On the Cusp: Colorado Rockies
Gray, Butler among top prospects looking to impact big league club in 2015
The Rockies are still searching for pitchers that can find success in hitter-friendly Coors Field. Certainly some of their Top 20 Prospects could help in the club's annual quest for arms.
Jon Gray | RHP | 6-foot-4, 235 pounds | No. 1
Gray is part of a dynamic duo of pitchers the Rockies hope will anchor their staff for years to come. Gray has it all -- a power arm with a fastball that hits 95-97 mph regularly and 100 if needed, a very good swing-and-miss slider and a changeup that can buckles knees. He has good control and command of his entire repertoire. He has the potential to be an ace and he may need more development time, but his upside tempts a promotion.
Eddie Butler | RHP | 6-foot-2, 180 pounds | No. 2
The other half of the Rockies' prospect pitching tandem, Butler complements Gray as another solid starter with huge upside. His best pitch is a mid-to-high-90s fastball. Like Gray, his slider is a wicked pitch and the best of his secondary offerings. Butler throws a good changeup and a mediocre curveball. He can improve by cutting down on his walks. But his clean, repeatable delivery is well suited to pitching in the rotation.
Kyle Parker | 1B | 6-feet, 205 pounds | No. 8
A bit undersized as a first baseman, Parker was a standout football star at Clemson. His power is intriguing, but he hit fewer home runs this past season at Triple-A Colorado Springs (15) than the previous season at Double-A Tulsa, when he belted 23. Coors Field should be a great place for his right-handed bat. Like many power hitters, strikeouts could continue to be an issue for him. He feasts on fastballs.
Tyler Anderson | LHP | 6-foot-4, 215 pounds | No. 12
After sustaining a stress fracture in his elbow, Anderson threw 118 1/3 innings last year at Double-A Tulsa. He isn't overpowering, with a fastball that he throws between 88-93 mph. His game is more finesse, using a fine slider and a very, very good changeup to mix in with an average curveball. His delivery is a bit awkward, but he gets plenty of deception on his pitches. He could benefit by issuing fewer walks.
Cristhian Adames | SS/3B/2B | 6-feet, 180 pounds | No. 13
The switch-hitting Adames is best known as a smooth, sure-handed defender. He has good range, a solid and accurate arm and soft hands. He is basically ready to become a Major League defender. The issue rests with his bat. Will he hit enough to warrant a place in the Rockies' lineup? He does make good contact with a short swing. He's coming off a fine offensive season at Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Scott Oberg | RHP | 6-foot-2, 205 pounds | No. 17
Oberg has had a nice career as a late-inning reliever. So far in the Rockies' farm system, he has 61 saves in parts of three seasons. His best year was 2013, when he recorded 33 saves at Class A Advanced Modesto. Oberg throws a 90-94 mph fastball that isn't overpowering. He does, however, command his pitches well. He throws a swing-and-miss curveball and he can mix in a mediocre changeup to add deception.
Rayan Gonzalez | RHP | 6-foot-3, 175 pounds | No. 18
Gonzalez has pitched parts of three seasons and he has spent time as a closer. Pitching exclusively as a reliever, he scuffled a bit at Class A Advanced Modesto last year and he may need additional time in development. He was very hittable and a high walk rate added to his woes. But when right, he has swing-and-miss pitches that include a sinking fastball he throws in the mid-90s, along with a good cutter.
Jairo Diaz | RHP | 6-feet, 195 pounds | unranked
Diaz was traded to the Rockies from the Angels in the deal for infielder Josh Rutledge. He spent some time working out of the Angels' bullpen last season, recording a 3.18 ERA in five relief appearances. Even though he has started in his Minor League career, he figures to get a long look to make the Rockies' bullpen this season. He throws a high velocity fastball that generally sits at 96-97 mph and an effective slider.