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Colorado Rockies prospect rankings, mid-season 2022: numbers 25-21

There’s a little bit of every position group in the next five

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Let’s keep the mid-season 2022 Purple Row Prospects (PuRPs) list reveal rolling! Today are prospects 25-21. As a reminder, in this edition of the PuRPs poll, 28 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 2022 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. Brent Doyle (186 points, 20 ballots) — Preseason Ranking: 10 — High Ballot 9, Mode Ballot 22

How did he enter the organization?

2019 4th Round, Shepherd University

Why did he make the PuRPs list?

The 24-year-old sure looks the part of a future impact major leaguer. 6’3”, 200-pound righty outfielder has bulk and athleticism that evokes a football player. Doyle signed for an above-slot $500k out of D-2 Shepherd University as a fourth-rounder in 2019 and immediately won the rookie-level Pioneer League batting title with a 185 wRC+. Since then though, it hasn’t been as easy for Doyle. After the lost 2020 campaign, Doyle had a 110 wRC+ season for High-A in 2021 and won a league Gold Glove for his time in the outfield but saw his K% rise from 22% to 32% while his BB% declined from 14% to 7% at a league-average age.

Doyle was assigned to Double-A Hartford this year, where he was again about league-average age. In 400 plate appearances so far, Doyle underwhelmed against the more advanced pitching, hitting .232/.273/.421 while striking out in 32% of his PA and walking in just 4%. An 86 wRC+ isn’t terrible news and neither are the 16 homers and 18 steals in 21 attempts from a high quality defensive outfielder, but PuRPs voters were surely expecting more from someone so physically gifted,

Here’s Doyle smacking a homer in May:

What do the scouts say? demonstrates the kind of tools Doyle has in their evaluation, which places him 22nd in the system as a 45 FV player. Doyle is graded with 60 tools for his speed, arm, and fielding ability with a 55 for his power and 45 for his hit:

With an upright stance that helps [Doyle] leverage the ball more, he’s still learning to tap into his plus raw power on a regular basis. He gets over-aggressive at the plate and expands the zone too much, rarely drawing walks (7.1 percent rate in 2021). That, in turn, led to a spike in his strikeout rate (31.6 pct) ... Doyle won a Rawlings Gold Glove for his defensive work in center field, and his plus speed will allow him to stay there, with a plus arm to boot, for a very long time. If he can refine his approach, he has the chance to bring an exciting power-speed combination to Colorado.’s Kiley McDaniel ranked Doyle 5th in the system as a 45 FV prospect earlier this year:

[Doyle] had a great post-draft debut in 2019, then came back in 2021 with a solid season but one that shows where his floor/ceiling will be. Doyle is the somewhat familiar lower-contact rate center fielder with big raw power — with those types ranging from Drew Stubbs to Mike Cameron. Doyle will be 24 in May and should spend most of the year in Double-A, letting us know if he’s more of a low-end starter or role player.

FanGraphs places Doyle 26th as a 40 FV prospect, down from their pre-season evaluation of him as a 45 FV prospect:

Even though he’s approaching 24, Doyle remains a high-variance prospect because the hit tool quality is going to heavily influence his overall performance, and it’s harder to get a grip on projecting that because the context for his development is unique (tiny school, abnormal 2020, a fast-approaching 40-man decision later this year). It’s easy to envision him striking out so much in 2022 that Colorado struggles to justify adding him to the 40-man next offseason, but he has the tools to enjoy a big mid-20s breakout à la Mitch Haniger.

Keith Law of the Athletic ranked Doyle 15th in his pre-season list:

[Doyle] has four above-average to plus tools, but the hit tool is the one that matters most and it’s not clear if he has that one after he punched out 32 percent of the time in High-A last year at age 23.

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

As Law puts it succinctly above, the hit tool matters most, and that’s the one Doyle has struggled with as a professional despite that plus speed, arm, fielding ability, and raw power. There’s no doubting that Doyle’s athleticism and tools make him an exciting prospect, but his Rule 5 eligibility approaches this off-season and Doyle has struggled through his age-24 season in Double-A.

