Meet The Rockies: Fowler, Friedrich, Casey, Reynolds, and Jhoulys
Meet your Colorado Rockies prospects, some of which we have already seen a little bit from last year. In no particular order:
Dexter Fowler OF
Fowler has the club salivating with his mix of speed, power, and gifted fielding - the ubiquitous five-tool player. He was brilliant at Double-A Tulsa, batting .335 with nine home runs, and 64 RBI while posting a .946 OPS in 108 games.
He was called up to the big leagues later in the year and in his first game, entering as a pinch runner, he was quickly picked off. Big things are expected from Fowler, however, and the Bill James Handbook, though known for being overly optimistic, projects Fowler with a .303 BA, .826 OPS, 10 homeruns, 95 runs scored, and 63 RBI.
Fowler was also a participant in the Futures Game at the 2008 All-Star Game, and a member of the Olympic medal-winning US Baseball team.
Christian Friedrich P
Friedrich is somewhat of an unknown right now, as most young prospects are. At Eastern Kentucky, he compiled a mark of 20-7 over three years, with his ERA never being higher than 2.09. His minor league numbers have been impressive as well. He split time between Tri-City and Asheville (both lower Single-A affiliates) and posted a 2-2 mark, a 4.31 ERA, while striking out 65 and only allowing 15 walks.
Jhoulys Chacin P
Jhoulys Chacin was a win-machine in 2008. Between Asheville and Modesto (the higher Single-A affiliate), Chacin was 18-3 with 160 strike-outs and 42 walks. Armed with a low-90s fastball that can touch 94 mph, as well as a curve and change that are both advanced for his age, Baseball Prospectus expects good things from this young Venezuelan.
Casey Weathers P
The Rockies first-round daft choice in 2007, Weathers is another prospect with high expectations, ala Dexter Fowler, whom he played with at the All-Star Futures Game, as well as on the US Olympic baseball team.
Spending most of his time at Double-A Tulsa, Weathers was projected to join a bullpen in sore need of shoring up, however it was recently announced that Weathers would be undergoing Tommy John surgery on Halloween, effectively ending any hope of seeing him next season.
Greg Reynolds P
I'm calling Reynolds a prospect, though he did spend some forgettable time with the Rockies in 2008, because he's still young and the lack of available pitching lead to the Rockies basically throwing him to the wolves.
Selected second overall in 2006, Baseball America ranks him as the fifth best prospect in the Rockies system, while ranking seventh the year before. He went 7-5 in the minor leagues with an ERA of 3.11. His time with the Rockies yielded significantly different results: 2-8, 8.13 ERA, 22 strike-outs, and 26 walks.
The 2006 draft also yielded Tim Lincecum and Evan Longoria, so pressure is high for Reynolds to produce.
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