. While the Rule 5 Draft has been concluded, roster churn is a year-round phenomenon. Any necessary changes will be made to the final version of the list to ensure it contains the top 30 players still in the org at that time.
- Scoring will be in done like the AP poll in college football. A first place vote gets a player 30 points, a second place vote 29, and so forth on down to 1 point for a 30th place vote. It’s important to note that until a player is named on at least 1⁄3 of all ballots cast that their vote totals will only receive partial credit (on a sliding scale which depends on the total number of ballots cast).
- All ballots are weighted equally (as long as the players on them are named on enough ballots to qualify). The PuRPs list is a community ranking of Rockies prospects and we’re proud of the fact that again and again it’s a really good one. As a result, we ask that you put some quality effort into compiling your list.
- Remember, everyone has their own methodology of ranking their PuRPs. You may disagree with how one community member ranks their PuRPs over your own, but it remains in your hands to maintain civil discourse when discussing said PuRPs. That’s what makes this ranking so great.
With that, have fun with this list. I look forward to a lively (but civil, in accordance with Purple Row’s rules and regulations) debate over each others’ ballots.