clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Colorado Rockies prospect rankings, mid-season 2021: numbers 25-21

New, 6 comments

Four position players and a RHP round out the first tier of 2021 mid-season PuRPs

Let’s keep the mid-season 2021 Purple Row Prospects (PuRPs) list reveal rolling! Today are prospects 25-21. As a reminder, in this edition of the PuRPs poll, 23 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 and contract status (via Baseball-Reference), PuRPs voting stats, a note on the 2021 season to date, and a scouting report from a national prospect writer where possible. For what it’s worth, I’ll also include where I put each player on my personal ballot. All ages are as of the date the article is posted.

25. Julio Carreras (117 points, 14 ballots) — Preseason Ranking: 16 — High Ballot 13, Mode Ballot 21, 23, 27, 29

How did he enter the organization?

2017 IFA, Venezuela

Why did he make the PuRPs list?

Carreras didn’t make headlines with a big signing bonus, unlike some of the other Latin American prospects that have been or will be covered in this process. In fact, the 21-year-old infielder wasn’t signed until he was 17 — in February 2017 — for a $15,000 bonus. Since that time, Carreras put up an excellent stat line in his debut season in the DSL and then started also getting rave reviews from scouts, which put him firmly on the PuRPs radar. He followed up those accolades with a strong 2019 stateside debut and it seemed as if Carreras were heading toward the upper echelon of the system.

That still might be the case for Carreras, but 2021 has been a speed bump on that road. Assigned to Low-A Fresno in mid-May, an age appropriate level, Carreras hasn’t fared well offensively. In 291 PAs so far, his .246/.290/.390 line with 23 extra base hits is only a 75 wRC+ and his 5% BB/26% K split isn’t encouraging. The good news is that each month his OPS has gone up (from an anemic .497 in May to a strong .916 thus far in August), so that batting line grows more respectable by the day. Defensively, Carreras (who has one of the best infield arms in the system) has split most of his time between third and shortstop, where he has six errors in 68 games.

Here’s some video of Carreras from Extended Spring Training in 2019 courtesy of Fangraphs:

What do the scouts say?

Fangraphs ranked Carreras 14th in the system back in March with a 40+ FV grade, but the report is full of questions:

I have an unhelpful mix of stuff from scouts on Carreras’ instructs look. One scout saw him get hurt while swinging, then only play defense the rest of the time he saw him. Another scout thought he looked like a high-contact hitter without power. The player I saw in 2019 was not all that comfortable at the plate from a timing and rhythm standpoint. A lot of his swings were awkward, but he was short to the ball and showed big bat speed on his confident cuts, then at other times would make mid-flight adjustments to breaking balls. I also had him home-to-first in the 4.20-4.25 range a couple of times, and thought he might fill out the way Cubs SS/3B Chris Morel has and grow into some pop, with fingers crossed that the timing/feel aspects of hitting materialized with reps. I didn’t see Colorado myself during instructs and don’t know if my scout source who saw him hit saw him before or after the injury the other one saw. For now I’m content to leave Carreras in this 40+ FV tier as a guy with some ceiling because I like the whip in his swing and what looked like an idea of how to spot breaking balls.

In that evaluation, Carreras gets plus grades for his arm and speed.

MLB.com also rates Carreras 14th in the organization:

Carreras provides an exciting combination of size, strength and athleticism to both sides of the ball. He has plenty of bat speed with present leverage to his right-handed swing and when he grows into his 6-foot-2 frame more, there’s bound to be more power to come. Carreras is able to extend and make hard contact out front, all while showing a solid approach at the plate.

The 21-year-old infielder creates buzz with his defense as well. He has quick reactions and one of the best infield arms in the system. Carreras has shown the ability to play second, third and short capably, but given his physical and offensive projection, he might profile at third base the best in terms of a long-term home, though the Rockies love positional flexibility from their infielders.

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

It’s been a struggle for Carreras in Low-A, there’s no denying that. He’s also Rule 5 eligible after this year (unless my math is off) and therefore would require a 40-man roster spot despite probably not being MLB ready until 2024. With that said, the tools and defensive utility are clearly present for an impact major leaguer if things break the right way. I dropped Carreras down a tier from the last list due to his struggles against age appropriate pitching, but he’s a clear 40 FV prospect and was ranked 23rd on my ballot this time around.

★ ★ ★

24. Hunter Goodman (121 points, 14 ballots) — Preseason Ranking: NR — High Ballot 15, Mode Ballot 23

How did he enter the organization?

2021 4th Round, University of Memphis

Why did he make the PuRPs list?

