2014 Top 10 Prospects: Colorado Rockies

The Rockies’ Top 10 list includes two young pitchers with the potential to develop into No. 1 or 2 starters, as well as an outfielder with five-tool talent. So, in other words, there is some high-ceiling talent in this system but the overall depth in the organization is not overly compelling.

#1 Eddie Butler | 65/AA (P)


Age G GS IP H HR K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP
22 28 28 149.2 96 9 8.60 3.13 1.80 3.23

The Year in Review: A supplemental first round draft pick from 2012, Butler has moved quickly through the Rockies’ system. He played at three levels in 2013: Low-A, High-A and Double-A. He spent the majority of the year in A-ball and made 22 starts between the two levels. Combined between all three levels, Butler struck out 143 batters in 149.2 innings and induced ground-ball outs at a high rate.

The Scouting Report: Butler made huge strides with his secondary stuff in 2013 and projects to now have three solid weapons with his mid-to-upper-90s fastball, changeup and slider — all of which feature a lot of movement. He also has a curveball that lags behind his other offerings. Along with swing-and-miss stuff, Butler’s ground-ball tendencies make him an ideal pitcher for Colorado.

The Year Ahead: After making just six starts at the Double-A level in 2013, the Virginia native should return to that level in 2014. Like prospect-mate Jonathan Gray, Butler could be in the Majors in the second half of the season.

The Career Outlook: Butler has come a long way in a short period of time and, if everything clicks, he could slot in nicely right alongside Gray for a formidable one-two punch.

#2 Jonathan Gray | 65/A+ (P)


Age G GS IP H HR K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP
21 9 9 37.1 25 0 12.29 1.93 1.93 1.19

The Year in Review: The third overall selection in the 2013 amateur draft, Gray made nine starts after turning pro and stuck out 51 batters in 37.1 innings of work. He also showed above-average control with just eight walks. After beginning his career in the Advanced Rookie league, Gray finished the season with five High-A ball starts and batters hit just .128 against him.

The Scouting Report: Gray has overpowering velocity on his heater, which sits in the mid-to-upper 90s and can hit triple digits. His slider is his second-best offering and it can be overpowering. His changeup is still a work-in-progress and is inconsistent. To survive pitching half his games in Colorado, Gray may want to focus a little bit more on working down in the zone and inducing more ground-ball outs.

The Year Ahead: Gray’s strong start to his career, as well as his pedigree, could convince the organization to start him out in Double-A in 2014 — assuming he looks good in the spring. It wouldn’t be a shock to see Gray in the Rockies’ big league starting rotation by the end of August.

The Career Outlook: The University of Oklahoma alum has a chance to develop into a No. 1 starter if he can develop a reliable third offering to his repertoire.

#3 David Dahl | 60/A- (OF)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
19 42 11 4 0 2 8 2 .275 .310 .425 .335

The Year in Review: Dahl had a nightmare 2013 season. The 10th overall draft pick in the 2012 amateur draft received an opening day assignment to Low-A ball but that was quickly overturned and he was demoted to extended spring training for disciplinary reasons. He then returned to that level in late April but appeared in just 10 games in ’13 thanks to a torn hamstring.

The Scouting Report: Dahl is a rare true five-tool talent. He makes excellent contact and has an advanced feel for hitting. He could eventually hit 20+ home runs but is still learning to tap into his left-handed pop on a consistent basis. He is an above-average runner, which helps him play an excellent center field and he also has a strong arm.

The Year Ahead: Dahl will no doubt return to Low-A ball and look to put his disastrous ’13 season behind him. He posted a 1.048 OPS during his debut season in 2012 so the raw talent is definitely there; he just needs to find a way to channel his energies in an effect manner on the baseball diamond.

The Career Outlook: The Alabama native will turn 20 in early April so time is still on his side. He has the talent to be an outstanding big league outfielder if he can continue to mature both on and off the field.

#4 Rosell Herrera | 55/A- (SS)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
20 546 162 33 16 61 96 21 .343 .419 .515 .426

The Year in Review: Herrera had a breakout 2013 season while repeating the Low-A ball level at the age of 20. He saw his OPS jump from .543 in 2012 to .933 last year. He hit for average, power and even stole 21 bases in 29 attempts. He stuck out a fair bit but showed a good eye with 61 walks, which helped him post a .419 on-base percentage.

The Scouting Report: Herrera flashes average or better tools across the board, although he may eventually outgrow shortstop and move to third base. The infielder has made adjustments to improve his consistency at the plate with better contact rates and it showed in 2013. He still has room to fill out and may eventually has the strength to pop 20+ home runs per season.

The Year Ahead: Herrera will move up to High-A ball and, now in his fifth pro season, will hopefully continue to hit well and earn a promotion to Double-A in the second half of the year.

