Aug 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; General view of Coors Field before the start of the game between the Kansas City Royals against the Colorado Rockies. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
2016 Nuts: Looking Ahead
Keys to success: The 2016 Nuts are going to receive most if not all of the 2015 Asheville Tourists — a team that went to the South Atlantic Championship Series before losing in a clean sweep in the finals this summer. So it stands to reason that there are quite a few pretty decent prospects and strong players coming quickly from Asheville.
Obviously, higher levels of the minor leagues may not agree with some of those players as they keep moving up — and others may be promoted quickly (like we saw this season with guys like Jordan Patterson, Carlos Estevez, and Harrison Musgrave) — so Modesto, like all minor league affiliates, will be a crap shoot next year.
Biggest challenges: The biggest challenge for any California League team is typically always identical to the biggest challenge year in and year out for the Colorado Rockies: pitching. Pitching is tough to come by in the Cal League, with very few exceptions, and this level is where most Rockies’ fringe prospects from lower levels may make or break their careers playing on razor-thin margins of error.
That being said, plenty of pitchers have succeeded here (again, Estevez and Musgrave, plus Senzatela and others in just this last season), so it’s not a death sentence by any means — despite the fact that some organizations seek to skip the California League altogether with their best pitching prospects.
What to expect in 2016: Much of the same in the California League! The Modesto Nuts have been an affiliate of the Colorado Rockies for over a decade now, and while other changes have happened all across the organization, this is one steady point in the chain. It’ll be fun to see the Tourists’ of 2015 trying to repeat their winning ways in Modesto next summer.