Organization Reports


2020 Organization Report: Colorado Rockies

by Alec Dopp

Organization Grades

Hitting: C ... Pitching: D- ... Top-end Talent: D+ ... Depth: D+ ... Overall: D

Minor League Affiliates

Triple-A: Albuquerque (Triple A West)
Double-A: Hartford (Double A Northeast)
High-A: Spokane (A+ West)
Low-A: Fresno (A West)
Rookie: ACL Rockies (Arizona Complex League)
Rookie: DSL Rockies (Dominican Summer League)

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1. Brendan Rodgers (2B,SS) ... 6-0, 180 ... R/R ... 23 ... 2015 (1) HS (FL)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2019Albuquerque (PCL)143.350/.412/.6229810.529/0
2020Colorado (NL)21.095/.095/.1430710.000/0
2021Albuquerque (AAA_West)15.467/.500/.6006800.330/0
2021Colorado (NL)387.284/.328/.4705780.2315/0
2022Colorado Rockies (NL)527.266/.325/.4088810.4613/0
Comments: Former top-five draft pick struggled in debut and required season-ending shoulder surgery mid year. Blends solid skill-set including above-average power via plus bat speed and hard line-drive contact to all fields. Free-swinger who will need to get into better counts for power to flourish. Not a plus runner, but good instincts and arm for 2B/SS.

Development Path: The timeline for Rodgers returning to full-strength post-injury remains somewhat unclear, but barring any unforeseen setbacks, he should be in line to have value and regular PT in Colorado around mid-year.

Fantasy Impact: We see Rodgers’ ceiling as an above-average everyday regular with 2B/SS eligibility. His power should fall anywhere from 20-25 HR, perhaps a bit more with the Coors Field effect. Lacking speed for SB value, the biggest question mark in the profile is if he will make enough contact for a solid BA.

Upside Grade: 8A

2. Ryan Rolison (LHP) ... 6-2, 195 ... 22 ... 2018 (1) University of Mississippi
2019Asheville (SAL)14.20.610.6801.
2021ACL Rockies (Rk_ACL)
2021Spokane (A1_West)5.03.601.2003.
2021Hartford (AA_NE)
2021Albuquerque (AAA_West)45.25.911.4893.
Comments: Athletic, well-proportioned LH with chance for three plus pitches and plus command. Arsenal is headlined by plus hammer CB with late bite and depth vs. LH/RH. Presently an average FB at 91-93 mph but chance to add more with strength; CU requires more reps but flashes good fading action. Fills up zone and delivery is more on-line to plate as a pro.

Development Path: Rolison posted very good peripherals in a notoriously hitter-friendly CAL league in 2019, and should be in line to tackle the upper minors this spring. His changeup requires further refinement but one could argue that his FB/CB combo could play out of the bullpen right now.

Fantasy Impact: Conservatively, Rolison has the look of a mid-to-back-end starter with two above-average offerings and quality ratios. He may not have the highest Dom ceiling, but a tick up in velocity could nudge the profile in the right direction.

Upside Grade: 8C

3. Colton Welker (1B,3B) ... 6-0, 205 ... R/R ... 22 ... 2016 (4) HS (FL)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2021ACL Rockies (Rk_ACL)5.200/.333/.40017801.000/0
2021Spokane (A1_West)31.194/.257/.5166680.203/0
2021Albuquerque (AAA_West)84.286/.378/.47613760.603/0
2021Colorado (NL)37.189/.250/.2168700.270/0
2022Albuquerque Isotopes (PCL2)37.324/.422/.51414810.862/0
Comments: Strong corner INF with some feel to hit and limited physical projection. Has good bat speed and started tapping into fly-ball contact more in 2019 for plus raw power ability. Shows ability to cover all quadrants of zone via plus barrel control. Thick frame not conducive to SB value. Has arm strength for 3B but has received reps at 1B in AFL.

