Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Pun Not Required, Name Already Silly
2005-07-16 18:31
by Mark T.R. Donohue

You probably all about Ryan Spilborghs if you frequent the more prospect-centric Rockies sites, but I like to take the nobody-cares-until-you-make-the-majors approach befitting someone who has attended hundreds of MLB games and exactly zero minor league games. (I swear I'm going to make it to Colorado Springs sometime this year. Maybe.) Spilborghs forced his way into AAA with a .341/.435/.525 line at Tulsa and didn't slow down at the Springs, hitting .355/.412/.581 to earn a promotion to the major league team. Well, nominally major league.

You won't find much about this guy in any of the major prospect books, probably due to his age (25). Also he hit .259/.357/.385 in a full season at Visalia last year, which is pretty bad for a corner outfielder. The last time he even managed to show up on Baseball America's depth chart for Colorado right fielders was 2003. Sickels granted him a writeup in 2004, grading him a C and commending his walk rate. "There's a chance he'll hit at higher levels, but it's less than 50/50...Rockies fans should watch him on the off chance he does develop." Maybe he did develop; maybe he's a minor league player having a career year thanks to some very friendly hitting environments. Either way, he'll get some looks this year.

Spilborghs was drafted in the seventh round in 2002. He played college ball at UC Santa Barbara (a very pretty campus, by the way, my college band played there several years ago). He's 6'1", 190, and was born 9/5/1979. He's never been much of a home run hitter (career high of 15 in '03 at Asheville) but has seen his doubles total explode this season. One thing he definitely knows how to do is walk, posting high OBPs wherever he's gone. What the Rockies really need is an outfielder who can hit home runs at sea level, but if this guy takes playing time away from Dustan Mohr, it can't be a bad thing. Best of luck to you, Ryan.

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