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Colorado Rockies Prospect Watch: Jon Gray

October 23rd, 2014 at 5:00 AM
By Joe Lemere

The World Series is on an off day today, and since there's no postseason goodness or any big news, let's get to our first Prospect Watch of the offseason. Today is the best prospect in the Colorado Rockies system — maybe ever — Jon Gray.

Gray was the number three pick out of Oklahoma in the 2013 draft. Jon Gray is the prototype right-handed starting pitcher, meaning he throws hard and is built like a horse. Standing at 6'4" and weighing in at around 235, he can be quite an intimidating sight out on the mound. Drafted to be a number one, Gray certainly has the potential to become just that.

At just 23 years of age coming into spring training next season, Gray will be coming off a solid first full year of professional ball. For the AA Tulsa Drillers this season, he went 10-5 with a 3.91 ERA in his 24 starts. With a 1.190 WHIP and a 2.76 K/BB ratio, he had good numbers across the board.

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Will the Colorado Rockies Ever Have an Ace?

October 22nd, 2014 at 5:00 AM
By Joe Lemere

Well, Colorado Rockies fans sure can relate to Kansas City Royals fans today, huh? After breezing through the postseason in 2007, the Rockies were demolished in game one of the World Series. Sound familiar, Kansas City? Anyway, the real story from game one isn't the Royals, it's the Giants, and more specifically, Madison Bumgarner. Sheer dominance is what that guy is all about. But his performance raises a question for despondent Rockies fans everywhere: Will they ever get an ace?

First, let's look to see if there could be an ace in waiting already within the Rockies organization. They have top draft picks Kyle Freeland, Eddie Butler, and Jon Gray in the minors, making their way to the majors. Freeland is a Colorado kid who will need at least another year in the minors, probably two. Eddie Butler will most likely be in the starting rotation next year, but he was lackluster in his two appearances for the Rockies this season. The real potential of this threesome rests squarely on the shoulders of Jon Gray. The young fireballer should crack the bigs next year, and we can see what he's really capable of.

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World Series Starts Tonight: Who’s Going to Win?

October 21st, 2014 at 5:00 AM
By Joe Lemere

The Fall Classic is finally upon us! After what seemed like an interminable break from playoff baseball, the World Series finally begins tonight. The San Francisco Giants look to continue their even-year dominance against the Kansas City Royals, who'll look to end 29 years of futility. So, who has the edge? Who's going to be world champs?

With the bats in their hands, the Giants should have the advantage. Former MVP Buster Posey leads the attack, but he's not alone. Kung Fu Panda Pablo Sandoval is playing well, Hunter Pence is always dangerous and guys like Brandon Belt and Travis Ishikawa, as we know, have some walk-offability in their bats. Yeah, that's a new word.

The Royals are the ultimate small ball team. Advocates of the bunt-steal method (and dance) Lorenzo Cain and the boys score enough runs to get the job done. Hitting the fewest home runs in the AL doesn't seem to have carried over to the postseason, though. Mike Moustakas has the most home runs in the postseason, one of them of the walk-off variety.

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Who Would Be the Colorado Rockies’ Game 2 Starter?

October 20th, 2014 at 5:00 AM
By Joe Lemere

When the World Series finally gets underway tomorrow, the teams will be throwing their aces into the fray. James Shields will go for the Royals and Madison Bumgarner for the Giants. Easy decisions. If the Rockies had somehow — miraculously — reached the playoffs this year, their game one starter would also be an easy decision: Jorge De La Rosa. Game two, on the other hand, would weave a much different tale. Who would be the Colorado Rockies' game two starter?

For this exercise, let's say the starting five consists of Jorge De La Rosa, a healthy Jordan Lyles, a healthy Brett Anderson, Tyler Matzek, and Franklin Morales. Morales, despite pitching rather well during the magical Rocktober of 2007, will be eliminated for this conversation. That leaves two guys who were hurt for much of the year and a rookie. Maybe this is why the Rockies didn't make the playoffs. Just spitballing here.

Right off the bat, everyone would say Jordan Lyles, as he did go 7-4 in 22 starts this season. He had the best season of everyone not named Jorge, and that should count for something. Posting a 4.33 ERA in almost 130 innings, Lyles had a career year and was the most consistent pitcher in the early part of this season.

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The Most Probable Free Agent Signing for the Colorado Rockies

October 19th, 2014 at 1:45 PM
By Joe Lemere

When the World Series wraps up, the Major League Baseball offseason will officially begin. Players will enter exclusive negotiations with their teams, but if no deal is reached by the middle of December, those without contracts will become free agents. We talked yesterday about how little funds the Colorado Rockies have to spend this winter, but the odds are still that they'll make at least one move in free agency this year. What will it be?

Of course, helping out a major league worst bullpen would be a good idea for new GM Jeff Bridich. A guy like Luke Gregerson or Koji Uehara will be too expensive to be in purple pinstripes next year, but there are still some good arms to be had. But someone like Jason Motte who is coming off of a very poor season, but has shown he has what it takes to succeed, should expect to come at a little bit of a discount. Or, if Bridich and the Rox are feeling adventurous, take a stab at Jesse Crain. He didn't pitch at all in 2014, but he was an excellent reliever in the AL Central throughout his career. And he's from Colorado, for what that's worth.

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