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Colorado Rockies prospects: No. 27, Hunter Goodman

The 22-year-old catcher was drafted in the fourth round in 2021

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28. Hunter Goodman (106 points, 13 ballots)

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 the 22-year-old’s ability to stay behind the plate, with some scouts considering him to be a corner outfield prospect.

The University of Memphis product was Colorado’s fourth round pick in 2021, signing for a $600k bonus, about $67k higher than slot. The pick came after a junior season with Memphis where he hit a mammoth .307/.401/.678 that included 21 home runs in 56 games. In three seasons and 142 games with the Tigers, including the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign, Goodman hit .323/.388/.623 with 42 long balls and 74 overall extra-base hits.

Goodman was assigned to the Arizona Complex League team in early August, where he was about 1.2 years older than average. In 60 plate appearances there, Goodman hit a strong .300/.419/.517 with nine extra-base hits (145 wRC+), walking 12% of the time and striking out in 19% of his plate appearances. Behind the plate, Goodman had four passed balls and an error but did throw out six of the 11 men who tried to steal on him.

Here’s some tape on Goodman mostly hitting (and throwing out a base stealer at the end) with the ACL team late in 2021 courtesy of Prospects Worldwide:

Keith Law of the Athletic ranked Goodman 17th in the system in February:

He’s power over hit, and isn’t very selective, but he’s a fringy receiver who did show some skill behind the plate in instructs.

Fangraphs slots Goodman 25th in the system with a 40 FV tag, with the tools highlighted by a plus raw power grade:

Goodman was among those with the most present raw power in the 2021 draft’s college contingent, thumping 29 homers in 73 games combined between his 2020 and ’21 seasons. A heavy-handed receiver with mobility issues, Goodman wasn’t likely to stay behind the plate and lots of teams viewed him as a first base prospect with a 40-grade bat. Goodman already seemed to make some stylistic changes in pro ball, ditching his part-time one-knee technique and opting for a traditional crouch all the time, and a slightly narrower one than he used in college. Much of his future depends on the defense developing, at which point Goodman’s hit tool will determine if he’s a bat-first backup (our current projection) or pushes for a bigger role. ranked Goodman 87th overall in the 2021 draft class and currently places him 15th 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.

Goodman seems like he’ll be a bat-first prospect from the jump, but if he can stay behind the plate (and if robo-umps come to MLB), he has the ceiling to be a regular starter if/when he makes The Show (likely 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 suspect the Rockies will start Goodman in High-A Spokane alongside fellow PuRP Drew Romo given the advanced bat, and he could be in Hartford by the end of the season. 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 25th on my list with a 40 FV grade.