|Original Published Date: April 15, 2014|
|Updated: June 9, 2014|
The Colorado Rockies hot start has faded and they now find themselves below .500. They also promoted Eddie Butler, one of their prized pitching prospect who not only pitched poorly but hurt his shoulder in the process. Jonathan Gray continues to pitch well and could see time in the Colorado in the second half.
1. Next in Line Infield Prospects
- Ryan Wheeler (1B/3B, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
- Paul Janish (SS, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
Notes: The Rockies infield is anchored by arguable the major league’s best shortstop in Troy Tulowitzki. Additionally they added former MVP Justin Morneau at first to complement emerging stars, Nolan Arenado and Wilin Rosario. It’s one of the strengths of the team and masked a minor league system void of impact infield talent. Ryan Wheeler is next-in-line and can play both first and third. He brings average tools and is likely to be a marginal fantasy contributor.
2. Next in Line Outfield Prospects
- Tim Wheeler (OF, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
- Kyle Parker (OF, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: High
Notes: While Tim Wheeler might be next-in-line for a call-up, Kyle Parker is the player that fantasy owners want to target. He’s been extremely consistent over the past three years in producing 21-23 home runs and at least 73 RBI’s. While the major leagues will present it’s challenges, Parker’s sound approach and plus raw power should translate well. With the emergence of Charlie Blackmon, it will likely take an injury for Parker to get the call.
3. Next in Line Pitching Prospects
- Christian Fredrich (LHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
- Eddie Butler (RHP, Double-A) – Fantasy relevance: High – PROMOTED: 6/6/14
- Jonathan Gray (RHP, Double-A) – Fantasy relevance: High
Notes: With everything pointed up, the urgency to promote Eddie Butler and Jonathan Gray has accelerated. Both are elite prospects and are pitching in Double-A. In fact, there’s a strong likelihood that the Rockies will skip them over Colorado Springs and directly to Denver and it could happen soon – like in June. Butler has gotten off to a fine start and looks like a solid number three starter. But Gray could be special. After a difficult second start of the season, he has been one of the most dominate starters in all of the minor leagues.
4. Next in Line Relief Prospects
- Wilton Lopez (RHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
- Manny Corpas (RHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
- Tyler Matzek (LHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Medium
Notes: Tyler Matzek got off to a great start to the 2014 season when he struck out 11 in his season opener. However, he came back to earth in his second outing when he gave up for earned runs in four innings while striking out only two. His poor mechanics will always make him a frustrating talent as the arsenal is quite good. In the end, the Rockies will move him to the bullpen where his arsenal should play up. There is closer potential but likely not in 2014.