Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Woody Paige: Colorado Rockies, loaded with young talent, should contend for a while

June 13, 2017 Updated: June 13, 2017 at 5:39 pm
0

The Rockies are not ? And The Mysterians, Iron Butterfly, The Knack or Spandau Ballet.

The Rox won't be a-ha one-hit wonders.

As a point of fact, including the Rockies' active roster, the disabled list, the 40-man protected roster and the top 30 prospects in the minor-league organization (and many of those players overlap), the franchise has a minimum of 55 quality current or future Rox under the age of 30.

Indeed, the Rockies possess at least five quality catchers in their 20s; two eventual starters at first base; a present All-Star second baseman who is not yet 30 and two behind him in the system who are barely into their 20s; a starting shortstop who is 24 and two more in the minors who will play the position on the major-league level; a potential Hall of Famer at third base who is only 26, and they just drafted a high school third baseman in the second round; three stud outfield prospects, four rookie starting pitchers in the rotation (plus Jon Gray and Chad Bettis), and 16 pitchers among their best 30 players at the A, Double-A and Triple-A levels.

"Draft (and sign teenage Latino free agents) and Develop'' no longer is a wish, a hope and a prayer - and a hollow Rockies' rallying cry.

It's a reality.

Will most, or any, of the 55-60 best 20-somethings become the next Nolan Arenado? Maybe one or two. Will 30 of them become as impressive in their debuts as Antonio Senzatela, Kyle Freeland and Trevor Story if and when they advance to The Show? Perhaps not.

But, how about 15 or so to be genuine big-league players to go with the 18 who already play with the Rox? Yes, there is a strong probability that the Rockies are cultivating an exceptionally special group led by catcher Tom Murphy (soon to rejoin the club), first baseman Ryan McMahon (who has been ripping the ball at Hartford and Albuquerque), second baseman-shortstop Brendan Rodgers (a No. 1 draft pick batting .400, with 11 home runs, in the California League), third baseman Colton Welker (who may have to find another position), and outfielders Forrest Wall (a converted second baseman) and Noel Cuevas (who was acquired from the Dodgers and is hitting .335 with the Isotopes).

And young-gun arms Parker French, Yency Almonte, Riley Pint and Craig Schlitter, who was drafted in the 27th round in 2014 and isn't on a prospect list. He has a career 15-4 record and an ERA under 3 in the minors.

Albuquerque's staff is somewhat thin - because all the Isotopes' pitchers are starting and succeeding for the Rockies.

The big-boy team has been playing as solid as Rox of Gibraltar for 41 percent of the season. With an astounding 41-25 record, No. 1 in the National League and second only to the Astros, the Rockies will not collapse in any month starting with a "J.'' Finally, in their 25th season, the Rockies have learned how to play baseball on the road.

The Rockies are playoff-worthy, but the playoff worry must be that the double Ds - the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks - are dogs chasing this runaway car. They won't go away.

But here's interesting information about the schedule:

After Pittsburgh, the Rockies play the rest of their games in June against division opponents - seven at home (four against the Giants and three against the Diamondbacks), then seven away (three at Dodgers, three at Giants and one at Diamondbacks). They open July with two more in Arizona. If they can split, they'd be on the verge of 50 victories by the Fourth of July. (The Reds are here July 3-4.)

The Rockies then will play 11 of 13 at The Keg (with two games in New York against the Mets sprinkled in).

That 90-plus victory pace should be alive toward the end of July when the Rockies travel for a half dozen games against the Cardinals and the Nationals.

The Rox won't be, as former general manager Dan O'Dowd often excused, a franchise enduring seven years of bad luck, bad teams and bad management to compete for the postseason.

No more Men Without Caps, in the manner of the band Men Without Hats, who had fewer hit songs than Rockies' playoff appearances.

(Men Without Hats plays in Denver July 24 while The Men In Caps play in St. Louis.)

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

or
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 
This is your last FREE article for the month
This is your last FREE article for the month

Subscribe now and enjoy Unlimited Digital Access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?

 
You have reached your article limit for the month
You have reached your article limit for the month

We hope that you've enjoyed your complimentary access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?

 
articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.