The Rockies system is strong, led by a collection of impressive infielders. The biggest weakness, though, is that lack of pitching depth.
1. Brendan Rodgers | SS | AA —> Selected in the first round back in 2015, Rodgers should be ready for his first taste of The Show in 2019. He’s having an OK year in double-A but his aggressiveness continues to limit his overall offensive value. He’s walking a little more but he still needs to wait for better pitches to drive at times. He’s showing good power, which should play nicely in Colorado and he has 17 home runs in 84 games (as well as 21 doubles). I don’t know if he’ll be a star but he should be a very productive player.
2. Colton Welker | 3B | A+ —> I’ve been a huge Welker fan since he was stolen in the fourth round of the 2016 draft. Just 20, he’s having a strong season in high-A. He’s shown the consistent ability to hit for average and he’s doing a good job of controlling the strike zone. He has raw power that he has yet to fully tap into, which will only further increase his value as he approaches the Majors. Currently blocked at third base by Nolan Arenado, Welker could eventually replace him, or perhaps move to right field where his strong arm would continue to be an asset.
3. Peter Lambert | RHP | AAA —> Prior to this year, Lambert was always a fringe Top 10 guy but he’s made huge strides over the past three months. He’s now the Rockies’ best pitching prospect although he projects as more of a middle-of-the-rotation arm capable of chewing up innings and inducing lots of ground-ball outs. He throws tons of strikes but doesn’t miss a lot of bats. He appears well-suited for pitching roughly half his games in Colorado.
4. Garrett Hampson | IF | AAA —> Another player I’ve been a big fan of for a few years now, Hampson doesn’t have much power but he does a little bit of everything else. He’s athletic and can play all over the diamond, including shortstop. He’s fast on the base paths and already has 31 steals this season. And he realizes he needs to get on base to take advantage of that skill; he constantly posts strong walk rates. He could be a Marwin Gonzalez type of player who plays all over but sees his name on the lineup card almost every day.
5. Ryan Vilade | SS | A —> As if the Rockies don’t already have enough infield prospects. Vilade is having a modest season in low-A ball but he’s also just 19. He’s showing gap pop (which should develop into plus game power) and a willingness to get on base via the walk. Vilade should be able to stick at shortstop but he also has the arm for third base or right field.
6. Tyler Nevin | 1B/3B | A+ —> Selected in the same draft as Rodgers (38th overall), Nevin has moved a little more slowly but is starting to really tap into his potential. He’s having a solid year in high-A ball but needs to be a little more patient and start to develop more loft to his swing to tap into his raw power. He’s played a lot of third base but should eventually settle in at first base.
7. Grant Lavigne | 1B | SS —> One of the Rockies top picks in 2018, he could skyrocket up this list. He’s showing an advanced approach for his age and has a 1.058 OPS through 20 pro games. He has massive power potential but will need to watch the swing-and-miss in his game if he’s going to realize his full potential as he moves up the ladder.
8. Ryan Rolison | LHP | SS —> The Rockies top pick in 2018, Rolison is a big, strong left-handed pitcher who projects to develop into an innings-eating, mid-rotation starter. He has a three-pitch mix that includes a low-90s fastball, curveball and changeup.
9. Riley Pint | RHP | SS —> Pint is a project. He can hit triple digits, has a great pitcher’s frame and the potential for four average-or-better offerings. Unfortunately, he struggles with his delivery and hasn’t been able to throw strikes. In three appearances in 2018, he’s walked 10 batters in 7.1 innings.
10. Daniel Montano | OF | R —> This might be an aggressive ranking for Montano but I’m a fan of this 19 year old. He’s having a solid North American debut in the advanced rookie league as a teenager. He has the potential to hit for average, gap pop and steal some bases. He’s showing a willingness to take a walk but needs to trim his strikeout rate a bit as he gains more experience.
Jesus Tinoco | RHP | AA —> Signed by the Blue Jays way back in 2011, Tinoco has faced a long, twisting road through the minors due to inconsistencies. Originally more of a command/control guy, the right-hander’s stuff has improved along the way and he’s more of a power pitcher now. He’s probably better suited for a bullpen and could see his stuff tick up even more with the switch.
Sam Hilliard | OF | AAA —> Another 2015 pick making good, Hilliard is a big guy who struggles to control his long levers at the plate, which leads to lots of strikeouts. Still, he’s very athletic, runs well and can put a charge in the ball when he makes contact.
Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.