Headed into the 2012 season, I ranked third baseman Nolan Arenado as a top-25 overall prospect and believed that he’d reach the major leagues late in the season. However, the 21-year-old regressed across the board, especially in the power department, and turned in an inconsistent season at Double-A Tulsa.
Arenado’s struggles ultimately opened the door for two high-ceiling prospects, shortstop Trevor Story and outfielder David Dahl, to supplant him at the top of the rankings.
However, beyond the aforementioned three players, the Rockies lack projectable depth on the farm. More specifically, their inability to develop pitching prospects in recent years has been a serious problem and affected how they conduct business at the major league level.
While their first-round draft pick from 2009, left-hander Tyler Matzek, has the highest ceiling of any arm in their organization, his lack of control is still disconcerting and will prevent him from reaching the major leagues for at least a few more seasons. Their other left-handed pitching prospect, Tyler Anderson, definitely has a future in the major leagues, but is regarded as more of a high-floor player.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Rockies’ top 10 is comprised of young, inexperienced hitters with only modest ceilings. And don’t be surprised if a few of them are ultimately traded to improve the quality of on-field talent in the major leagues.
While the Rockies have several intriguing prospects, it’s a weak system overall that ranks in the bottom-third in the game. For most of the players on this list, 2013 will be a telling year, and one crucial towards development.