MLB Colorado Rockies

Ranking the Colorado Rockies’ Top 5 Pitching Prospects

Ranking the Colorado Rockies' Top 5 Pitching Prospects

Chad Bettis
Chris Humphreys - USA TODAY Sports

Coors Field is one of the most notorious parks to play in if you’re a pitcher. Despite marked improvements over the years, the Colorado Rockies almost always finish last in baseball in team ERA. Still, theeir farm system is stocked, especially at the upper levels, with a good mix of starting and relieving talent poised to tame the thin Denver air. Here is a breakdown of the Rockies’ top five pitching prospects.

5. Tyler Matzek

Tyler Matzek
Rick Scuteri - USA TODAY Sports

5. Tyler Matzek

Tyler Matzek
Rick Scuteri - USA TODAY Sports

With an above-average fastball and okay slider, former first-round pick Tyler Matzek could be a factor in the Rockies’ bullpen in the future. Command issues have plagued him for most of his career, which led to an Arizona Fall League stint dedicated to learning how to pitch in relief. However, the Rockies added him to the 40-man roster, meaning they see a future in him.

4. Tyler Anderson

Tyler Anderson
Christian Peterson - Getty Images

4. Tyler Anderson

Tyler Anderson
Christian Peterson - Getty Images

After battling injuries on and off since being drafted in 2011, Tyler Anderson looks healthy in 2014, and his 2-1 record in four starts at Double-A Tulsa this season reflects that. Though his fastball is average, he can throw it to both sides of the plate and balances it with three other pitches. Reports project Anderson as a fourth or fifth starter, if he can stay healthy long enough to produce those kinds of innings.

3. Chad Bettis

Chad Bettis
Chris Humphreys - USA TODAY Sports

3. Chad Bettis

Chad Bettis
Chris Humphreys - USA TODAY Sports

Ranked the Rockies’ No. 5 overall prospect by Baseball America, Chad Bettis has seen some time with the big league club over the past two seasons. He struggled with his command in Denver, and his 0-1 record and 7.15 ERA in 11.1 innings pitched earned him a recent demotion to Triple-A. In spite of the start, Rockies' brass still pictures Bettis as a factor in the long-term future of the club.

2. Eddie Butler

Eddie Butler
Rick Scuteri - USA TODAY Sports

2. Eddie Butler

Eddie Butler
Rick Scuteri - USA TODAY Sports

Eddie Butler had a breakout year last season, splitting time between three different levels. His repertoire on the mound includes a mid-90's fastball and above average slider, supplemented by a decent change-up and curveball. Butler is 1-2 with a 2.87 ERA in five starts this year in Double-A Tulsa.

1. Jonathan Gray

Jonathan Gray
Rick Scuteri - USA TODAY Sports

1. Jonathan Gray

Jonathan Gray
Rick Scuteri - USA TODAY Sports

Jonathon Gray was the Rockies’ first overall selection in last year’s draft out of the University of Oklahoma. With a fastball that routinely clocks in in the mid-to-upper 90s and a strong slider and change-up, Gray has the basic tools to be a strong major league starter. He began 2014 at Double-A Tulsa, and has a 1-2 record in four starts.