Highlighting top Rockies prospects for '09

We are breaking down the top five prospects for each organization for 2009, taking into consideration: games, at-bats, innings and major-league service time. We expect these players to have rookie status remaining heading into next year.

According to MLB rules: "A player shall be considered a rookie unless, during a previous season or seasons, he has (a) exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the major leagues; or (b) accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a major league club or clubs during the period of 25-player limit (excluding time in the military service and time on the disabled list)."

Note: Statistics are those at each stop in the minors this season and age represents how old they will be on opening day 2009.

Colorado Rockies

They didn't quite follow up on their NL title the way they would have hoped, but the Rockies continue to be one of the best organizations at competing with home-grown talent. Troy Tulowitzki is much more of a superstar than he showed in the first half of the season, while catcher Chris Iannetta and third baseman Ian Stewart are burgeoning superstars. We don't see a large group of rookies the Rockies will be able to count on, but they have depth in their organization that will chip in nicely in 2009.

1. RH SP Jhoulys Chacin , 21

You would be hard-pressed to find a young pitcher who had a better year in 2008. As all of the Rockies top arms struggling in the higher levels, save for Ubaldo Jimenez , Chacin was completely dominant further down the chain. We see another Jimenez-like arm here and wouldn't be surprised to see him make a Johnny Cueto-like splash in spring training. We just mentioned Chacin in the class of Jimenez and Cueto. That's nice praise and great reasons to buy.

Level W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO BAA
Low A 10 1 1.86 16 16 2 0 0 111 1/3 82 30 23 3 30 98 2.83 .205
High A 8 2 2.31 12 12 0 0 0 66 1/3 61 20 17 3 12 62 2.83 .247
Totals 18 3 2.03 28 28 2 0 0 177 2/3 143 50 40 6 42 160 2.83 .221

2. OF Dexter Fowler , 23

Fowler had a solid year rising the levels of the system and helping out Team USA in winning bronze in the Olympics. Thus far Fowler's numbers all look solid, but neither his power or steals potential really stands out for us in terms of an elite Fantasy product. Fowler will compete for a job in spring training, but unless Matt Holliday , Brad Hawpe or Willy Taveras find a new home in the winter, we don't see Fowler as anything more than a deeper NL-only option in 2009. It is a better bet he opens the year in Triple-A and works his way to the 2010 starting lineup.

Level AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLUG OPS
Double-A .335 108 421 92 141 31 9 9 64 217 65 89 20 8 .431 .515 .946
Majors .154 13 26 3 4 0 0 0 0 4 0 5 0 1 .185 .154 .339

3. 1B Joe Koshansky , 26

Big Joe is your typical Quadruple-A masher who hits bombs and whiffs at eye-opening rates. We don't see the Rockies slotting him as a regular in the majors at this point, but he is the type of player who finally gets his chance later on and surprises us with a wicked hot streak.

Level AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLUG OPS
Triple-A .300 122 457 90 137 36 4 31 121 274 60 158 1 0 .380 .600 .980
Majors .211 18 38 5 8 3 0 3 8 20 1 17 0 0 .250 .526 .776

4. C Willin Rosario, 20

Rosario was picked as the best prospect in the low Class A Pioneer League by Baseball America this fall. It is not quite an elite league, but Rosario looks like a solid long-term Fantasy catcher prospect. Just don't expect him to arrive for a few years at this point, especially since Iannetta's career has taken off.

Level AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLUG OPS
Low A .316 66 263 48 83 15 3 12 49 140 24 57 4 3 .371 .532 .903

5. RP Casey Weathers , 23

The Rockies were criticized for picking David Price's college closer in Round 1, but Weathers has proven to be a very good pro in his brief unveiling. The problem in Fantasy is he is merely a short reliever. Those don't always become good closers -- Craig Hansen , Royce Ring , Joey Devine et al. Weathers will help the Rockies in the bullpen and perhaps even close by the end of the year.

Level W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO GO/AO BAA
Double-A 2 1 3.05 44 0 0 0 2 44 1/3 34 18 15 1 28 54 1.66 .210

Best of the rest: C Michael McKenry , SP Esmil Rogers , OF Matt Miller, SP Keith Weiser, SP Parker Frazier, SP Chaz Roe, SS Chris Nelson , 2B Jayson Nix , RP Juan Morillo , SP Christian Friedrich, OF Charlie Blackmon, OF Brian Rike, SP Andrew Johnston, SP Nicholas Schnaitmann, 3B Darin Holcomb, SS Hector Gomez, OF Delta Cleary, SP Brandon Hynick , 2B Everth Cabrera, 2B Corey Wimberly, SP Aaron Weatherford, SP Ethan Hollingsworth, RP Pedro Strop , SP Josh Sullivan, SP Samuel Deduno, RP Ryan Mattheus C Edwin Bellorin , RP Cedrick Bowers , RP Steven Register , RP Ethan Katz and RP Sean Jarrett.

2008 rookies to exhaust eligibility: Stewart, SP Greg Reynolds , SP Franklin Morales , OF Seth Smith (service time) and 2B Jonathan Herrera .

Last year's top five here: Stewart, Reynolds, Morales, Koshansky and Nelson.

You can e-mail Emack your Fantasy Baseball prospect questions to DMFantasyBaseball@cbs.com. Be sure to put Attn: Rockies prospects in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state. Be aware, due to the large volume of submissions received, we cannot guarantee personal responses to all questions.

Crave freelancer Eric Mack is a writer, radio producer, and podcaster based in Taos, N.M., but he lives in Google+. He's also managing editor of Crowdsourcing.org... Full Bio

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