Colorado Rockies: Future Trade Partner with Braves?


The Colorado Rockies have a farm system loaded with hitting, so should they trade some of their hitting prospects for pitching prospects?

The Colorado Rockies’ farm system is one of the best in baseball; however, they are loaded with hitting prospects and not enough highly-touted pitching prospects. Jon Gray made his MLB debut in the 2015 season, but he did not log enough innings to lose his rookie status heading into the 2016 season. Thus, he is still considered the Colorado Rockies’ best pitching prospect despite pitching last season. However, outside of Gray, Jeff Hoffman is the Colorado Rockies’ only pitcher ranked inside the top-50 prospects (#49).

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The Colorado Rockies plan to rebuild again next season, and they are unlikely to make a splash in the free agent market this offseason. Thus, they should pursue a trade to help bolster their pitching prospect pipeline in their farm system. One team that looks like the obvious candidate for the Colorado Rockies to partner with is the Atlanta Braves. John Hart continues to trade for young pitching, giving up all of his current talent for prospects. However, unless the Braves plan to use pitchers as position players, the Braves need some bats in their farm system. 

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The Colorado Rockies possess a bevy of infield prospects, with five of their top 14 prospects playing either second base, shortstop, or third base. If the Colorado Rockies plan to lock up Nolan Arenado long-term, the third basemen in their farm system seem expendable. Ryan McMahon is the Rockies’ fifth-best prospect and the 50th ranked prospect in baseball. Therefore, he likely garners a nice yield if the Rockies shopped his name around. This past season, McMahon hit .300 with 18 home runs and 75 RBI with High-A Modesto.

In addition to McMahon, the Colorado Rockies also possess Tyler Nevin, son of former No. 1 overall pick Phil Nevin. Tyler comes with a great deal of pedigree due to his father’s successful professional career; however, Tyler does not quite project to be the same type of hitter as Phil. As the 38th pick in the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft, the Colorado Rockies expect Tyler Nevin to develop as a hitter while playing solid defense at the hot corner. Nevin succumbed to Tommy John surgery in 2013, but he is fully recovered and played 53 games for Grand Junction in 2015.

Outside of third base, the Colorado Rockies have Brendan Rodgers, Forrest Wall, and Trevor Stroy as their middle infield prospects of the future. Brendan Rodgers is the Rockies’ top prospect and is likely in the untouchable range due to his highly-touted skill set. Rodgers is the ninth-ranked prospect in baseball and would commend an impressive yield for a team to pry him out of the Colorado Rockies’ hands. However, Wall and Story present different situations. Wall and Story are closer to being MLB-ready, with Story likely to make his debut in 2016 and Wall in late-2016 or early-2017. 

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The Colorado Rockies likely want Trevor Story to take over the every day shortstop role, but if the price is right, the Rockies might be willing to let him walk. The Rockies have Jose Reyes under contract for a few more seasons, and due to Reyes’ expensive contract, many teams want to avoid him altogether, leaving Story’s status up in the air. If the Rockies commit to Reyes, they will need to deal Story. Story impressed in 2015, hitting 20 home runs and driving in 80 RBI while registering a .279 batting average between Double-A and Triple-A.

Moreover, the Colorado Rockies have the same problem at second base with D.J. LeMahieu and Forrest Wall; however, Wall is not expected to be MLB-ready until 2017, late-2016 at the earliest. Thus, the Rockies need to decide on LeMahieu’s future with the team and if they want to commit to Wall being the second baseman of the future for the team. LeMahieu is a former Gold Glove winner, and he showed major improvements at the dish this season. The 2015 offseason presents a chance for the Colorado Rockies to sell-high on LeMahieu, but they likely keep him and look to deal Wall (maybe).

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  • Finally, the last two potential trade candidates are Raimel Tapia and David Dahl. Both of these outfielders in the Colorado Rockies’ farm system are pretty similar players. They are high-contact outfielders with nice speed and occasional pop. Both are ranked within the top eight in the Rockies’ farm system and likely come with a stiff price tag. With the Atlanta Braves trading away Cameron Maybin, the Braves have question marks in left field and center field. Thus, Tapia or Dahl could easily fill those voids left by prior trades.

    The Atlanta Braves are loaded with pitching prospects, with eight of their top nine prospects being starting pitching. With the Braves loaded with pitching, their hitting prospects are a question mark; therefore, a trade between the Colorado Rockies and Atlanta Braves makes perfect sense. Both teams have stellar farm systems, but each are loaded with talent the other farm system needs. The Colorado Rockies should get on the phone and see if they can bolster their pitching pipeline by making a move with the Atlanta Braves.

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    Braves’ Country has no clue what to expect moving forward with the deals John Hart made over the past season; thus, anything is in the picture. The Colorado Rockies need to look to add arms to their farm system to complement Jon Gray and Jeff Hoffman. The Braves possess a surplus of young arms, and we all know John Hart is not scared to pull the trigger. The thing we do not know is if he is willing to trade his pitching prospects for hitting prospects moving forward. If the Colorado Rockies do not want to actively pursue talent via free agency, this provides an alternate route that falls in line with what they want to do moving forward.