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Colorado Rockies prospect rankings, mid-season 2022: numbers 10 to 6

We’ve cracked the top 10!

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We’re now in the top ten of the mid-season 2022 Purple Row Prospects (PuRPs) list. Previously we had PuRPs 30-26, 25-21, 20-16, and 15-11. 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.

10. Jaden Hill (547 points, 28 ballots) — Preseason Ranking: 12 — High Ballot 6, Mode Ballot 8, 9, 11, 12, 14

How did he enter the organization?

2021 2nd Round, Louisiana State University

Why did he make the PuRPs list?

Rockies fans have been eagerly awaiting the debut of the 22-year-old right-hander since Colorado took the 6’4” pitcher in the second round of the 2021 draft. After all, Hill was thought of as a top-five talent entering his draft year but was limited in stuff and results (6.67 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 7.6 K/9 rate) by an elbow injury that led to Tommy John surgery.

That lofty draft projection was despite the fact Hill had only thrown 21 2⁄3 innings collegiately at LSU in his first two years combined due to elbow issues his freshman year as well as the shortened COVID season. The Rockies were willing to bet on the arm talent and selected Hill 44th overall in the second round and signed him to a slot bonus of $1.69M.

About that arm talent: despite the injury history and a lack of game reps over the last few years — both contributing to the risk he’s a reliever — Hill is a true top of rotation ceiling pitching prospect. When healthy, the righty possesses an upper 90s fastball graded in the 60-65 range, a plus changeup graded in the 60-70 range, a potentially above average slider, and decent control. If, after returning from surgery, Hill can maintain that stuff deep into games with a starter’s workload, that’s a clear difference-maker in the rotation with an impact late-inning reliever role as a fallback.

So far, it’s been good news for Hill’s return from injury, Last week Hill was filthy in his debut in Low-A Fresno (after seven short appearances in the Arizona Complex League), striking out seven in a scoreless three inning start as he continues to build up his capacity. Eli Walsh of Baseball Prospectus was in attendance and had this to say in his write-up yesterday:

At 6-foot-4 and 234 pounds, Hill is athletic and physical on the mound, and easily sits in the mid-90s with armside run on his fastball, topping out around 98. He showed little hesitation to throw his comfortably plus changeup to righties and lefties alike, and used it to generate more than a few ugly swings. Hill ostensibly throws a slider and curveball as well, but the slider is more of a cutter and the curve doesn’t have great shape. Hill also struggled to finish both of them, often leaving them armside up above the zone.

His biggest demerit—as it was in college—is his below-average control. He generally kept his fastball out of the middle of the zone and threw his changeup for strikes, but more advanced hitters will be able to lay off the cambio when it finishes off the plate. If he can even get to fringe-average control and command and tune up at least one of the breaking balls into a useful glove-side pitch, he’ll become the Rockies’ best pitching prospect in pretty short order. And if not, he at least has a pretty clear pathway to becoming a power reliever.

Here’s some video of Hill in his debut last week:

What do the scouts say?

Keith Law of the Athletic ranked Hill 27th in the pre-draft process, one spot ahead of Rockies first rounder Benny Montgomery, and ranked Hill 11th in the system in February:

Hill had a chance to pitch his way into the 1-1 discussion and certainly become a top-five pick when his elbow blew out, ending a college career that had both incredible highs and a lot of injuries. He’s a big, physical kid who has touched 99 mph with a plus changeup, although he’s one datum in the argument that size does not, in fact, matter, at least for pitcher health. If he comes back 100 percent, he’ll be their best pitching prospect at this time next year.

Hill was ranked 36th overall by among 2021 draft prospects and ranks 10th in Colorado’s system as a 50 Future Value player:

Between the injury and the overall lack of innings, it’s hard to know exactly what kind of pitcher Hill might be. When he’s healthy, he’s shown off high-octane stuff, with a fastball that touched the upper 90s in relief work and the ability to sit comfortably in the mid-90s, touching 99, in a starting role. He’s always had an outstanding changeup, a mid-80s plus offspeed pitch that features a lot of tumble. Before he got hurt, he was making strides in tightening up his mid-80s slider, though he struggled executing it in 2021.

A very good athlete who could have been a college quarterback, Hill has a strong and athletic 6-foot-4 frame. He’s shown the ability to throw strikes in the past, but his command within the zone and proving he can maintain his stuff with a full workload will determine if he can start long-term. The Rockies were very pleased with how his rehab had gone, giving Hill high marks for his makeup and work ethic. They’re hopeful they might have a Walker Buehler-type of Tommy John recovery case on their hands.

