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Hitting: 60. Power: 55. Running: 50. Fielding: 55. Arm: 60. TRACK RECORD: Rodgers was the top prospect in the 2015 draft thanks to his precocious hitting ability, promising power potential and ability to stick up the middle defensively. The Rockies drafted him third overall, behind Dansby Swanson and Alex Bregman, and signed him for a franchise-record $5.5 million. While Swanson and Bregman have found success in the big leagues, Rodgers’ career has stalled due to injuries. Shoulder surgery limited his big league time in 2019 to just 25 games and resulted in him being handled with extreme caution in 2020. A tweaked hamstring suffered at the alternate training site delayed his return to Colorado, where he once again struggled offensively. Through 32 big league games he has hit .196/.235/.227 with four walks and 33 strikeouts.
SCOUTING REPORT: While Rodgers’ standing as a prospect has suffered, both because of injuries and decaying enthusiasm about his tools, he still has the ceiling of an impact player. He’s still 24 years old, and there is little doubt he can be an above-average hitter if he stays healthy. Rodgers’ quick wrists, bat speed and ability to make consistent hard contact earn high marks, and he projects to have above-average power. Historically, the knock on Rodgers has been his lack of walks and a strikeout rate that has ballooned in his small big league sample. At present, he can hit any fastball but struggles with big league-caliber breaking balls. While his pitch recognition and patience will continue to be question marks until he proves otherwise, they have been an area of focus over the last two years and he has shown progress. A natural shortstop, Rodgers is still a work in progress defensively at second base. He has more than enough arm strength and athleticism for the position and has spent time working on the finer points of the keystone, including his angles to the ball, moving better to his left and working to soften his hands. There is confidence he can be an above-average defender at second base if he winds up there.
THE FUTURE: Rodgers will get another chance in 2021 to entrench himself with fellow homegrown stars Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, who play third base and shortstop in Colorado. Rodgers might still be the franchise’s shortstop of the future, but with Story there for at least another year, his best path to playing time will be at second base. If Rodgers gets the playing time he needs and makes a leap in 2021, an infield featuring Rodgers, Story and Arenado could be one of the most dynamic in baseball.
Hitting: 55. Power: 60. Running: 50. Fielding: 50. Arm: 55. TRACK RECORD: Veen used a big junior season at Spruce Creek High outside of Orlando to rocket up draft boards. A late push in 2020 took him from a back-of-the-first-round prospect to the ninth overall pick, where the Rockies drafted him and signed him for $5 million to forgo a Florida commitment. Veen participated in instructional league and held his own against high-velocity arms.
SCOUTING REPORT: Veen is a fantastic athlete with an exceptional batting eye and a natural feel to hit. He possesses leverage in his swing and plus power to the pull side, and there is confidence power to all fields will come. Veen is 6-foot-5, 200 pounds, but the Rockies think the lefthanded hitter can add another 15-20 pounds to an already-sturdy frame. Opinions on Veen’s long-term hitting potential vary, but most see at least an average hitter with the potential for 30 home runs. Veen has the athleticism and average speed to play center field now, but as he grows he may be a better fit in right field, where his above-average arm would fit nicely.
THE FUTURE: Few doubt Veen’s offensive ceiling as a middle of the order slugger. The Rockies are eager to get him into the system and begin his development in earnest, most likely at low Class A in 2021.
Fastball: 50. Slider: . Changeup: 50. Curveball: 60. Control: 60. TRACK RECORD: Rolison was a key piece of Mississippi’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class in 2016, and he lived up his potential in Oxford, striking out 184 batters in 159 career innings on the way to being drafted in the first round, 22nd overall, as an eligible sophomore in 2018. In 2019, Rolison did as well as could be expected in hitter-friendly Lancaster. Rolison spent time at both the Rockies’ alternate training site and then at instructional league in 2020.
SCOUTING REPORT: Rolison gets hitters out with his intellect, feel to pitch and ability to make quick adjustments. He primarily sets hitters up with his low-90s fastball and finishes them with a plus curveball he can manipulate the spin and shape of. The Rockies are excited about the continued development of a changeup that shows average potential. Rolison is sometimes listed as having a slider, but it’s actually a modified version of his curveball, which is also in the upper 70s. Rolison has shown plus control in the minors with 2.7 walks per nine innings, but the Rockies would like to see him improve his command to his arm side.