The Career Outlook: He may not stick at shortstop but Herrera has flashed the potential to develop into a big league regular at the MLB level — even if he has to move to third base permanently.

#5 Ryan McMahon | 55/R (3B)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
18 251 70 18 11 28 59 4 .321 .402 .583 .429

The Year in Review: Pro ball did not faze McMahon one bit. The 18-year-old prospect hit .321 with an OPS just shy of 1.000 in his debut. He also popped 32 extra base hits, including 11 that cleared the outfield fence.

The Scouting Report: Despite splitting his attention in high school between football and baseball, McMahon has an advanced feel for the game. His best tool may be his left-handed power but he also shows enough aptitude with the bat to eventually hit for strong averages and good on-base percentages — especially if he can trim the strikeouts. Defensively, he has a good shot at sticking at third base thanks to his strong arm and average range.

The Year Ahead: McMahon will almost certainly open the 2014 in Low-A ball but he could reach High-A ball in the second half if he continues to develop as expected.

The Career Outlook: The California native appears to have made a wise decision in following through on his love of baseball. He has a chance to develop into an all-star outfielder with an excellent all-around game.

#6 Tom Murphy | 55/AA (C)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
22 415 103 31 22 41 103 4 .289 .376 .571 .424

The Year in Review: Murphy spent much longer in Low-A ball than many prospect watchers expected him to — especially after he posted an OPS just shy of 1.000. However, once the promotion came, he skipped over HIgh-A ball and finished the season (20 games) in Double-A where he managed an .831 OPS.

The Scouting Report: Murphy has the potential to hit for above-average, right-handed power. However, he swings and misses a bit too much to project for a strong batting average as he moves up the ladder. Defensively, he’s a solid catcher with a strong arm and good receiving skills. He’s still learning the finer aspects of catching, including game calling and field leadership.

The Year Ahead: Murphy should return to the Double-A level and is suddenly cast in a very favorable light as the Rockies’ catcher of the future.

The Career Outlook: Murphy should develop into a power-hitting, big league catcher who will play average or better defense.

#7 Raimel Tapia | 55/R (OF)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
19 286 92 20 7 15 31 10 .357 .399 .562 .419

The Year in Review: The teenager hit .357 in Rookie ball in 2013 while also showcasing some gap power but he was raw on the base paths and didn’t have much success stealing bases (10 for 19). He enjoyed a 29-game hitting streak.

The Scouting Report: The Dominican native has the makings of a plus, left-handed hitter and he handles southpaws surprisingly well for his limited professional experience. He has a well-balanced approach at the plate, which helps him make above-average contact. He makes such good contact that he doesn’t walk much. With some added weight/muscle, Tapia could eventually hit 15+ home runs. He also has above-average speed but needs to improve his reads.

The Year Ahead: Tapia will move up to full-season ball for the first time in his career and will look to continue getting on base at a solid clip despite his free-swinging ways.

The Career Outlook: The projectable Tapia could end up sticking in centre field and stealing a bunch of bases — or he could end up filling out his 6-2, 160 pound frame, slowing down and developing home run pop from the left side of the plate as a right-fielder. Only time will tell.

#8 Trevor Story | 50/A+ (SS)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
20 554 116 34 12 45 183 23 .233 .305 .394 .311

The Year in Review: It was an ugly year for Story who struck out 183 times in 130 High-A games. The middle infielder did show gap power and stole 23 bases in 24 attempts. He also improved drastically in the second half of the year even though he continued to swing and miss at an alarming rate.

The Scouting Report: Story has the tools to be a good hitter but he fell into the trap of trying to hit for too much power in 2013. With some adjustments, he should recover the ability to hit for respectable pop with a good batting average. Defensively, he has a strong arm and good actions at shortstop but his range is average and he may eventually end up at the hot corner or second base.

The Year Ahead: Story may have to return to High-A ball in 2014 but, if he can cut down on the strikeouts, he could reach Double-A before the all-star break.

The Career Outlook: The 2014 season will be an important one in Story’s development. He has fellow shortstop prospect Rosell Herrera to contend with and one of them may be destined for third base, which will no doubt put even more pressure of the offensive (and power) development.

#9 Chad Bettis | 50/MLB (P)


Age IP K/9 BB/9 GB% ERA FIP xFIP RA9-WAR WAR
24 44.2 6.04 4.03 46.7 % 5.64 4.93 4.68 -0.6 0.2

The Year in Review: Bettis rebounded from missing the entire 2012 season due to a shoulder injury. His stuff wasn’t quite as crisp last year but he help his own in Double-A and earned a late-season promotion to the Majors where he struggled with his fastball command and allowed 55 hits in 44.2 innings of work.