Development Path: Welker projects to start 2020 in the PCL, where his burgeoning power could result in a massive HR breakout, which may drive his value in dynasty formats through the roof. Developmentally, his biggest question mark is whether he can remain at 3B long-term.

Fantasy Impact: There isn’t an elite tool in this profile, but Welker’s combination of strength and barrel control should allow for high-volume doubles and 25 HR upside at maturity along with a solid-average (if not quality) BA.

Upside Grade: 7B

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4. Sam Hilliard (OF) ... 6-5, 225 ... L/L ... 26 ... 2015 (15) Crowder College
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2020Colorado (NL)105.210/.272/.4388600.216/3
2021Albuquerque (AAA_West)188.239/.324/.54811680.3814/6
2021Colorado (NL)214.215/.294/.46310590.2614/5
2022Albuquerque Isotopes (PCL2)133.308/.405/.66914710.5413/4
2022Colorado Rockies (NL)174.184/.280/.26412670.402/5
Comments: Tooled-up OF whose closest physical comp is an NFL tight-end. Plus raw power is the carrying tool in profile, owning plus bat speed from a smooth LH stroke that plays to all fields. Good athlete for his size and runs well. Discerning eye at plate; works counts. Strong arm and range for either CF or RF. Contact skills could remain fringe-average.

Development Path: Hilliard’s exceptional debut in September almost guarantees him a spot on the opening day roster in 2019. From a developmental standpoint, he will need to work on shoring up his contact skills, especially up in the zone, as his swing is geared toward lower-half pitches.

Fantasy Impact: Hilliard projects to have underrated value in 15-team mixed or 10/12-team NL only formats next season. His upside is a 20/20 hitter with above-average OBP long-term as an everyday player either in CF or RF.

Upside Grade: 8D

5. Ryan Vilade (3B,SS) ... 6-2, 190 ... R/R ... 21 ... 2017 (2) HS (TX)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2019Lancaster (Calif)509.303/.367/.46610810.5912/24
2021Albuquerque (AAA_West)468.284/.339/.4108800.417/12
2021Colorado (NL)6.000/.143/.00014831.000/0
2022ACL Rockies (ACL)10.300/.364/.7009700.331/1
2022Albuquerque Isotopes (PCL2)369.249/.345/.35212810.755/10
Comments: Versatile INF glove with strong arm and average mix of offensive skills. Owns good raw power and started tapping into fly-ball angles in 2019; projects as high-volume doubles bat. Patient hitter with solid overall bat to ball ability. SB value could be sneaky, as he is not a plus runner but picks his spots well and gets on base at a high clip.

Development Path: After showing some power and speed in the CAL last summer, Vilade will tackle the upper minors in 2020. His biggest developmental hurdle — and if it’s addressed, his profile could take off — is getting his power into games more consistently.

Fantasy Impact: Vilade is the type of bat that projects to have positional eligibility value across the infield with solid-average BA returns, fringe-average power value and some speed. This isn’t a high ceiling bat given the lack of a plus tool, but one that could be of value in deeper formats.

Upside Grade: 7A

6. Grant Lavigne (1B) ... 6-4, 220 ... L/R ... 20 ... 2018 (1) HS (NH)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2019Asheville (SAL)440.236/.347/.32713710.537/8
2021Fresno (A2_West)260.281/.388/.44213720.537/7
2021Spokane (A1_West)111.225/.362/.34217650.562/2
2022Spokane Indians (Nwst2)241.315/.406/.46913720.535/2
2022Hartford Yard Goats (East2)208.245/.347/.37013680.485/0
Comments: Bat-first 1B prospect with plus raw power and advanced strike zone awareness. Has struggled lifting ball consistently as a pro but long levers, strong base and bat speed project him to tap into it with more reps. Contact skills regressed in full-season ball but overall bat to ball skills remain solid. Limited athleticism; relegated to 1B long-term.

