There’s change happening in Colorado.
The big difference at the big league level, of course, is the absence of Nolan Arenado, a former homegrown player. That’s made the new Top 30 look different, with three players from that trade dotting a ranking that’s largely been homegrown over the years.
There’s also a change at the top of the list. For five years in a row, Brendan Rodgers was the No. 1 prospect for the Rockies. The No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 Draft graduated off the list in 2020 and should be a big part of the Rockies rebuilding effort. The top spot is now filled by Zac Veen, who, like Rodgers, is a high school hitter from Florida the organization took in the top 10 of the Draft. The No. 9 overall pick in the 2020 Draft will be able to officially get his career started in 2021.
Beyond the top, the Rockies still have some work to do. Always active on the international market, there is a good amount of intriguing talent pooling at the bottom, players who didn’t get the chance to get reps and development in last year’s cancelled season. If they can take steps forward with a return to play, we could see the Rockies on the rise in the future.
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2020 preseason list to the 2021 preseason list.
Jump: Julio Carreras, INF (2020: 27 | 2021: 14) -- He played well in the Dominican Summer League in 2018 and then in the U.S. in ’19. He’s big, strong, athletic and has shown the ability to impact the baseball and play three infield positions.
Fall: Will Ethridge, RHP (2020: 21 | 2021: NR)/ Niko Decolati (2020: 16 | 2021: 26) -- Ethridge has average stuff across the board with a limited ceiling and there were more exciting candidates for the Top 30. Decolati has tools, but they’re still raw, and he really missed the reps that were wiped out from the lack of a 2020 season.
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.
Hit: 60 -- Zac Veen
Power: 60 -- Ryan Vilade
Run: 65 -- Eddy Diaz
Arm: 70 -- Yonathan Diaz
Defense: 65 -- Ezequiel Tovar
Fastball: 65 -- Helcris Olivarez
Curveball: 60 -- Ryan Rolison
Slider: 60 -- Sam Weatherly
Changeup: 55 -- Ryan Rolison (Chris McMahon, Ben Bowden, Karl Kauffman)
Control: 55 -- Antonio Santos (Ryan Rolison)
How they were built
Draft: 18 | International: 7 | Trade: 4 | Rule 5: 1
Breakdown by ETA
2021: 11 | 2022: 8 | 2023: 8 | 2024: 2 | 2025: 1
Breakdown by position
C: 1 | 1B: 3 | 3B: 3 | SS: 4 | OF: 6 | RHP: 8 | LHP: 5