Colorado Rockies Top 10 Prospects for 2012

(Jan 9/2012)

Colorado Rockies Top 10 Prospects for 2012

1. LHP Drew Pomeranz
    Pomeranz was the top college pitcher selected in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, fifth overall to the Cleveland Indians. He was sent to the Rockies in the Ubaldo Jimenez deal, but had to be included as the player to be named later, since he had not been in the Indians system for the minimum requirement of one year. Pomeranz instantly becomes the top pitching prospect in a system that already boasts two left-handed former first-round picks, in Tyler Matzek and Christian Friedrich. The Rockies also received talented RHP Alex White from the Indians, another former first-round pick, but he's now used up his rookie eligibility. However, Pomeranz alone could turn out to be a sufficient return for Jimenez if he develops as expected. He had an oustanding debut with Double-A Tulsa after finally joining the Rockies system, and fans have high hopes for what he could achieve in 2012 after seeing him make his Rockies debut down the stretch.

    Pomeranz throws a mid 90's fastball with movement, a power curveball that he can throw for strikes and get hitters to chase down in the zone, and an improving changeup. As his program's ace and the top college pitcher drafted, Pomeranz is used to the big stage and is very poised for a young pitcher. He has average command that he should be able to improve over time, and the ability to become a top of the rotation starter for years to come.

    2. 3B Nolan Arenado
      Arenado led the minor leagues with 122 RBI in 2011, then went on to win the Arizona Fall League MVP Award after hitting .388/.423/.636 with 6 HR, 12 doubles and 33 RBI in 29 games for the Salt River Rafters.

      Continue reading after the jump to see the rest of the Colorado Rockies Top 10 Prospects.

      3. C Wilin Rosario
        4. RHP Chad Bettis
          5. LHP Tyler Matzek
            6. OF Tim Wheeler

            7. OF Kyle Parker

            8. LHP Christian Friedrich
            Friedrich's stock has been slipping each of the past two years. Once considered one of the best prospects in the system, and among the Top 50 prospects in the game, he's struggled with mechanics and minor injuries since then. After dominating both the Class-A South Atlantic League and Class-A+ California League in 2009, Friedrich has really struggled at the Double-A level. He's made 43 starts with Tulsa over the past two seasons, posting an ERA just over 5, and seeing his H/9 and K/9 ratios go in the complete wrong direction. To put that in perspective, he allowed 94 hits and struck out 159 batters in 119.2 combined innings in 2009, good for a 7.1 H/9 and 12.0 K/9. In 2011, he allowed 156 hits and struck out just 103 batters in 133.1 innings pitched, for a 10.5 H/9 and 7.0 K/9. The question now is what to do with the left-hander, as he'll be 25 during the 2012 season and the Rockies will not want to send him to Double-A Tulsa for the third consecutive season, even though his statistics definitely do not indicate that he is worthy of a promotion. 2012 will definitely be a make or break year for the once promising left-hander.

            9. LHP Tyler Anderson

            Anderson was the Rockies first-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Oregon University. The 6'4" left-hander is a polished college pitcher, who has very good command and the smarts to mix his pitches to keep hitters off balance. He throws a low 90's fastball which he can cut or throw with some two-seam life. He also throws a developing changeup and he has a feel for two different breaking balls. Anderson could start up a level in the Class-A+ California League, but it will be interesting to see if the Rockies want him to get his feet wet in such an offensive league. There's a chance that they might have him start with Class-A Asheville of the South Atlantic League. Either way, the Rockies have yet another promising young arm to build around.

            10. LHP Edwar Cabrera

            Cabrera may have had the best statistical season of any player on this list, as he led the minor leagues almost all season, and finished with 217 strikeouts in just 167 innings pitched. He split the year between Class-A Asheville and Class-A+ Modesto, allowing just 155 hits and surrendering 41 walks. His K:BB ratio was a very impressive 5.29, and he was very effective in the California League, a circuit known for it's robust offensive production. The knock on Cabrera was that he's advanced for his level, pitching the 2011 season at the age of 24. However, he was consistent all year, and while his ERA increased slightly upon advancing a level, he was also able to increase the number of outs he recorded on the ground. That was likely a key factor that enabled Cabrera to carry his success over to the California League.

            More Notable Colorado Rockies Prospects (No Order): RHP Joe Gardner, RHP Peter Tago, OF Corey Dickerson, RHP Dan Houston