The Scouting Report: Injuries have cost Bettis a lot of development time and his fastball doesn’t sit in the mid-90s as often as it used to. Despite that fact, he still works in the low-90s and induces strong ground-ball-out rates. His changeup is a solid offering but both his breaking balls need further development to become consistently-average offerings.

The Year Ahead: Bettis has a shot at opening the 2014 season on the Rockies’ big league roster but it remains to be seen if it will be in the starting rotation or the bullpen.

The Career Outlook: The right-hander doesn’t throw quite as hard as he did before his shoulder injury but he still has good stuff and gets outs on the ground. He may find more success in the bullpen.

#10 Kyle Parker | 50/AA (OF)


Age PA H 2B HR BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA
23 631 165 32 27 45 120 7 .286 .341 .499 .370

The Year in Review: The 26th overall selection from the 2010 amateur draft, Parker had a solid-but-unspectacular 2013 season at the Double-A level. He broke the 20-home-run barrier for the third straight season but his on-base percentage took a big dive from .415 in 2012 to .345 in 2013. He attended the Arizona Fall League after the regular season ended and posted an .856 OPS.

The Scouting Report: Parker’s best tool is his above-average, right-handed power. He’s still working on his pitch recognition and struggles with breaking balls at times. He has strong bat speed to get around on good fastballs. Defensively, he has a strong arm but modest range and could handle either corner outfield position. More recently, though, he’s been spending time at first base — including in the AFL.

The Year Ahead: Parker will once again move up one step at a time to the Triple-A level. He’ll likely have to wait for an injury or demotion to provide him with an opportunity to play at the big league level in 2014.

The Career Outlook: I’m not the hugest Parker fan in the world but he has a shot at developing into a modest big league corner outfielder or first baseman. More than likely, though, he’ll end up as a platoon outfielder/first baseman or powerful bat off the bench.

The Next Five:

11. Tyler Anderson, LHP: The southpaw missed a good chunk of the season while dealing with a shoulder injury. He hit the disabled list in mid-May and didn’t return until August. He made just 16 starts on the year with the majority of them coming in High-A ball. Anderson has the ceiling of a No. 4 starter who could chew up innings if his shoulder woes are behind him. His best pitch is his plus changeup. He also has a fringe-average fastball and two breaking balls.

12. Jayson Aquino, LHP: It’s been a slow climb through the system for Aquino, who originally signed with the Rockies back in 2009. He spent three years pitching in the Dominican Summer League before earning a spot on a North America squad and he has yet to pitch a full season. Aquino, 21, remains a long-term project but he could develop into a No. 3/4 starter or set-up man.

13. Cristhian Adames, SS: Adames saw his OPS dip below .700 after spending the year in Double-A but it’s the strength of his glove that will get the switch-hitter to the Majors. He has good range, a strong arm and solid actions at shortstop. If he doesn’t hit well enough to be an everyday player, Adames has the athleticism to play anywhere in the infielder — even though he has limited experience at other positions.

14. Will Swanner, C: Swanner had two really bad months in 2013 (April, July) that dragged down his overall numbers and he’s going to have to become more consistent overall if he’s going to reach his full potential. The 22-year-old prospect probably isn’t going to stick behind the plate long term but a position switch (likely to first base) could allow him to focus more on his offense and help unlock his full potential — which is tied to his plus raw power.

15. Jose Briceno, C: Injuries wiped out Briceno’s 2012 season so he’s a little bit behind the eight ball with his development. He spent time in both Rookie ball and Low-A ball while flashing above-average offensive potential and solid power. Behind the plate, the young catcher flashes a strong arm but needs to improve the finer aspects of his defensive game. He should return to Low-A ball to open the 2014 season.



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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects, depth charts and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.


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mwash1983
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mwash1983
2 years 4 months ago

You mean mcmahon all star infielder?

subtle
Guest
subtle
2 years 4 months ago

It’s interesting how rapidly the fortunes of Herrera and Story have changed. A year ago, Story was a fast riser and Herrara was coming off a year where he went from sleeper to possible non-prospect. I guess what I’m trying to say is “prospects….”

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

I really like this system tho it falls off dramatically after the top ten. Interestingly, Jason Parks says that Rosell Herrera is less a prospect than his numbers would indicate. Says he’s more likely a UT player. He’s got Tapia as the #4 Rox prospect.

Also, this is the only Rox listing I’ve seen that has Butler ahead of Gray who most seem to think is a future ace.

Marc Hulet
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

I agree that Gray is a potential future ace. But I think Butler is too and gave home the nod for more pro experience and better present secondary stuff.

