Four Rockies among BA’s top Pioneer League prospects
Four Colorado Rockies prospects from the Rookie level Casper Ghosts made Baseball America’s list of the top 20 prospects in the Pioneer League, including , who was ranked the best prospect in the league.
Story, an infielder drafted out of high school in the supplemental first round with the 45th overall pick of the 2011 draft, hit .268 with six home runs and 28 RBI in 47 games for the Ghosts. From BA’s scouting report on the: “Story makes steady contact and manages the strike zone, so scouts expect he’ll hit for average, possibly as high as .280 annually. He also offers significant power potential for a middle infielder, and he blasted two of his six homers to the opposite field.”
Infielder, who was rated the 12th-best prospect in the Rockies organization before the season, ranked No. 5 on the Pioneer League list. Herrera hit .284 with six home runs and 34 RBI in his first season in the United States. Like Story, Herrera is a natural shortstop, but BA writes, “at 6-foot-4 and still growing, Herrera probably will play his way off shortstop and wind up on a corner or possibly in center field.”
Catcher Will Swanner, a 2010 15th-round pick, ranked ninth on the list. Swanner hit .264 with 10 home runs and 24 RBI in 43 games, but missed significant time with a thumb injury. Strikeouts remain a problem for Swanner, who struck out 60 times in 182 plate appearances.
Right-handed pitcher Danny Winkler, a 20th-round pick out of Central Florida in 2011, ranked 18th on the list after going 4-3 with a 3.92 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 57 innings. He pitched as exclusively as a starter in 2011, but BA describes him as a pitcher with a “quick arm who could pitch high-leverage relief innings in the big leagues one day.”