We are now onto our fourth player in our top 15 prospect rankings for 2024 and we are on the third outfielder (Zac Veen at number 13 and Benny Montgomery at number 14). Like I have said numerous times, the Rockies found a type of player that they liked and went after them. The next man up doesn't really fit into that mold (he was actually a catcher) as a tooled-up outfielder with raw ability. He is pretty polished and has had a pretty good track record of production.
Hunter Goodman's power potential and track record earn him the No. 12 spot in our 2024 prospect rankings
The Rockies were able to snag the Memphis product in the fourth round (109th overall) of the 2021 MLB draft. This draft year looks to be a pretty solid draft (also added Benny Montgomery and Jaden Hill). The got pretty good value with this pick as MLB Pipeline had Goodman ranked as the 87th overall prospect heading into the draft. He had a lot of production in college, hitting 50 home runs over just 171 college games. Coming into the draft, there was little doubt about Goodman's power potential, but there were certainly questions around his hit tool.
Check out the highlights from Goodman's 2023 season, in which he hit 34 home runs, courtesy of The Hub for Baseball Highlights
Since being drafted, Goodman has showcased his immense power and showed a solid hit tool as well. In his first full pro season he slashed .295/.354/.572 with 36 home runs in 135 games making his way up to Double-A Hartford. He did strike out 26% of the time, but with that many home runs, you will take that every day. He followed it up with another solid 2023, slashing .259/.338/.581 with 34 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A. Goodman ranked number 12 in MLB Pipelines rankings last year and they had great things to say about his power potential.
"The power translated to the lower levels of the Minors as he played across three levels and tied for third among all Minor League hitters with 36 home runs. The ball comes off of Goodman’s bat with a different sound, and the right-handed hitter showed he can access his tremendous power."- MLB Pipeline prior to the 2023 season
Goodman will get a chance to prove that the power and hit tool are ready for the big leagues in 2024. He had a cup of coffee in the big leagues in 2023 and struggled quite a bit. He slashed just .200/.247/.386 with just one home run in only 77 plate appearances and ended up with a strikeout rate over 30% at 31.17%. He spent time playing two different positions (1B and RF) in the field and I would expect him to get a lot of games in both of those positions again in 2024.
Goodman should see a lot of playing time in both corner outfield spots, probably more games in right field, as well as quite a bit of games at first base, especially with the oft injured Kris Bryan there. Goodman is really poised for a breakout year and could provide another really solid young, middle of the order bat with Nolan Jones. Some outlets have predicted a power surge in his first full year in the big leagues and I wouldn't be surprised to see Goodman hit 25+ home runs.
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