THE FUTURE: The lack of eye-popping stuff limits Rolison’s ceiling, but his command and pitchability give him a chance to be a rotation mainstay. He’ll see Double-A in 2021.
Hitting: 50. Power: 60. Running: 45. Fielding: 60. Arm: 50. TRACK RECORD: The Rockies drafted Toglia in the 37th round out of high school and picked him again in the first round, No. 23 overall, after an accomplished career at UCLA. Toglia went to the short-season Northwest League in his pro debut, showing the power and defense that made him a coveted prospect, and spent 2020 at the alternate training site.
SCOUTING REPORT: Despite his hulking 6-foot-5, 226- pound frame, the switch-hitting Toglia is more of a contact hitter than a slugger. He takes a patient approach and drives the ball hard on a line from the left side of the plate. He’s much less dangerous righthanded, but he’s worked hard on his load and trigger to get into a better hitting position from that side. Toglia is very streaky and flashes plus power from the left side when he’s hot. The Rockies believe adjustments to his timing can make him an average hitter with plus power in time. Toglia is a plus defender at first base with smooth actions, sound footwork and good instincts around the bag. The Rockies are working him in the outfield to enhance his versatility.
THE FUTURE: Toglia is advanced but still has to prove himself over a full minor league season. The Rockies envision him becoming a middle of the order slugger.
Hitting: 55. Power: 50. Running: 45. Fielding: 50. Arm: 60. TRACK RECORD: A third baseman and closer at Georgia, Schunk dropped pitching after being drafted in the second round in 2019. He began his pro career with a bang by hitting .306/.370/.503 with short-season Boise and ranking as the Northwest League’s No. 4 prospect despite dealing with knee inflammation that limited him at the end of the season. He spent 2020 at the alternate training site before finishing in instructional league.
SCOUTING REPORT: Schunk doesn’t have the loudest tools in the system, but observers see him as the type of player who will get the most from his skills. He has the arm and athleticism to be an average third baseman and also took to second base when the Rockies played him there at the alternate site. Offensively, Schunk controls the strike zone, stays inside the ball and drives it from gap to gap. His approach and bat speed give him a chance to hit for average with enough power to get frequent at-bats. Schunk made recent positive changes physically as well, slimming down over the course of the year while maintaining his strength during the coronavirus shutdown.
THE FUTURE: Schunk’s maturity and work ethic could help him move quickly. His bat will be what pushes him forward, but his newfound versatility on the infield can only help.
Fastball: 60. Slider: 55. Changeup: 55. Curveball: . Control: 50. TRACK RECORD: Offseason meniscus surgery forced McMahon to miss the start of his freshman year at Miami in 2018, and a minor back injury slowed him for a short period of time as a sophomore. But when he was on the mound, McMahon was excellent for the Hurricanes. He put up a 2.55 ERA with 123 strikeouts in 112.1 career innings, leading the Rockies to draft him 46th overall in 2020 and sign him for $1,637,400.
SCOUTING REPORT: McMahon’s best offering is a fastball that sits 95-96 mph and was located well when he participated in instructional league. He complements his fastball with a solid-average slider and changeup that has a chance to be a plus offering down the line. The consistency of those secondary offerings will be key for McMahon. He throws strikes with average control, and the Rockies like the mound presence and moxie that he brings to his craft. McMahon’s athleticism, three-pitch repertoire and arm strength should keep him alive as starter.
THE FUTURE: McMahon has yet to officially debut and he’ll have to prove himself in 2021. The Rockies are already pleased with what they’ve seen so far and think they have a potential mid-rotation starter.
Hitting: 55. Power: 45. Running: 40. Fielding: 45. Arm: 55. TRACK RECORD: Welker’s pro career got off to a flying start, highlighted by winning the California League batting title with a .333 average in 2018. He started strong at Double-A in 2019, hitting .308 with power through 56 games, before fading badly down the stretch and suffering a shoulder injury that cut his season short. The Rockies brought Welker to the alternate training site in 2020 and added him to the 40-man roster after the season.
