Entering the 2012 season, I ranked third baseman Nolan Arenado as a top-50 overall prospect and believed that he’d reach the major leagues by the end of the year. However, the 21-year-old didn't post as gaudy numbers outside of the hitter-friendly California League, and turned in an up-and-down campaign at Double-A Tulsa.
Arenado’s inconsistency ultimately opened the door for two other high-ceiling prospects, shortstop Trevor Story and outfielder David Dahl, to supplant him at the top of the team rankings.
Beyond the aforementioned three players, the Rockies lack projectable talent 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, though he's regarded as more of a high-floor player.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Rockies’ prospect pool 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 definitely house several intriguing prospects, it’s a weak system overall that ranks in the bottom-third among all organizations. For many of the players on this list, 2013 will be a crucial season as it pertains to their overall development.