It's time for the Fall 2012 PuRPs list, the Purple Row community's list of the top 30 Rockies prospects.
It's time for the Fall 2012 PuRPs list, the Purple Row community's list of the top 30 Rockies prospects. I will reveal these prospects five at a time to give people who aren't in the know a little bit more of information on them.
23 ballots were cast in this edition of the PuRPs poll, with 30 points being granted for a first place vote, 29 for second, etc. Until a player was named on 8 ballots, his vote totals were modified on a sliding scale to avoid an individual ballot having too much say over the community forecast -- but none of the above players had that problem, as all 30 players on the PuRPs list were named on at least 8 ballots. The first tiebreaker goes to the player who was ranked on the most ballots, then to the one who was ranked highest on an individual PuRPs ballot, and the 3rd is the mode ballot (we needed that one on this list).
In all, 64 players received at least one vote for this PuRPs list, 52 got mentioned on multiple ballots, 35 were named on at least 8 ballots (and therefore were unmodified), and 17 were named on at least 20 ballots, showing that the top 50% of the list was more or less agreed upon by the community, if not necessarily the order. Here is a link to the polling thread.
All prospects who retained their Rookie of the Year eligibility (less than 130 ABs, 50 IP, and 45 days on the active roster) were eligible for selection on this list. Among last spring's list, Drew Pomeranz (2), Christian Friedrich (6), Josh Rutledge (7), Charlie Blackmon (15), and DJ LeMahieu (18) exhausted their eligibility.
More discussion on the voting will be included in the final installment of this series, but here are the five players who came closest to inclusion on the Fall 2012 PuRPs List:
35. Ryan Warner (40 points, 9 ballots), 2012 3rd round, RHP at Grand Junction (18)
34. Kent Matthes (48.1 points, 7 ballots), 2009 4th round, OF at Tulsa (25)
33. Miguel Dilone (51 points, 12 ballots), 2011 FA (DR), 2B at DSL (19)
32. David Kandilas (68 points, 9 ballots), 2009 FA (AU), OF at Asheville (22)
31. Max White (70 points, 13 ballots), 2012 2nd round, OF at Grand Junction (19)
Most of the five listed above are years away from contributing to a Rockies team. The names I'd watch in particular would be White (who had an abysmal pro debut, but has a 2nd round pedigree) and Dilone (who slugged very well in a league where that doesn't happen very often and who has MLB bloodlines). I ranked White 28th and Dilone 24th on my personal list.
For each player on the PuRPs list, I've included a link to their stats (via Baseball-Reference), their relevant "tool score indicators" compared to their league on a 1-100 scouting scale (which is explained here) per the wonderful Baseball Cube, their contract status (via Rockies Roster), their probable MLB ETA (assuming they do make the Show), and a note on their 2012 season to date. For what it's worth, I'll also include where I put them on my personal ballot.
Remember that neither the tool scores nor the statistics pages are the end-all be-all when evaluating these players. Context is hugely important (such as the player's age relative to the league's average or the league average offensive numbers), as is the fact that injuries to prospects can affect both their tools and their stats.
Here are the first members of the Fall 2012 PuRPs List:
30. Ryan Garvey (74 points, 10 ballots) -- Spring 2012 Ranking: NR -- High Ballot 15, Mode (most common when placed) Ballot 24
Garvey, a 19 year-old outfielder who played for Grand Junction, was notable this year for more than the fact that he is the son of former Dodger great Steve Garvey. He hit .304/.397/.559 this year as an age-appropriate player in the Pioneer league, good enough for me to rank him 27th on my list. Then again, it's important to note that this is just a 121 PA sample and that he was only a 33rd round pick. We'll get a much better idea of his ability next year at a higher level.
Contract Status: 2012 33rd Round, Not Rule 5 eligible, 3 options remaining
MLB ETA: 2017
29. Parker Frazier (84 points, 10 ballots) -- Spring 2012 Ranking: 29 -- High Ballot 15, Mode Ballot 22
Frazier, a 23 year-old RHP at Tulsa, is another prospect known more for his famous father than his on-field exploits. Though Frazier's AA line was decent (3.88 ERA, 2.2 BB/9), he's a finesse pitcher (posting only a 5.0 K/9 ratio) who has a pretty low ceiling, which is why I didn't place Frazier on my list. Frazier could have a MLB future as a spot starter a year or two down the line, but it will be interesting to see if the Rockies protect him from the Rule 5 draft this year given his limited ceiling. I'm guessing that they won't.
Contract Status: 2007 8th round, Rule 5 draft eligible, 3 options remaining
MLB ETA: 2014
28. Zach Putnam (86 points, 8 ballots) -- Spring 2012 Ranking: 19 -- High Ballot 14, Mode Ballot (none)
Putnam, a 24 year-old right-handed relief pitcher for AAA Colorado Springs was acquired in the Kevin Slowey trade during the off-season (we had Slowey for like 2 months) as a live relief arm profiling as a set-up reliever with the ability to get the ball up in the low-mid 90s with a quality sinking fastball.
He already has some MLB experience -- in fact, it's probably a bit of a misnomer to call him a prospect given his near certainty of throwing out of the bullpen at the next level. Then again, he didn't make more than a cameo appearance for Colorado last year despite this and struggled a little in AAA (a 4.0 BB/9 mitigated his 7.3 K/9), which is why he fell out of consideration for my list. Ultimately though, this is a player that Rockies fans can have some confidence of seeing for the big club next year.
Contract Status: 2012 Trade, 40 Man Roster, 2 options remaining
MLB ETA: Now
27. Sam Mende (101 points, 12 ballots) -- Spring 2012 Ranking: 23 -- High Ballot 15, Mode Ballot 25
The 22 year-old Mende, a right-handed 3B who played for Low A Asheville in 2012, is a 31st round draft pick in 2011 that crushed the ball in Casper and played fairly well in Low A (.281/.340/.467 with 53 XBHs), though he was a little old for the level and he cooled off considerably after a hot start.
Given his lack of prospect pedigree, age, and lack of distinctive defensive skill, Mende will have to follow the Corey Dickerson path (keep hitting everywhere you go) to notoriety. Mende was under consideration for my list, but I'd like to see him hit well at High A next season.
Contract Status: 2011 31st Round, Not Rule 5 eligible, 3 options remaining
MLB ETA: Late 2015
26. Julian Yan (129 points, 12 ballots) -- Spring 2012 Ranking: NR -- High Ballot 16, Mode Ballot 18
The 20 year-old Yan is a right-handed OF who repeated at rookie level in 2012. On a team that Colorado had stacked with its top 2012 draftees, they made sure to include Yan in their everyday lineup, which certainly caught my eye. Yan hit .282/.357/.529 with 16 HRs in 66 games -- exhibiting his prodigious power. Scouts were impressed enough to rank Yan the 14th best prospect in the Pioneer League.
Since I'm a sucker for power and the scouts saw something there, I was willing to overlook his lack of track record and his poor plate discipline and ranked him 23rd on my ballot. It's about when I got to Yan that I truly realized how lacking in depth this system is.
Contract Status: 2009 FA (DR), Not Rule 5 eligible, 3 options remaining
MLB ETA: 2016
Stay tuned for more installments of the 2012 Fall PuRPs List in the near future!