Rockies Mid-Season Evaluations: (Top 41-50)

Colonel has hit well for the Drillers this season.

As the mid-season has come to a close, RockiesInsider.com takes a look at the top-50 prospects in the Rockies organization. This is a mid-season evaluation of the players who we believe are the top players in the organization, and will serve to help us as we make our pre-season Top-50 rankings this fall. Here are prospects 41-50.

41. Jeff Salazar, Outfielder
Salazar had an incredible season for the Rockies organization last season, but has since been shipped to the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was an eighth round pick of the Colorado Rockies in 2002, and was a California League All-Star in 2004. In 19 games with the Rockies last season, Salazar batted a respectable .283, and hit a home run. The Rockies felt Salazar was expendable with a logjam in the outfield at Colorado Springs, and Salazar was claimed by Arizona.
Stock: Salazar was claimed by the Arizona Diamondbacks in March, ending his tenure in the Rockies farm system. He had a cup of tea with Arizona this season, but is back with Tuscon.

42. Chad Bailey, Relief Pitcher
Bailey was great for the Asheville Tourists in 2006, appearing in 27 games out of the Tourists' bullpen. Bailey posted a 3.68 earned run average, and won two games. He has since been released by the Rockies. A 47th round selection by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Bailey was solid last season, but has not pitched in 2007.
Stock: Bailey was released by the Rockies in March, ending his one year stint in the Rockies organization.

43. David Arnold, Relief Pitcher
Arnold began the season with the Modesto Nuts, but he did not pitch well, and has since been demoted to the Tri-City Dust Devils. For Modesto, Arnold appeared in 12 games, but had a pitiful 13.50 earned run average. Since being demoted, Arnold has a 4.82 earned run average, but has been working on some things, and should be back into form by the end of the season.
Stock: Falling

44. Alberto Arias, Relief Pitcher
A member of the Rockies 40-man roster, Arias got a call to the Rockies earlier in the season, but has since been reassigned to Colorado Springs. He has not pitched since June 3, after pitching a 3.76 earned run average in ten games. He picked up his first win of his big-league career back in May, and was used out of the bullpen and the starting rotation in Colorado Springs. He is currently on the 7-Day Disabled List.
Stock: Steady

45. Sean Barker, Outfielder
Barker got a taste of the Major League this season, as he was called up by the Rockies when they designated Steve Finley for assignment. Barker only appeared in a couple of games for the Rockies, but has been crushing the ball for Colorado Springs. His batting average currently stands at .330, though he is currently on the 7-Day Disabled List.
Stock: Rising

46. Christian Colonel, Infielder
Colonel has been having an incredible season for the Tulsa Drillers, his second with the team. After batting .271 for the Tulsa Drillers last season, Colonel is batting .311 for the team this year, and already has 115 hits. He has smacked 12 home runs, driven in 59, and has an incredible 35 doubles. With the way he has improved since last year, Colonel could be a force in the Pacific Coast League next year.
Stock: Rising

47. Matthew Macri, Infielder
Macri has been more than solid for the Tulsa Drillers this season, and currently has his batting average over .300. Macri batted only .233 for Tulsa last season, but since being added to the team back in May, he has looked more than comfortable at the plate. He has average better than a hit per game, and has nine home runs in only 64 games. Not bad for a guy who hit only eight in all of last season.
Stock: Rising

48. Tommy Baumgardner, Relief Pitcher
You want to talk about a player turning his season around, then take one look at the season that Tommy Baumgardner is putting together. The young relief posted a 4.86 earned run average in April, but has since been nearly lights out for the Asheville Tourists. Baumgardner posted a ridiculous 0.71 earned run average in 12 games in May, saving five, and has not allowed an earned run in nine appearances in July. Overall, Baumgardner has a 2.09 earned run average in 38 appearances, and has allowed only one home run this season.
Stock: Rising

49. Judd Songster, Relief Pitcher
Songster has been phenomenal out of the bullpen for the Drillers this season, and has been a key guy in their middle relief rotation. He has appeared in 31 games, and his earned run average is just over 3.00. The 2007 season has been his second straight with the Tulsa Drillers, and he was just as good for the team last season. If he continues like this, he'll be in Triple-A before the end of the season.
Stock: Rising

50. Ryan Speier, Relief Pitcher
Speier spent part of the season with the Colorado Rockies, but was shelled and shipped back to Colorado Springs. Since being demoted, Speier has turned himself into one of the better relief pitchers in the Pacific Coast League, earning Mid-Season All-Star recognition. Overall, Speier has appeared in 37 games, and ranks second amongst Rockies Minor Leaguers in saves with 26. In 36.1 innings of work, Speier has struck out 33, and has allowed only two home runs.
Stock: Rising

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