Colorado Rockies news and links for Monday, January 31, 2022
To wrap up our draft review series, let’s recall the Rockies three most recent drafts.
The 2019, 2020, and 2021 drafts were continuations of the strategy the Rockies have shown since the start of the Jeff Bridich era – heavy on college arms. With the latest draft being the first of the post-Bridich era, it appears this strategy will continue. Which makes sense, considering now-GM Bill Schmidt had been the Rockies Director of Scouting since 2000, and likely had just as great of an impact on draft strategy as Bridich did.
Of the current PuRPs that were drafted in the last three years, we have the following players.
The first group of PuRPs are the ones that should be at the top of the list – the first rounders.
Michael Toglia was drafted as a switch hitting first baseman with plus power potential, and so far he’s shown it in the low minors. He hit nine homers in 41 games in 2019 at low-A, then 22 homers over 115 games in 2021 between high-A and AA. While opinions have been mixed on current prospect pedigree due to his proclivity to swing and miss (he’s averaged more than a strikeout per game at every professional level), he still has plenty of time to develop. He played in AA as a 22 year old, almost two years younger than his average opponents, in what was also his first full length professional season. Pitchers have made an adjustment to keep him down, but he has the talent and hopefully the drive to adjust back.
Zac Veen remains the Rockies consensus top prospect. Taken as a high schooler out of Florida, he enjoyed a spectacular season at single A Fresno in 2021, hitting .301 with an OPS of .901, and 15 homers and 36 steals for good measure. That season has propelled him to #49 in Fangraphs prospect rankings after debuting at #72 in 2021. Veen is considered to have potential All Star upside, with at least another two years of development to come before he could roam the Coors outfield.
The Rockies followed up their 2020 first rounder, Veen, with a similar toolsy, high school outfielder Benny Montgomery. He’s been given 70 grade speed, to go along with potential future 60 grade power. Similar to Toglia, the latest Fangraphs rankings were not as kind to him as was expected. He’ll likely start the season at single-A Fresno and will look to prove the naysayers wrong, while surely being measured (for better or worse) against Veen’s stellar 2021 there.
The rest of the Rockies recently drafted prospects are mostly a collection of former college arms who will look to provide the Rockies with rotational depth in the upcoming years.
We’ll see if the Rockies strategy changes going forward. Schmidt has repeatedly referred to the Rockies as a “draft and develop organization”, and while four of the five Rockies playoff teams have during Schmidt’s tenure as Director of Scouting, the current team projects to be on the outside looking in, with few replacements to come soon in the minors.
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If that wasn’t enough talk of future Rockies, then you’re in luck. Prospects 1500 recently released their list going into the 2022 season. The list is still high on Toglia and Montgomery, unlike Fangraphs, and provides some in-game footage of each.
Again, Veen leads this list. His 31 “troubles” (doubles and triples) are highlighted, as well as the aforementioned power numbers. His speed numbers aren’t mentioned surprisingly, considering the dominant year he had on the basepaths.
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