That evaluation includes a 65 grade on the fastball, a 60 on the change, and a 55 on the slider with a 50 control grade.

Fangraphs ranked Hill 39th prior to the draft and currently slot him 14th in the system with a 40+ FV grade:

[Hill] showed occasional feel to pitch as a Tiger freshman and looked to be turning the corner in the weekend rotation when he went down with a strained UCL. He didn’t pitch in the fall but was ready to go for his sophomore spring and was up to 97 in the preseason before being up to 99 during the early part of the shortened 2020 campaign. After generating mixed results early in 2021, Hill blew out and needed Tommy John. In addition to his changeup, Hill has two breaking balls (LSU called them a slider and a cutter, but they have more curve/modern slider sensibilities), the best of which is a slider/cutter in the 88-90 mph range. Knowing he’d spend most of his first pro season rehabbing from surgery, the Rockies used their second round pick on him. He looks like a late-inning power bullpen arm to us, but has starter advocates.

Hill was a 40 FV player for’s Kiley McDaniel in March:

Hill isn’t the prettiest analytically, but shows the broad abilities scouts are looking for. He’s a big righty that’s often in the upper-90’s (without bat-missing shape or much deception at the moment), an above average slider, and a plus-plus changeup, though the execution with those weapons wasn’t always there. He blew out and needed Tommy John surgery in his draft spring, helping him slide from the mid-first round to the second round. There’s lots to work with here, but Hill is also 22 without a very long track record of sustained multi-inning success.

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

The error bars are wide when forecasting Hill’s future impact. If he can maintain the type of stuff he showed last week over longer outings and is able to remain a starter, he’s probably Colorado’s best pitching prospect (firmly in the system’s top five players). The word “if” is doing a lot of heavy lifting in that sentence, though. Hill is a risky pitcher not only for injury but also for role because it’s not a lock that he stays as a starter either. If he’s a starter, it’s a 3-4 year ramp to the big leagues; as a reliever, it’s probably 2-3 years for Hill. I always have trouble ranking these types of prospects, but in the end I am more intrigued than I am worried. I slotted Hill 8th on my personal list with a 45 FV grade.

★ ★ ★

9. Warming Bernabel (569 points, 27 ballots) — Preseason Ranking: 18 — High Ballot 5, Mode Ballot 6, 7

How did he enter the organization?

2018 International Free Agent, Dominican Republic

Why did he make the PuRPs list?

Bernabel was listed as Baseball America’s 33rd best prospect of the 2018 July 2 period, ultimately signing for $900k. Since then, the 20-year-old third baseman has only risen in the estimation of scouts with a decent debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2019 and a positively inflammatory turn in the Arizona Complex League in 2021 (.432/.454/.743, 188 wRC+) that got him a Low-A cameo ahead of schedule and really raised expectations entering 2022.

This season, Bernabel’s last before becoming Rule 5 draft eligible, he was assigned to Low-A Fresno, where he was 1.1 years younger than average. In 300 plate appearances, Bernabel hit .317/.390/.504 (130 wRC+) with ten homers among his 29 extra-base hits and 21 steals in 27 attempts as one of the younger players in the league. In early July, the Rockies decided to test Bernabel with a promotion to High-A Spokane, where he is 2.5 years younger than average. The youngster has taken well to High-A as well, hitting .305/.315/.486 (118 wRC+) in 109 PA with four homers and seven doubles so far.

The only real issue I see is that Bernabel has only walked two times so far in Spokane (1.8% BB), but his strikeout rate has remained in the mid teens. Defensively, he has played 89 games at the hot corner and has committed 20 errors, so he’s got some polishing to do there as well. Despite the warts, it’s a strong 40-man roster platform year for Bernabel, who has succeeded at every level despite his youth.

Here’s some recent video of Bernabel hitting, probably from 2021 Fall Instructs courtesy of FanGraphs:

What do the scouts say?