Eric Garcia McKinley
Member
2 years 4 months ago

Parks has Tapia at three, ahead of Dahl.

jdbolick
Member
Member
2 years 4 months ago

With all due respect, Marc, having Kyle Parker #10 in a relatively weak system is indefensible. Your point about the decline in walk rate is valid, but it’s hardly as if he eschewed walking altogether, and you’re talking about an established slugger who has consistently shown above average contact skills. Obviously he ranks higher in fantasy than real baseball given his limited range, particularly given that Colorado’s expansive outfield might push him to first base, but a hitter with that much power who strikes out with relative infrequency is someone to get excited about. I would put Kyle Parker #4 in the system at worst.

Marc Hulet
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

A true statement if I was a fan of Parker. I think he’s overrated by many — especially if he ends up at 1B.

jdbolick
Member
Member
2 years 4 months ago

I’d be interested to read your justification for thinking that he’s overrated. Parker has been a little old for his levels, but even if you discount his performance some as a result, you’re still talking about a guy who has consistently coupled power with contact. That’s not common. Even if you assume a move to first, which is not a foregone conclusion given his plus arm and adequate athleticism, wouldn’t he be one of if not the best first base prospect in the minors?

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

KLaw just ranked the Rox as the 8th best system, fwiw.

jdbolick
Member
Member
2 years 4 months ago

Evidently I disagree with Keith Law then. I still believe in Dahl, but his stock certainly took a hit in 2013. I also share Hulet’s appreciation of Butler, but he’s not a potential #1. Even if you are a strong believer in Gray, I don’t see how that makes them a top ten system.

Tim
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Tim
2 years 4 months ago

Indefensible? Okay, I guess we’re running out hyperbole…

Your comment is the worst thing I have ever seen in my life. You act as if your OPINION is the best thing since the printing press. There are trillions upon trillions of talent evaluators who disagree that Parker belongs up in the top 4. In fact, the industry standard is that putting him in the top 4 would be the most egregious widespread scouting error since Piazza falling to the last round of the draft.

jdbolick
Member
Member
2 years 4 months ago

I didn’t say that leaving him out of the top 4 was indefensible, I said putting him tenth in this farm system was. We’re talking about a guy who at every stop as shown well above average power to go along with above average contact. I get that you’re trying to be clever in a transparent and desperate attempt for pluses, but what I said wasn’t hyperbole at all.

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

still waiting to hear the case for Kyle Parker to be higher than 10th…

Tim
Guest
Tim
2 years 4 months ago

Do you know anything about scouting? I’m being serious here because it really sounds like you don’t.

If you did know ANYTHING about scouting, you would know ranking Kyle Parker 10th in the system is defensible, even if you don’t agree with it. Scouting is not 100% about what a player has done statistically. There are certain flaws that are harder to exploit in the minors. You keep mentioning his stats, but that is not the whole picture. Is it a big part of the picture? Yes. But it’s still not whole, so take your “correct” opinion based on stats and rethink it.

Secondly, you do know what OBP is, don’t you? You probably don’t. Well, his BB% took a HUGE drop last year and his strikeout rate did not follow. That’s a pretty big warning sign. His wRC+ was 134 (you apparently forgot he played in a hitter’s park). Despite his power and contact rate that you rave about, that’s not all that great for a 23 year-old. For a player who doesn’t have much defensive or base running value, that’s nothing special.

Parker has been brought through the system slowly for a college draftee out of a strong baseball conference. He has not been young for his age levels, so you would expect him to hit.

Taking stats out of context makes NO SENSE for scouting. If you want to stop being stupid, you would see that there is a DEFENSIBLE justification for having Parker “only” 10th.

jdbolick
Member
Member
2 years 4 months ago

Tim, you really don’t grasp the absurdity of engaging in a wash of hyperbole right after unjustly accusing me of precisely that? What did you think accusing me of not knowing “what OBP is” would accomplish? Whatever you intended, the only thing it did was to make you appear petulant and immature.

But for the record, yes I do know a little something about scouting. Although I didn’t attend the MLB Scouting Bureau myself, I was trained by those who have. I also know that none of the scouting reports I’ve seen or heard about are as pessimistic about Kyle Parker as Mr. Hulet is here. From your comments I’d guess that you’re the one with no background or education in that area, which might explain why you’re so angry and irrational. No stats were taken out of context, and you have yet to provide any evidence that anything in Parker’s statistical profile is truly worrisome. A decline in walk rate is absolutely not “a pretty big warning sign” if it only dropped from exceptional to solid. Of course you’d prefer to see the former, but the latter is hardly a matter of concern.

Look Tim, if you want to have productive discussions about prospects or really anything in your life, you’re going to need to develop some emotional control and the ability to converse like an adult. Right now your angry ranting creates a lot of sound signifying nothing.

