The Colorado Rockies build their team from within their own farm system. One needs only to look at this year's roster to see how true this is: Miguel Olivo and Carlos Gonzalez were the only two starters who were not drafted or signed as teenagers on international free agent market. The Rockies have been successful with their first-round selections of first baseman Todd Helton, third baseman Ian Stewart and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, and one day the Rockies' 2010 first-round draft pick Kyle Parker should join them in the majors.
So, who do the Rockies have in the pipeline for 2011 and beyond? Well, John Sickels of Minor League Ball recently reviewed his 2010 preseason Top 50 Hitting Prospects. He didn't see any Rockies hitter worthy of being in the top 50, but the Rockies will certainly give Sickels someone to think about for 2011. Catcher Wilin Rosario dominated Double-A Tulsa until a torn ACL ended his season in July. Rosario was recently ranked the fourth-best prospect in the Texas League.
However, John Sickels did rank three Rockies pitchers on his preseason Top 50 pitchers. Left-handed pitcher Christian Friedrich came in ninth and that ranking will likely change in 2011 due to elbow issues. The Rockies' 2009 pick, lefty Tyler Matzek, will need to cut down on the walks, but his pitches are of good quality. Jhoulys Chacin was the other Rockies pitcher on the list:
23) Jhoulys Chacin, RHP, Rockies: 3.28 ERA, 138/61 K/BB in 137 innings in the majors, 114 hits. Very successful rookie season that deserved more attention than it received.
Chacin was recently named Purple Row's Rockies Rookie of the Year.