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2019 Organization Report: Colorado Rockies

by Rob Gordon

Organization Grades

Hitting: B ... Pitching: B- ... Top-end Talent: B- ... Depth: A- ... Overall: B



Minor League Affiliates

Triple-A: Albuquerque (Pacific Coast League)
Double-A: Hartford (Eastern League)
High-A: Lancaster (California League)
Low-A: Asheville (South Atlantic League)
Short-season: Boise (Northwest League)
Rookie: Grand Junction (Pioneer League)



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1. Brendan Rodgers (2B,3B,SS) ... 6-0, 180 ... R/R ... 22 ... 2015 (1) HS (FL)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2016Asheville (SAL)442.281/.342/.4807780.3619/6
2017Lancaster (Calif)222.387/.407/.6713840.1712/2
2017Hartford (East)150.260/.323/.4135760.226/0
2018Hartford (East)357.275/.342/.4938790.3917/12
2018Albuquerque (PCL)69.232/.264/.2901770.060/0
Comments: Top shelf prospect has exciting raw tools, but can't stay healthy. Solid campaign at AA was derailed by a hamstring injury that limited him to 19 G at AAA. Plus hit tool and power and split time between SS, 2B, 3B. Overly aggressive at the plate, but bat-to-ball skills are good and BA could tick up if he becomes more selective.

Development Path: With D.J. LeMahieu a free agent, there is a path to regular playing time. But Garrett Hampson and Ryan McMahon will also be in the mix. The cost-conscious Rockies will likely start Rodgers in the minors, but he could be ready for a larger role by mid-season.

Fantasy Impact: If he can stay healthy and regain some patience, Rodgers has the tools to be an impact middle infielder. The upside is substantial, as he could provide BA, power and speed at maturity.

Upside Grade: 9C


2. Colton Welker (3B) ... 6-0, 205 ... R/R ... 21 ... 2016 (4) HS (FL)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2016Grand Junction (Pio)210.329/.366/.4906870.465/6
2017Asheville (SAL)254.350/.401/.5007830.436/5
2018Lancaster (Calif)454.333/.383/.4898770.4113/5
Comments: Advanced hitting prospect continues to refine his game and showed an uptick in power. Some of the best barrel awareness in the system, and led the CAL with a .333 BA. Got more loft from his swing in and now profiles as an impact hitter. Plus defender at 3B with an above-average arm and soft hands.

Development Path: Welker will leave the friendly confines of the CAL and head to the more challenging environment of Double-A Hartford. The Rockies could move him to the OF if needed.

Fantasy Impact: Welker can hit, and profiles as a .280/20 HR player once he reaches the majors.

Upside Grade: 8B


3. Garrett Hampson (SS) ... 6-0, 165 ... R/R ... 24 ... 2016 (3) Long Beach State University
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2016Long Beach State (BigWe)245.306/.391/.40011840.742/23
2017Lancaster (Calif)533.326/.387/.46210860.738/51
2018Hartford (East)148.304/.391/.46612891.244/19
2018Albuquerque (PCL)296.314/.377/.4599800.526/17
2018Colorado (NL)40.275/.396/.40015700.580/2
Comments: Had a stellar campaign and contributed to the Rockies late-season playoff run. Advanced hit tool and plus speed. Patient approach at the plate, barrels the ball consistently, and draws plenty of walks to take advantage of speed. Has below-average power limits his HR appeal, but has defensive versatility.

Development Path: Hampson will likely battle Ryan McMahon for the starting 2B role. Hampson, who is the better defender, should have the inside edge though McMahon has much better power.

Fantasy Impact: Hampson's package of BA, OB%, and plus speed make him a fantasy sleeper heading into 2019. His ability to play both SS and 2B give him a leg up on McMahon and other in-house options.

Upside Grade: 8C



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4. Grant Lavigne (1B) ... 6-4, 220 ... L/R ... 19 ... 2018 (1) HS (NH)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2018Grand Junction (Pio)206.350/.477/.51918811.136/12
Comments: One of the top power bats in the draft. Uses massive frame, bat speed, and smooth LH stroke to rocket balls to pull side. Solid approach and strike zone awareness make him more than a masher and debut was impressive with more BB than Ks. Below-average defender and speed limit him to 1B, but has the lefty bat and raw power to make that profile work.

Development Path: Lavinge will head out to full-season ball at Low-A Asheville. He just needs to gain experience in pro ball and learn what pitches he can drive. The Rockies prefer a slow and steady approach so don't look for him in The Show until 2022.

