LOD’s 2019 Offseason Top Prospects: Colorado Rockies #5-#1
Here at Legends on Deck our passion is prospects and the offseason presents an outstanding opportunity for us to showcase some of baseball’s top up and comers. Throughout the offseason, we will be bringing you the top ten prospects from all 30 organizations. We will start with the Arizona Diamondbacks and work our way alphabetically all the way through the Washington Nationals. This series is the opinion of Jake Berry, Senior Editor at Legends on Deck and does not reflect any official MLB rankings.
#5 – 1B Grant Lavigne
2019 Opening Day Age: 19 ETA: 2022 Top Future Tool: Power
2018 Stats (Rookie): .350/.477/.519, 6 HR, 38 RBI, 12 SB
Taken with the 42nd overall pick in last year’s draft, Lavigne is a big left handed hitter with the potential for both a plus hit and power tool. The New Hampshire native showcased his advanced plate approach by walking more times than striking out in the 2018 Pioneer League season. Although I see him handcuffed to first base down the road, the offensive skill set is enough to have the Rockies excited about Lavigne’s future.
#4 – RHP Peter Lambert
2019 Opening Day Age: 21 ETA: 2019 Top Future Pitch: CH
2018 Stats (Double-A/Triple-A): 10-7, 3.28 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 106 SO, 27 BB
Lambert was much more impressive in his Double-A stint than Triple-A, but Albuquerque is a tougher place to pitch than Hartford. Still, the righty has performed relatively well at each of his stops. The K/BB ratio is the first thing that stands out over Lambert’s career, but he also has the ability to induce weak groundball contact. He has the perfect repertoire for pitching in Coors with a sinking fastball, good breaking pitch, and an above average change that each limit hard, elevated contact.
#3 – 3B Colton Welker
2019 Opening Day Age: 21 ETA: 2020 Top Future Tool: Power
2018 Stats (High-A): .333/.383/.489, 13 HR, 82 RBI, 5 SB
A fourth round prep pick in the 2016 draft, Welker has solid tools across the board. The Rockies are excited about his offensive skill set as the quick uppercut swing produces good pop from the right hand side. He isn’t as close to the majors as a couple of the other infielders on this list, but Welker does grab Nolan Arenado comps. With a crowded infield and a potential huge deal for Arenado down the road, the Rockies may want to explore other positions for Welker. While he doesn’t have eye-popping speed, he is athletic enough to hold his own in the outfield, but we will see how it plays out.
#2 – INF Garrett Hampson
2019 Opening Day Age: 24 ETA: 2019 Top Future Tool: Run
2018 Stats (Double-A/Triple-A): .311/.382/.462, 10 HR, 40 RBI, 36 SB
2018 Stats (MLB): 40 AB, .275/.396/.400, 0 HR, 2 SB
Hampson got a taste of the majors in 2018 and could very well open the season on the big league roster. If the 24 year old doesn’t break camp on the 25 man, he should be up sooner rather than later. An outstanding defender up the middle, Hampson is another cog in a crowded infield situation. While the bat does leave something to be desired in terms of power, the right handed swinger has the ability to be a table setter at the top of the order, not to mention he is a double plus runner.
#1 – SS Brendan Rodgers
2019 Opening Day Age: 22 ETA: 2019 Top Future Tool: Hit
2018 Stats (Double-A/Triple-A): .268/.330/.460, 17 HR, 67 RBI, 12 SB
More than likely the consensus number one prospect in the system, Rodgers should be reaching the show sometime in 2019. A twitchy athlete with quick hands and nimble feet, the Florida native uses great bat speed to generate exemplary raw and solid in game power. The glove flashes plus from time to time, but the real strength in his defensive game is a rocket arm that allows him to get the ball across the diamond in a hurry. While he was extremely raw coming out of Lake Mary HS (FL) into affiliated ball, Rodgers has turned the potential into ability. Perhaps my favorite aspect of the 22 year old’s game is his knack for recognizing and making contact with every type of pitch a guy throws his way.