Goodman has considerable promise offensively as a player with excellent raw power. He was also drafted as a catcher, which carries quite a bit of defensive utility. With that said, there are certainly questions about Goodman’s ability to stay behind the plate, with some scouts considering him to be a corner outfield prospect. He concluded his time in Memphis with a mammoth .307/.401/.678 line that included 21 HR in 56 games — rate stats that were actually down a bit from the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign.

The 21-year-old righty signed for $600k, about $67k higher than slot, and has actually begun his professional career already as part of Colorado’s complex team. It’s a tiny sample, but Goodman is off to an excellent 5-for-12 start with two doubles in four games so far.

Here’s some tape on Goodman taking BP during the 2019 Cape Cod league season courtesy of 2080 Baseball:

What do the scouts say?

MLB.com ranked Goodman 87th overall in the 2021 draft class as a 50 FV, which would put him somewhere in the back half of the top 10 in the system:

Goodman’s most attractive tool is his well above-average raw power, which he creates with bat speed, strength, loft and aggressiveness. Though he ranked fourth in NCAA Division I with a school-record 21 homers this spring, scouts wonder how well his pop will play at higher levels if he doesn’t tone down his long, uphill right-handed swing, his pronounced leg kick and his pull-happy approach. He did triple his walk rate from 4 percent in his first two college seasons to 12 percent in 2021.

Primarily an outfielder as a freshman, Goodman committed seven passed balls in 17 games as a sophomore and threw out just 15 percent of basestealers during his first two years. He’s a clunky receiver who can flash solid arm strength, but it usually plays as average and he lacks accuracy on his throws. He runs better than most catchers, perhaps well enough to handle left field if he can’t remain behind the plate.

Fangraphs has slotted him 21st in the system with a 40 FV tag, with the tools highlighted by a plus raw power grade:

Goodman offers plenty of power and a good approach, but there’s some swing and miss in his game and he’s a fringy defender.

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

Goodman seems like he’ll be a bat-first prospect from the jump, but if he can stay behind the plate (and robo-umps come to MLB), he can be a bit more than that if/when he makes the Show (2024/2025). Part of that profile depends on how well the college power can translate to the pro game, but the early returns are positive. I couldn’t turn down a player with this type of production and draft pedigree, even with the defensive questions and the swing and miss in the profile. I ranked him 20th on my list with a 40 FV grade.

★ ★ ★

23. Jameson Hannah (171 points, 19 ballots) — Preseason Ranking: 19 — High Ballot 14, Mode Ballot 20, 24

How did he enter the organization?

2020 Trade (Oakland)

Why did he make the PuRPs list?

Hannah, an athletic lefty outfielder from the Cincinnati Reds system, was acquired in a trade that included Jeff Hoffman, Robert Stephenson, and the just-drafted (and now re-acquired) pitcher Case Williams. It wasn’t the first trade for the 5’9” 24-year-old 2018 second rounder (50th overall, signed for $1.8 million), who was traded from Oakland to Cincinnati for Tanner Roark during the 2019 season.

Hannah was skipped over Low-A altogether in 2019 for the Reds and he performed well enough in High-A during that season and showed the Rockies enough during the spring that he was assigned to Double-A Hartford for the 2021 campaign. In 230 PAs with Hartford as a player about 0.9 years younger than average, Hannah has held his own at the level while playing center field defensively. His .281/.352/.399 line with 16 extra base hits isn’t flashy, but it’s worth a 106 wRC+ in a Double-A league and home park that tends to favor pitchers more. Hannah has increased his BB% to 9% this year (up from 7% in 2019), but his K% has also grown to 28% (up from 21%). Hannah started out slow in May (.564 OPS) but has rebounded in recent days with an excellent August so far (1.041 OPS).

Here’s some video of Hannah from Spring Training 2019 when he was in the A’s system, courtesy of Fangraphs:

What do the scouts say?

Hannah was ranked 17th by Fangraphs back in March as a 40 FV player:

Hannah is a contact-oriented outfield prospect with plus speed, more likely to play a bench or part-time role than be an everyday player. He hit .340 in college and has hit .280 in pro ball, with his extra-base hit production consisting almost entirely of doubles. I have him as an average center field defender but think he could be plus in left field. There’s clear big league utility here: lefty stick, pinch runner, corner defensive replacement, but I think Hannah needs to develop a nearly elite hit tool to counterbalance his lack of power if he’s going to be any sort of regular.

Hannah’s speed is graded as a 60, though to date he’s only 21-for-31 in steals in his professional career.

MLB.com is more optimistic with a #13 system rank on Hannah:

Hannah does have some offensive upside from the left side of the plate. There’s bat speed and the ability to make hard contact, with more gap-to-gap than over-the-fence pop. He’s shown an ability to work counts and take walks, though his approach wasn’t as solid during his first full year. While he’ll record plus run times, Hannah has yet to learn how to use that speed to steal bases.

