Rockies place 6 on Top 100 Prospects list

January 30th, 2016

DENVER -- The Rockies' attempt to build a strong future can no longer be called a quiet one.

Led by the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 Draft, shortstop Brendan Rodgers, and right-handed pitcher Jon Gray, Colorado placed six players on the 2016 Top 100 Prospects list, announced Friday night.

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High Draft picks and one blockbuster trade led to the Rockies ranking second in the Majors in number of prospects on the list (only the Phillies had more, with seven) and second in Prospect Points, which are based on overall ranking of Top 100 players, behind the Rangers.

Rodgers, who began his career under careful handling at Class A Grand Junction, was ranked 12th overall. Gray, who was drafted third overall in 2013 and debuted in the Majors last season under a tight innings limit, checked in at 33rd.

Also making the list were outfielder David Dahl at No. 46, third baseman Ryan McMahon at 48, righty pitcher Jeff Hoffman -- part of the take in the deal that sent star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to the Blue Jays -- at 52 and second baseman Forrest Wall at 90.

The annual ranking of baseball's Top 100 Prospects is assembled by Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo, Jim Callis and Mike Rosenbaum, who compile input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. Only players with rookie status entering the 2016 season are eligible for the list. The rankings follow the guidelines laid out by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, in terms of who falls under the international pool money rules: Players who were at least 23 years old when they signed and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible.

The Rockies' struggles in recent seasons, with fourth- or fifth-place finishes from 2011-15, led to early Draft picks, some of whom are in the Top 100 now or figure to be soon.

All Rockies on the 2016 Top 100 Prospects list were first-round picks except for McMahon, a second-rounder in 2013. Top 10 overall picks were Rodgers, Gray, Hoffman (ninth in 2014 by the Jays, one pick after Colorado took lefty pitcher Kyle Freeland) and Dahl (10th in 2012). Wall was a supplemental first-rounder, 35th overall in 2014.

Over the past several days, has published player rankings by position. Here are the passages on the Rockies players who appear in the Top 100:

Rodgers (No. 6 SS):'s top-rated prospect in the 2015 Draft, he went No. 3 overall as the first high school player selected. Rodgers' combination of explosive bat speed and strength give him plus power that rivals No. 1 overall prospect Corey Seager (SS, Dodgers) for the best on this list, and Rodgers' game resembles Seager's at the same stage of their careers.

Gray (No. 6 RHP): The lone member of the Top 10 right-handed pitchers list to have reached the Majors, Gray may have the best pure stuff in franchise history, with a heavy fastball that has been clocked at 102 mph, a nasty slider and a sinking changeup. Also the highest-drafted righty in the Top 10 (No. 3 overall in 2013), he'll need to refine his command to become a front-line starter and survive Coors Field.

Hoffman (just barely off the list of Top 10 righties): In the mix to go No. 1 overall in the 2014 Draft before he blew out his elbow, Hoffman went No. 9 to the Blue Jays despite having Tommy John surgery, and he quickly reached Double-A in his pro debut last year. He has a chance to have three plus pitches (mid-90s sinker, big-breaking curveball, changeup) and throws strikes, but he needs to miss more bats.

McMahon (No. 3 3B): McMahon has done nothing but hit since he signed with the Rockies for $1.327 million as a second-round pick in 2013. He batted .300/.372/.520 with 18 home runs and a California League-leading 43 doubles last season at Class A Advanced Modesto. McMahon has swing-and-miss to his game and strikes out often as a result, but he also sticks to a consistent approach and shows a good feel for hitting and has power to all fields. He led the league with 39 errors last season but is a good athlete with the tools to become an average defender at third base.

Wall (No. 4 2B): Despite being limited to just playing second base coming out of high school because of some shoulder issues, Wall was taken No. 35 overall in the 2014 Draft because he can really hit and he can really run. As a pro, he's been as advertised, hitting for average, showing extra-base pop (with more possibly to come) and stealing bases. Wall is only going to get better offensively as he learns the nuances, which should help offset any throwing-related defensive inefficiencies.

Dahl did not make the Top 10 outfielders list, but there were 26 outfielders in the Top 100. Dahl hit .278 with 25 extra-base hits at Double-A New Britain in a strange season that saw him start slowly, turn hot, miss nearly two months because of a lacerated spleen suffered in an on-field collision, and -- after the spleen was removed -- finish the season hitting .299 in his final 29 games despite playing with a right knee that was badly bruised when he fouled a ball off of it shortly after returning to the Double-A level.