Eight Rockies' prospects are headed to Scottsdale to be a part of the Salt River Rafters in the 2023 Arizona Fall League beginning on October 2. Let's take a look at four top players on their way to the AFL this fall.
Sterlin Thompson currently comes in at number 6 in the Rockies' MLB prospect rankings. Thompson was selected 31st overall by Colorado in the 2022 draft, coming out of the University of Florida.
Thompson has split 2023 between Spokane and Hartford where he amassed 14 home runs, 56 RBI, and a respectable .293/.376/.487 line over 94 games.
According to his MLB scouting report: It's hard not to like Thompson’s setup and swing from the left side of the plate. He has a very solid approach and sticks to his gameplan with conviction. He’s always been a hit-over-power type, one who hunts doubles and not home runs, but there’s plenty of extra-base authority for him to tap into. He’s never going to sell out for power, but 15 or more homers a year in the big leagues isn’t unreasonable.
MLB has him at an overall grade of 50 with an ETA of 2025 into the majors.
Benny Montgomery is a 21 year old outfielder who was drafted 8th overall in the first round in 2021. He played for Spokane in A+ ball in 2023 where he posted a .251/.336/.370 line with 10 home runs and 51 RBI.
Montgomery injured his quad during his first pro year, but after coming back performed reasonably well. Right now he is ranked as the Rockies' number eight prospect and is expected to make his MLB debut in 2025.
From the scouting report: He tried to play through the quad injury at first, but once he shut it down and came back, he was one of the better players in the California League. He’s learned a lot about how to train and take care of his body, which should help him reach his ceiling as a big league regular in center field.
Right behind Montgomery is Rockies' number nine prospect, catcher, Drew Romo.
Romo has been consistent behind the plate during his career and if he can stay healthy, should be serviceable at the plate as well.
The scouts say: If he can get back in rhythm at the plate, he profiles as a big league regular backstop thanks to his outstanding defensive tools. He has a plus arm and moves well behind the plate with plus athleticism and agility as someone who runs well, especially for a catcher. The Rockies are excited to have him back healthy so he can continue to show he belongs in conversations about the best catching prospects in the game.
Drew spent most of 2023 at AA Hartford, but played four games for the AAA Isotopes near the end of the year. Overall in both leagues in 2023, he slashed .259/.317/.445 with 13 home runs and 153 total bases in 95 games.
Rounding out our top players is number 29, right-handed pitcher Jaden Hill. Hill was drafted 44th overall in the 2nd round of the 2021 MLB draft.
After Tommy John surgery in 2021, Hill returned to the mound and showed flashes of what he could become, despite allowing a huge 9.48 ERA in A+ ball in 2023. The Rockies certainly hope he can get back to his old form pre-surgery.
Upon his return, Hill immediately showed off the premium stuff that made him a prospect. His fastball is in the mid-to-upper 90s, and he’s continuing to work on getting a little more run on the pitch. His changeup is still his best secondary, and it’s at least plus, a mid-80s offspeed offering with tumble that misses a ton of bats.
That's it for the players from the Rockies' top 30 prospects. Rounding out the eight that are headed to Arizona are right-handed pitchers Alex Barger, Chris McMahon, Juan Meijia, and Case Williams.
You can get all of the information about watching and visiting the fall league on the Arizona Fall League website.