We’ll see if the Rockies are believers enough in Doyle’s ability to mitigate the swing and miss issues he’s had to add Doyle to the 40-man roster this off-season. That it is even a question such a player would get added to the 40 man roster is indicative of how lost at times Doyle has looked this year. I’m enough of a believer to keep Doyle at the top of my 40 FV tier, placing him 20th on my list. Doyle still has a star ceiling and a floor boosted by that excellent outfield defense that could get him to the Show as soon as next year if he earns the opportunity.

★ ★ ★

24. Ryan Vilade (200 points, 21 ballots) — Preseason Ranking: 8 — High Ballot 10, Mode Ballot 18, 30

How did he enter the organization?

2017 2nd Round, Stillwater HS (OK)

Why did he make the PuRPs list?

The 23-year-old righty outfielder (who began his time in affiliated ball at shortstop) has been lauded in the near past by scouts for his advanced hitting approach and likelihood to fit in offensively even in the major leagues. He’s on the 40-man roster and even made his big league debut last year. Unfortunately, though, Vilade’s 2022 performance has put that 40-man roster spot in danger.

Vilade got a repeat assignment to Triple-A Albuquerque this year after posting an 87 wRC+ there last season — this season, Vilade is about 3.6 years younger than league average. In the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, though, Vilade has been downright mediocre. He’s hitting .257/.350/.359 in 309 PA with just four homers among his 17 extra-base hits, equating to an 82 wRC+ thus far. On the plus side, Vilade has a nice 11% BB% and 14% K%, quite acceptable in the plate discipline arena. Still, there’s no doubt the Rockies were hoping for Vilade to tap a bit more into his raw power.

Meanwhile, the Rockies have needed outfielders multiple times this year but Vilade has yet to receive a call-up, instead getting passed over by non-40-man players like Sean Bouchard and Wynton Bernard. It’s not a good sign for one of Colorado’s 2021 representatives at the Futures Game. Vilade was placed on the IL for a month from late June to late July, but is back with Albuquerque for the stretch run.

FanGraphs has some video of Vilade hitting from multiple angles in Fall 2021:

What do the scouts say?

In the scouting report accompanying the above video, Vilade was ranked 3rd in the system with a 45 FV grade in January by Fangraphs:

A series of swing changes have led to Vilade’s current “toe twist” stride, a very simple cut that leans into his great natural bat control and strength-derived pop. He can make contact with pitches all over the zone but typically does his damage slugging pitches on the inner half, especially wayward lefty fastballs in there. ... There have been in-office analyst types who have argued for his inclusion on the universal top 100 list simply because their degree of confidence in Vilade’s competence is so high, though because of his mediocre in-game power output, he doesn’t have the ceiling typically associated with a top 100 prospect, especially a left fielder. ... He’s a heavy-footed, 40-grade athlete who isn’t likely to be a good defender anywhere, but might be a replacement-level defender in left field and at first base, where he first started getting reps in 2021. While not projecting as a true everyday player, Vilade is a likely to be a valuable role player in a corner outfield and first base timeshare.

Importantly though, FanGraphs has re-evaluated Vilade in light of his current struggles all the way down to 45th on their list as a 35+ FV player. ranks Vilade 23rd in the org as a 45 FV player:

Throughout his professional career, Vilade has always shown an innate knack for contact. He rarely strikes out, with a career 17.6 percent K rate to show for it entering the 2022 season, and he’s not afraid to work counts or draw walks. He’s long been hit over power, not changing his approach too much by adding launch angle that would diminish his hit tool. He’s added a lot of strength as he’s matured, so there’s still confidence the power, which hasn’t shown up consistently, will come, especially if he can start making contact out front more regularly.

Initially an infielder, Vilade made the move to the outfield in 2020 and played there almost exclusively a year ago, with a little first base mixed in. He’s likely a left fielder when all is said and done, with the chance for the power to come in his age 23 season to fit the offensive profile there well.

Kiley McDaniel of ranked Vilade 4th on the farm as a 45 FV player pre-season:

Vilade has slowly moved down the defensive spectrum in pro ball to where he’s a left field/first base fit, but luckily he’s always been able to hit and he has above-average raw power. His in-game power is just okay, which puts him into a profile squeeze where he’s not offering much speed, defense, or over-the-fence power and he’s right-handed, which is why he’s seen more as a good role player.