Tim
Guest
Tim
2 years 4 months ago

That’s funny. I might have started with the whole hyperbole bit, but then you were the one who started with the mud slinging, saying “I get that you’re trying to be clever in a transparent and desperate attempt for pluses.” But I’m sure that’s completely relevant to your argument and not ad hominem, right? Even if I did start it with the hypberbole bit, your response is apparently a sign of your own immaturity as you have placed on me.

I take your argument to be: I haven’t heard people say he’s this low; his power is good; his contact is good; from all this it is INDEFENSIBLE (this is your wording from your first comment) to have Parker listed as low as 10th.

My counter argument was listed above: his wRC+ last year was 134 which isn’t great for a 23 year-old in AA and considering his defensive and base running contributions; his walk rate fell dramatically (Parker’s was 7.1%, Javier Baez had a 6.9 BB% and scouts like to say he swings at everything).

The point you may be missing is that my argument is not Kyle Parker DEFINITELY deserves to be ranked #10. My point is that scouting is by its nature not definitive. You are trying to project how a player will do at the major league level.

Your argument that, for the reasons you listed above, it is INDEFENSIBLE to place Parker 10th is inherently wrong. To avoid making it a matter of semantics, I have given you legitimate reasons why an evaluator may place him 10th. Saying you disagree does not make you right. Saying that none of the scouts you’ve heard say he is this low does not make you right.

I think Marc has proven himself pretty well over his time covering prospect. his concerns over his bat, and specifically his pitch recognition, might be shown in his dramatic decrease in walk rate. I his reasons are perfectly acceptable for him to be 10th, regardless of whether I agree completely.

jdbolick
Member
Member
2 years 4 months ago

Tim, go read your opening comment again. I’m actually not offended by bluster or even personal attacks, as they can be entertaining when well executed. But your attempted derision had all the subtlety of a sledgehammer, and more importantly, lacked the content necessary to give it purpose. If you throw around contempt, it had better be accompanied by some meaningful points or else it’s a waste of everyone’s time and a distraction from legitimate discussion.

You posted: “Your comment is the worst thing I have ever seen in my life.” You posted: “Do you know anything about scouting? I’m being serious here because it really sounds like you don’t.” You posted: “Secondly, you do know what OBP is, don’t you? You probably don’t.” That’s amateur hour stuff. I’m not saying thou must behave like an honorable gentleman and speak thusly. I’m saying that you need to convey insightful points that make it worth the while of the reader, and if you want to add some color to it then do so with more flair or sophistication.

Let’s review the subject of this supposed discussion. Kyle Parker has been consistently productive throughout his minor league career. He has a plus arm and solid athleticism that makes him a legitimate outfielder, not someone who should be playing first who is being pushed into the outfield like a Darin Ruf. Parker has consistently posted impressive K% totals for someone with his power. Kyle’s wRC+ has never been lower than 132. Parker has never posted less than 21 homers in a minor league season or an OBP lower than .345. Obviously you’d rather see the great walk rate of 2012 than the decent one of 2013, but a decent walk rate is still not “a pretty big warning sign.” And while you might like to see a better wRC+ than 135, that’s still quite good, especially coming after a 152 and 132 before that. That’s a serious prospect profile, not some middling guy who should be filling out the end of the top ten in a pretty average farm system. You brought up scouting and yet Baseball America, who is much less statistics-oriented than FanGraphs, had Parker #4 for Colorado.

You would be correct if you said that all this evidence does not guarantee that Kyle Parker will even be relevant in the major leagues, much less above average, but cumulatively it definitely does mean that he’s much more compelling than most of the prospects Hulet has rated above him. If you want to make an actual case why he should be tenth, knock yourself out, but so far I’ve only seen arguments about why his strengths aren’t as strong as they could be, not any actual weaknesses in Parker’s game. And if you want to toss verbal jabs along with it, I’m fine with that, but please put some more effort behind them.

Tim
Guest
Tim
2 years 4 months ago

It’s great that you love Parker as a prospect so much and have so much enthusiasm towards him. It’s great that you like to talk about prospects; I do too. It’s not so great that you are being condescending and thinking that is furthering your point. Try to stick to logic.

If you want to actually counter my argument, then go ahead. I’ve been waiting. You list the reasons why you think he is definitely higher than he is listed. I listed reasons why an evaluator could potentially list him as low as he is.

All I hear from you is the exact same things you’ve said everytime. You dismiss the walk rate without talking about pitch recognition. Have you ever seen him play? I haven’t, but if I saw a lack of pitch recognition (which COULD be shown by his decrease in walk rate) I would hesitant to rank an offense-first player very high. To prove it is indefensible to have in 10th overall, you would need to PROVE CONCLUSIVELY he does not have pitch recognition problems. You haven’t done that, and you can never do that.

