The Arizona Fall League’s six week season just concluded this past weekend as the Peoria Javelinas (which featured members of the Tampa Bay Rays, Seattle Mariners, Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, and Milwaukee Brewers organizations) defeated the Salt River Rafters (which featured members of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Miami Marlins, Minnesota Twins, and Washington Nationals organizations) in the championship game on Saturday. Despite the Rockies team losing, they had two breakout prospects during the AFL season.
On Monday, MLB.com named their top ten breakout prospects from the Arizona Fall League this season and two of the ten are members of the Colorado Rockies.
One of them was right-handed pitcher Justin Lawrence. Lawrence, who is ranked as the Rockies 17th best prospect by MLB.com, did blow two save opportunities in the Fall Stars Game and the AFL Championship game but he showed his fastball quite frequently, which hit 100 MPH on a few occasions as well as an above average slider.
His problem is control as he averaged more than 5 walks per nine innings. He did average 11 strikeouts per nine innings, however. In the regular season, he had an ERA of 2.65 in 55 games with 11 saves in Advanced-A Lancaster.
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The other Rockies top prospect featured was corner infielder Tyler Nevin. Nevin, who is currently ranked as the Rockies #11 prospect, was “[a]rguably the Fall League’s top breakout prospect” as he led the AFL in all three aspects of an offensive slash line with a .426 batting average, a .535 on-base percentage, and a .593 slugging percentage.
He also finished third in the AFL in RBI with 20 and he walked three times more often than he struck out (15 to 5). Like Lawrence, he spent the entire 2018 season at Advanced-A Lancaster and in 100 games, he hit 13 home runs and 62 RBI with a slash line of .328/.386/.503.
Although the Salt River Rafters did not win the Championship Game, seeing these two top prospects of the Rockies is a good sign for Rockies fans to see what could be at the major league level in the near future.