clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Rockies farm system is better than advertised - Part I

Colorado Rockies news and links for Thursday, July 7th, 2022

Fans of the Colorado Rockies are frequently told that the team’s farm system ranks among the worst in the league. I’ve long contended the opposite: the Rockies have a good but very bottom heavy farm system with tons of interesting talent. Just yesterday the Rockies internally promoted a handful of promising prospects throughout their farm. Fans may be less familiar with the young men involved in this surge of recent promotions, but there’s a ton of promise there. Of the nine players involved in some kind of promotion, activation, or transaction on Wednesday, six were ranked in our preseason PuRPs evaluations, and four were in our top 30! The goal here is to shine a light on gems within the organization and spark some enthusiasm for what I consider an unfairly maligned farm system.

To Low-A Fresno:

RHP Angel Chivilli (no. 48 PuRP) had never played outside of his native Dominican Republic until this season. In two seasons with the DSL Rockies in 2019 and 2021, Chivilli slowly converted to a relief pitcher while posting an ERA of 3.76 in 83 23 innings and 23 total appearances. Now 19-years old, Chivilli began the season with the Arizona Complex League Rockies exclusively as a bullpen arm. In nine appearances and 15 23 innings he has an ERA of just 1.15 with 23 strikeouts to just for walks. Chivilli throws out of a low arm slot with a four seam fastball that’s seen it’s velocity increase significantly over the last few seasons and a solid changeup.

OF Benny Montgomery (no. 2 PuRP) is finally returning to the Low-A Fresno Grizzlies after battling injuries. The Rockies’ 2021 first round pick has only played 22 games this season after being largely sidelined with a quadriceps injury. Like Kris Bryant, he returned in May for two games before heading back to the IL. After a short rehab stint with the ACL Rockies, Montgomery returned to action with the Grizzlies last night and hit a home run to celebrate the occasion. Montgomery dazzled in 14 games with the ACL Rockies in 2021 with a .340 batting average and a .404 on-base percentage. Even in limited action, Montgomery has looked solid with Fresno by batting

To High-A Spokane:

LHP Mason Green isn’t a top 30 prospect or among our PuRPs rankings, but that hasn’t stopped him from quietly emerging as a solid starting pitcher. A 12th round pick in 2021, Green pitched with a career ERA of 2.76 in four college seasons with the Central Missouri Mules. He made his professional debut that same year with the ACL Rockies while pitching five scoreless innings over four appearances with seven strikeouts. Green has been a strong starting pitcher with the Low-A Fresno Grizzlies. He made 13 starts in Fresno before his promotion, posting an ERA of 3.07 through 73 13 innings with 71 strikeouts and only giving up two home runs. Green has a well-developed and commanded four pitch arsenal consisting of a low velocity two seam fastball, a strong changeup, a slider with strong break, and a cutter that hits in the high 80s.

C/1B Hunter Goodman (no. 27 PuRP) proved he was ready to move up by absolutely crushing the ball every chance he got with Low-A Fresno. Goodman slashed an absolutely excellent .291/.368/.592 with a California League leading 22 home runs. Goodman played corner outfield in addition to catcher and first base in college at Memphis, but hasn’t logged any outfield reps in his professional career. He made 48 appearances at first base with Fresno and 24 appearances at catcher. Goodman has the raw power of a bat-first prospect with solid enough speed on the bases for four steals in Fresno. His defense needs work—especially behind the plate—but he has been putting in the time to make improvements with Jerry Weinstein in his corner. He reminds me very favorably of Daulton Varsho of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

3B Warming Bernabel (no. 18 PuRP) was promoted last week, but I still wanted to include him in part one of our dive. Bernabel used his strong but simple right handed swing to demolish the ball with the ACL Rockies in 2021. He slashed an amazing .432/.454/.743 with six home runs in 22 games. In his first stint with the Low-A Fresno Grizzlies he slashed a much more meager .205/.287/.318 in 94 at-bats, but also showed strong plate discipline by striking out just 14 times. Bernabel was much improved with the Grizzlies in 65 games this year by slashing .317/.390/.504 with ten home runs before being promoted. Bernabel was originally a shortstop before joining the Rockies organization, but has converted exclusively to third base. He has a good arm and solid footwork while manning the hot corner and continues to improve as he gains experience.