SCOUTING REPORT: Welker rose to Double-A at a young age thanks to above-average hitting ability and solid plate discipline, and those traits will be his ticket to the majors. His downturn late in 2019 came when he got outside of himself, tried to do too much and his swing got out of sync. Average power could come naturally if he doesn’t try to force it. Welker has a big body and his feet slow down when he carries too much weight, which hurts him at third base. His hands and above-average arm work at the hot corner, but his size and resulting lack of mobility might force him to first base, a position he played with greater regularity at Double-A in 2019.
THE FUTURE: Welker can flat-out hit when he stays within himself. His defensive value is likely to be limited, so he’ll have to hit his way to the big leagues.
Hitting: 50. Power: 60. Running: 60. Fielding: 50. Arm: . TRACK RECORD: Doyle originally committed to Virginia Military Institute before landing at Division II Shepherd (W. Va.) in West Virginia instead. He looked like a Division I player at the level and was drafted in the fourth round in 2019 by the Rockies. Doyle led the Rookie-level Pioneer League in batting average (.383) and on-base percentage (.477)during a smashing pro debut. He returned to the field in 2020 during instructional league.
SCOUTING REPORT: Doyle has a lot of tools that jump out. His plus speed and strong arm give him the defensive versatility to settle in at any of the three outfield positions. He has above-average power at the plate, giving him the potential to be a dynamic power-speed threat. Doyle does swing and miss at times and will have to answer questions about his contact skills against upper-level pitching, but so far he has kept his strikeout numbers manageable. A tweak Doyle made in 2019— he stood up taller in his stance—granted him more leverage for power and helped him see the ball longer to avoid chasing out of the zone as frequently.
THE FUTURE: Doyle continues to perform as the pitching he faces gets better. He has the tools to emerge as an everyday outfielder if he can keep that up.
Hitting: 55. Power: 45. Running: 50. Fielding: 40. Arm: 50. TRACK RECORD: Drafted in the second round in 2017, Vilade was the Rockies’ top pick that year because they lost their first-rounder for signing free agent Ian Desmond. Vilade was drafted for his bat, and he hasn’t disappointed, batting .291/.368/.428 while rising to high Class A, albeit all while playing at hitter-friendly locales.
SCOUTING REPORT: Vilade is traditionally a slow starter but tends to round into form as the season progresses. He has a flat, impactful swing that makes a lot of contact, and he’s added strength that has pushed his weight up from 200 to 225 pounds. That stands to help his power, though his swing path is more geared for line drives and makes him more of a doubles hitter than a home run threat. He’s always been able to go the other way effectively and has learned when to turn on the inside pitch while still staying up the middle on balls out over the plate. Vilade’s defense is a different story. Despite his average speed, his slow reactions and limited range made him a liability at both shortstop and third base. The Rockies moved him to the outfield to give him another defensive option.
THE FUTURE: Vilade has the tools to hit himself to the big leagues. His defensive progress in the outfield will be key to watch in 2021.
Fastball: 60. Slider: . Changeup: 50. Curveball: 55. Control: 50. TRACK RECORD: Olivarez was relatively anonymous after signing with the Rockies for $77,000 and spending parts of three seasons in the Dominican Summer League. He broke out in 2019 and averaged 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings at Rookie-level Grand Junction in his U.S. debut, albeit with a heavy dose of walks. Olivarez went to the alternate training site in 2020, turned heads in instructional league and was added to the 40-man roster after the season.
SCOUTING REPORT: Olivarez may be just 20 years old, but at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, he is built like a grown man. His fastball sits 94-96 mph, touches 97 and is one of the best in the Rockies’ system. His curveball is an above-average offering and is his go-to putaway pitch. His changeup flashes plus but is inconsistent. Olivarez is fully bilingual and exudes confidence on the mound. The only questions are his durability and control. He has yet to throw more than 60.2 innings in a season and is an inconsistent strike-thrower who will be stretched to reach average control.
THE FUTURE: Olivarez’s arm is special and he has the makeup to get the most from his abilities. He has the makings of a hard-throwing lefthanded starter if he can improve his control.
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