Colorado RockiesOur expert from ScoutPRO.com,Shawn Childs, helps you prepare for your big fantasy baseball draft.
Colorado Rockies Team Projection
Scroll down to read my player profiles of the Colorado Rockies pitching staff.
1. SP Brett Anderson
It can't be a good call when you are a young pitcher with upside and your agent tells you that you've been traded where pitchers go to die. Anderson flashed upside in 2010, but he has struggled with injuries over the last 4 seasons. Last year, he suffered a bad ankle injury in late April. Brett appeared to be on the right track for success after his first 2 starts of the year (2 runs in 13 innings with 16 K's), but he was drilled in 3 straight outings (17 runs in 10.7 innings). When he returned in late August, he struggled in a relief role (5.74 ERA). His command (4.3) was well below his career average, but his K rate (9.3) was a career high. Furthermore, Anderson struggled with both RH (.281) and LH (.302) batters. His AFB (91.7) was better than his last 2 seasons and only a slight step down from his 2010 season (92.1). His slider continues to be his #2 pitch, followed by a low value curveball and a show me changeup. Last year, he had a high HR/FB rate (17.9%). Overall, Anderson's style may play well in Colorado (high GB pitcher - 62.9% in 2013). His velocity was much higher in September (FB - 94.0) than April (FB - 91.6), and his lack of success may create a buying opportunity as he will be overlooked due to his new home field. Talent wise, Anderson has upside and his command should return. If De La Rosa can have success in Colorado, Anderson should be in play as he has much more upside.
2. SP Jhoulys Chacin
Chacin delivered a solid season in 2013, especially from a pitcher in Colorado. He allowed 2 runs or less in 19 of his 31 starts. After a solid April (3-0 with a 1.46 ERA), Jhoulys struggled in 4 of his next 7 starts (6.43 ERA). Chacin continues to struggle with LH batters (.275 - only 46 K's in 356 at bats), but his walk rate (2.8) made a nice step forward. However, his K rate (5.7) was a career low and something doesn't add up. His AFB (89.3) was a career low, and he throws a slider as his #2 pitch (followed by a declining changeup and a fading curveball). When Jhoulys is at his best, he gets a high % of groundballs (46.8%). Last year, LH batters hit .450 against his changeup. Chacin doesn't throw his curveball to RH batters. Overall, his arm is far from electric and his value could blow up very quickly if his command moves in the wrong direction. Possible backend option, but his K rate and home park make him a tough swing.
3. SP Jorge De La Rosa
De La Rosa had his best season in the majors in 2013. His command (3.3) was a career best, but his K rate (6.0) was much shorter than his career average (7.6). Jorge allowed 2 runs or less in 18 of his 30 starts. His season ended in early September when he developed a left thumb injury. LH batters only hit .200 against him with no HR's in 120 at bats. However, his AFB (91.1) was well below his pre Tommy John surgery speed (92.7 in 2011). His changeup is his #2 pitch, followed by a slider and a low level curveball. Jorge was 10-1 at home with a 2.76 ERA. Overall, his success in 2013 doesn't look repeatable. He still struggles with RH batters (.280) with poor command and has a declining fastball. When you throw in his home park, you'll have enough reasons to leave him off of your roster.
4. SP Juan Nicasio
Juan has a 4.92 ERA after 55 starts in the majors. His command (3.7) has regressed during each season in the majors and his K rate (6.8) was a career low. During his minor league career, he had an elite walk rate (2.0) and a solid K rate (8.9). Last year, he pitched more than 6 innings only twice. Nicasio had 5 disaster starts in his last 12 outings. He allowed 2 runs or less in 17 of his 31 outings, so he has some talent when he is throwing strikes. HIs AFB (91.9) has lost over 2 mph since his rookie season. Furthermore, he throws a slider as his 2nd best pitch, followed by a declining changeup. Juan pitched well against lefties (.228), but he allowed 41 of his 64 walks to them. In addition, RH batters lit him up pretty good (.302). Last year, he only had one month with an ERA under 4.50 (July - 3.53). At this point of his career, he isn't a good enough pitcher to be a major league starter. His velocity is moving in the wrong direction, he can't throw strikes, and he doesn't have a 3rd pitch of value. Nicasio has no fantasy value in 2014.
