The Coors Effect

February 27, 2010 10:41 PM

Preseason Top 50 prospects, Part 1

With real, live, exhibition baseball games only four days away, it's time to unveil the Coors Effect's preseason list of the top 50 prospects in the organization.  Fifty players is pretty damn deep, to be honest: that's roughly a quarter of the players in the Rockies' farm system.  Baseball America only bothers to rank 30 players; but then again, BA covers all thirty Major League teams.  We're interested in just one.

Players are listed with their current position.  In many cases, that's subject to change, but we're trying to simplify things here.  Also listed is the player's age as of April 5, 2010 (Opening Day, for the major leaguers anyhow.)

50.  Rafael Ortega, OF (age 18): Ortega hit .324 and swiped 39 bases in the DSL last year.  He also showed good strike zone judgment for such a young player.  He could wind up being a lot better than this, but I want to see what he does stateside first.  Projected 2010 team: Casper.

49.  Rob Scahill, RHP (age 23): Scahill, an 8th-round draft pick out of Bradley, had a solid debut with Tri-City, showing good command, but without big strikeout numbers for an advanced pitcher.  Projected 2010 team: Asheville.

48.  Ethan Hollingsworth, RHP (age 22): Split 2009 between Asheville and Modesto and pitched pretty well at each stop.  Like Scahill, he's more of a finesse pitcher than a power guy, and that limits his potential somewhat.  Projected 2010 team: Modesto.

47.  Alving Mejias, RHP (age 18): Mejias dominated the DSL as a 17-year-old and is poised to do more.  As with Ortega, though, I'm not inclined to rank him much higher until I see what he can do in the States.  Projected 2010 team: Casper.

46.  Andy Graham, RHP (age 25): Worked as a swingman in Tulsa.  Could be a starter or reliever, and he has an invite to spring training.  It's a bad sign that his K rate has dropped each of the past two years as he's moved up.  Projected 2010 team: Colorado Springs.

45.  Tyler Massey, OF (age 20): Struggled at Asheville, but he's still young, and the tools are still there.  Projected 2010 team: Asheville.

44.  Scott Beerer, OF (age 27): Absolutely owned the Cal League in the second half of last season; the age is a bit misleading since last year was his first time as a position player.  Doesn't really have a position at this point.  Projected 2010 team: Tulsa.

43.  Keith Weiser, LHP (age 25): Almost the definition of a "finesse lefty."  Weiser struggled at Tulsa last year, though his K rate was actually up from 2008.  Projected 2010 team: Tulsa.

42.  Bruce Billings, RHP (age 24): The numbers say he's a prospect; the scouting reports, not so much.  Billings is at least on the radar screen after striking out 11.1 per 9 innings.  The transition to AA will tell us a lot.  Projected 2010 team: Tulsa.

41.  Will Harris, RHP (age 25): Missed almost all of 2009 because of injuries, but remains a promising relief arm.  Projected 2010 team: Tulsa.

40.  Jared Clark, 1B (age 23): Destroyed the Pioneer League after being drafted in the 12th round... but, to be fair, 23-year-olds should be destroying the Pioneer League.  Will be interesting to see how he progresses.  Projected 2010 team: Asheville.

39.  Mike Zuanich, 1B (age 23): Another first baseman who destroyed the low minors.  The Rockies have an interesting crop of first base prospects coming up through the pipeline, though none are close to the majors.  Zuanich might shift to the outfield to get at bats.  Projected 2010 team: Modesto.

38.  Andrew Johnston, RHP (age 25): Johnston is a sinkerball specialist and is at least somewhat interesting as a potential relief arm.  Projected 2010 team: Colorado Springs.

37.  Joey Williamson, RHP (age 24): Worked sporadically as a starter after being a reliever for most of his minor league career.  Gets strikeouts and limits walks, but doesn't have great stuff.  AA will tell us a lot about him.  Projected 2010 team: Tulsa.

36.  Ben Paulsen, 1B (age 22): Was highly-regarded enough to go in the third round of the draft, but right now, he doesn't have the power you want from a first baseman.  That could come with time, but right now I'm not all that high on him.  Projected 2010 team: Asheville.

35.  Craig Baker, RHP (age 25): Big strikeout numbers in relief in the low minors.  Baker closed for Modesto last year and did well.  Again, the transition to AA will tell a lot.  Projected 2010 team: Tulsa.

34.  Scott Robinson, OF (age 21): Robinson has tools, but his plate discipline needs work, though he still managed to hit .309 last year.  His power is such that he'll only work out if he can play center field.  Projected 2010 team: Modesto.

33.  Kent Matthes, OF (age 23): Led Division I in homers as a collegian, and showed that in his pro debut... but he also showed a propensity to strike out.  A lot.  Matthes is an interesting prospect, but for an advanced college player, his skills aren't that well developed.  Projected 2010 team: Asheville.

32.  Charlie Ruiz, RHP (age 21): Worked as Tri-City's closer in his pro debut, and had a 13.1 K/9.  Those numbers will get you noticed, though Ruiz does have unsettling flyball tendencies that could hurt him going forward.  Projected 2010 team: Asheville.

31.  Matt Miller, OF (age 27): Miller, a career .311 hitter in the minors, has the bat to at least be a fourth outfielder in the majors.  It's his defense that's keeping him in AAA.  However, he could get a shot this year if someone gets hurt.  Projected 2010 team: Colorado Springs.

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