Fantasy Impact: The 1B-only profile is a tough way to get to the majors, but Lavigne has the size and offensive tools to make it work. That profiles also offers more fantasy appeal and Lavigne should be on your NL-only radar.

Upside Grade: 9D


5. Ryan Rolison (LHP) ... 6-2, 195 ... 21 ... 2018 (1) University of Mississippi
YearTeam (LG)IPERAWHIPCtlDomCmdOppBA
2018Mississippi (SEC)97.13.701.3704.211.12.6.232
2018Grand Junction (Pio)29.01.860.7902.510.64.2.147
Comments: Polished collegiate lefty has a solid three-pitch mix and was excellent in his pro debut. FB sits at 90-93 with average to above-average location. Low-80s power CB is his best offering with true swing-and-miss action. CU is a work in progress, but shows potential. Offers simple, repeatable mechanics with some deception and pounds the strike zone.

Development Path: Rolison will join Grant Lavigne at Low-A Asheville in 2019, but the polished lefty could be at High-A by mid-season if he continues to dominate. His plus power CB should allow him to move up quickly.

Fantasy Impact: Despite the lack of an over-powering FB, Rolison has the stuff and pitchabilty to rack up plenty of Ks and profiles as a solid mid-rotation lefty. He will, however, pitch half of his games in Coors where CB pitchers have struggled in the past.

Upside Grade: 8C


6. Riley Pint (RHP) ... 6-4, 195 ... 21 ... 2016 (1) HS (KS)
YearTeam (LG)IPERAWHIPCtlDomCmdOppBA
2016Grand Junction (Pio)37.05.351.7805.68.81.6.279
2017Asheville (SAL)93.05.421.6705.77.61.3.256
2018Boise (Nwst)8.01.131.63010.19.00.9.143
2018Asheville (SAL)0.181.0012.00054.00.00.0
Comments: 4th overall pick in 2016 was limited with forearm tightness and an oblique injury. Still has elite velocity with a high-90s FB that has plus downhill action. SL, CB, and CU all show potential but lack consistency. Biggest downfall to date have been health and abysmal control. At 21, time is still on his side, but must show something in 2019.

Development Path: Pint will likely start the year back at Low-A Asheville and needs to put in a full season of work and learn to repeat his mechanics. Harnessing his plus stuff is job #1, but at this point that is no sure thing. If he struggles again, he could be moved into a relief role.

Fantasy Impact: Pint still has the raw stuff to be a legit #1 starter, but fantasy owners need him to prove he can stay healthy and find the strike zone. A SP with a career 6.5 BB rate in Coors Field could be toxic.

Upside Grade: 9E


7. Peter Lambert (RHP) ... 6-2, 185 ... 21 ... 2015 (2) HS (CA)
YearTeam (LG)IPERAWHIPCtlDomCmdOppBA
2015Grand Junction (Pio)31.13.451.2803.27.52.3.236
2016Asheville (SAL)126.03.931.2502.47.73.2.249
2017Lancaster (Calif)142.14.171.2401.98.34.4.256
2018Hartford (East)92.22.230.9901.27.36.1.223
2018Albuquerque (PCL)55.15.041.5702.45.02.1.303
Comments: Has a polished 4-pitch mix that is geared towards inducing weak contact. FB sits at 92-94, topping out at 96 with good late sink and run. Low-80s CB has good depth and late break. Plus CU is best offering with good late fade. Cmd is among the best in the system and fixed issue with long-ball. Doesn't blow you away, but knows how to pitch.

Development Path: The Rockies have a young and talented starting rotation, so Lambert will open the year back at Triple-A Albuquerque, but he's an injury away from Colorado, as he is the club's most MLB-ready SP prospect.

Fantasy Impact: Lambert lacks the upside of a Riley Pint and his career Dom is just 7.5, but he did post a 50% GB rate and bodes well for success in Coors Field. Stuff and pitchability similar to a young Rick Porcello.

Upside Grade: 8C


8. Tyler Nevin (1B,3B) ... 6-4, 200 ... R/R ... 21 ... 2015 (1) HS (CA)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2015Grand Junction (Pio)189.265/.368/.38613780.692/3
2016Boise (Nwst)11.000/1.000/2.000010000/0
2017Boise (Nwst)30.233/.233/.4330700.001/0
2017Asheville (SAL)298.305/.364/.4568810.487/10
2018Lancaster (Calif)378.328/.386/.5038800.4413/4
Comments: Heady, mature player understands the game with an advanced approach at the plate. Hit tool will carry him far with good barrel awareness and a willingness to shoot lines drives to all fields. Present power is only tick above average despite his large frame, but could add more as he fills out. Solid defender but fringe-average speed and arm.

