Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rosario, Pacheco impressive through two games

The scores don't matter anymore. The Colorado Rockies won't even finish at .500. The season is a huge disappointment.

When that happens, the focus turns to the future.

For the Rockies, the long-anticipated arrival of Wilin Rosario, whose arrival was delayed by a torn ACL at the end of the 2010 season. With another year logged in Double-A, Rosario has finally made his trip to Coors Field to show what he can do.

Beyond Rosario, the Rockies also get to take a month-long look at Jordan Pacheco. Both players are catching prospects. However, Pacheco was originally an infielder, so he is being converted back to his original spot so that Rosario can play behind the plate.

There is no doubt that Rosario is the much more highly-anticipated arrival. He is 22-years old and there isn't a top-prospect list that he doesn't appear on. Everything suggests that his defense is Major League ready, and his offense is raw, but very capable.

Pacheco's situation is slightly different. While he had a great spring training that turned some heads, most think of him as a utility guy. Those who have watched his whole minor league career suggest that he won't put up the offensive numbers to be an everyday guy at the big league level.

Both prospects, in just two games, have been extremely impressive. Pacheco came out swinging, recording two hits in his debut. He also made two very good pickups at third base, a position that he only played five times in Colorado Springs during the 2011 season. He went 0-for-4 on Wednesday, but squared up the ball and took good swings.

With his 0-for-3 night out of the way, Rosario took center stage on Wednesday night, rolling his first Major League hit down the third base line. If any of his teammates were giving him a hard time about the cheap hit he got to start his career, he quieted them in the fourth inning, when he launched a 448-foot home run to straight away center field.

Two games is far too small of a sample size to make a judgement, but the initial reaction from the Rockies front office has to be good. Both players seem to be playing with confidence, eager to prove that they belong. Many prospects come up and have a deer-in-the-headlights look for the first couple of weeks, and then struggle to build their numbers back up after digging a big hole. Both of these prospects, however, seem to be ready to go.

Rosario is definitely the most anticipated prospect, but Pacheco should not be written off. His offensive numbers struggled in Triple-A, but keep in mind that he was the primary catcher. Move him away from the stresses of catching everyday and his bat may wake up. He has a good looking swing, and might just be the type of prospects who really blossoms at the big league level.

So far, so good for the first two prospects. The next debut is as highly anticipated as it gets. Drew Pomeranz makes his Major League debut on Sunday against the Reds. The left-hander was extremely impressive throughout his short minor league career, and now gets a chance to show what all the hype is about.

If all goes well, the Rockies can start to solidify their 2012 plans with those three prospects factoring into them.

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