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

There hasn’t been much good news for Vilade his season, but it’s important to note he is six months younger than fellow PuRP Michael Toglia, for instance, and he already has two campaigns in Triple-A under his belt plus a MLB cameo. Vilade’s offensive potential and production earned him a 40-man roster spot last year, but his slide down the defensive spectrum and continued lack of game power threatens his big league role.

On the current 40-man roster, I count 10 who have spent significant time as outfielders, including six on the current roster and another two on the 10-day IL. It’s a crowded position and pressure from below from impending 40-man decisions this off-season on outfielders like Brent Doyle, Daniel Montano, and Juan Guerrero. Basically, Vilade seems thoroughly blocked from a regular role at the big league level if his profile stays where it is now.

For Vilade to change this fate, that latent batting practice power will need to show up in games without sacrificing the hitting prowess that moved him briefly to MLB last year. Even then, Vilade will need to be prepared to seize an opportunity for playing time if one does arise while improving his Triple-A stat line. I’m less convinced this will happen than I was in the pre-season, and scouts seem to agree. I still believe in the bat enough to place Vilade 30th on my list as a 40 FV player.

★ ★ ★

23. Dyan Jorge (213 points, 23 ballots) — Preseason Ranking: 26 — High Ballot 13, Mode Ballot 19, 29

How did he enter the organization?

2022 International Free Agent, Cuba

Why did he make the PuRPs list?

The 19-year-old shortstop received a Rockies Latin American amateur record $2.8 million bonus in early 2022 after about a two year wait to ensure the Rockies had the bonus pool money to allocate it to the Cuban teenager. For reference, that signing bonus is more than late first round picks in the US draft get, indicating a prospect has athleticism and potential to be a big league contributor.

Based on the below scouting accounts, the 6’3”, 170-pound Jorge is an athletic player with high upside and good bat speed but who might be moving off shortstop as he continues to grow. The delay in signing Jorge will likely work out well for the Rockies, who are less likely to need to add him to the 40-man roster prematurely given his advanced age at signing.

Jorge has spent his first professional season in the Dominican Summer League, where he is about 1.2 years older than average. In 208 PA there, Jorge has predictably performed well, hitting .308/.394/.434 with four homers and 14 overall extra-base hits (128 wRC+). That includes striking out in 15% of PA and walking in 11%. He’s handled shortstop defensively this year but has committed 14 errors in 47 games there so far.

Here’s some video of Jorge taken from a Dominican Republic showcase courtesy of Francys Romero:

What do the scouts say?

FanGraphs was the high group on Jorge, currently ranking him 11th in the system and rating him as a 40+ FV player:

[Jorge] plays the game upright, without a lot of bend in his knees and hips, but Jorge is a premium rotational athlete with plus present bat speed and a Division-I cornerback’s build that portends more power. He is one of a few high-variance shortstop prospects from the 2022 international class. While the general lack of flexibility creates skepticism around Jorge’s ability to stay at shortstop, he has the speed to play center field if he has to move off the dirt. He’s a very talented up-the-middle prospect.

Kiley McDaniel of likewise ranked Jorge as a 40+ FV player, placing him 14th in the system pre-season:

Jorge waited an extra signing period for budgets to reset to land a $2.8 million bonus from the Rockies. He has a little more physical upside than Tovar and Amador, at 6-foot-2 with plus speed and above-average bat speed but he’s the same age as Amador with no pro performance, so he slides in just behind for now.

In Nick Groke’s piece at the Athletic on Colorado’s international signing class in January, Jorge was lauded by the Rockies:

What [the Rockies] saw in Jorge was advanced baseball feel with speed and quick hands. They clocked Jorge, even as a right-handed hitter, as running home plate to first base in 4.1 seconds, which would have accounted for one of the fastest sprint speeds in the majors last season.

“He has a wiry, athletic body and good actions at short,” [Rolando] Fernandez said. “And he’s a good hitter, a line-drive hitter who we think can develop some power.”

Jorge was ranked 15th on’s international prospect list before signing and currently slots in at 16 in the system list as a 45 FV player:

Many think Jorge should be able to stick at shortstop long-term, with good actions and instincts and where his baseball IQ allows his skills to shine. His excellent speed should help him on both sides of the ball, even if he has to change positions.