Development Path: Nevin had a fantastic season at High-A Lancaster and will head out to Double-A ball in 2019. This will be a good test and a strong showing could boost his stock significantly.

Fantasy Impact: If Nevin can become more selective at the plate he has the raw power to be an impact hitter, but is not likely to stick at 3B over the long-run.

Upside Grade: 8D


9. Ryan Vilade (SS) ... 6-2, 190 ... R/R ... 20 ... 2017 (2) HS (TX)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2017Grand Junction (Pio)117.308/.438/.49619740.875/5
2018Asheville (SAL)457.274/.353/.36810790.515/17
Comments: Heady, athletic player has a solid understanding of the strike zone and barrels line drives to all fields. Uses slight toe-tap as a timing mechanism and can get out front, sapping power. Slight upper cut swing generates good attack angle. Does have good bat speed and should develop at least average power. Lack of quickness makes move off SS likely.

Development Path: Vilade will move to the hitter-friendly CAL in 2019 and a spike in power could have him at Double-A by late summer. The Rockies are stacked on the infield and Vilade's lack of first step quickness will likely result in a move to 2B or the OF, but probably not in 2019.

Fantasy Impact: If Vilade can stay on the dirt and fully tap into his above-average raw power he'll have plenty of fantasy value, but for now there is still work to do.

Upside Grade: 8D


10. Ryan Castellani (RHP) ... 6-4, 195 ... 23 ... 2014 (2) HS (AZ)
YearTeam (LG)IPERAWHIPCtlDomCmdOppBA
2014Tri-City (Nwst)37.03.651.1902.26.12.8.240
2015Asheville (SAL)113.14.451.4402.37.53.3.283
2016Modesto (Calif)167.23.811.2302.77.62.8.237
2017Hartford (East)157.14.811.3302.77.62.8.257
2018Hartford (East)134.15.491.5304.76.11.3.251
Comments: Big, hard-throwing RHP struggled mightily with control, but has some of the best raw stuff in the system. FB sits at 92-95, topping out at 97 with good arm-side run and sink, but command was off all year. Rough mechanics add deception, but proved difficult to repeat. SL and CU flash plus, but remain inconsistent.

Development Path: Castellani worked in the AFL where control continued to be an issue (4.81 ERA with 9BB/20K in 18.1 IP). He will likely head to Triple-A Albuquerque to start 2019 and needs to smooth out his mechanics and find the zone more often.

Fantasy Impact: Despite having above-average velocity and a good sinker, Castellani is a risky but intriguing fantasy option.

Upside Grade: 8D


11. Sam Hilliard (OF) ... 6-5, 225 ... L/L ... 25 ... 2015 (15) Crowder College
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2015Wichita State (MVC)218.335/.395/.4919790.488/9
2015Grand Junction (Pio)222.306/.397/.53214750.657/12
2016Asheville (SAL)461.267/.348/.44911670.3717/30
2017Lancaster (Calif)536.300/.360/.4879710.3221/37
2018Hartford (East)435.262/.327/.3899650.279/23
Comments: Impressive raw tools, but failed to repeat breakout of 2017. Uses large frame to generate leverage and plus raw power, but lingering contact issues resulted in a HR drop. Plus speed is most game ready tool and should continue to play as he moves up. Range, arm strength, and size are ideal for RF, but needs to shorten stroke and make more contact.

Development Path: Hilliard showed enough at Double-A to warrant a bump to Triple-A Albuquerque in 2019. The Rockies have been slow to break in their top prospects, but they might need his potential LH bat in their lineup at some point.

Fantasy Impact: If Hilliard can figure out how to make more consistent contact, he has the raw tools to be a 20/20 guy. Just don't look for him to hit .300 - even in Coors Field.

