Colorado Rockies: Top 10 Prospects
1. Christian Friedrich / SP / Many have jumped off the Friedrich bandwagon, but, despite some warning signs, my respect and expectations for him have not slipped. He went through an elbow injury and command issues during his ugly 2010 season, but his exciting repertoire is still accounted for. Expect a dramatic bounce-back year.
2. Tyler Matzek / SP / Much like Friedrich, Matzek has a great repertoire to work with, including a lively fastball, a potential out pitch with his curveball, and a promising changeup. His high walk rate in 2010 is being attributed to how often he used his work-in-progress changeup—in an attempt to develop that elusive, dangerous third pitch—as opposed to his curveball.
3. Wilin Rosario / C / Rosario was on his way to a breakout season before he tore his ACL mid-season. He is expected to make a full recovery, but it is a concern for a catcher. He is adequate defensively, passable but nothing special. It’s the offensive aspect of his game that could set him apart, as the home run potential we were waiting for finally surfaced in 2010.
4. Nolan Arenado / 3B / Arenado did just about everything in 2010 you could expect out of a teenager, but he doesn’t look like anything special at this point, just a solid professional hitter. He could prove me wrong if some of his gap power translates into more home runs.
5. Chad Bettis / SP/RP / Bettis’ varied repertoire fits the mold of a starter more than reliever, and it appears that Colorado will give him every chance to prove he can start. The initial results have been positive.
6. Peter Tago / SP / Tago is a wiry high school right hander with a lively fastball and velocity upside. His secondary offerings are raw to the bone, but he has the work ethic to become special.
7. Juan Nicasio / SP / Colorado has moved Nicasio slowly through their system, one level at a time, and the 2010 numbers were great even though he was old for the California League. He looks the part of a potential mid-rotation starter with his solid stuff but lack of an out pitch.
8. Kyle Parker / OF / Parker is not an overly exciting first-round pick. He is a college outfielder with some holes in his swing who possesses some sneaky speed and has a chance to hit for a bit of power.
9. Rex Brothers / RP / Brothers has been cemented into a future in the bullpen, where his command will dictate his success level, because he has the raw stuff to become a closer.
10. Albert Campos / SP / Campos is a lively-armed teenager who has a promising three-pitch mix, complete with a developing fastball, average changeup, and a potential out pitch with his curveball.
Colorado Rockies: Top 10 Players Under Age 26 (as of 4/1/11)
1. Carlos Gonzalez / OF
2. Jhoulys Chacin / SP/RP
3. Dexter Fowler / OF
4. Christian Friedrich / SP
5. Tyler Matzek / SP
6. Ian Stewart / 3B
7. Wilin Rosario / C
8. Nolan Arenado / 3B
9. Chad Bettis / SP/RP
10. Peter Tago / SP
San Diego Padres: Top 10 Prospects
1. Casey Kelly / SP / Kelly had a down year in attempting to adjust to Double-A. His changeup is effective at times, but his curveball was unreliable and needs work. I still like him, though, as he has good movement and command on his fastball, is young, and there is room for improvement.
2. Simon Castro / SP / Castro brings a promising fastball/slider combination to the table and continues to step up his game wherever he goes. The Pacific Coast League is the only other obstacle standing between him and the majors.
3. Donavan Tate / OF / It’s amazing how many people are completely writing off Tate after an ugly debut. He is 20 years old with perhaps the best raw five-tool set of any prospect in baseball. I am in his corner but am also expecting results in 2011.
4. Jaff Decker / OF / Decker had an up and down 2010 California League campaign, yet I consider him to be one of the safest prospects in baseball. He still has some holes in his swing, but he also possesses the patience and power you look for in a corner outfielder.
5. Reymond Fuentes / OF / Fuentes sported a nice Sally League batting average in 2010, and perhaps predictably, but importantly, Fuentes put his elite speed on display, too. He did all that could be expected of him at this point.
6. Anthony Rizzo / 1B / Rizzo put up impressive power numbers in 2010, but his batting average and strikeout total are concerning. His power could carry him, but I’m still skeptical that it will continue at the current rate.
7. Edinson Rincon / 3B/OF / Rincon held his own in the Midwest League. The only aspect of his game that was disappointing was his walk rate. The most impressive aspect was his power, which is coming along nicely. He could be in store for a huge breakout next year.
8. Drew Cumberland / SS/2B / Despite continued injury concerns, Cumberland continues to succeed. Nothing about his game stands out; in fact, I would consider him average across the board for a shortstop, which San Diego would be satisfied with.
9. Cory Luebke / SP / Luebke posted a second consecutive impressive season. He has sharp command of his low-90s fastball, but has average (at best) secondary offerings. He fits the mold of a back-of-the-rotation type right now, but if something clicks with his slider, a bigger future could be in store.
10. John Barbato / SP/RP / I could have made a case for James Darnell or Adys Portillo here, but Barbato is an exciting high school arm from the 2010 draft class who possesses solid velocity and movement on his fastball to go along with the makings of a strong repertoire. I want to give him a chance to impress.
San Diego Padres: Top 10 Players Under Age 26 (as of 4/1/11)
1. Mat Latos / SP
2. Cameron Maybin / OF
3. Casey Kelly / SP
4. Simon Castro / SP
5. Donavan Tate / OF
6. Jaff Decker / OF
7. Kyle Blanks / OF/1B
8. Reymond Fuentes / OF
9. Anthony Rizzo / 1B
10. Edinson Rincon / 3B/OF