What kind of hitter Jorge will become remains to be seen. His feel for the game is apparent from the right side of the plate and he has a contact oriented approach geared for line drives. He’s wiry strong and should be able to add strength to his 6-foot-3 frame, giving him the chance to be a solid big league regular in time.

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

As a high bonus, up-the-middle player with great upside, Jorge was a clear player to rank for me at 13th in the system as a 40+ FV prospect, making me the high man on him in the electorate. The way I see it, he’s being valued like a late first round pick with that signing bonus so he should probably ranked like it too.

As I stated above, the wait for Jorge to sign means he’ll be able to prove his bona fides to the Rockies much sooner than other January 2022 Latin America signees, and more in line with the timeline of an American high school draftee — which at this point is probably three-five full minor league seasons.

★ ★ ★

22. Victor Juarez (248 points, 20 ballots) — Preseason Ranking: NR — High Ballot 11, Mode Ballot 21

How did he enter the organization?

2019 International Free Agent, Mexico

Why did he make the PuRPs list?

The 19-year-old right-handed starter didn’t have too much fanfare entering this year despite a $500k signing bonus in 2019 out of Mexico, but he’s turned some heads as one of the youngest pitchers in Low-A this season. Indeed, the 6’0” pitcher didn’t make his professional debut until 2021 in the DSL, where he had strong numbers and even earned a cameo appearance in the Arizona Complex League to finish the season.

This year, the Rockies showed their faith in Juarez by assigning him to Low-A Fresno, where he is about 2.8 years younger than league average and was the youngest player on the team. Despite the age gap, Juarez has pitched like he belongs all season. He’s thrown 88 13 innings across 18 starts for Fresno with a 4.89 ERA, 8.9 K/9 rate, and 2.8 BB/9 rate while getting strong reviews from scouts and the Rockies front office on his polish.

In Jack Etkin’s piece in Rockies Magazine on Juarez (worth reading in its entirety), pitching coordinator Doug Linton was effusive in his praise for the pitcher, comparing him to a young Zack Greinke with his prenatural feel for pitching.

Big Country’s Wheelhouse has a colorful look at some of Juarez’s work in 2022 below:

What do the scouts say?

FanGraphs didn’t have Juarez on their list when the season started, but added him in April after a strong start to the season and moved him up to the 40+ FV tier in June. He’s currently ranked 10th in the system:

The typical trajectory for a teenage pitcher like Juarez would be to spend his first pro season in the DSL, then come stateside for Extended Spring Training and play on the Complex during his second. Juarez, who looked great during minor league spring training, skipped right over the Rockies Arizona Complex level and was sent to Low-A Fresno at age 18. He can really pitch, and has had a velo spike early on this year. After sitting 91 last year, he’s been 92-95 with advanced command of an upper-70s curveball, and a mid-80s changeup. Multiple scouts who have seen Juarez (including one who saw him as an amateur) are big believers in his command and his feel to pitch, and think he at least projects toward the back of a rotation.

Juarez isn’t on any other national lists right now, but I suspect that will change come this off-season given the impression he’s made this year.

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

Will Juarez’s polish and advanced arsenal/command allow him to overcome low-end raw stuff and velocity? How will he fare against hitters in the upper minors? Those are relevant questions when thinking about how to value a player with Juarez’s skillset, but we should also enjoy what he is now: a precocious pitching talent holding his own as a teenager in A-ball.

Juarez is probably still a couple years away, but the path to the big leagues and a spot in the starting rotation once he gets there are easier to envision for me than a player with better stuff but worse command. I ranked Juarez as a 40 FV player, 22nd on my list, because I’m still a sucker for ceiling, but he’s certainly growing on me as a prospect to watch.

★ ★ ★

21. Sam Weatherly (249 points, 24 ballots) — Preseason Ranking: 14 — High Ballot 8, Mode Ballot 20

How did he enter the organization?

2020 3rd Round, Clemson University

Why did he make the PuRPs list?

The 23-year-old has excellent stuff that he is only beginning to harness, which means there’s quite a bit of uncertainty for the 6’3” lefty pitcher. Furthermore, Weatherly has been limited to just 11 23 innings this year due to a strained left shoulder — this after his 2021 season was ended prematurely by shoulder inflammation. In that 2021 season though, Weatherly had an excellent 12.5 K/9 rate and an improved 4.2 BB/9 rate out of the starting rotation.

