In the latest installment of my look at the High-A West, I shift the attention to the Spokane Indians, the affiliate for the Colorado Rockies. The team has been competitive throughout the season, but a recent hot streak has put them atop the division by half a game. It’s a three-team race at this point, with the Eugene Emeralds and Everett AquaSox hot on their heels. The Rockies have taken a lot of criticism with how they’ve handled some of their top prospects over the past few years. However, there has been a noticeable influx of talent into the system, with a handful of breakouts and young international players showing signs of emerging. Hopefully, it’s a positive sign that things are beginning to turn around.
Ezequiel Tovar, SS
The 20-year old is an intriguing shortstop who burst onto the season as a teenage stand-out in Low-A. Listed at 6-foot, 165 pounds, the righty brings an above-average hit tool to the table, as well as above-average speed. The development of his power this season has elevated him into a different tier in some eyes. Tovar possesses the ability to make contact at a high level, as evidenced by a K rate below 14% at both stops. He plays a premium defensive position, is on the same track as several top prospects, and could play his home games in the hitter’s haven known as Coors Field. Tovar will likely begin 2022 with the team before earning a mid-season promotion to AA. If the power gains prove to be more significant, his stock will continue to rise. In an organization lacking high-end talent entering the season, Tovar has taken a big step forward. He should be considered a quality stash in dynasty leagues moving forward.
End of 6 | We have the lead!!! With the bases loaded, Ezequiel Tovar comes up with a bases clearing double.
We lead it 8-6 #GoSpo pic.twitter.com/9SZcqGGitX
— Spokane Indians (@spokaneindians) August 22, 2021
Brenton Doyle, OF
Listed at 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, the athletic outfielder brings an intriguing power and speed skillset to the table that fantasy managers covet. A fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft, the righty has plus raw power and plus speed, so the building blocks are in place to make a lot of noise if the hit tool cooperates. Doyle has struggled at times making contact, and he will need to clean up a K rate hovering around 30% as he faces more advanced pitching. He has also seen a noticeable decrease in his BB%. Doyle skipped over Low-A entirely after the cancellation of the 2020 minor league season, so it’s not time to panic if you’ve invested long-term. If he can make the necessary adjustments to his approach, the profile is in place for him to become sought after when all the ingredients fall into place.
Spokane gets on the board with a three run home run from Brenton Doyle!
AquaSox 5 | Indians 3#GoSpo | @spokaneindians pic.twitter.com/MISQ4684tr
— SWXRightNow (@SWXRightNow) May 23, 2021
Chris McMahon, RHP
In a system full of bats, the righty is one of the stand-out pitching prospects in the organization. The 22-year old was selected 46th overall in the 2020 draft and has done a quality job in his debut pro season. McMahon has the potential for an above-average fastball, slider, and changeup, and his command appears to be more advanced than anticipated. Some scouts believe any of his pitches could reach plus level, so there’s a lot to like here. Listed at 6-for-2, 220 pounds, McMahon has the type of skill set that would be gaining more popularity, if not for the stigma of being a Rockies pitcher. It is an uphill battle for any pitcher to be counted on to produce in their park. McMahon has an athletic, repeatable delivery and projects to become a solid SP2 or SP3 long term.
The Colorado #Rockies select right-handed pitcher Chris McMahon with the 46th pick of the 2020 Draft pic.twitter.com/tWTxhF64Ak
— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) June 11, 2020
Hunter Stovall, RHP
A former 21st round pick in 2018, Stovall is on the smaller side in stature, but that hasn’t prevented him from making his imprint on the team. Listed at 5-foot-8, 170 pounds, the righty has displayed the ability to take walks, limit strikeouts, and steal bases at the level. On the flip side, since he is already 24 years old, his production is viewed suspiciously from a long-term upside perspective. Stovall will probably never be a masher, even playing in a great home park, but his ability to get on base, play multiple positions, and run, can be a needed skill set for the Rockies. He likely profiles as a bench bat long-term and still has some hurdles to climb before gaining real traction in fantasy. Success in the upper levels next season would be the next step.
End of 5 | 3 more runs for the home team! Hunter Stovall with an RBI single and Grant Lavigne plated two more before being thrown out at second.
We’re up 5-0 after five!#GoSpo pic.twitter.com/0T8WicRQCV
— Spokane Indians (@spokaneindians) August 19, 2021
Isaac Collins, 2B
A 9th round pick in the 2019 draft, Collins has continued improving at each level through the organization. The switch-hitter began the season in Low-A but quickly earned a promotion and has taken another step forward with Spokane. Collins currently leads qualified hitters in OPS while bringing a stolen base element to the table. His power production has increased as well, so there are improvements taking place. Listed at 5-foot-9, 185 pounds, he has been splitting time evenly between the outfield and second base, which will increase his likelihood of making the roster down the road. On the opposite side of the coin, he is older than the typical dynasty target in High-A. Prospects develop at different paces, and growth is not always linear. If Collins can carry the production to the upper levels next season, it would start to catch the eye of evaluators.
Keep an eye on
Grant Lavigne – The 6-foot-4, 220-pound lefty has shown a solid ability to take walks, having never gone below 10% at any level in his career. The righty will need to display sustained improvements to his hit tool for the power to come into play consistently.
Niko Decolati – The outfielder began the season on fire, and his production has remained solid. The 24-year old is another player who is too old for High-A to be considered a top prospect, but his ability to tap into double-digit homers and steals could find him a role in fantasy down the road.
Aaron Schunk – It’s been a disappointing season for the 24-year old righty, as he was being touted pretty heavily as a breakout entering the season. His stock has taken a massive drop, but it’s not too late yet for him to make the adjustments and get back on track.
Michael covers the Mariners and Dynasty/Fantasy baseball content for Prospects1500. He is a Michigan native currently living in the Pacific Northwest. Michael has played fantasy baseball for over 20 years. He has experience with dynasty, redraft, roto, H2H, points, Best ball, and auction leagues. Michael got started writing with the support of Todd Zola at CreativeSports. He has also contributed prospect content for FantraxHQ, RotoFanatic, and ProspectsWorldwide. Follow Michael on Twitter @MPRichards1981 for advice, dynasty lists, and in-season prospect coverage.
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