He has shown that his speed plays in the outfield, with a chance to play center field because of how much ground he can cover. He’s seen time at all three outfield spots as a pro, with perhaps a floor as a valuable fourth outfielder. But with a fringy arm, Hannah’s best chance at an everyday spot would likely be in center or left.

Baseball America ranked Hannah 14th in their 2021 Prospect Handbook:

Hannah is an impressive athlete who does a lot of things well if nothing great. He has a good approach at the plate, he doesn’t give away at-bats, and makes frequent contact with a line-drive stroke. Home-run power isn’t in the cards, but he has the strength to wear out the gaps and rack up extra-base-hits using his plus speed. Hannah is a solid defender at all three outfield positions, although his fringy arm strength precludes him from playing right field on a regular basis.

...

Hannah’s likely future is a reserve outfielder who puts together competitive at-bats and moves around to all three positions. If he can find a way to impact the ball more consistently, a future as a regular isn’t out of reach.

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

If you read the above scouting profiles and thought Hannah seemed like a left-handed Yonathan Daza type as a prospect (with less of an arm and less contact ability but more speed and power), you’re not alone. It’s not a profile that excites you, but as Daza has shown this year, it’s one that can deliver significant value at the big league level when the hard contact turns into hits in the expansive Coors Field outfield.

Hannah was actually thought of higher overall by scouts than Daza coming into this year and has done well this season in Hartford, so he clearly belongs for me in the 40 FV tier (22nd overall on my ballot) as a player who I expect in the big league mix in 2022. That is, if (and this is becoming a broken record as I write these profiles) the Rockies protect him from the Rule 5 draft with a 40-man roster slot

★ ★ ★

22. Willie MacIver (191 points, 22 ballots) — Preseason Ranking: HM — High Ballot 17, Mode Ballot 23

How did he enter the organization?

2018 9th Round, University of Washington

Why did he make the PuRPs list?

Quite simply, MacIver had performed pretty well in his first two stops professionally, enough to be a Honorable Mention PuRP in the preseason list, but his start to 2021 with High-A Spokane was impossible to ignore. The 24-year-old catcher (who was actually converted to that position from third base in college) was about 1.1 years older than league average in High A, but he dominated. In 201 PAs with Spokane, MacIver hit .286/.395/.542 with 10 HR and 21 extra base hits and 10 steals for good measure — good for a 150 wRC+.

MacIver earned a promotion with that start to Double-A Hartford in late June. The start also got him an invite to the prestigious Futures Game at Coors Field (though admittedly his catcher status and as a Rockies prospect helped), where he went 0-for-2 but threw out a base stealer. Unfortunately though, MacIver hasn’t been able to perform in Double-A so far. In 115 PAs to date, MacIver’s .137/.235/.275 line (42 wRC+) is not great for a player hoping to secure a 40-man roster spot this off-season — though somehow that line also includes a three-homer game with Hartford. He’s walking 10% of the time but also striking out in nearly 30% of his PAs.

Scouting video on MacIver is a bit sparse, but here’s him back in 2017 in the Cape Cod league taking BP, courtesy of Baseball America (title is incorrect, he’s from UW):

What do the scouts say?

MacIver wasn’t in the top 32 of the system when Fangraphs ranked it in March, but in their updated system ranking, MacIver’s strong 2021 start vaulted him up to 16th with a 40+ FV rating shortly before his promotion to Double-A:

MacIver is more athletic than the typical catcher and (like many Rockies prospects) he’s stealing a lot of bases in the minors and has hit for more power than ever before. He’s just three homers shy of his single-season career high as we approach the 2021 All Star Break. MacIver is also a 24-year-old in A-ball, so he should be dominating, and he won’t be in consideration to move onto the main section of the Rockies list until he’s promoted and performs at the upper levels. His 40-man decision comes this offseason so it’s very likely the Rockies promote him after the break.

Meanwhile, MacIver just snuck onto the MLB.com list at #30 in the system:

The Rockies drafted him as a backstop and have developed him exclusively behind the plate. Strong and durable, MacIver has shown that his average arm works well in helping to control the running game, throwing out around 35 percent of potential basestealers in his pro career. His receiving has improved overall and he has good instincts and leadership qualities that serve him well.

MacIver has shown the ability to make a lot of contact from the right side of the plate, though he struggled a bit with plate discipline during his first full season in 2019. He was drawing more walks in 2021, albeit with a slightly higher strikeout rate, which was helping him get to better counts and reaching his raw power more consistently. If that trend continues, he could be a solid backup catcher in the big leagues in the future.

