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The Coors Effect


June 11, 2010 12:48 AM

How does the draft affect the prospect list?

The reviews of the Rockies' 2010 draft have mostly been positive, from what I've seen.  The Rockies appeared to make a concerted effort to get power bats in the system, and it looks like it worked.  And they did it without neglecting the constant need to bring pitching in.  (My general thought is that hitters are a lot more predictable than pitchers.  With hitters, if the talent is there, they're more than likely going to develop; with pitchers, though, there are always injuries that throw things out of whack, and some guys, for whatever reason, just don't develop.  It happens with hitters, too, but it sure seems like a lot more pitchers do really well in A-ball and then hit a wall in AA.)

Now, I don't really feel comfortable doing a new prospect list until the end of the season, once we know who's signed and who hasn't, and we have some real numbers from the minor leagues to back up our initial thoughts on a draftee.  It's often silly to jump to conclusions based on half a season's worth of data, but sometimes you can tell early on that the talent is or isn't there for the guy to be a real, live prospect.

Initially, the top two picks -- Kyle Parker and Peter Tago -- should be in the top ten, if not the top five, assuming both sign.  I'd slot both of them behind Friedrich and Matzek at this point, to be sure (Chacin has graduated to the majors, so he won't be on the next prospect list.)  After that, it's really up in the air.  Rex Brothers was next on the list, but the Rockies are continuing on the path of slotting him as a reliever, which reduces his value -- in addition, he hasn't been all that great at Modesto.  So it's not a stretch for Parker and Tago to be among the top five Rockies prospects.  Chad Bettis should be in the top ten as well, but probably not quite so high; like Brothers, his potential value is limited because I suspect the Rockies will slot him as a reliever.

After that, things get fuzzy, and this would be where I really want to let the guys sort themselves out in the minors.  Josh Rutledge looks like top twenty to me; scouts say he has the defense to play short, but there are questions about his bat.  Answering some of those questions could push him into the top ten.  The next five picks -- Russell Wilson, Josh Slaats, Jared Simon, Kraig Sitton, and Corey Dickerson -- could go either way depending on whether or not they impress at Tri-City.  Wilson is actually the biggest question mark; he has a ton of talent, but it's hard to get a read on him because he didn't play a whole lot at NC State.  Tenth-round pick Brett Tanos is another guy who has potential to be in the top thirty.

Beyond that, many of the guys drafted either look like organizational guys or they're not all that likely to sign.  From previous draft experience, there will probably be one or two other high school players who will sign, but it's hard to pinpoint exactly who those guys will be.  Will Swanner (15th round) is definitely top thirty potential if he signs, but that's an iffy prospect.  My gut instinct is that the postseason top thirty will have around five or six players from this year's draft.

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