A Minor Review of 2016: Colorado Rockies

Welcome to the annual series that provides both a review of your favorite teams’ 2016 season, as well as a early look toward 2017. It also serves as a helpful guide for keeper and dynasty leagues.

Other 2016 Reviews:
San Francisco Giants

Colorado Rockies

The Graduate: David Dahl (OF): It was a great year for Colorado in terms of developing and graduating in-house talent. Shortstop Trevor Story got a lot of the headlines (and Jon Gray deserves some too) — especially early in the season — but, for me, Dahl is the more likely player to have an impact sophomore season (and avoid the dreaded sophomore jinx) and better overall career. In his prime, he could be good for 20+ homers, 20+ steals, a .300 average and solid defence. He was overly reliant on his BABIP in his big league debut but Dahl has had a history of strong BABIPs — although it’s unreasonable to expect him to top .400 again. Because he’s shown the ability to make adjustments, I fully expect him to trim the strikeout rate as he matures as a hitter.

The Riser: German Marquez (RHP): Originally signed by the Rays, Marquez’s former organization may regret parting with him in the Corey Dickerson deal. Although he’s not overly physical, the right-hander has solid stuff and can fire his heater up into the mid-90s. His breaking ball also shows potential to be a plus pitch but his third pitch (a changeup) is just modest. His above-average control helps his secondary stuff play up but I wouldn’t be shocked to see him eventually become a high-leverage reliever rather than a starter (where his ceiling would likely top out as a No. 3). His tendency to induce fly-ball outs as opposed to ground-ball outs (In part because his lack of ideal pitcher’s height hurts his ability to generate downward plane on his offerings) could hurt him in Colorado.

The Tumbler: Jesus Tinoco (RHP): Acquired from the Blue Jays last year in the Troy Tulowitzki deal, Tinoco appeared to be on the cusp of a major breakout but 2016 was a nightmare season for the right-hander. Just 21, he has the makings of two plus pitches (including a mid-90s fastball). He had a disastrous showing in high-A ball with 37 hits allowed in just 13.1 innings and wasn’t much better in low-A ball. In total, Tinoco allowed 155 hits in 99.2 innings this year – a shocking number (and a .358 batting average against). The biggest issue he had was a lack of command — although his control was excellent (just 28 walks). The Venezuela native will give high-A another shot in 2017 and if he continues to struggle he might have to give relieving a shot.

The ’16 Draft Pick: Riley Pint (RHP): No pitcher in the 2016 draft possessed more dominating raw stuff than Pint but he still came with a red flag. His lack of command/control was evident in his first taste of pro ball when he walked 23 batters in 37 innings — and also allowed 43 hits. The 19-year-old hurler can hit triple-digits with his heater and also possesses a plus breaking ball so he has the stuff to be a dominating beast of a starter if he can find the plate more consistently. As a result of the command/control issues — and need to gain consistency in his delivery — Pint will likely move slowly and should spend all of 2017 in low-A ball. He has No. 1/2 starter potential if he realizes his full potential but that’s a long, long way from becoming reality.

The Lottery Ticket: Sam Hilliard (OF): Hilliard doesn’t project as more than a .230-.250 hitter at the big league level but his mix of power, speed and defence could make him a valuable big leaguer nonetheless. The former 15th-round pick (2015) spent all of 2016 in low-A ball likely due to his contact issues (150 strikeouts in 127 games) but look for the organization to try and move him along a little more quickly in 2017 — with an eye to hopefully reaching double-A. Taller hitters tend to take longer to develop — due to their longer levers — and Hilliard stands 6-5. The best guess on his ETA for The Show is 2019. There’s lots of risk here but also lots to like.

For reference sake, here is the 2015 Review.



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

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sjcstavros
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sjcstavros

Exciting farm system! Doesn’t Tyler Anderson also deserve to be in the conversation?