My whole point is that scouting is subjective. BA does not monopolize the “truth” in scouting and in fact, a lot of people are not huge fans. If you disagree that scouting is not subjective, then I you should come up with a system that ranks prospects according to explicitly defined and weighted variables. If you can’t do that, then personal opinion remains a factor.

There is actually a reason why teams hire scouts. It’s because the stats do not tell the whole issue in the minors, and you need people there to look for subjective factors. There’s a reason why teams don’t just buy the BA handbook and not send their scouts to scout out players; it’s because they have come to trust their scout’s opinion over others. There is a reason why scouts disagree on players; it’s because scouting is subjective.

Please try to address this actual point if you would. I already know he has hit so far in the minors and his K% is solid for a player with his power and BA has him #4.

jdbolick
Member
Member
2 years 4 months ago

Tim, your posts have given me every reason to be condescending. You have embarrassed yourself here by ranting and raving in such a way that you are obstructing discussion instead of contributing to it. This is why you come across as a young kid who has an immature thought process and attitude who can’t be taken seriously by adults. Look at your most recent argument:

To prove it is indefensible to have in 10th overall, you would need to PROVE CONCLUSIVELY he does not have pitch recognition problems. You haven’t done that, and you can never do that.

Kudos for admitting that you’re setting up an impossible task as the only proof you’ll accept of being wrong, but how do you not realize that doing so undermines your own objection? Because Hulet brought up “pitch recognition” without any evidence for that, you hinge your entire argument on it. Parker’s Z-Contact% at Tulsa was very good, his overall contact rate was good, and his strikeout rate was good for a power hitter. If a batter had significant problems with pitch recognition you would not expect those things to be true. Thus there is evidence against the notion that Parker has pitch recognition problems whereas there has been no evidence thus far presented that argues for it.

What’s pretty clearly happened here is that you have no legitimate grounds on which to argue with me at all. That’s why you hide behind the “scouting is subjective” line, along with what you admitted to be an impossible task about disproving the claim about pitch recognition. You don’t have legitimate points to stand on, but you want to keep arguing, so you argue from nebulous claims and make demands that can’t be fulfilled. You’re not looking to have a productive discussion about Kyle Parker, you’re looking for an excuse to continue being belligerent. If you choose that approach, no one is ever going to take you seriously or care about anything you have to say. If your only goal in life is to irritate others, then carry on, otherwise I would suggest a different approach.

Tim
Guest
Tim
2 years 4 months ago

You’re going to “attack my argument” by saying I’m a kid and I deserve to be condescended to? Wow. I’m never heard such open stupidity from someone who purports to be an adult. Where did you learn that logic? I obviously missed that class because I’m just a kid.

If you want anyone to take you seriously (and they don’t based on some other comments lower here), you might want to avoid personal attacks. They don’t make you sound smart and they don’t give you an aura of “adult” superiority like you apparently believe they do.

7.1 BB% is not good for a 23 year-old in AA. 19 K% is not good for a 23 year old in AA. Neither number is bad, but we aren’t talking about a player who will get any positive contribution from his defense or base running.

I’m not sure where you got those Z-Contact% or Contact% (even though us minors are supposed to be good at the internet), but here is what Brooks Baseball says:

Although he has not seen a pitch in 2014, Kyle Parker saw 67 pitches that were tracked by the PITCHf/x system in 2013, including pitches seen in .

In 2013:
Against All Fastballs (37 seen), he had an exceptionally poor eye (0.41 d’; 73% swing rate at pitches in the zone vs. 58% swing rate at pitches out of the zone) and an exceptionally aggressive approach at the plate (-0.40 c) with a disastrously high likelihood to swing and miss (30% whiff/swing).

Against Breaking Pitches (26 seen), he had an exceptionally poor eye (-0.09 d’; 67% swing rate at pitches in the zone vs. 70% swing rate at pitches out of the zone) and an exceptionally aggressive approach at the plate (-0.48 c) with a disastrously high likelihood to swing and miss (67% whiff/swing).

Against Offspeed Pitches (4 seen), he had an exceptionally poor eye (0.00 d’; 50% swing rate at pitches in the zone vs. 100% swing rate at pitches out of the zone) and a very patient approach at the plate (0.00 c) with a league average likelihood to swing and miss (33% whiff/swing).

Since my younger eyes are probably a little bit better than yours, let me reiterate what was said in case you couldn’t read it. In the admittedly small sample size of pitches that were tracked by Pitch F/X, he had an “exceptionally poor eye” against all of fastballs, breaking balls, and off-speed pitches.

Pitch F/X is the best system out there, and I’ve heard some Fangraphs writers talk about the unreliability of minor league plate discipline numbers. Although it’s a smaller sample, at least the accuracy of Pitch F/X is not disputed like the others available in the minors.

