Must Reid Sports #4: Rockies Farm System Has Bright Future

Reid Conant, Columnist

The Colorado Rockies are so close to being a playoff team. With the young talent and a new starting rotation the Rockies should be able to compete in the near future. It’s a process. I’m not saying they are going to win it all this year or next year or maybe even the year after that. Trust in the process. I don’t think the Rockies have the tools to compete this season and maybe not next year but they are definitely headed in the right direction. With the emergence of Jon Gray this season and a few pitchers in the minors that have potential the Rockies are 2 pitchers away from being an incredible team.

The process all started when the Rockies decided to trade their star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki for Miguel Castro, Jeff Hoffman, Jose Reyes and another minor league pitcher named Jesus Tinoco. Let’s start with Hoffman. He is a guy that could be the future Ace for the Rockies. Hoffman has started this year in AAA with the Albuquerque Isotopes and is off to a hot start. He has started 7 games so far this year and is 2-2 with a 2.16 ERA. Hoffman’s ceiling is through the roof and I’m excited to see what he can do in the Majors. I think his call up could be sooner rather than later if he continues to pitch the way he has in AAA. Up next, the 21 year old Miguel Castro. This kid is filthy. He has a live arm with a nasty slider. He has already made an impact with the Rockies and could be considered as the Rockies’ set up pitcher. He is the type of guy that just dominates out of the bullpen in the later innings of the game. Just those two guys alone make it a good deal for the Rockies. Jose Reyes is now irrelevant after the incident with him and his wife this offseason and with the emergence of star shortstop Trevor Story, Reyes will not play another game at shortstop for the Rockies. What might look like a fair deal to most, has turned out to be a steal for the Rockies. The new GM Jeff Bridich looks like a smart man to me. And I believe that the results will speak for themselves, but it might take some time.

Jeff Hoffman, Kyle Freeland and Jon Gray could be a 3-headed monster kinda like what the Mets have in Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Jacob DeGrom. They will most likely not be as good as what the Mets have because those 3 in New York are absolutely ridiculous. Kyle Freeland was a first round draft pick out of LSU by the Rockies in 2014 and is pitching very well in AA ball with the Hartford Yard Goats. He has started 7 games this year and is 4-2 with a 2.20 ERA. He has enormous potential just like Hoffman and if the Rockies fall out of playoff contention, he could see a call up to the MLB at the end of the year. Tyler Chatwood could be an excellent 4th man in the rotation and take your pick between Jorge De La Rosa, Chad Bettis and any of the many pitchers that have started a game for the Rockies the last 2 seasons as your 5th man in the rotation. So far this season Chad Bettis has looked like the ace of the Rockies staff so to have him as the 4th or 5th starter in the rotation would show the depth of the rotation. The potential is all there.

When you look at the offensive lineup it is above average, with the additions of Gerardo Parra and Mark Reynolds the Rockies are extraordinary on defense and can light up the scoreboard at any moment in any game. Just like they did against San Francisco by scoring 13 runs in one inning on Cinco de Mayo at AT&T Park. The problem is never the offense at Coors Field. As of now, Nolan Arenado is making his case as the best player in the league and in my opinion is the best third baseman in the game hands down. His all around play makes him one best player in the MLB right now, with his incredible glove and cannon for an arm he is a threat to do something special every game. With 2 gold glovers in the infield and 2 gold glovers in the outfield the defense is outstanding at Coors Field. So Rockies fans you should be hopeful with the direction this team is going. All the signs are pointing to the future for the Rockies and I believe they will be able to compete and win in the playoffs in the near future. This is all gonna depend on the maturity of Jon Gray, Kyle Freeland and Jeff Hoffman. If these three can grow up fast and start pitching well in the big leagues the Rockies could be on the fast track to the playoffs and maybe even a World Series. freelandjon grayhoffman

Kyle Freeland on the left, Jon Gray in the middle and Jeff Hoffman on the right.