This season, Weatherly ramped up to pitching in mid-June, but only made one ACL appearance and a short start in High-A Spokane before hitting the IL again (but started a rehab assignment with the ACL on Aug. 5). Though he’s mostly faced much younger competition and it’s a small sample size, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Weatherly has struck out 23 batters with only two walks in just 11 23 IP with a 3.86 ERA. The strikeout stuff is still there, but we just wish we had more of it to enjoy.

Here’s a look at Weatherly from February of 2020 courtesy of 2080 Baseball:

What do the scouts say?

Fangraphs ranks Weatherly 13th in the system with a 40+ FV grade:

[Weatherly] he was Colorado’s best pitching prospect at 2020 instructs, where he was consistently sitting 95-97 mph, up to 98, and worked with a comfortably plus slider. Because Weatherly was in the bullpen as an underclassman, he had barely ever thrown a third pitch, and he only threw about a dozen changeups in all of 2020 at Clemson. In 2021, during an ultra-conservative assignment to Low-A, he started working with four pitches — fastball, slider, curveball, changeup — and was dominant for about two months even though he didn’t maintain the velo boost from the previous fall and was only sitting 93-94. He was shut down with shoulder inflammation in early August and didn’t pitch the rest of the year. Weatherly’s new curveball has sizable potential. It was spinning faster than his slider at a whopping 2850 rpm, but he only threw it about 7% of the time before the shoulder problem surfaced, less often than his changeup. Purely on his stuff’s potential, Weatherly arguably fits among the 45 FV tier, but he’s a little behind the developmental curve from a repertoire depth perspective and his shoulder issue adds to already-present relief risk. The Rockies should keep developing him as a starter, if only to increase the reps Weatherly gets with his new toy, but he’s much more likely to become an impact reliever.

Keith Law of the Athletic ranked Weatherly 7th in the system in February:

Weatherly missed some time with scap soreness last year, but when he pitched, he showed a wipeout slider and big spin on a plus fastball, striking out 32.4 percent of batters in Low-A – which was probably too low for him as a 22-year-old product of a major college in Clemson. His delivery does not lend itself well to repetition and he has a hard time syncing it up from pitch to pitch, which might be the thing that keeps him from starting, but for pure starter upside he has the most of anyone in this system. currently ranks Weatherly 26th in the system as a 40 FV player:

Weatherly stands out for his pure stuff and his athleticism, to the point where the Rockies think he’s one of the best overall athletes in the entire system. The left-hander’s fastball touched 97 mph at instructs, but the high-spin heater sits more comfortably in the low 90s. His slider is his go-to pitch, a plus wipeout that gets both left- and right-handed hitters to swing and miss on a regular basis. He didn’t need his changeup much in college, especially when coming out of the bullpen, but it’s something he’s continued to work on to improve.

The left-hander has had trouble commanding the baseball at times, often because of timing issues with his delivery, which can be remedied. He’s smart to a fault on the mound, sometimes thinking too much rather than just trusting his stuff. The Rockies think he has all the ingredients to be a Robbie Ray-like starter, but also know that he could get big league hitters out in the bullpen right now, with a Josh Hader-type career.

Kiley McDaniel of ranked Weatherly 15th in the system as a 40+ FV prospect last week:

Weatherly started a bit in college and has a solid four pitch mix, but has always looked more like a power lefty reliever. His 92-95 mph heater and slider are plus and anything around 40-to-45 command should make him a big leaguer if he can keep that raw stuff.

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

Unfortunately there hasn’t been more Sam Weatherly this year to evaluate; he’s a fun pitcher to watch and he really needs the starter reps with his developing repertoire, including some potential plus offerings. He’s an interesting contrast with Juarez — the polished teenager vs. the volatile, high octane 23-year-old.

If Weatherly can stick in the rotation, he’s a potential impact starting pitcher with a late inning reliever fallback who could be in the big leagues within two years, which obviously is a valuable profile. However, as injuries mount on the shoulder, that ceiling seems less likely and farther away. I ranked Weatherly 18th on my list as a 40+ FV prospect because I’m a believer in the stuff but a skeptic he’ll be able to stay both healthy and effective.

★ ★ ★

Next, we’ll crack the top 20 of the mid-season 2022 PuRPs list!