Although it’s not enough to be conclusive, there are reasons to be worried about his pitch recognition. Despite your extremely impressive “training by the Scouting Bureau guys), I don’t think you can just say Marc’s opinion is indefensible because you want to.

I can already see your response. He hit well. He doesn’t strike out much for a power hitter. I know for sure he doesn’t have pitch recognition issues.

You save the first one; I’ve admitted he has hit well although not exceptionally considering his age. For the second, his K% was 19. The league average was 19.7%. He struck out a tiny amount less than the league average as a 23 year-old. That’s not great, and it certainly isn’t some huge strength like you say it is.

For the third, I believe I have already presented my evidence per Pitch F/X as well as Marc’s opinion (which in your eyes is less valuable than your own “Scouting Bureau trained” eyes). If you want to debate that and say he absolutely doesn’t have pitch recognition issues, then go ahead but I’m done responding.

The reason why I am presenting an argument you cannot win is because you made an asinine comment that actually was indefensible. If you want to just admit that you were wrong, and it is defensible to have him 10th even if you don’t agree, then you can end this now. Otherwise, I’m done with this conversation. We have both wasted too much of our time on this (although you can always catch up on Matlock later, right?).

jim
Guest
jim
2 years 4 months ago

Trillions? what’s with the hyperbole on FG today?

sigh
Guest
sigh
2 years 4 months ago

“indefensible”

it’s just kyle parker, calm down

Kyle Parker
Guest
Kyle Parker
2 years 4 months ago

:-(

Steven
Guest
Steven
2 years 4 months ago

For some reason this is obscenely funny to me.

RiggsStephenson
Member
RiggsStephenson
2 years 4 months ago

I’m not sure what your definition of “above average contact skills” may be, but Parker has struck out at a rate of one every four at bats as a minor leaguer. He’s improved some in that regard, but your implication that he’s some type of contact hitter who rarely whiffs is just plain false.

He’s an okay prospect if he could stick on an outfield corner, but if he’s limited to first base going forward, he’s pretty ordinary.

jdbolick
Member
Member
2 years 4 months ago

43 batters with at least 200 plate appearances in AA this season posted an ISO of .200 or better. Only 10 of the 43, including Parker, did so while posting a K% under 20%. Futhermore, he has a plus arm and decent range. The only thing that would move him off the outfield would be Coors’ extreme dimensions. For another team it really wouldn’t be a concern, and I don’t think it will end up being the case in Colorado although it is a legitimate possibility.

Balthazar
Guest
Balthazar
2 years 4 months ago

Then there’s the part about ‘not young for ANY of his levels,’ and ‘played in a hitters park. Which significantly undercut the sorta-kinda nice ISO, which frankly wasn’t all that impressive for AA. Parker’s peripherals are trending the wrong way, too. I have no idea what adjustments Kyle will make as he moves up—but he’s going to have to make significant ones for that power to play up. What stands out for me are a) that stat line is a dime-a-dozen, lots of guys do it every year, and b) he doesn’t have much athleticism and OBP to give him a broad enough skill base to prosper facing good offspeed stuff thrown with location at higher levels. Power’s great—but you have to get a pitch you can hit to hit.

I’d be happy if Kyle Parker made adjustments and had a solid career. I’d say at this point I wouldn’t take the over on that.

jdbolick
Member
Member
2 years 4 months ago

Show me some evidence on how “a) that stat line is a dime-a-dozen, lots of guys do it every year.

Baseball Splits (Twitter)
Guest
Baseball Splits (Twitter)
2 years 4 months ago

Yeah… a 135 wRC+ for a 23-year-old in Double-A is hardly a “dime-a-dozen”. Also, you say his peripherals are trending in the wrong direction after he posts a career-best K%?

Vlad the Impaler
Guest
Vlad the Impaler
2 years 4 months ago

Not having Gray #1 is bizarre. I like Butler, too, but he profiles as a high end #2.

Gray is an ace on a bullet train to Coors Field. He’s going to have a far better career than Mark Appel, which makes getting him a steal for the Rockies.

Baseball Splits (Twitter)
Guest
Baseball Splits (Twitter)
2 years 4 months ago

I’m sure Butler is a fine pitcher, but there is no way he should be ahead of Jonathan Gray.

Bizarre is a nice way of putting it… especially for a list that has Dahl at 3 and Parker at 10 (Dahl has a higher ceiling but Parker clearly has a higher floor).

