Rockies Analyst Bonanza Column

Colorado’s season has been beyond disappointing but they go to New York, sweep a four-game series from the Mets and allow a total of five runs. That really happened. Now, the Mets are hardly contenders but they are far closer to .500 than the Rockies so this is an accomplishment, especially the pitching dominance.

Five Colorado pitchers combined to shut out the Mets on Thursday. The team walked six but allowed only one extra-base hit, not a homer and struck out eight. Equally impressive is they stranded 19 New York runners.

It wasn’t always pretty but there was enough effectiveness to overcome the sloppiness and win the game with an outstanding team effort.

Rockies 2012 draft decision looking better every month

I originally believed the Rockies may have seriously erred by passing on high school power arm Lucas Gioloto in 2012 June Amateur Draft. To me, he was the kind of potential star arm the organization has always lacked. Yes, he slipped to and past no. 10 in the first round where Colorado picked due to an elbow injury suffered during his senior season but unless there was proof that it was a devastating injury or that it was likely to happen again, the Rockies needed to take him or two other potential starting players.

Colorado instead chose Alabama prep outfielder David Dahl, who has simply excelled at Grand Junction.

Now comes news that Gioloto will need Tommy John surgery. Not quite a death knell but certainly a major setback. It will be 2014 before Gioloto likely pitches and 2015 before he will be physically and mentally strong enough to exploit his talent.

If Dahl stays healthy he will have provided three years of play before Gioloto is at his best again and could be in the high levels of the minors by then so maybe the Rockies, in passing on Gioloto at least (I also recommended college talents Michael Wacha and Richie Shaffer), the organization got it very right.

Time will tell. For now, it’s probably the Rockies’ front office who feels more excited about their selection in the first round than the Washington Nationals’.

Updated analysis on Arenado, Dickerson, Gardner and Harris

I spoke to Barry Lewis of the Tulsa Journal World about some intriguing Double-A prospects – Nolan Arenado, Corey Dickerson, Joe Gardner and former Driller and now-Rockies’ reliever Will Harris. His insights are shared today.

First, we discussed Arenado, who has struggled with the bat and his defense and seemingly has been a disappointment when measured against the expectations placed on him by many in the media, and that includes myself.
Lewis: Arenado’s offensive production
this season reminds me somewhat of Matt Holliday’s one year with
Tulsa in 2003.
Holliday’s overall numbers were a bit
disappointing, .253, 12 HRs, 72 RBIs. Through Aug. 22, Arenado was
at .274 with 11 HRs and 51 RBIs. Holliday, however, was in the majors
by the next April and I have a feeling Arenado will be as well.
After a horrid July, Arenado is having
his best month in August. He may have started pressing in June due to
the expectations about him being called up to the majors. This month,
he seems much more relaxed and his natural ability is shining
It’s hard to explain his subpar power
numbers. He’s batting .275 with runners in scoring position, but
hasn’t had much pop with men on base. In the field, he has all the
tools to be an outstanding third baseman and he has made some
spectacular plays. I would say about half of his 23 (through Aug. 24th) errors have come
when he’s tried to do too much, a few others have come when there
seems to have been a lapse of concentration. 
Of course, consistent
100-to-110 degree weather during all of July and early August can
cause some lapses of focus, and perhaps that also affected his
hitting during that month. I’m a lifelong Tulsan and it was the
most brutal July temperaturewise we’ve had here although last year
was about as hot…
Rockies Analyst: Corey Dickerson has been a productive hitter since being drafted and his plate discipline is improved this year, as is his batting average but his home-run power is down. I asked Lewis what his overall impressions of Dickerson have been since he was promoted earlier this summer from High-A Modesto.
Lewis: Dickerson has shown a lot of pop
in his bat and has come up with many big hits. He also seems to be
comfortable in the leadoff spot. He gave Tulsa a lift in his opening
week with the Drillers, which was the first half’s final week, and
might have made the difference in Tulsa winning a first-half title.
I’ve been impressed how he has hung in against
left-handed pitching. He had a particularly impressive moment when he
hit a 400-foot homer off St. Louis lefty Jaime Garcia, one of only
two hits he allowed in a rehab start on Aug. 4 (Arenado had the other
with a double).

Rockies’ Analyst: Joe Gardner looked impressive after coming to the organization last summer in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade but his pitching in 2012 has been up-and-down. I inquired of Lewis’ evaluation on him.
Lewis: Gardner has pitched better than his
6-8 record and 4.34 ERA indicates, especially since May. 
One horrible
start in July distorted his ERA somewhat. His unorthodox delivery may
make him more effective as a reliever in the long-term and he was
very good in his five relief appearances.
Rockies Analyst: Will Harris is a big story to me, a 2006 draft pick who hung in there, overcame injury and at 27 (almost 28) years of age, reached the majors with the Rockies after a short stint at Triple-A. He started the season at Double-A. I wanted to know what Lewis saw in Harris while he worked in Tulsa.

Lewis: Harris was the season’s biggest
surprise in Tulsa along with Nick Schmidt. What impressed me the most
about Harris was his mound appearance; he never seemed to be fazed by
adversity. Always seemed calm and confident. 

Rockies’ Prospects Spotlight

Low-A Asheville’s middle infielder Taylor Featherston keeps hitting. Two more hits, including his 12th homer. He’s now hitting .400 in his last 10 games and .306 on the season. His defense? He made his 14th error.

Double-A third baseman Nolan Arenado made his 23rd error of the season. It’s not just his hitting that requires more development and refinement.

Short-season Tri-City pitcher Peter Tago threw six innings of one-run ball. That lowered his ERA to 5.00. He still doesn’t look like the quality the Rockies thought they were getting when they drafted him no. 47 overall in 2010.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Colorado Rockies Analyst, Colorado Rockies Prospects (2).

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