The Rockies made it to the postseason in 2017 and 2018 as a Wild Card team, advancing to the NLDS in ’18. They did it with rosters that were among the most homegrown of all the playoff teams, particularly in terms of original draftees. Their roster was similarly homegrown in 2019, though injuries contributed to a 91-loss season.
The Draft-heavy trend filters down throughout the current Top 30, as detailed below. A vast majority of the top prospects in the organization have come through the Draft (23 of 30), with the 2019 effort adding another handful to the list, including three in the top 15.
While the Rockies have a lot of homegrown players on the 25-man roster, there isn’t a ton of elite-level talent on the way. There are only two players currently in the Top 100, though a healthy Brendan Rodgers does give them a Rookie of the Year candidate in 2020.
TOP 5 PROSPECTS
HITTING & PITCHING PROSPECTS OF THE YEAR
Sam Hilliard, OF (No. 9): Hilliard's year earned him a callup in late August with the Rockies. On Sept. 18, he became the first player to homer twice off Noah Syndergaard in a Major League game. In 126 games for Triple-A Albuquerque, he slugged .558 with 35 homers and 101 RBIs. In 2018 for Double-A Hartford, he slugged just .389 with nine homers.
Ryan Rolison, LHP (No. 2): The 2018 first rounder out of Ole Miss started the year off with three starts for Class A Asheville, where he allowed just one earned run and three runs overall. Then he moved up to Class A Advanced Lancaster, which was a bit of a different story. He succeeded initially -- with a 1.52 ERA through his first five starts there, then struggled at times with a 7.27 ERA through his next 12 starts, before rebounding for a 3.12 ERA in his final five starts at the level for the year. More »
Tommy Doyle, RHP (No. 20): Doyle had a ho-hum pro debut after coming out of the University of Virginia in the 2017 Draft, and his full-season debut in Asheville in 2018 started slowly but finished well. He took a big step forward in 2019, showing that his fastball-slider combination would work just fine in hitting-friendly Lancaster. He struck out 12 per nine innings and held hitters to a .185 batting average against while saving 19 games, vaulting him firmly onto the Top 30.
Riley Pint, RHP (No. 16): The No. 4 overall pick in the 2016 Draft, Pint has had a hard time staying healthy and throwing strikes when he has been. He missed nearly all of 2018 with first forearm tightness, then a strained oblique. He showed glimpses of his power stuff in 2019, though he was moved to the bullpen early because of command issues (31 BB, 23 K in 17 2/3 IP) before being shut down for the year in mind-June with a shoulder problem.
Draft: Michael Toglia, 1B, 1st round (No. 5 on Rockies Top 30); Aaron Schunk, RHP, 2nd round (No. 12); Karl Kauffman, RHP, Competitive Balance Round B (No. 14); Jacob Wallace, RHP, 3rd round (No. 22); Will Ethridge, RHP, 5th round (No. 23); Jacob Kostyshock, RHP, 8th round.
Complete Draft list »
International: Adael Amador, SS (No. 12 on the Top 30 International Prospects list)
The Rockies have long used the Draft to build their farm system and big league roster, and while they might not have added any elite-level talent last June, Toglia could develop into a very good run producer in Coors Field in the future. He heads up six Top 200 Draft picks selected and signed by the team, with five of those six currently on the team's Top 30. Fans in Colorado won’t see Amador for quite some time, but as one of the top shortstop prospects in the international market, don’t be surprised if he develops into the best prospect in this system in a few years.
2020 IMPACT PROSPECT
Brendan Rodgers, INF: The 2019 season was supposed to be Rodgers’ coming out party, but a shoulder injury kept that from coming to fruition. He had a torn labrum repaired in July and his rehab has gone well thus far, so he will be raring to go at the outset of the 2020 season.
Hit: Brendan Rodgers
Power: Sam Hilliard
Run: Bladimir Restituyo
Arm: Yonathan Daza
Field: Ezequiel Tovar
Best athlete: Niko Decolati
Fastball: Riley Pint
Curveball: Alexander Guillen
Slider: Tommy Doyle
Changeup: Ryan Rolison
Control: Jack Wynkoop
HOW THE TOP 30 WAS BUILT
Non-drafted free agent: 1
Just how much do the Rockies rely on the Draft? The top nine players in the Top 30 are all original Rockies draftees, as are 13 of the top 15. The lone exceptions are international signee Yonathan Daza and non-drafted free agent Josh Fuentes, both of whom made their big league debuts in 2019.
TOP 30 BY POSITION
The Rockies had a stretch where they were more successful in developing homegrown pitching, but they’re back to being much more hitting-heavy these days, with only two arms in the top 10. There’s a lot of infield talent on the way, with eight of the top 15 playing on the dirt.