FanGraphs must have loved their looks at Bernabel from the above video, because he’s currently ranked 6th in the system with a 45 Future Value tag:

Bernabel’s swing is rhythmic, balanced, athletic, and has natural loft without compromising contact. He has fringe raw power right now but should grow into something close to average raw at physical maturity, and the way that power could be weaponized in games via Bernabel’s feel for making consistent airborne contact gives him an everyday player’s ceiling. He tracks pitches exceptionally well and hunts them with malice early in counts, probably too often. His out-of-zone swing rates in 2021 were similar to the most aggressive big league hitters at the major league level, up in Adalberto Mondesi territory at about 40%. That’s a pretty terrifying number, and indicates Bernabel’s approach may be exploited by more advanced pitchers who know he’ll chase. It’s also possible Bernabel will make a natural adjustment as he advances. Maybe he feels free to offer at everything right now because he knows he can square it up anyway. His feel to hit is pretty freaky, his swing is visually beautiful and he made an abnormal amount of sweet-spot contact during Eric’s in-person looks. There isn’t a lot of precedent for corner guys who swing this often succeeding, though Ty France would seem to be a recent example. He probably has more raw power than Bernabel projects to have, but they both seem to have that uncanny feel for sweet-spot contact that bolsters the whole profile.

Keith Law of the Athletic was similarly enamored, ranking Bernabel 8th in his February system look:

Bernabel destroyed the ACL for 22 games, hitting .432/.454/.743 there as a 19-year-old, before moving up to Low-A Fresno, where he still made contact but didn’t see any results with a .205/.287/.313 line (which is why sometimes rolling up a hitter’s entire season across several levels can be misleading). He’s fairly strong already with a simple swing from the right side that should produce at least doubles power, without a ton of projection left to his frame. He’s a third baseman now but is a work in progress with very good hands but lacking the rhythm of the position as a former shortstop. He might end up at first base, but the real key will be how much power he adds as he gets older.

In March,’s Kiley McDaniel ranked Bernabel 10th in the system as a 40+ FV prospect:

Bernabel has a similar skillset [to fellow PuRP Elehuris Montero], with bat control and iffy pitch selection with a corner fit of some sort. Bernabel has a feel for lifting the ball in game, but closer to average raw power.

Finally, ranks Bernabel 8th in their system list as a 50 FV player (highlighted by a 55 hit grade):

Bernabel simply loves to hit. The right-handed hitter has the chance to hit for average and power. He’s extremely aggressive but has a knack for making hard contact thanks to outstanding hand-eye coordination. He will have to learn to be more selective as he faces better pitching, and not to wear every at-bat on his sleeve, but there’s faith that his bat will play.

A shortstop when he signed, the Rockies moved Bernabel over to third. He’s still learning his body, but his hands work well and he has more than enough arm for the hot corner, with more reps sure to help him calibrate his game clock.

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

Bernabel’s stock is hot, there’s no doubt, but he is approaching Rule 5 eligibility and is only now tasting High-A ball. If the Rockies add him to the 40-man roster, as I expect they will, Bernabel will probably still need two minor league seasons to reach the Show. As a result, though he might become an impact hitter at the MLB level, it might not be until he’s closer to exhausting his option years. Nonetheless, the clear offensive potential presented by Bernabel in conjunction with the rave reviews from scouts led me to be the high voter on him of the electorate, placing him 5th with a 45+ Future Value grade.

★ ★ ★

8. Joe Rock (572 points, 28 ballots) — Preseason Ranking: 16 — High Ballot 6, Mode Ballot 8, 11

How did he enter the organization?

2021 2nd Round, Ohio University

Why did he make the PuRPs list?

The 6’6”, 200-pound, 22-year-old lefty starter cuts an imposing figure on the mound. Rock was the 68th overall pick of the 2021 draft and signed for a slot bonus of $953,100. The earned that draft placement with a breakout 2020 summer performance in the All American Collegiate League, followed by a strong 2021 at Ohio University. After the draft, he had a decent cameo in the ACL (one earned run on five hits with 11 strikeouts), but that was only eight innings.

Rock, who has been one of the few PuRP pitching prospects with a clean bill of health this season, was assigned to High-A Spokane, where he is 2.2 years younger than league average. In 103 innings across 19 starts, Rock has a 4.11 ERA (4.36 xFIP) with a 1.18 WHIP, 9.1 K/9 rate, and 3.6 BB/9 rate. That includes a seven-inning, one-hit, nine-strikeout gem in early June which was followed by an outing where he struck out ten in just five innings. Rock is coming off arguably his worst start of the year, but before that was keeping his ERA solidly under four as a young player in the league.

Here’s some video of Rock from late 2021 courtesy of FanGraphs:

What do the scouts say?

