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Colorado Rockies: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

The Colorado Rockies will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We might even see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

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Quick Synopsis

More so than any other team in baseball, the Rockies need to develop quality pitching from within but they have yet to figure out how to do that. The Top 10 list features just one arm among a flood of infield prospects.

 

1. Brendan Rodgers, 2B/SS

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 20
2020 Prospect Rank: 18
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

The delay of the 2020 season actually does Rodgers a favor as he recovers from a nasty shoulder injury and the subsequent surgery. His bat was MLB-ready before he got hurt but the Rockies have struggled to properly integrate young hitters into their lineup. Rodgers has 20-30 home run upside if he bounces back from the surgery.

2. Grant Lavigne, 1B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 113
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Lavigne had a rough first full season in pro ball but I remain a fan. He was likely pushed to full-season ball a little sooner than he should have been and he needs a fair bit of work against same-side pitching. For a big, strong hitter, Lavigne hits far too many balls on the ground and needs to work on embracing more of a fly-ball heavy approach to unlock his above-average raw power, which should play really well in Colorado.

3. Sam Hilliard, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 143
2020 Prospect Rank: 28
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

As mentioned, the Rockies seem borderline clueless when it comes to properly handling rookies but if Hilliard can find consistent playing time then he could be a real steal. His plus power should play extremely well in Colorado. Add in his ability to steal some bases and it’s easy to overlook his modest hit tool. Hilliard has stolen at least 22 bases in four straight seasons with a career-high of 37 in 2017.

4. Michael Toglia, 1B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 184
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Toglia is a beast in the batter’s box with a 6-foot-5, 225 pound frame. And he has the developing raw power to match. He did a nice job hitting for his power in his pro debut with nine home runs in just 41 games but it came with a high number of strikeouts. Fortunately, Toglia has shown a willingness to offset those with a healthy dose of walks, which could give him increased value in on-base leagues.

5. Ryan Vilade, SS/3B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 188
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Vilade has a strong offensive season while playing in a very good hitter’s league. He hit more than .300 for the second time in his three-year career, he took lots of walks and he also stole 24 bases. If he can duplicate this success at Double-A — and continue to show increased power output — then he will start really moving up this list. Vilade’s defensive home is up in the air as he won’t stick at shortstop for much longer and could end up at third base or in the outfield, which would put more pressure on his power development.

6. Terrin Vavra, SS/2B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 196
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

With two straight .300 seasons, Vavra is on a similar path to Colton Welker (below) but he might possess a little more usable pop than the more advanced prospect ahead of him on the depth chart. He also has a better approach at the plate and posted a BB-K of 62-62 in 2019. Defensively, he’s most likely to wind up at second base.

7. Ryan Rolison, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 239
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Rolison would be ranked higher as a prospect if he wasn’t expected to pitch half his games in Coors Field. He has a chance for three above-average offerings but his fastball velocity is just average. It plays up because of its movement. Rolison’s best pitch is his curveball and it remains to be seen if it will play as well in the higher altitude. He also needs to see his command improve after allowing too many hits (129 in 116.1 innings in High-A) in 2019.   

8. Colton Welker, 3B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 243
2020 LEVEL: AAA
MLB ETA: 2021

Welker had a down year in 2019 so he needs a strong bounce-back season in 2020. After hitting .300 or better in his first three pro seasons, he hit .252 with a disappointing .271 OPS in 98 games. Welker missed time in the second half of the year with a shoulder issue so the hope is that the injury played a big role in his struggles and the additional downtime due to the pandemic will help him bounce back to full strength.

9. Aaron Schunk, 3B

2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

Schunk is the newest kid on the block to join the Rockies’ impressive minor league infield depth. He didn’t do much in college, though, until his junior year when he really took off. That success continued into his first taste of pro ball where he showed a solid hitting approach (14-25 BB-K in 46 games) and improving power (20 extra-base hits).

10. Brenton Doyle, OF

2020 LEVEL: A-
MLB ETA: 2022

Doyle played at a smaller college but still managed to catch the Rockies’ eye and was nabbed in the fourth round of the 2019 draft. He mashed in his pro debut — albeit thanks in part due to a .484 BABIP. He’s going to have some swing-and-miss to his game but he’s shown the willingness to take lots of walks to go with his above-average power. He appears to be a younger version of Sam Hilliard, with less speed.

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