This is an exciting time of year for Rockies fans. We get to talk a lot about prospects; we get to see who is rising and who is struggling and think towards the future. The Rockies are going into full on rebuild mode and made it a point of emphasis to acquire and build their young pitching. They have spent some high draft capital (Dollander, Hughes, Sullivan) on adding starting pitching, as well as acquiring high upside pitching in trades (Jake Madden and Mason Albright).
MLB Pipeline kicked things off this year with the top 10 right-handed pitchers, released yesterday, where the Rockies had Chase Dollander check in at number eight. Where the top 10 right-handed pitchers list is one of the hardest to break, the top 10 left-handed pitchers might be the most interesting. The top 10 left-handed pitchers can be a lot harder to predict. The top 10 lefties from 2016 included names like Blake Snell, Julio Urias, Steven Mats, Sean Manaea, and Josh Hader who have gone on to become elite or really good major leaguers. It also includes guys like Sean Newcomb, Tyler Jay, Cody Reed and Kolby Allard who have struggled or are completely out of the game.
Today they released their top 10 left-handed pitchers of 2024, and it isn't surprising that the Rockies didn't have anyone make the list, as their highest ranked left-handed pitcher was Sean Sullivan at number 13 (according to Pipeline). Looking at the Rockies prospects, they are not that far off from having one reach the top 10 on MLB Pipelines list.
There are a few interesting lefties that the Rockies have recently acquired, Sean Sullivan possessing the highest upside; the list of other interesting arms includes Carson Palmquist, Mason Albright, Joe Rock and Isaiah Coupet (though the last two are likely to become relievers).
Here is a really good look at Sullivan in college at Wake Forest courtesy of Prospects Live:
Sullivan is the closest one to cracking the top 10 list, he possesses the most upside of any pitcher in this farm outside of Dollander. He only threw four professional innings in 2023, but he struck out 10, while walking just one batter. This is right in line with what he did throughout college. Most of MLB Pipeline's list includes pitchers who are first round draft picks within the last two or three years and have put together a full season of really good production. Sullivan fits the bill of a high strikeout, recent first or second round draft pick. If he can go out and put together a really solid season and show that he is able to be a starting pitcher, he could fight for a spot in the top 10 left-handed pitchers next year.
The next crop of the lefties the Rockies have are probably long shots to ever make that list, but that doesn't mean that they won't become solid starting pitchers. Carson Palmquist is a really interesting arm. A 2022 third round pick, threw 92.1 innings in his first full season in the professional ranks. He compiled a 13.1 K/9 with a manageable 3.6 BB/9, with a 3.90 ERA. If he can cut the walks down just a bit and continue to develop, he has the ceiling of a solid number three for the Rockies.
Albright is another interesting arm with the potential to be a solid back of the rotation arm. He won't wow anyone, at just six feet tall, his fastball sits in the low 90's, but with good command and a three and possibly four pitch mix (he's developing a cutter), he could compete for a rotation spot soon. In 2023, between A and A+, he threw 109.2 innings with a 3.28 ERA. He put up a solid 9.8 K/9 and an impressive 2.8 BB/9.