In the profile accompanying the above video, FanGraphs ranks Rock 23rd in the system as a 40 FV prospect:

Rock has an ideal pitcher’s build and an incredibly loose and fluid delivery for a guy his size. Coming off a redshirt 2020 at Ohio (he didn’t pitch at all before the shutdown), Rock had a huge uptick in performance — 117 K, 88.2 IP, 27 BB — and became famous after an early-season no-hitter. His frame, small school/cold weather pedigree and the missed year of reps are all late-bloomer traits that indicate his already solid stuff could become better with pro development. Rock’s fastball touches 96 mph, sits 91-94, and has tailing action that’s aided by his natural deception. It takes hitters a few looks at Rock from the batter’s box to really seem comfortable in there, especially the lefties. Flashes of an above-average slider and changeup occurred during instructs, though Rock’s finishing pitch has been his slider to this point. It’s imperative for Rock’s changeup to develop as it will help keep righty hitters off his fastball, which they get a nice long look at due to his arm slot. He has a leg up in this regard because of his mechanical fluidity and tailing fastball shape, which mimics that of his change. Even with a fully developed changeup, Rock’s fastball may end up playing best in shorter bursts rather than two and three times through a lineup, but at this moment he has a shot to pitch toward the back of a rotation.

Rock was ranked #85 among 2021 draft prospects by and is currently 16th in the system ranking as a 45 FV prospect:

Already sitting in the low 90s consistently, there could be more velocity to come as Rock adds strength to his 6-foot-6 frame. He was up to 97 mph in his brief looks last summer and it plays up even more because he gets huge extension, so the ball gets on hitters in a hurry. His breaking ball is trending upwards as well, a pitch that’s somewhere between a power curve and a slider.

The Rockies knew coming in that Rock would have to work on his changeup since he didn’t need it much in college, but he has good feel for it and it could be a very effective third pitch once he trusts it. His lower slot provides funk and deception, making him very difficult to square up. He’s aggressive and loves going right after hitters, with the chance to do so in a big league rotation in the future.

Keith Law of the Athletic ranked Rock 12th in February:

Rock was 93-94 mph last spring for Ohio University, sporting an above-average changeup and fringy slider, with a funky delivery that adds deception but gives him timing issues, which can sometimes cause problems with breaking stuff.

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

Rock has an intriguing profile, boasting a projectable starter’s frame with a deceptive delivery. He’s shown improved velocity and feel for his change since signing, so Rock’s prospect arrow is up right now. That written, I’m behind where the electorate is on Rock as a pitching prospect, ranking him 15th on my ballot as a 40+ FV prospect with the pedigree and stuff weighed against the reliever risk. To move higher, Rock’s command and another secondary pitch will need to emerge to get high minors and MLB hitters out. This season has been encouraging, let’s hope Rock can do it in Double-A next year against more advanced hitters.

★ ★ ★

7. Gabriel Hughes (588 points, 27 ballots) — Preseason Ranking: NR — High Ballot 3, Mode Ballot 7, 9

How did he enter the organization?

2022 1st Round, Gonzaga University

Why did he make the PuRPs list?

The 6’4” 21-year-old (as of yesterday!) right-hander was Colorado’s first pick this year, going 10th overall and getting an under-slot $4 million bonus. Hughes was ranked more as a late-first rounder than a top 10 pick by national prospect watchers, but the Rockies obviously liked the starter’s frame, feel for pitching and the three pitch mix.

Hughes is coming off a junior campaign in which he threw 98 innings in 15 starts with a 3.21 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, a 3.4 BB/9 rate, and an awesome 12.7 K/9 rate. The former two-way player boasts a fastball that touches the upper 90s but sits in the low-mid 90s and a bulldog mentality that has been compared to Max Scherzer. Hughes has yet to make his professional debut, but it seems likely a return to Spokane, where he spent his college career, will be in order soon.

Here’s some pre-draft video on Hughes courtesy of Perfect Game:

What do the scouts say? ranked Hughes 26th in the draft class and slides him in fifth in the system as a 50 FV player:

Hughes has an exciting combination of size, repertoire and feel for pitching. The 6-foot-4 right-hander has electric stuff, starting with a fastball that’s regularly in the 94-97 mph range with ease, leading some scouts to wonder if he might touch triple digits someday. His slider can be a wipeout pitch, up to 89-90 mph, and he even shows very good feel for his changeup.

