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Goodman, Fernandez headline Rockies' Organization All-Stars

Club's versatile top Minors performers on doorstep of The Show
December 6, 2023

Each offseason, goes position by position across each organization and honors the players -- regardless of age or prospect status -- who had the best seasons in each farm system. Next up in our 2023 Organization All-Stars series are the Colorado Rockies.

Each offseason, goes position by position across each organization and honors the players -- regardless of age or prospect status -- who had the best seasons in each farm system. Next up in our 2023 Organization All-Stars series are the Colorado Rockies.

2023 organization summary:
Triple-A Albuquerque: 68-82
Double-A Hartford: 57-76
High-A Spokane: 62-67
Single-A Fresno: 78-54
ACL Rockies: 40-15
DSL Rockies: 29-24
DSL Colorado: 34-19
Overall record: 368-337 (8th among MLB organizations)
Midseason Farm System Rankings: 18

2023 Rockies Organization All-Stars

C: Drew Romo (COL No. 9)
AA/AAA: .259/.317/.445, 95 G, 13 HR, 51 RBI, 47 R, 29 BB, 6 SB
Romo started his year off with Double-A Hartford, but was called up to Triple-A Albuquerque for the first time toward the end of the season. His 13 home runs were the most he has hit in any of his three Minor League campaigns.

1B: Hunter Goodman (COL No. 12)
AA/AAA: .259/.338/.580, 106 G, 34 HR, 111 RBI, 68 R, 45 BB
Goodman swatted 36 home runs across three levels in 2022. In 2023, he continued to showcase his power with an organization-leading 34 roundtrippers and 111 RBIs, setting a career high with six multihomer games. The 24-year-old displayed his versatility in the Minor Leagues, but he has made more starts at first base than any other position.

"[Goodman] has a blue-collar work ethic and has put in the work to achieve the level of versatility he has in the field," said Chris Forbes, the Rockies' director of player development.

Colorado brought Goodman up for his Major League debut in late August.

2B: Coco Montes
AAA: .317/.400/.551, 107 G, 22 HR, 89 RBI, 96 R, 59 BB, 11 SB
Though Montes saw Major League action in the summer, he spent most of his season at Triple-A, where the 27-year-old led the club in hits, batting average, home runs, RBIs and OPS. His career-high 22 homers were fifth in the organization and third amongst infielders. Montes showed improvement with the glove too, posting a career low in errors (nine) at Triple-A in 2023.

SS: Ryan Ritter (COL No. 20)
A/A+/AA: .281/.383/.519, 119 G, 24 HR, 85 RBI, 90 R, 62 BB, 20 SB
The 2022 fourth-round pick spent time at three levels in 2023 and consistently produced at every stop. Ritter led all qualified Rockies at an affiliate with a 140 wRC+ and was the organization's Hitting Prospect of the Year, according to MLB Pipeline. He was one of just two players in the organization to hit more than 20 home runs while also swiping at least 20 bags.

"No one expected him to go out and hit 24 home runs," Forbes said.

While Ritter's bat has keyed his rise through the system, he has also shown ability with the glove, posting a .970 fielding percentage. His speed, power and ability in the field landed him at Double-A to end his first full season.

3B: Sterlin Thompson (COL No. 6)
A+/AA: .293/.376/.487, 94 G, 14 HR, 56 RBI, 56 R, 38 BB, 17 SB
After playing just 26 games in 2022, Thompson started the season with High-A Spokane. The 22-year-old excelled both at the dish and in the field, delivering an .863 OPS while compiling a .949 fielding percentage. While Thompson's bat doesn't carry the most power, he made up for it by getting on base at a .376 clip while showcasing the ability to steal bases once he was there.

"He might be our best pure hitter in the system," Forbes said. "His approach, his knowledge of his own swing ... [he] does not get into habits of trying to create something, club the ball out of the yard -- he truly takes what the pitcher is giving him and makes the most out of it."

While not part of the selection criteria, Thompson stayed hot in his Arizona Fall League stint with a .338/.460/.475 slash line.

OF: Yanquiel Fernandez (COL No. 2/MLB No. 49)
A/A+/AA: .265/.313/.486, 117 G, 25 HR, 92 RBI, 70 R, 32 BB, 1 SB
Fernandez spent time at three levels in his third Minor League season. His 25 home runs and 92 RBIs were tied for the second-most in the organization. Fernandez played 58 games with Spokane and posted a .959 OPS, highlighted by a five-hit, two-homer game on May 10. In addition to his success at the plate, he showcased his arm with 11 outfield assists from right field. Fernandez's quick strides brought him up to Double-A at just 20 years old.

"The expectations here, you're talking about All-Star potential at the big league level," Forbes said.

OF: Benny Montgomery (COL No. 8)
A+: .251/.336/.370, 109 G, 10 HR, 51 RBI, 62 R, 52 BB, 18 SB
Montgomery was limited to just 62 games in 2022, but he nearly doubled that time during the 2023 season. While also displaying impressive defensive acumen -- primarily in center field -- Montgomery drew a career-high 52 walks, which were tied for 11th-most in the organization. The eighth overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft concluded his season by heading to the Arizona Fall League, where he posted a .936 OPS and swatted three home runs in 19 games.

OF: Jimmy Herron
AAA: .296/.395/.498, 128 G, 19 HR, 83 RBI, 106 R, 69 BB, 33 SB
Herron was originally drafted by the Cubs in 2018 but was dealt to the Rockies the following year. Since then, he has slowly worked his way up the organizational ladder. Herron proved he could get on base at a high rate and cause problems for opposing pitchers with his legs, as he set career highs in walks and steals, both of which ranked third in the organization. He also displayed his ability to hit the long ball with 19 home runs while showcasing defensive versatility with starts at all three outfield positions.

RHP: Jordy Vargas (COL No. 17)
A: 6-3, 4.22 ERA, 64 IP, 69 K, 24 BB, .239 BAA, 1.23 WHIP
Vargas made 13 starts for Single-A Fresno and showcased three different pitches -- a fastball, a breaking ball and a changeup. His heater -- his best offering -- sits in the low 90s, but he has been able to command it to both sides of the plate. He fanned more than a batter per inning in 2023, in particular, dominating against right-handed hitters, who hit just .202 against him.

LHP: Carson Palmquist (COL No. 21)
A+/AA: 7-4, 3.90 ERA, 92.1 IP, 134 K, 37 BB, .235 BAA, 1.27 WHIP
Palmquist made quite the impact in first full season in the Minors, as his 13.1 K/9 was tops and his 134 punchouts ranked second among all members of the Rockies organization to work at least 60 innings. Across two levels, he put together four 10-strikeout outings, while tallying nine in two other starts, en route to earning system Pitcher of the Year kudos.

RP: Zach Agnos
A: 5-2, 27 SV, 2.06 ERA, 52.1 IP, 68 K, 13 BB, .198 BAA, 1.01 WHIP
The 23-year-old was electric, converting 27-of-29 save opportunities for Single-A Fresno, good enough to lead the organization by a large margin. Agnos allowed just four home runs and 13 walks in his 52 1/3 innings. In college, Agnos was both a shortstop and a pitcher, but since joining the Rockies, he has focused his efforts solely on the mound.

"He's been able to do side sessions, mound work, a pitcher's throwing program and all this other stuff," Forbes said. "He didn't throw bullpens at [East Carolina University], so he never had time to work on his craft. Now you're seeing a mid-to-upper-90s fastball with good life and a late-breaking slider out of this kid."