Top 2020 Prospects: Colorado Rockies

I had a nightmare the week I was researching the Rockies. In the nightmare, I was a late round pick crushing it in Colorado’s system while “living” on peanuts, eating the cheapest things I could find whenever I had time to find them, and knowing in the depths of my soul that I would never really get a chance to play in Colorado. 

Then I woke up and saw Evan White was signing an extension in Seattle, where Jerry Dipoto apparently thinks it’s a good idea to play prospects. The fool. 

Anyway, some organizations are fun to think along with and easy to like. Colorado is not one of those organizations.

 

1. OF Sam Hilliard | 26 | MLB | 2020

2. 2B Brendan Rodgers | 23 | MLB | 2020

To quote Grey’s Sam Hilliard, 2020 Fantasy Outlook: “Are we sure Bud Black knows he has a minor league team of players he can call up at any time?”

Also, “I like Hilliard a lot for power, and will prolly draft him in NL-Only leagues on the cheap, but he’ll be on and off waivers in shallower leagues, due to the Rockies and Black messing with his playing time, and, if by some modern miracle like a vaginal birth with no out-of-pocket costs, Hilliard does get 500+ ABs, then he’ll be one of those guys who is drafted after the top 300 and provides huge value.”

I think that says it well. Inexpensive vaginal birth for everybody!!

I never liked 2B Brendan Rodgers. I think he stole my lunch money in a previous life. Anyway he’s finally interesting to me now that his price is becoming reasonable and his opportunity is on the horizon. I’d only trade for him in dynasty if the other team was really trying to move him, but I can see him being a decent spec pick in startups and redrafts. 

 

3. SS Ryan Vilade | 21 | A+ | 2022

4. SS Terrin Vavra | 22 | A+ | 2022

Vilade is pronounced like Blade, and I really hope Ryan makes it big so I can call him Daywalker. 

If you saw and liked Super Troopers, Vavra is a fun prospect for you. 

If you haven’t seen it, go ahead and watch it now. I’ll wait because I have a question: do you think the Rockies front office looks a little like Brian Cox’s crew of trooper goofballs? 

I really hope it does just so I know someone’s having fun. 

Oh yeah, baseball! Vavra’s pretty good at it. Not a ton of ceiling, but a hit-tool guy in Colorado is worth watching, especially as he heads to Hartford where most bats stall out and the snozzberries no longer taste like snozzberries. 

 

5. SS Eddy Diaz | 20 | R | 2023

A 19-year-old hitting .331 in the Pioneer League is not that big a deal. It’s a good setting for hitters. I’m not confident Eddy Diaz will ever be an MLB regular, but I am confident he’ll steal bases in the short term. Savvy dynasty players know to disregard young Rockies’ statistics due to their hitting-heavy parks and locations, but Diaz might make that really tough if he steals 40 bases in full-season ball while hitting above .300. That said, he’d be more of a show-and-sell piece than a core cog in a build. 

 

6. 1B Michael Toglia | 21 | A- | 2023

7. 3B Aaron Schunk | 22 | A | 2022

8. 1B Grant Lavigne | 20 | A | 2023

9. 1B Colton Welker | 22 | AA | 2022

10. 3B Tyler Nevin | 22 | AA | 2022

Somebody from this mountain of corner infield prospects will climb to the majors. I favor Michael Toglia, the club’s first round pick in 2019 who plays a solid first base and can smash balls both juiced and unjuiced. But it’s hard to drum up any real level of give-a-shit. I realize that’s the wrong attitude because we’re talking about Coors field here, and the Rockies who’ve actualized have rarely been ballyhooed—a trend that goes all the way back to Matt Holliday—so you’ve got to keep tabs on this whole system. It’s just disheartening to invest and watch assets waste away in quadruple-A-slash-bench purgatory, and I think most dynasty players are beginning to avoid Rockies as a matter of roster maximization, especially corner prospects who seem blocked for a good long while. Perhaps that creates a buying opportunity. Perhaps it’s a decent idea to always be carrying a Colorado kid or two, but woe to the dreamer who stocks his fantasy system with young mountaineers. Lots of lede time and opportunity cost down that road. 

That said, Aaron Schunk and Grant Lavigne have pretty good upside, while Colton Welker and Tyler Nevin have faded a fair bit but are young enough to bounce back. The key with any of these guys is to sell before they get to AA Hartford and consider buying back in after a few years simmering in the upper levels. 

 

Radio Flier: 

  • LHP Ryan Rolison | 22 | A+ | 2022

The 22nd overall pick in 2018, Ryan Rolison is not a typical fit in this spot, but I’ve been in enough leagues where Riley Pint is owned to know we might as well hash this out. Not only do Rockies pitching prospects face an impossible road, but they’re also zeros on the trade market. The juice will just never be worth the squeeze. Even monsters like Jon Gray and German Marquez—both of whom I think are easy top 20 MLB arm talents—can just barely eek out fantasy viability in their primes. I know this is not breaking news, but I’ll bet Rolison is still owned in more dynasty leagues than not. Wouldn’t even be shocked if people were still holding their Pints. If you’re among this demographic, I recommend you pour this one out.

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