Balthazar
Guest
Balthazar
2 years 4 months ago

I really like Jon Gray, did before the draft, and to me he’s the clean No. 1 Prospect in this system. But hey, that’s me: this is Marc’s list, and he has his reasons for seeing a high floor under Butler. And if that assessment is accurate, that Butler’s secondaries are consistently plus or near to it, than Butler really IS a very, very good pitching prospect. So I’ll take that as Marc’s slant, and if he’s right on it I’ll remember that as a +1 going forward. Point being, Marc gave a _reason_ for his ranking, so if you disagree it’s pertinent to debate that reason.

My reason for thinking highly of Jon Gray at least includes outstanding command of a plus-plus fastball. If folks are going to go ga-ga over, say Syndergaard for that, I have to say I prefer Gray. And yeah, I have NO idea how Houstan managed to flub this choice. Appel m-a-y be seen to have a higher floor, which is worth something. But then to, I’ll say it again: take the early November pitcher EVERY time.

Baseball Splits (Twitter)
Guest
Baseball Splits (Twitter)
2 years 4 months ago

If you want to argue Butler has a high floor, I have no problem with that, but why wouldn’t Gray’s floor be just as high? The uncertainty regarding his third offering, I assume? Perhaps this will be a major concern, and Marc will end up looking very smart putting Butler first. Pitchers with Gray’s kind of fastball don’t seem to fail very often, though.

Again though, if you’re putting a lot of weight into floor, how do you have Dahl #3 (who has 42 PA above Rookie ball) and Parker #10 (who has hit at every level he’s been at, including a 135 wRC+ in 528 PA at Double-A)?

pitchncatch
Guest
pitchncatch
2 years 4 months ago

I am wondering why you say that Swanner will move to first base instead one of the corner outfields

pitchncatch
Guest
pitchncatch
2 years 4 months ago

Also, why no mention of Ryan Casteel? He just finished winter ball in the Australian Baseball league. He was 5 RBI’s short of winning the triple crown.
http://web.theabl.com.au/stats/stats.jsp?t=l_bat&lid=595&sid=l595

Kman
Guest
Kman
2 years 4 months ago

Just to clarify, why is everybody taking it for granted that Kyle Parker needs an injury or something to have an opening on the MLB roster? Last I checked, the Rockies only have 2 legit starting OFs (CarGo and Cuddyer) and then will have a revolving door of a bunch of platoon/4th OF types filling the 3rd OF spot. If Parker hits well in AAA, why wouldn’t he get a June call-up? Am I missing something here?

Eric Garcia McKinley
Member
2 years 4 months ago

He’s being groomed for RF and now 1B. The Rox will go with better defense in left in the form of Dickerson/Blackmon//Stubbs/Barnes. I don’t think the org. is too high on him, as the Morneau signing blocked him from both spots he might get regular playing time.

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

not sure why they are going to move CarGo to CF when they can go Stubbs/Blackmon in CF and leave Cargo in LF and Cuddy in RF. I like Dickerson but with org depth in the OF, he’s prob solid trade bait (Nick Franklin?).

Eric Garcia McKinley
Member
2 years 4 months ago

I think for stability reasons. They would rather have an everyday CF, whereas Stubbs/Blackmon/Dickerson will platoon in LF. I’d endorse a Dickerson for Franklin trade. It would solve the second base problem while the team waits for Hererra or Story to develop.

LaLoosh
Guest
2 years 4 months ago

To me, it’s one of the interesting story lines of the winter – the Rox have been so active this winter but are seemingly going to go entirely with some underwhelming youth at 2B (DJLM and/or Rutledge). And funny thing is that there appears to be plenty of 2Bmen available on the trade market.

Analyst
Guest
Analyst
2 years 4 months ago

So what would everyone project for Butler in his first full year with the Rocks? Oliver projects 4.24 ERA, 4.72 FIP 5.8 K/9 and 1.40 WHIP in 144 IP in 2015. That’s a mechanistic projection, of course, but anything near that would make him someone to avoid in Roto.

Gray is a bit harder to project, but I’d guess it might be hard for him to consistently reach 3.50 ERA his first couple of years. Am I wrong?

Pirates Hurdles
Guest
Pirates Hurdles
2 years 4 months ago

I think (could be wrong) there have only been 4 seasons recorded in Rockies history where a SP made 25+ starts and had an era south of 3.50 (2 by Ubaldo, 2 last year by DeLaRosa/Chacin). I would guess Gray will have a tougher time than expected.

Louis Simon
Guest
Louis Simon
2 years 2 months ago

How many outfielders lead the minors at throwing out runners with a blown out ucl who lead ashville tourist in 2012 in playoffs who never gets any pub maybe not great numbers but always in the mix for successful teams ala Modesto until Jared Simon got there Modesto was struggling not the only reason but a spark in there offense has hit some of the furthest hrs ashville has seen

Some punctuation
Guest
Some punctuation
2 years 2 months ago

Use me, plz

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