Welcome to the BSN Denver Colorado Rockies Top 25 Under 25 where we will rank the organization’s best players who will be 25 years-old or younger on Opening Day 2017.
Our parameters for this list may be different than others it resembles so let us be clear about them:
The list was created entirely by the BSN Rockies staff and had no other input from any outside sources.
While giving credit for overall (or trade) value, we prioritized an ability to help the MLB club win immediately.
In accordance with this, we also prioritized players with fewer question marks but potentially lower ceilings.
Statistics were considered on equal level with scouting reports in addition to our own field reporting.
Our observations come through a combination of spending parts of each of the past four (going on five) seasons on the ground on the backfields at spring training and through our regular reporting from Rookie Level Grand Junction, talking to coaches, scouts, and journalists both on and off the record. Of course, countless hours are spent on MiLB.tv and combing over public reports from other credible sources.
No. 12: Brendan Rodgers, 20 (SS)
If you look across the world wide web or pick up a newspaper that bothers itself with the task of evaluating minor league prospects, you are likely to quickly find yourself reading about the Colorado Rockies first-round pick in 2015, shortstop Brendan Rodgers.
Arguably the most talented overall player in the system, Rodgers has sky rocketed up prospect lists both local and national after an outstanding 2016 season with the Low-A Asheville Tourists. Rodgers hit .281/.342/.480 with 19 home runs and 73 RBI, good for a 135 wRC+ his second year as a pro while competing against guys roughly two years older than him on average.
The prodigious power is already on display despite there being plenty of room for his body to add weight and strength. He has shown an ability to play at least an average shortstop, though some scouts we talked to think he will ultimately end up at third base or shortstop due to a lack of big range. But his instincts and arm profile well enough that he should end up an asset on defense wherever he ends up.
Still, Rodgers was drafted and is lauded for his bat. He's come through in that regard, even showing patience and walking ability that usually escaped 19-year-old power hitters.
Clearly, it is the methodology of this list that keeps him out of the Top 10. Rodgers is unlikely to debut in MLB until 2019, though it is worth noting that he is coming up on the stage of his career where excellent production can really start to accelerate the process. Either way, a mid-to-late season debut in 2018 is a best case scenario for the Rockies and for Rodgers.
What is intriguing is that the timing of his arrival will match up with the end of DJ LeMahieu's contract and entering the 2019 season where -- if nothing happens between now and then -- the club will have Nolan Arenado on the last year of his deal. Questions are bound to run rampant in the meantime if Rodgers is the replacement for one of those two players and if not, if the Rockies intend to keep both LeMahieu and Arenado long term, what does Rodgers' presence mean for Trevor Story?
For now, none of those questions need to be answered and Rodgers still has plenty to prove as he moves his way up the minors. But there is a vast consensus, and BSN Denver agrees, that Brendan Rodgers is the next Jon Gray or David Dahl, which is to say he is the king of the Rockies prospects until he is dethroned.
Join us next time when we start getting into the players who will be of vital importance in 2017.