Development Path: Lavigne’s timeline to the majors will hinge mostly on his ability to make consistent contact. In that vein, he could return to the SAL to start 2020 since his K-rate jumped noticeably last summer, but he should be about 2-3 years away from contributing.

Fantasy Impact: Lavigne projects to be a middle-of-the-order type bat who can contribute modestly in HR and RBI long-term. Because the hit tool requires some projection, he should be valued a tick higher in OBP formats than traditional ones, but this is solid-everyday regular upside.

Upside Grade: 8D

7. Ben Bowden (LHP) ... 6-4, 220 ... 25 ... 2016 (2) Vanderbilt University
2021Albuquerque (AAA_West)
2021Colorado (NL)35.26.561.8795.310.62.0.291
2022Sacramento River Cats (PCL2)
2022Durham Bulls (IL2)22.02.451.5005.
2022Albuquerque Isotopes (PCL2)
Comments: Strong, physical RP with late-inning potential. Posted elite SwK in upper minors in 2019 by way of plus fading CU with ideal separation off FB, which tops out at 97 mph with sinking action. Lacks feel for SL at present, but may not need it in short stints. Hard to square up, though command is fringy and batted ball profile is fly-ball oriented.

Development Path: Bowden will look to refine his overall command and feel for his breaking ball before challenging for a spot in Colorado’s bullpen, though he will almost assuredly make his debut at some point next season.

Fantasy Impact: Bowden projects to have legit Dom upside as a hard-throwing reliever long-term. If he makes significant strides with his command, he will have solid closer upside, but a more conservative projection is a setup arm who can rack up K’s.

Upside Grade: 8C

8. Terrin Vavra (2B,SS) ... 6-0, 180 ... L/R ... 22 ... 2018 (3) University of Minnesota
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2021FCL Orioles Orange (Rk_FCL)6.667/.667/.667010000/1
2021FCL Orioles Black (Rk_FCL)2.000/.500/.0005010000/0
2022Aberdeen IronBirds (SAL2)16.188/.333/.37520811.330/1
2022Norfolk Tides (IL2)173.324/.435/.45114790.782/5
2022Baltimore Orioles (AL)89.258/.340/.33712790.631/0
Comments: Lean, slender 2B/SS who led SAL in OBP and Eye in 2019. Excels at pitch ID, while patience often allows him to get into favorable counts. Approach is geared toward all fields and peppering gaps with line drives. Has loose, level swing with which he produces plus contact. Good athlete with room for some muscle, he’s likely a 2B down the road.

Development Path: Vavra still projects to be a couple years away from contributing. In that time, the Rockies will look to see if he has the arm strength to stick at SS or if a permanent move to 2B is necessary. He will also need to add more strength to turn doubles into more than doubles.

Fantasy Impact: When you think of Vavra, think of Marco Scutaro’s skillset: Plus contact skills, a discerning eye and positional eligibility in the infield. Vavra projects to hit for more power than Scutaro, though, potentially 20 HR pop if he adds more strength.

Upside Grade: 7B

9. Michael Toglia (1B) ... 6-4, 205 ... B/L ... 21 ... 2019 (1) UCLA
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2021Spokane (A1_West)282.234/.333/.46513680.4617/7
2021Hartford (AA_NE)143.217/.331/.40614640.455/3
2022Hartford Yard Goats (East2)363.234/.329/.46612650.4023/7
2022Albuquerque Isotopes (PCL2)66.333/.413/.75812670.417/0
2022Colorado Rockies (NL)111.216/.275/.3788600.202/1
Comments: Tall, long-levered 1B with big-time raw power and a chance to move quickly. Strong, chiseled lower half allows him to generate bat speed and loft into swing from both sides; looks a bit more polished as LHH. Contact skills remain somewhat raw, but shows plate discipline needed for OBP value. Moves well for his size and could man corner OF or 1B.

