The Rockies have a rapidly improving farm system. Just five years ago, Bleacher Report ranked the Rockies system as the 24th best in baseball, with only two potential top 100 prospects. In December Bleacher Report had the Rockies at number 15 in their top farm systems, highlighting the development of top prospect Adael Amador and recent draft pick, Sterlin Thompson. The Rockies' farm is in a much better position than it was a few years ago and this is huge for a team in a rebuild, expecting to compete with the high payrolls of the Dodgers, Padres and Giants, and the recent NL Pennant winning, Arizona Diamondbacks (this may be the deepest division we have ever seen).
As we look at how much this farm system has improved, MLB Pipeline gives Rockies fans a good gauge at who could be their next star. The Rockies should have a few top 100 prospects but looking at the positional rankings, the Rockies have had just one player make the top 10 at their respective position, that was Chase Dollander who was the number eight ranked right-handed pitcher. A strong case could be made that Hunter Goodman should've been on the top 10 first baseman and Sterlin Thompson should've made the top third baseman list, but they were left off.
MLB Pipeline released their top 10 shortstops yesterday and it is loaded with potential stars. The shortstop list might be one of the hardest, if not the hardest list to make. It is always full of stars that either become faces of the game, or really solid players for a long time. The Rockies top prospect Adael Amador was honored with a spot among the top 10 shortstop prospects in the game.
Adael Amador checks in at No. 8 on the 2024 Top 10 Shortstops
The Rockies signed Amador as part of what has become a really solid 2019 international free agent class (they also added Yanquiel Fernandez). They gave out a number of six-figure contracts, with Amador getting the highest bonus at $1.5 million.
"A teenager for all of last season, Amador stands out for his very advanced approach from both sides of the plate. He walked more than he struck out in his first year-plus of pro ball, with just a 12.7 percent strikeout rate compared to a 15.1 percent walk rate. He has a very good feel for the barrel and has shown the propensity to make good swing decisions. There were some questions about what kind of impact he would have, but he’s added strength and there’s reason to believe the extra-base authority on display with Fresno in 2022 is real."- MLBPipeline.com
Pipeline raves about the hit tool with Amador, giving him a 60-grade hit and he has proved its legit, with a very advanced approach. In his three seasons his slash lines have been .299/.394/.445 in 2021 as an 18-year-old, then .292/.415/.445 in 2022 as a 19-year-old in single-A Fresno, and finally, slashing .287/.380/.495 as a 20-year-old making his way up to double-A Hartford. He has really impressed with his ability to control the zone, limiting his strikeout rate and walk rates to really elite numbers (14.2% BB rate, 12.35% K rate across the three minor league seasons).
Check out some highlights from Amador's impressive 2023, courtesy of The Hub for Baseball Highlights
Amador has a lot of athleticism and the speed to be a 30 stolen base guy, and maybe even more with how much he gets on base. His ceiling might come down to how much power he can tap into. Amador might be more of a doubles guy with his decent pop, but above average speed. He is very strong, but just six feet tall, yet there is the potential that he is a 20+ home run guy, in which case we are looking at a middle infielder that could post a slash line of .280/.380/.450 with 20 home runs and 30 stolen bases, that's an all-star level player.
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