Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
In-Game Prospect Update
2005-05-03 22:31
by Mark T.R. Donohue

Today is "Interactive Tuesday" on Fox Sports Rocky Mountain, which means when they get around to it the announcers answer e-mail questions from we lowly viewers. Apparently they're not getting around to my question about why we would have Clint sacrifice, ever, but they did in the top of the third rattle off a number of prospect names upon receiving an obligatory "But will the Rockies ever be any good?" query. As my gift to you, here's the deal so far on these future purple pinstriped people-eaters:

  • Ian Stewart is probably the Rockies' most notorious prospect, a 2003 first-round pick ranked #1 in the system by Baseball America. He's a third baseman who hits lots and lots of homers. Stewart got a late start this year due to a strained hamstring; he has yet to catch fire for high-A Modesto.
  • Scott Dohmann we already saw briefly here in Denver. He did not acquit himself well by allowing 14 runs in 6 2/3 with the big club. He's returned to Colorado Springs to try and recover from his whiplash. Very early returns are good as he has yet to allow a run in two appearances.
  • Choo Freeman has also been seen wearing a Rockies uniform on occasion. This marks his third year in AAA, which is a very poor sign indeed. He is hitting a crisp .333/.405/.533 with 4 homers and 3 stolen bases for the SkySox, but it looks like the dreaded quadruple-A label has already been stamped upon his forehead. Sullivan, Hawpe, and Holliday have long passed him by anyway.
  • Chris Nelson is a bit of a mystery. A shortstop John Sickels calls the "complete package" and BA ranks second in the organization only to Stewart, Nelson is hitting only .100/.091/.200 in 6 games at low-A Asheville. Despite spending some time scouring the web for evidence of injury, I couldn't find any -- just a similarly confused entry on Purple Row. Something has to be up, the guy raked to the tune of .347/.432/.510 last year in Casper.
  • News is better for Nelson's Tourists teammate, Samuel Deduno. The righty starter has a 1.27 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 28 1/3 so far. Those numbers speak for themselves. To ask anyway for a second opinion, I turn to Sickels: "A year from now, he may be regarded as one of the best pitching prospects in the game, if he can sharpen his command a little. Too bad he pitches for the Rockies."
  • Jeff Baker saw some time earlier in the year with the parent club while Garrett Atkins was on the disabled list. He's a third baseman by trade but may need to find a new occupation if Atkins continues to hit. He didn't do much for Colorado (.211/.302/.395 in 12 games) and will likely see some time at second and in the outfield for Colorado Springs.
  • Finally, Jeff Salazar is a lefthanded-hitting centerfielder. His numbers at AA Tulsa aren't much of much: .263/.343/.379. Someone also needs to tell Salazar he's not a base stealer, as he's been caught four times versus only three safe attempts this season. The Rockies have a lot of outfield prospects to look at; Salazar needs to hit more if he's going to stand out in the crowd.

Well, I have to say, that was probably more fun than directing my full attention towards the game, which is showing every indication now of finishing with Trevor Hoffman's 399th save. Prove me wrong, Colorado! Prove me wrong!

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