Development Path: Physically developed despite his young age, Toglia’s main developmental hurdle to clear will be developing his contact skills from both sides of the plate. If that happens, he could be in a position to contribute at some point in 2021.

Fantasy Impact: Toglia’s loudest tool is his plus raw power, which is an intriguing one for a switch-hitter. There will be pressure for the bat to produce on the corners, but he could develop into 25+ HR upside with above-average OBP returns and be an asset in 15-team mixed formats down the road.

Upside Grade: 8E

10. Ryan Castellani (RHP) ... 6-4, 195 ... 24 ... 2014 (2) HS (AZ)
2020Colorado (NL)43.15.821.4545.
2021Albuquerque (AAA_West)
2021Colorado (NL)3.15.402.70010.
2022Las Vegas Aviators (PCL2)29.111.972.72712.
2022Oakland Athletics (AL)
Comments: Four-pitch RHP who has mid-rotation upside but lacks ideal command. Low 3/4 slot and fast arm action produce 91-94 mph FB with tailing action. CU separates well off heater with fade and dive and could be above-average pitch; some feel for spin on SL and CB. Relatively low margin for error with fringe control and lack of putaway offering.

Development Path: Castellani will require a bit more time in the PCL after chalking up a near 9.00 ERA across and missing the latter half of 2019 after undergoing minor surgery on his throwing elbow. He should be in line for at least a September callup if things break right.

Fantasy Impact: Castellani has an ideal starter’s frame capable of racking up innings as a solid but not spectacular #4/5 SP. His Dom ticked up a bit in the PCL, which is encouraging, but he has struggled with control in the upper minors and that could ultimately cap his future value.

Upside Grade: 7C

11. Yonathan Daza (OF) ... 6-2, 190 ... R/R ... 26 ... 2011 FA (VZ)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2021ACL Rockies (Rk_ACL)11.273/.467/.72727641.000/0
2021Albuquerque (AAA_West)26.308/.308/.3080850.000/1
2021Colorado (NL)301.282/.332/.3557800.352/2
2022Albuquerque Isotopes (PCL2)12.333/.385/.3338670.250/0
2022Colorado Rockies (NL)372.301/.349/.3847840.452/0
Comments: Athletic, high-contact spray hitter with below-average power and versatile defensive value. Quick hands to the ball, level stroke produce line drives required for high-volume doubles. Makes plus contact and displays good plate coverage. Near-elite speed will translate to SB. Cannon arm and good defensive range will get him PT.

Development Path: The Rockies project to be deep in the outfield this spring, and Daza may start 2020 in a fourth-OF type role. His development as a prospect is all but complete having spent nine years in Colorado’s farm system.

Fantasy Impact: Daza’s most attractive fantasy asset is his BA upside. He makes plus contact and doesn’t look to do too much at the plate. His plus speed will also compliment his ability to hit for a high average, as he could have 10-15 SB value next season with a sprinkling of HR.

Upside Grade: 7C

12. Helcris Olivares (LHP) ... 6-2, 192 ... 19 ... 2017 FA (DR)
2018DSL Rockies (DSL)35.22.781.3205.
2018DSL Colorado (DSL)19.01.420.7901.911.46.0.162
2019Grand Junction (Pio)46.24.821.5204.611.82.6.251
2021Spokane (A1_West)
2022ACL Rockies (ACL)
Comments: Young, projectable LH who lacks polish but has back-end rotation upside. Sans much effort, will touch 97 mph and sit 92-95 with plus FB and blend in flashes of solid CB and CU. Chance to add even more velo with strength to lower half. Struggles to repeat delivery and will require reps to refine his sequencing. Will be tested in full-season ball.

Development Path: Olivarez is still at least 3-4 years away from contributing. In that time, his developmental checklist includes adding velocity to his fastball and finding the strike-zone on a more consistent basis.