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

If MacIver can get back to the player he was in Spokane to start the year, he’s a big league catcher (probably a back-up, but upside for a lower-tier regular). If he’s more like the Hartford version, he’s not going to make it to the 40-man roster this offseason. Obviously we all are pulling for that Spokane form to reemerge and for MacIver to contribute to the big league club as soon as 2022. On the strength of what he showed he could be in High-A plus his prior minor league track record, I ranked MacIver 21st on my personal ballot with a 40 FV grade.

★ ★ ★

21. Mitchell Kilkenny (233 points, 21 ballots) — Preseason Ranking: 27 — High Ballot 10, Mode Ballot 22

How did he enter the organization?

2018 2nd Round, Texas A&M University

Why did he make the PuRPs list?

One good reason is that Kilkenny has pitched really well across two different levels this year after overcoming some injury adversity. It hasn’t been a charmed start to the 24-year-old righty’s professional career. The 6’3” pitcher was Colorado’s second rounder (76th overall) in 2018 and though he lacked overwhelming stuff, the right-hander possessed good command/polish and seemed like a potential quick mover into the back end of a big league rotation.

Unfortunately, Kilkenny was found to need Tommy John surgery immediately, which led to an under-slot signing bonus ($550k, roughly 70% of slot) and a full year of rehab. Therefore, 2019 was a year largely devoted to rehab and a successful stint in Rookie ball where he built up his strength and got decent results. Still, that debut hasn’t been enough to put Kilkenny on the radar of scouts looking at Colorado’s system, nor did Kilkenny get placed in Colorado’s alternative site during 2020 like similarly drafted right-hander Karl Kauffmann (the 77th overall pick a year later than Kilkenny), nor was he sent to fall instructs either.

Finally healthy entering a professional season in 2021, Kilkenny started out in Low-A Fresno. There he quickly proved in 31 IP over six starts of 1.45 ERA, 10.5 K/9 ball that he had mastered that level already. After a mid-June promotion to High-A Spokane (where he’s 0.7 years older than average), Kilkenny has retained his form. In 10 starts, Kilkenny has thrown 53 13 innings with a 3.38 ERA (4.01 xFIP), 1.01 WHIP, and 7.8 K/9. Not as dominant as his Fresno performance certainly, but clearly holding his own against more advanced bats. In fact, seven of the 10 starts have been quality starts, including three of the last four.

Here’s some pre-draft video of Kilkenny courtesy of Perfect Game Baseball:

What do the scouts say?

Let’s just say that Purple Row is a bit ahead of the scouts on Kilkenny right now, with Fangraphs calling him back in March “a central casting fifth starter who is coming off of surgery”.

Reaching back a little further in the spirit of getting a scout’s viewpoint...Jeffrey Paternostro of Baseball Prospectus listed Kilkenny as his system Low Minors Sleeper after the 2019 season:

The command down in the zone of the sinking fastball and slider were solid for a pitcher only a little over a year removed from going under the knife. 2020 will put him over 20 months out TJ, and we’ll have more of an idea of what the stuff will look like going forward with a full-season ball assignment and fewer restrictions on his usage. If the low-90s, touch 95 velocity comes all the way back, Kilkenny profiles as a backend starter or setup man out of the pen.

MLB.com ranked Kilkenny 83rd in his draft class three years ago, though Kilkenny doesn’t make the current system top 30:

Kilkenny lacks a plus pitch in his arsenal but is pretty solid across the board with control to match. His fastball operates in the low 90s and tops out at 94 mph, and his sink and downhill plane allow him to pound the bottom of the strike zone. He can throw his low-80s slider for strikes or entice hitters to chase it off the plate, and he does a nice job of locating his average changeup to keep left-handers honest.

Kilkenny has an easy delivery and no trouble repeating it, allowing him to steadily improve his control throughout his college career. He doesn’t have the sexiest ceiling, but he has a high floor as a safe bet to start.

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

Kilkenny is another “pitchability righty” starter prospect with a high-floor/low ceiling as a safe bet to remain in the rotation but no true standout pitch to get major league hitters out consistently. The Rockies certainly haven’t indicated Kilkenny is an organizational priority until his mid-season promotion this year, but Kilkenny can certainly pitch his way into Colorado’s plans with a strong finish to 2021.

Here’s the thing though — Kilkenny is yet another Rule 5-eligible prospect after this season (that’s four players on this edition alone plus two on yesterday’s article and a few of the Honorable Mentions with more decisions to come). It’s a crowded picture, but Kilkenny is making his case. The High-A success is encouraging to me, but I’d like to see that success in Double-A and get a better scouting report on Kilkenny before I get excited enough to move him out of the 35+ FV tier (he’s 26th on my personal ballot).

★ ★ ★

Next, we’ll crack the top 20 of the mid-season 2021 PuRPs list!