Rockies Left Winter Meetings Empty-Handed

Rockies Left Winter Meetings Empty-Handed
(Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)"n"n

The Colorado Rockies left last month’s Winter Meetings empty-handed. They had been looking for a centerfielder, a shortstop, and some pitching. However, general manager Bill Schmidt had made it clear to agents representing their clients in free agency that the team wouldn’t sign anyone who might block the path of the organization’s top prospects.

Farm System

Poor selections and trades had put the Rockies’ weak farm system low in the rankings. It has undoubtedly been strengthened with the last few drafts. According to MLB’s mid-season ranking in 2022, the team’s farm system broke the top-ten, ranking No. 9.

That ranking included both pitching and hitting, which had not been the case in recent years. The change in strength can be attributed to the Rockies shuffling coaches around their farm system to work with their prospects and several players getting experience playing at a higher level such as Double-A and Triple-A.

Top Prospect

The Colorado Rockies didn’t make a splash at the winter meetings, and everyone was asking why they didn’t jump in on the shortstop frenzy. Simply put, the team feels Ezequiel Tovar, one of their top prospects, is expected to be the regular shortstop. There is no question that he can play defensively in the big leagues right now. He has the footwork and a quick arm, and scouts say he has Gold Glove potential. Tovar appeared in nine games in 2022. The Rockies feel he will be ready to contribute with both his glove and his bat full-time in 2023.

Centerfield

Their biggest need, even more than pitching, is centerfield. They were reportedly interested in Cody Bellinger, Michael Conforto, and Brandon Nimmo before those players landed elsewhere. With salaries for free agents at an all-time high, they opted out and decided to build from within.

They will continue with Yonathan Daza, regarded as a defensive player with great speed and a decent arm. He finally came around offensively in 2022 hitting .301 and posting 26 doubles.

Brenton Doyle

Sitting is the background is Brenton Doyle, who was protected from the Rule 5 Draft. The organization feels he might be ready to be the centerfielder of the future. He won a Gold Glove in the MiLB as the top fielding centerfielder, and has the power-speed combination. Expect to see him play quite a bit during spring training in 2023.

Outlook

The Colorado Rockies left empty-handed at the winter meetings. Those in baseball circles know that they cannot spend like the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, and San Francisco Giants, so they will continue to build with their prospects. They won’t be able to close the gap in just one offseason, but they have talent to work with. If they continue to build their farm system as they have, and bring their strong prospects along, they can be competitive sooner than later.

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James Marshall

James Marshall

Jim Marshall has lived in Phoenix, AZ for 50 years. He is an avid baseball fan, but enjoys all of Arizona's local sports teams, including Diamondbacks, Suns, Cardinals and Coyotes. In addition to the four major sports, he closely follows the Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Rattlers and Arizona State Sun Devils. Jim's passion for baseball continues beyond the field as he is an avid collector of baseball memorabilia. His favorite athlete of all time is Baseball Hall of Fame member Harmon Killebrew. In addition to watching, reading and talking about sports, he takes time to travel and appreciate the great state of Arizona with his lovely wife, Patti.

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