5. SP Tyler Chatwood
Chatwood gave the Rockies 16 quality outings where he allowed 2 runs or less. He even flashed high K upside in 2 games when he had double digit K's, but his overall K rate (5.3) was real short. Tyler really only had 2 bad games. His walk rate (3.3) did improve, but it didn't result in more strikeouts. Chatwood struggled with both RH (.282) and LH (.273) batters, and really struggles to put away lefties (25 K's in 187 at bats). His AFB (93.0) was lower than 2012 (93.8). Additionally, he threw a curveball as his #2 pitch, followed by a slider and a no value changeup. His success was helped by his ability to get ground balls (58.3%). Just like De La Rosa, Chatwood overachieved his skill set. His arm has upside, but he really needs an off speed pitch to help his K rate. His first pitch strike % is enough to tell me he can't repeat. Avoid at all cost.
6. SP Frankiln Morales
Morales returns back to Colorado after spending the last 2+ seasons with Boston. Last year, he struggled with a shoulder injury for most of the season, which led to poor command (5.3) and a drop in his K rate (7.5). His AFB (92.7) was 1.7 mph lower than his 2012 season. Franklin will throw a changeup, curveball, and slider. He has never pitched over 76.3 innings in the majors, so it would be tough to expect him to hold up all season as a starter. In 2012, he gave Boston four quality starts over a five start period (4 runs in 23 innings with 29 K's), but he was lit up for 4 HR's and 6 runs in the other game against the Yankees. When healthy, he has a plus fastball with questionable command (4.5). Talented arm, but he can't stay healthy and his command has never made a huge step forward.
7. SP Jordan Lyles
Lyles is 14-29 during his major league career with a 5.35 ERA after 65 starts at age 23. His walk rate (3.1) has regressed over the last 2 seasons, which led to a declining K rate (5.9). RH batters hit .307 against him with a .507 SLG %. Furthermore, Jordan issued 38 of his 49 walks to LH batters, who hit .266 against him. Lyles had no value at home (6.60 ERA). In his first 10 starts, he allowed 2 runs or less 8 times with one double digit K game. Jordon had 6 disaster starts in which he allowed 35 runs and 56 base runners in 19.3 innings. However, his AFB (92.2) was a career high. His #2 pitch is a curveball, followed by a slider and a changeup. Lyles has a career 3.63 ERA in the minors with 458 K's in 485.3 innings. Jordan has to have talent to reach the majors at age 20. It looks like he lost his confidence, which led to less strikes and more contact when he pitched from behind in the count. So far, he has been a GB pitcher (48.4%), which is a slight positive for a Rockies pitcher. His resume say stay away, but his arm has enough upside if his command improves against lefties.
8. CL Rex Brothers
Brothers was a much better pitcher in 2013, allowing only 1 run his first 36 outings (0.27 ERA). His success led to him gaining the closer job in late July. He converted 17 of his 18 chances, but his walk rate (5.2) did fade over the last 3 months. Rex dominated LH batters (.162 with only 1 extra base hit allowed in 74 at bats), and did have success against righties (.229). However, his AFB (93.4) was almost 2 mph lower than his previous 2 seasons. He threw his slider as his #2 pitch, followed by a low level changeup. Overall, Rex still struggles with his walk rate (4.8), which led to a career low K rate (10.2). This year, Brothers will enter the season as the favorite to win the closer job in Colorado. His command could very easily get him in trouble and could possibly lead to job loss. I like his arm, but he can't be elite without an improved walk rate. His drop in velocity is also a concern.
9. RP Eddie Butler
Rather than talk about a boring, has been Latroy Hawkins as a possible closer, I thought I'd show some insight into a couple of upside arms in the Rockies system. Butler has a mid 90's fastball with upside. He throws a swing and miss slider, plus an average curveball and a developing changeup. His command (2.7) has improved as he has moved through the Rockies system. While his K rate (8.2) isn't great, it should improve as his secondary pitches develop. Eddie is 16-6 during his minor league career with a 1.90 ERA in 217.3 innings with 198 K's. Last year, he pitched well in his 6 starts at AA (0.65 ERA), so he may get a bump up to AAA this season. His arm is closer worthy, but his future is in the starting rotation.
10. RP Jonathan Gray
Colorado selected Jonathan Gray with the 3rd overall pick in last year's MLB June Amateur Draft. He went 10-3 at Oklahoma with a 1.64 ERA and 147 K's in 126.7 innings. In terms of pitches, he has an upper 90's fastball with a plus slider. His changeup will be the key to his success in the majors. At this point of his career, it is only an average pitch. Last year, Gray had 9 starts at rookie ball and High A. He had elite command (1.9) with a plus, plus K rate (12.3). Batters only hit .189 against him with NO HR's in 132 at bats. His arm is on the fast track to the majors and he could be the Rockies future ace. While he should start the year at AA, he has a chance to make the majors some time over the summer. Last year, he threw 164 innings between college and the pros, so he should be good for 200 this year.