Coors Field is well-known as a hitter friendly ballpark, but the Colorado Rockies have a farm system of capable right-handed arms looking to change all that. In fact, two pitchers currently in their system could be ready for breakout rookie seasons as soon as next season.
Jonathan Gray and Eddie Butler are the future for Colorado right now, so the question many fans and fantasy baseball owners are wondering about is when they will get a chance to showcase their talent to the National League West.
After back-to-back last place finishes in their division, the Rockies are definitely looking for answers this offseason. They have yet to make any huge moves in free agency, but they do still have a solid foundation of Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki up the middle.
Butler is a year older than Gray, and he is also a little further along in his development. He dominated at three different levels in 2013, and he will be in the majors sooner rather than later in 2014. In fact, a solid Spring Training could have him in the rotation to start the regular season, depending on other offseason moves.
Although Butler can throw in the high-90s while striking out about a batter an inning, Gray is the pitcher with the highest ceiling in the minors right now for Colorado. He spent a lot of time this past season working on secondary pitches to complement his fastball that can reach triple digits. He already has an effective slider, but his changeup still needs a bit of work. Leaving the ball up and over the plate at Coors Field could crush any young pitcher’s confidence, so until he gets it sorted out, he will spend a little bit more time in the minors.
Those in fantasy baseball keeper leagues already know about this 1-2 punch waiting in the wings in Colorado. Yes, they have to deal with pitching in Coors Field, but both Butler and Gray have the stuff to dominate on any field.