The big right-hander can fill up the strike zone with all three pitches, throwing them to both sides of the plate and commanding his breaking stuff well. He gets high grades for his makeup; he was a tremendous student-athlete who was on pace to graduate in three years, with the Rockies hoping he can graduate to the big leagues at least as quickly.

The evaluation is headlined by a 60 fastball grade with a 55 on the slider and 50s on the change and control

FanGraphs ranked Hughes 33rd overall among draft prospects and slotted him eighth in the system as a 45 FV player:

Hughes has been a notable 2022 prospect since his underclass days because of his big, prototypical starter’s frame and arm strength. He’ll sit 93-95 mph early in his outings, then tends to fall off into the low-90s late. He also has a two-plane slider that has transitioned from being a short, cuttery pitch into a more traditional sweeper. Some of the longer ones are plus, and Hughes has fairly good feel for locating it. He’ll also flash an above-average, mid-80s changeup, and Hughes had an especially good change in his final collegiate start at Regionals. While his delivery is maybe a little non-traditional looking, and Hughes entered the 2022 season with some perceived relief risk due to a walk-prone ‘21, he has the size and athleticism to eat innings, and he cut his walk rate by about a third this year. He enters pro ball with a promising three-pitch mix and is one of the younger college pitchers available.

Keith Law of the Athletic ranked Hughes 30th before the draft:

Hughes took a big step forward in command this year even as his stuff ticked up, all of which has put him into first-round consideration. He’s sitting 93-94 mph now, touching 97 mph, up almost 2 mph from last year, with a hard slider in the low to mid 80s that misses a lot of bats. He’s huge, 6-5 and 225 pounds already, with a workhorse frame but a longish arm action that he has a hard time repeating. He has a changeup that he barely uses, although it’s been effective when he has. There’s some reliever risk here from the delivery, and the fact that his command is still probably a soft 45, but there’s also big upside given the frame and the two pitches he already has.

Kiley McDaniel of ranked Hughes 30th as a 45 FV prospect, saying that “Hughes is a big righty with three above-average pitches and solid performance, though he was hit around in his last few starts.”

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

Hughes is a strong starting pitcher prospect with good upside and pedigree, even though he appears to fit ranking-wise more at the end of the first round than the top ten. It’s surprising the Rockies had him so far ahead in bonus money of fellow top-40 picks Sterlin Thompson and Jordan Beck, but that doesn’t in itself reflect much on Hughes’ prospect stock. I thought the three players were pretty close in prospect value and ranked all three as 45 FV players, with Hughes receiving top billing of the three as number ten on my list. Will the Rockies send him right back to Spokane to start 2023? With his pedigree and stuff, I think and hope they will.

★ ★ ★

6. Benny Montgomery (658 points, 27 ballots) — Preseason Ranking: 2 — High Ballot 3, Mode Ballot 6

How did he enter the organization?

2021 1st Round, Red Land HS (PA)

Why did he make the PuRPs list?

Montgomery’s status as the eighth-overall pick in the 2021 draft is a clear indication of his prospect level, as are scouting evaluations that show Montgomery with three plus tools (run, arm, field) with above-average power, which led the Rockies to give him a slightly under-slot $5 million bonus. The 6’4”, 200-pound Pennsylvania prep gave scouts pause at draft time with a big hitch in his swing that the Rockies are trying to clean up, but the power potential is there along with excellent athleticism that should keep Montgomery in center field. He had a brief ACL cameo in 2021, where he had a 116 wRC+ in 52 PA.

Montgomery was assigned to Low-A Fresno to begin 2022, where he is 2.1 years younger than average, after (as Thomas Harding of reports) an off-season that saw him work to overhaul his swing. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been a healthy campaign for Montgomery, who was sidelined for a few weeks in late April/mid-May with a quadriceps injury. Just two days after returning, Montgomery went back on the IL with an undisclosed injury that kept him out of action another month. After a week-long rehab stint in the ACL, Montgomery returned to Fresno in early July.

When he’s gotten into games, Montgomery has been good this year. In 185 Low-A plate appearances in 40 games, he is hitting .281/.362/.433 (109 wRC+) with four homers among his 15 extra-base hits and six steals in six attempts. The 30% K rate (vs. 7% BB) is worrisome of course, but it’s cool to see Montgomery absolutely mashing lefty pitching (1.141 OPS) in about 20% of his PA.

Here’s some video of Montgomery hitting in late 2021 courtesy of FanGraphs. There’s not a lot of loud contact:

What do the scouts say?