Fantasy Impact: Olivarez possesses a natural ability to miss bats, and projects to have three major-league average offerings and a good fastball from a starter’s frame. There’s risk in the profile given how much work is yet to be done with his command, but there is some upside here as a starter.

Upside Grade: 8E

13. Julio Carreras (3B,SS) ... 6-1, 166 ... R/R ... 20 ... 2018 FA (DR)
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2019Grand Junction (Pio)262.294/.369/.4669760.405/14
2021Fresno (A2_West)362.254/.306/.3926720.247/15
2022Spokane Indians (Nwst2)402.289/.352/.4737740.2911/17
2022Hartford Yard Goats (East2)60.233/.303/.3508650.240/2
Comments: Wiry athlete with some quick-twitch attributes, but remains raw. Will have more ‘real life’ value than fantasy value, as he is a plus defender at SS/3B with a strong arm. Currently a solid runner who should sustain speed even as he fills out his lean frame. Will need to work through kinks in swing, but shows bat speed and ability to make contact.

Development Path: Carreras was quite productive in his rookie-league debut last summer. He projects to start 2020 in the SAL, looking to smooth out his swing (namely, the way his lower and upper body are connected through the motion) and add muscle to tap into his present gap power.

Fantasy Impact: Carreras projects to have multi-position eligibility on the infield and will offer impact SB value in fantasy formats. We like his chances to have at least 12-15 HR upside as an everyday regular with a solid BA, and a good approach should drive his value up a tick in OBP formats.

Upside Grade: 8E

14. Aaron Schunk (3B) ... 6-2, 193 ... R/R ... 22 ... 2019 (2) University of Georgia
YearTeam (LG)ABBA/OBP/Slgbb%ct% EyeHR/SB
2019Georgia (NCAA)230.339/.373/.6046870.4815/3
2019Boise (Nwst)173.306/.370/.5037860.566/4
2021Spokane (A1_West)358.223/.286/.3467690.238/13
2022Hartford Yard Goats (East2)450.258/.316/.4277740.3114/6
Comments: Two-way collegiate prospect taken in 2nd round and spent all of pro debut at 3B. Provides defensive value at hot corner with plus arm; range should improve with full-time reps. Owns above-average raw power that should play consistently with solid contact skills. Still has some physical projection remaining to add strength. Below-average speed.

Development Path: One of the better hitters in the SEC in 2019, Schunk has a chance to move quickly with his well-rounded bat. He should be at least two years away from contributing in the majors, but we could see him reach High-A by the end of 2020.

Fantasy Impact: Schunk’s overall upside is limited without a plus tool, but he projects to be an average everyday 3B with solid-average BA value and around 15-20 HR annually.

Upside Grade: 7C

15. Riley Pint (RHP) ... 6-4, 195 ... 22 ... 2016 (1) HS (KS)
2018Boise (Nwst)
2019Asheville (SAL)17.28.662.43015.811.70.7.185
2021Spokane (A1_West)10.23.371.5948.414.31.7.179
2022Hartford Yard Goats (East2)42.24.641.4066.
2022Albuquerque Isotopes (PCL2)
Comments: Hard-throwing former top-five overall pick who transitioned to the bullpen in 2019. Big, strong frame produces elite FB that will touch 100 mph and buckles knees with plus hammer CB when he’s on. Feel for SL spin and CU will flash above-average. Walked 31 in 17.2 IP and control is cumbersome issue at this point, but pure stuff is electric.

Development Path: It’s hard to envision Pint pitching in the upper minors anytime soon with such control issues, so expect him to stick in the SAL to start 2020 and move his way up to High-A by season’s end. He’s still too young to rule out being an SP, but he has a big developmental curve ahead of him.

Fantasy Impact: Pint’s ceiling is a front-line starter with four above-average pitches and ideal size, but that projection appears unlikely to come to fruition. Whatever role he settles into, expect him to have Dom value, but this is an extremely volatile arm that comes with Ctl risk.

Upside Grade: 9E

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