5 Colorado Rockies Prospects You Must Watch During Spring Training

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5 Colorado Rockies Prospects to Watch During Spring Training

5 Colorado Rockies Prospects to Watch During Spring Training
Ron Chenoy-USA Today Sports

The Colorado Rockies finished in last place in the National League West division in 2013. It was the second-straight season that the Rockies finished in the cellar of their division. At 74-88, they did see a 10-win increase over their dreadful 2012 season.

Largely due to where they play their home games, Coors Field, the Rockies have a very difficult time attracting good pitchers in free agency. Due to the thin Colorado air, Coors Field is essentially the in-game equivalent of a home-run derby, though, it isn't quite as bad as it was in the early 2000s.

Due to their inability to lure top pitchers in via free agency, the Rockies largely need to depend on growing their own pitchers from within their farm system. In recent seasons, the Rockies have done a great job of developing a pipeline of pitching in their minor-league system; they now have two potential aces in their organization -- Jonathan Gray and Eddie Butler.

The Rockies have also made some nice trades to acquire pitchers. A few years ago, they acquired Tyler Chatwood from the Los Angeles Angels, and this offseason, they acquired Brett Anderson from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for a package built around underachieving pitcher Drew Pomeranz.

Along with a developing pipeline of pitching, the Rockies also have some very nice position players on the way. David Dahl is a five-tool outfielder that has superstar potential, he simply needs to stay healthy and keep his head on straight and he should develop into a star. Kyle Parker, Rosell Herrera, Ryan McMahon, Trevor Story and Tom Murphy are some other names to keep an eye on from a position-player perspective.

The Rockies have a lot of very good prospects that will soon be helping them win games at the MLB-level, but they won't be inviting them all to Spring Training.

Zach Morrison is a Pirates writer at RantSports.com. You can follow Zach on Twitter, you can add him as a friend on Facebook and you can add him to your circles on Google+.

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Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy
Kyle Terada-USA Today Sports

In two seasons in the minor leagues, Tom Murphy has a .288/.366/.531 triple-slash line. Murphy is a catcher known mainly for his defense, but he does have potential to be a very good hitter. He has a very strong throwing arm and he works well with his pitchers.

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Kyle Parker

Kyle Parker
Rick Scuteri-USA Today Sports

In three minor league seasons, Kyle Parker hit .293/.374/.510. Baseball America ranks Parker as the hitter with the most power in the Rockies' system. Parker has a tendency to strike out quite a bit, though for a power hitter, striking out in approximately 20 percent of his plate appearances is forgivable. Defensively, Parker has a strong arm, but other than that he is very average.

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Rosell Herrera

Rosell Herrera
Ron Chenoy-USA Today Sports

Shorstop Rosell Herrera is the best athlete in the Rockies' system and he also has the best strike-zone discipline, according to Baseball America. In 1,354 minor league at-bats, Herrera has a .284/.357/.402 triple-slash line with a .759 OPS.

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Eddie Butler

Eddie Butler
Brad Penner-USA Today Sports

Depending on who you talk to, Eddie Butler may or may not be the best pitching prospect in the Rockies' system. According to Baseball America, Butler possesses the best slider and the best changeup in the Rockies' farm system. In 217.1 minor league career innings pitched, Butler has a 1.90 ERA with 8.20 K/9 and 2.69 BB/9.

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Jonathan Gray

Jonathan Gray
Crystal LoGiudice-USA Today Sports

Of all the Rockies' minor league pitchers, Jonathan Gray is the owner of the best fastball. At times, his heater can reach over 100 mph. Drafted third overall in the 2013 draft, Gray has only pitched in 37.1 innings in the minor leagues. He has been dominant. He has a 1.93 ERA with a startling 12.29 K/9 and just 1.93 BB/9.

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  • Ryan

    I really wish I could agree about the Rockies doing a great job of assembling a pitching pipeline. The last impact starter to come through their minor league system was Jhoulys Chacin in 2010. Gray and Butler are the best pitching prospects they’ve had since Jimenez and Franklin Morales (who was once considered to be in the same tier as Kershaw and Price), but they haven’t done anything yet.