2021 Colorado Rockies Top 5 Prospectsby John Supi March 18, 2021 1 comment
It has been a tough couple of years for the Rockies: back-to-back fourth-place finishes and the team decided to trade away their franchise star Nolan Arenado in the off-season.
Colorado’s farm system is not going to help the team compete for a championship anytime soon, but there is a new top dog at number one replacing Brendan Rodgers, who held that spot for the last five years. There are also a couple of players who unfortunately didn’t have a chance to prosper because of the canceled MiLB season in 2020, but they’ll have the opportunity to show off and you could see them in big leagues very soon.
Make sure to check out all of our other MLB Team Top Prospects.
The Spruce Creek High School outfielder made a big showing at a summer showcase last year, enough to be placed at 22 in MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Draft prospects of the 2020 class. The Rockies drafted him at number nine in the June draft, making him the second prep player off the draft board. He is a long and lean lefty, and as he fills out in the upcoming years, you will see him pick up some power.
He already possesses incredible bat speed and can create leverage with his upright batting stance, his swing has been getting some early comparisons to Cody Bellinger. A centerfielder with a solid arm, but could eventually move to right field should need be.
Togila was drafted twice by Colorado; in the 35th round in 2016 before electing to attend UCLA, then again with the 23rd overall pick in 2019. The switch hitter showed off his power in his first pro season with nine home runs in just 41 games. Although last year he didn’t get any real game reps due to the minor league season being canceled, he was named to the 60-man player pool and was at the Rockies’ alternative site.
What he needs to work on is his ability to make more contact, but arguably he has some of the best power in the Colorado system. Tagged as a first baseman, he could play the corner outfields, something he did at UCLA and the Cape Cod League, but with his exceptional hands and strong arm, they like him at first.
The 2017 second-round pick out of Stillwater high school, Vilade has moved up the system every season, and this year will be no different as he starts the season in AA Hartford. He has shown he is able to put the bat on the ball and get on base with a .369 career OBP in three seasons. He has added strength this past year without sacrificing his contact skills and the team thinks he can eventually put up almost 30 home runs a year.
They believe he has a future with this organization as they have tried to find him a spot on the field; he started at shortstop, moved to third base, but now they are trying to develop him in left field. When he establishes himself in the field, he will quickly become mile-high bound.
Rollison’s stuff is Major League quality; low 90’s fastball, mixed with a high-whiff rated curve, and a changeup to keep hitters off-balance. In his first full season in 2019, Rollison had a strong start to his season, but he struggling mid-season, mostly with locating his breaking pitches, but the Rockies’ coaching staff were very happy that he was able to right the ship and finish that season strong. He has the ability to throw strikes and keeps his walks down.
The knock-on him is that he’s good, but not great. You’re not going to see him as the next ace in Colorado, but more of a dependable third or fourth man in the rotation, still someone you’re confident in giving the ball to every fifth day.
Welker had almost two years to think about his 2019 campaign, which was his worst in terms of batting average at just .255 in Double-A Hartford. He was also switched from third base over to first. He has the ability to be a solid hitter as he’s hit over .300 in his previous seasons but does not possess the power that you usually want from a corner infielder.
His fielding skills are not good enough for him to go back to the hot corner, but the Rockies are in need of players at first and third that could have Welker eventually making in the big club this season