In the report accompanying the above video, FanGraphs ranks Montgomery 7th in the system as a 45 FV player:

Montgomery was a relatively divisive amateur prospect who became even more polarizing after his pro debut. The Pennsylvania high schooler was one of the toolsier high school players available, a big-framed center field prospect with rare athleticism and power projection, and fair batted ball showcase performance for a cold weather prospect. Detractors were scared of how cacophonous Montgomery’s swing was, and thought he’d need an overhaul to hit at all in pro ball. Model-driven teams rounded down on Montgomery because he was nearly 19 on draft day. Even though Montgomery’s swing was odd, he still put balls in play at a pretty good rate against his elite peers.


When compared to other pro athletes on the complex, Montgomery’s frame still stands out for its projection, but his swing also looks much more clearly out of place, and his lower half usage was less athletic than the summer before. His hands are incredibly noisy and active in a couple different directions while the ball is in flight. Montgomery makes his best contact when he’s bent over the plate and diving toward the zone’s bottom corner, driving liners into the opposite field gap, but he isn’t great at turning on the baseball. Several of the other hitters in the org are adept at exactly the opposite of this, and are proficient inner-half hitters. It’s possible this is exactly the right org for the future of Montgomery’s swing but there is a huge gap between where it is now and what is typical of a viable big league hitter. Of course, Montgomery still managed to hit .340 across a two-week Complex sample. We had Montgomery as a mid-first round prospect, pre-draft, but he looked more like a late-first/sandwich round project during his pro summer and instructs.

The evaluation is highlighted by a 70 speed and 60 arm grade, with future plus raw power and a 55 future fielding grades.

Montgomery was ranked 15th among 2021 draft prospects by and now is ranked 6th as a 50 FV player:

Montgomery can do a lot of things well, albeit in somewhat unorthodox fashion. Some amateur scouts didn’t love how many moving parts he had in his swing, with a rigidity that had some worry about how it would work against better pitching. Still, he’s shown impressive contact skills at the start of his pro career, keeping his bat in the zone for a long time. The Rockies feel he’ll be able to get more efficient mechanically, with added strength helping him find better body control, which should help close some holes and help him get to his considerable raw power.

An easily plus runner, Montgomery should be able to use his wheels on both sides of the ball. He has the chance to be a center fielder for a long time, with a plus arm. He likes to learn and brings a ton of energy and personality to the field, all of which should help him reach his ceiling as an impact up-the-middle player with an exciting power-speed combination.

That evaluation is headlined by a 70 speed grade but Montgomery also gets 60 grades on his arm and fielding ability as well as a 55 for power.

Keith Law of the Athletic had ranked Montgomery lower than the others at 28th in his pre-draft rankings but he ranked Montgomery 3rd in the system in February, just outside his top 100:

The Rockies took Montgomery with the No. 8 pick in the 2021 draft, following the same template they used — successfully, so far — with Zac Veen the year before: Take the most athletic, high-upside position player still on the board. He’s a plus runner with plus raw power, but pro scouts who saw him over the summer and in instructs were concerned about the unique swing, which has a large hitch in it, and how well it will hold up against better pitching in full-season ball. Can he hit, and hit enough to get to the power in games? He has defense and position in his favor, as he’s more likely to stay in center field than Veen is, but he has to prove he can make that swing work against better pitchers than what he saw as a high schooler in Pennsylvania. He does have 20/20 upside with good defense in center if he hits, which would put him on the top 100 next year.

Kiley McDaniel at ranked Montgomery 10th pre-draft and listed him 3rd in the system as a 45+ FV player in March:

Montgomery was on the national scouting stage for a long time as a prep center fielder, notable for his plus bat speed and foot speed - along with his funky hand movement at the plate. He got bigger and stronger in his draft spring, leaping up to the No. 8 overall pick. How well his swing plays against advanced pitching and how well he shows in-game pull power will be what to watch this spring.

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

Montgomery is a long way away (3-4 years is likely), but he possesses a star-level ceiling who will likely stick in center. The scouting reports about his hit tool have me concerned and the injuries this year haven’t helped getting him more professional reps, but taking risks on this type of player is exactly what I want the Rockies to do. I ranked Montgomery sixth on my list as a 45+ FV player, acknowledging both his star potential and the risk relating from the long path he has to MLB generally and his swing change needs specifically.

★ ★ ★

Tomorrow, it’s time to reveal the top five of the mid-season 2022 PuRPs list!