Colorado Rockies Top 20 Prospects

15) Peter Lambert – RHP

Date of Birth: April 18th, 1997

Height/Weight: 6’2”/ 185 pounds

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Acquired: Drafted in 2nd round (44th overall) of 2015 Draft 

Drafted in the second round of the 2015 draft, Peter Lambert is only eighteen years old out of his California high school. Known as one of the most consistent high school prep arms in the entire draft, Lambert had no trouble being drafted so high. Lambert started only eight games in rookie ball after being drafted, finishing with a 3.45 ERA in 31 1/3 innings. Lambert struck out 26 while walking 11 during those innings, showing he has good strikeout stuff. The pick by the Rockies was seen as picking a player with high potential upside who was still well away from being a major leaguer.

While Lambert is still well off from being a major league contributor, he does project well and has time to develop into his upside. He has a good frame that is well suited for a pitcher, and he has a consistent, repeatable delivery with good arm action. Lambert sports a fastball, changeup, and curveball that all show strong flashes, without any real overpowering stuff. Lambert isn’t as hard of a thrower as many of the other Rockies minor league pitchers on this list, but he may have some of the best arm action overall. While his upside is there, it will be several years before the Rockies find out if he can reach that potential.

14) Antonio Senzatela – RHP

Date of Birth: January 21st, 1995

Height/Weight: 6’1”/ 180 pounds

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Acquired: 2011 International Free Agent 

Signed in the international market in 2011, Senzatela has an advanced feel for pitching for a pitcher who only recently turned 20 years old. Out of all the pitchers in the Rockies minor league system, Senzatela may have had the best season of all. He spent the whole year in High A ball in 2015, finishing with an ERA of 2.51 and 143 strikeouts and only 33 walks in 154 innings over 26 starts. Truly impressive numbers all around, Senzatela has gotten even better from last year in terms of both his K/9, which has increased by over three strikeouts per nine, and his BB/9, which has fallen from just over two to under two. At only twenty years of age, Senzatela is also pitching to players who are well older than him as well.

As mentioned above, at only 20 years old, Senzatela has a very advanced feel for pitching, and shows significant maturity on the mound. His biggest asset to this point has been his fastball command, which has been considered by many scouts to be the best command among any of the Rockies prospects. Senzatela consistently goes low to mid 90s with his fastball, and is able to generate consistent ground ball outs. The one knock on him is the inconsistency of his secondary pitches, which still need a lot of work. Given his youth, Senzatela will have plenty of time to work out the kinks and better develop those pitches going forward. Up to this point, he has been able to garner quite rave reviews.

13) Tyler Nevin – 3B

Date of Birth: May 29th, 1997

Height/Weight: 6’4”/ 200 pounds

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Acquired: Drafted in 1st round (38th overall) in 2015 draft 

Next on the list is the son of former major leaguer Phil Nevin, Tyler Nevin, who was also drafted in the first round of the 2015 draft by the Rockies. With a pedigree like that, Nevin is already drawing comparisons to his father, and showing his own unique talent as well. Nevin played in 53 games in rookie ball in 2015, finishing with a slash line of .265/.368/.386 as well as a wRC+ of exactly 100. By those numbers, Nevin was more or less a league average player in his first taste of professional ball. With that being said, Nevin does have the talent, and obviously the pedigree, to succeed at the big league level.

At 6’4” Nevin has the size to be an impact bat, although he still needs to grow more into his frame as he gets older. Despite this, his bat is already his best tool, and the tool that could carry him to big league success. Nevin was one of the best hitters in his high school class, and should only get better as he puts on size. Even with his offensive success, there are some question marks that follow Nevin. At present, it is uncertain if he will be able to stay at third base long term, despite a strong arm and good glove, and he may end up as a corner outfielder in the future. Even so, Nevin has the pedigree of success, and should be able to hold his own as he advances through the minors.

12) Miguel Castro – RHP

Date of Birth: December 24th, 1994

Height/Weight: 6’5”/ 190 pounds

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Acquired: Trade with Toronto Blue Jays in 2015

The second of three pieces acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays as part of the trade deadline deal that sent Troy Tulowitzki to Toronto, Miguel Castro is yet another high upside pitcher in the Rockies minor league system. Originally part of the same international signing class as current Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna, Castro moved around quite a bit in 2015, seeing playing time across three different levels in two different organizations. Castro began the season for the Blue Jays on April 6th, becoming the youngest pitcher in Blue Jays history, until that record was broken by Roberto Osuna days later. Castro appeared in the closer role over the first month of the season before being demoted to Triple A in May. Castro was then traded to the Rockies and appeared for their Triple A team before being promoted to Colorado in September. Castro had a 1.32 ERA in Triple A with the Rockies and a 4.58 ERA in Triple A with the Blue Jays. In his brief major league stints for both teams, Castro had a 6.11 ERA in 17 2/3 big league innings.

Castro has gotten much strong since signing and has shown a lot of life with his fastball. Castro throws mid-90s consistently and can reach as high as 99 mph. He has great command over his fastball and also flashes a strong secondary pitch with his changeup, although his slider still needs quite a bit of work. Castro appeared in both a starting pitcher capacity and a relief capacity last season, so it remains to be seen what role the Rockies will use him in going forward. No matter what they decide, Castro has plenty of upside and could be a frontline starter or a dominant closer.

11) Tom Murphy– C

Date of Birth: April 3rd, 1991 

Height/Weight: 6’1”/ 220 pounds 

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Acquired: Drafted in 3rd round (105th overall) of 2011 draft 

A third round pick out of the 2012 draft, Murphy’s progress has been slowed over the start of his career. After making the jump to Double A ball after his first professional season in 2013, Murphy had a shoulder injury that cut his season short. Murphy started the 2015 season in Double A ball again, but quickly advanced to Triple A and then found himself in the majors by the end of the season. Murphy slashed .271/.301/.535 in Triple A and .257/.333/.543 in the Major Leagues over the last portion of the season. Murphy struck out a lot at every level, over 25%, and did not walk nearly as much as the Rockies would like.

If there’s one thing really going for Murphy is his sheer size. Built like a tank, Murphy may be the most physically imposing of any of the Rockies minor leaguers. Murphy should be able to channel that size into a lot of power, although he has yet to refine his approach at the plate. Defensively, Murphy has a strong throwing arm and the ability to receive the ball well while working well with pitchers. Beyond that, Murphy has strong leadership skills that the Rockies will look for in their future backstop. After a decent performance at the big league level last season, there is a good chance Murphy could find himself on the Rockies opening day roster in 2016.

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