In our latest installation of RotoBaller's Colorado Rockies blog, we'll now take a look at the Rocks' top prospects for 2014 Fantasy Baseball.
Jonathan Gray RHP
Talent: 10, Opportunity: 7
The Rockies have not had any luck trying to convince a free agent ace to come to Colorado for years, so they have turned to the draft. Enter Jonathan Gray. The third overall pick in 2013, Gray is the prototypical prospect Colorado needs to fill that void. Grey has a big frame at 6’4" and 255 lbs. He lit up the gun at Oklahoma, regularly hitting triple digits. Armed with a plus slider and a work-in-progress change-up, Gray has the stuff to be the face of a rotation and for that reason he gets a 10 in Talent. He has not pitched as many innings as most top pitching prospects, but his stuff is overwhelming which has a lot excitement brewing in the Rockies organization. MLB.com has him at the 14th overall prospect coming into this season. The Rockies are hungry for a dominant pitcher and anyone who can prove that will get a free ride to the show. The only reason is opportunity is a 7 is that he's likely to pitch in Double-A until at least August. If he gets the call earlier than that, make sure to grab him.
Eddie Butler RHP
Talent: 8, Opportunity: 10
Eddie Butler, who was drafted in the first round in 2012, put on a show in 2013. He split time between A, A+, and AA ball compiling a 1.80 ERA in 28 starts. He is young (22), but 149.2 innings is a pretty big sample size to be excited about. He has a fastball that can reach 97 MPH mixed in with a two-seamer, slider, and a disgusting change which lead to nearly a 3:1 K:BB ratio. Butler has already shown signs of knowing how to pitch and at a young age and could develop into a perfect number two starter behind Jonathan Gray. His sporadic control issues and small frame is the only thing back from him being an ace quality prospect. The Rockies have been looking for someone to step up and be the guy who beats the Coors Field curse, so the opportunity is perfect for any pitching prospect, especially one with groundball tendencies like Butler. The Rockies only have 4 spots that are a lock, and honestly, if someone can show they can dominate they will get an immediate shot. Butler will be in the Spring Training battle for the back end of the rotation and a strong showing could lead him to get him a ticket to the show.
Kyle Parker 1B/OF
Talent: 7, Opportunity: 5
Parker is a former two-sport prospect with amazing raw power. He is probably the best power hitter in the Rockies farm system. His arm is strong enough to play one of the corner OF spots and can be a decent defender at 1B. The Rockies view him as more of a 1B in terms of what he might do for the big league club. He has a good eye at the plate, which he worked on all of last season. He is blocked by newly signed Justin Morneau, as well as Cuddyer, and that’s why he has such a low Opportunity rank and barring an injury on the big league club probably will stay in the minors for the next couple seasons.
David Dahl OF
Talent: 8, Opportunity: 7
The Pittsburgh Pirates passed on Dahl in the 2012 draft and the Rockies started licking their chops. Dahl is a tremendous talent and can flat out hit. Combine that with a set of wheels, a plus arm in the OF, and Coors Field, and the Rockies cannot wait for this guy to make it to the show. He might not hit a lot of HR, but he is an on-base monster and could rack up a lot of extra base hits in the huge Coors outfield. I don’t think it would be out of the question for him to be a starting OF for the Rockies sometime in the next couple of seasons as long as he continues to develop. The Rockies probably won't rush him, given the current group they have, but Dahl is definitely a prospect to keep an eye on, especially in a deep keeper or dynasty league.