Upside Grade: 8D


12. Reid Humphreys (RHP) ... 6-1, 201 ... 24 ... 2016 (7) Mississippi State University
YearTeam (LG)IPERAWHIPCtlDomCmdOppBA
2016Mississippi State (SEC)22.25.561.5402.812.34.4.292
2016Grand Junction (Pio)10.13.481.5504.47.81.8.262
2017Asheville (SAL)45.22.560.8301.29.37.8.189
2018Lancaster (Calif)34.11.831.0203.413.43.9.176
2018Hartford (East)5.23.181.76011.111.11.0.150
Comments: Converted to relief and had a breakout season, notching 26 saves in 28 attempts. Attacks hitters with a plus 95-99 mph 4-seam FB that gets on hitters quickly and allows him to dominate. Mixes in a plus CT, SL, and fringe CU. Control comes and goes, but gave up just 1 HR in 40 IP and has the stuff to close in the majors.

Development Path: Humphreys will head back to Double-A Hartford in 2019. A quick start could have him in Colorado by mid-season. The Rockies pen--one of the worst in baseball (4.62 ERA)--has plenty of potential openings for a power arm like this.

Fantasy Impact: Humphreys has the FB/CT/SL mix to close games at the major league level. His career .194 BAA and 10.7 Dom make him fantasy relevant.

Upside Grade: 8C


13. Terrin Vavra (2B,SS) ... 6-0, 180 ... L/R ... 21 ... 2018 (3) University of Minnesota
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2018Minnesota (Big10)223.386/.455/.61412901.3610/8
2018Boise (Nwst)169.302/.396/.46713760.654/9
Comments: Polished collegiate player has an advanced understanding of the strike zone and makes consistent, hard contact. Line drive approach limits present power, but does have raw strength and barrel awareness, so should hit 15-20 HR down the road. Smart defender with plus instincts, but limited range arm strength and will likely move off SS.

Development Path: Vavra will head to Low-A Asheville to make his full-season debut in 2019. He's a smart player who gets the most of his tools, but needs to move up quickly, so a mid-season jump to High-A seems likely.

Fantasy Impact: He doesn't have the loudest tools in the system and needs to hit for average and get on base to have any fantasy value. He did that in his pro debut and has the drive to exceed expectations.

Upside Grade: 7C


14. Ben Bowden (LHP) ... 6-4, 220 ... 24 ... 2016 (2) Vanderbilt University
YearTeam (LG)IPERAWHIPCtlDomCmdOppBA
2016Vanderbilt (SEC)48.23.511.2702.612.04.6.247
2016Asheville (SAL)23.23.041.6105.711.01.9.245
2017Did not pitch - injury (--)0.00.000.0000.00.00
2018Asheville (SAL)15.13.521.4302.914.75.1.270
2018Lancaster (Calif)36.24.171.3603.713.03.5.241
Comments: Lefty reliever missed all of 2017 with a bulging disk in his back and survived an extended stint in the CAL in 2018. FB velocity was in the 90-93 range most of 2018. CU and SL make him tough vs LHB (1.93 ERA at A+) and 13.5 Dom should play as he moves up. Injuries and struggles vs RHB will keep him in a relief role.

Development Path: Bowden posted a 4.17 ERA in the CAL with 13.1 DOM rate and will move up to Double-A Hartford where he will team up with fellow relievers Reid Humphreys, and Robert Tyler.

Fantasy Impact: Bowden lacks the plus raw stuff of Humphreys and Tyler, but dominates vs. LHH. That likely makes him a lefty specialist and limits his fantasy value, at least over the short-term.

Upside Grade: 7C


15. Robert Tyler (RHP) ... 6-3, 196 ... 23 ... 2016 (1) University of Georgia
YearTeam (LG)IPERAWHIPCtlDomCmdOppBA
2016Georgia (SEC)74.24.101.3305.510.71.9.191
2016Boise (Nwst)7.06.432.57020.66.40.3.087
2017Did not play - injury (--)0.00.000.0000.00.00
2018Asheville (SAL)38.13.991.1501.612.27.6.243
2018Lancaster (Calif)9.19.642.3604.84.81.0.378
Comments: Hard-thrower has had a hard time staying healthy, prompting a move to relief. Double plus FB sits at 95-97, topping out at 100 mph with good late life and sink. Backs up the heater with a plus CU and usable SL. Dominated against younger competition in Low-A, but was hit hard when he moved up to High-A.

Development Path: Tyler is likely to return to High-A, but could be in Colorado by early 2020.

Fantasy Impact: If he can stay on the field, Tyler has the stuff to dominate (career 10.2 Dom). Improving his control (career 4.6 BB/9) and command will be key to his development.

Upside Grade: 7D


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