The Rockies may be mired in another losing season, but as we reach the halfway mark for 2022 it might help fans to see the hope on the horizon. Outside of the organization’s four prospects in the MLB Top 100, there are plenty of exciting young players starting to make their mark. Next week we will continue to explore some of these promoted players by looking at the ones making the leap to Double-A Hartford and Triple-A Albuquerque.

★ ★ ★

Trade probabilities for entire 26-man roster | Rox Pile

It unfortunately isn’t much of a surprise that the Rockies are scuffling again this year. With a losing record and deep in the basement of their division, General Manager Bill Schmidt will have to prove he’s willing to be an actual seller at the deadline. Aaron Hurt over at Rox Pile breaks down trade scenarios for the entire 26-man active roster.

★ ★ ★

On The Farm

Triple-A: Round Rock Express 13, Albuquerque Isotopes 3

Starting pitcher Ashton Goudeau saw his ERA continue to balloon with it now hitting 12.46 in Triple-A. Goudeau lasted just three innings while giving up eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits and a walk. The bullpen didn’t fare much better. Every pitcher except Nick Kennedy allowed at least one earned run. Kennedy pitched two scoreless frames while giving up two hits. The Isotopes had eight hits but most of them were from two players. Coco Montes went 3-for-4 with two doubles and LJ Hatch went 3-for-4 with a double of his own. Alan Trejo and the freshly promoted Jimmy Herron accounted for the two other hits.

Double-A: New Hampshire Fisher Cats 11, Hartford Yard Goats 6

Tony Locey made his debut on the mound for Hartford in yesterday’s start and was challenged at a new level of competition. Locey pitched 5 23 innings while giving up six runs (five earned) on six hits and three walks while striking out four batters. Finn Del Bonta Smith pitched a superb 1 13 hitless innings with three strikeouts in relief of Locey. Stephen Jones was credited with the loss, giving up four earned runs in the bottom of the eighth to lose the tie and the game. Hunter Stovall, Michael Toglia, and Daniel Montaño all hit home runs, with Stovall’s 2-for-3 night being the only multi-hit performance for the Yard Goats. Grant Lavigne was hitless with a walk in his Hartford debut.

High-A: Tri-City Dust Devils 5, Spokane Indians 4

Mike Ruff had a solid start on the mound for Spokane, giving up three runs on five hits—two of which were home runs. He struck out six batters compared to just one walk. Austin Kitchen and Adam McKillican both had scoreless outings, but things fell apart for Anderson Bido in the ninth inning. Bido lost the lead with two unearned runs with two hits and two errors from first baseman Hunter Goodman. Goodman also struggled at the plate in his Spokane debut, striking out three times in a hitless evening. Drew Romo had a 2-for-3 night with an RBI, Zac Veen hit his third triple of the season, and Colin Simpson hit a home run.

Low-A: Fresno Grizzlies 13, San Jose Giants 2

The Fresno Grizzlies crushed the San Jose Giants by bullying them for 13 runs on 16 hits. Juan Guerrero and Braxton Fulford were both 4-for-5 with multiple RsBI. Adael Amador went 2-for-3 with two walks while recent arrival Yorvis Torrealba went 3-for-4 with a double and a stolen base. Benny Montgomery celebrated his return from the injured list with a home run in his second at-bat. Case Williams had another strong start on the mound by allowing just two earned runs over six innings of work while striking out four batters. The bullpen completely shut the Giants down from there. Freshly arrived Angel Chivilli turned in an excellent debut performance by striking out three batters over two innings of work and gave up just two hits. Bryce McGowan pitched a scoreless ninth inning to close things out.

★ ★ ★

Please keep in mind our Purple Row Community Guidelines when you’re commenting. Thanks!