Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Rockies top prospects 2022: Outfielders Zac Veen and Benny Montgomery top Colorado’s farm system

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Major League Baseball’s owners may have locked out the players, triggering the league’s first work stoppage since 1994-95 and bringing the offseason to a halt, but that doesn’t mean we’re letting it derail our typical offseason plans. Indeed, CBS Sports is in the process of highlighting the top three prospects for all 30 teams.

That journey finds us today focusing on the Colorado Rockies‘ farm system. 

Do note that these lists are formed after conversations with scouts, analysts, and player development folks from around the league. There is personal bias baked in, as one would expect from subjective exercises, so some disagreement is to be expected.

1. Zac Veen, RF

The Rockies selected Veen, an angular left-handed hitter who often received Jayson Werth comparisons from scouts as an amateur, ninth in the 2020 draft. He made his professional debut last season, hitting .301/.399/.501 with 15 home runs and 31 troubles (doubles plus triples) in 106 games at Low-A. Veen has all the right weaponry to become a middle-of-the-order hitter: good power; a feel for the zone; and barrel awareness. He also has a strong arm that should come in handy in right field. 

2. Benny Montgomery, CF

Montgomery, the eighth pick in last July’s draft, is a toolsy outfielder with a high ceiling. He has big-time power potential; good foot speed; and a strong arm. Montgomery needs to rework his busy swing to maximize his offensive game, however, as scouts were concerned heading into the draft that he won’t make enough contact to fulfill his promise. It’s too early to know how things will work out.

3. Drew Romo, C

Romo was hailed as a glove-first catcher when the Rockies drafted him 35th in 2020. It’ll take more time for him to change that reputation, but he hit .314/.345/.439 in his professional debut, a 79-game stint at Colorado’s Low-A affiliate. Even if Romo’s bat ends up playing light as he ascends –and keep in mind, he didn’t walk frequently, nor did he hit for much power — his receiving and above-average arm should give him a high floor. It’s worth noting that Romo could be one of the top prospects most negatively impacted by the implementation of the automated ball-strike system.

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