26-Year-Old Outfielder – Colorado Rockies
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Regarded by many as one of the organization’s top hitting prospects after swatting 33 homers and swiping 21 bags for Double-A Tulsa in 2011, Wheeler’s prospect status has since diminished almost entir...
Tim Wheeler Contract Information:
Re-signed with the Rockies on a minor league contract in January 2014.
Wheeler was outrighted off the Rockies' 40-man roster Wednesday.
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Colorado Rockies Roster
MajorsAnderson, Brett (P)
AAABetancourt, Rafael (P)
AAAdames, Cristhian (SS)
A+Alsup, Ben (P)
ABalog, Alex (P)
RookieFreeland, Kyle (P)
Tim Wheeler: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Wheeler’s season at Triple-A Colorado Springs was truly confounding, as he answered criticisms about his ability to hit for contact by drastically cutting down his strikeouts. He also batted an encouraging .269 with an on-base percentage of .361 against left-handers. At the same time, he showed virtually no semblance of the power or speed that made him the team’s top prospect in the eyes of some scouts after a 33-homer, 21-steal campaign at Double-A Tulsa just a season before. With the outfield being the deepest position in the organization, Wheeler will be given additional time at Triple-A to hone his game. He still has 20-20 potential in the majors if he can synthesize the full range of offensive skills he has shown over the past two seasons.
Wheeler erupted with his 33-homer performance at Double-A Tulsa, despite a one month drought that started in late July while he was looking for elusive No. 30. His combination of power and speed makes him an intriguing keeper league target, but there are warts here. Wheeler was picked apart by lefties, hitting just .236/.322/.401 against them in 209 plate appearances last season and experiencing similar difficulty during his time in the Arizona Fall League. Further, his 75 percent contact rate makes it unlikely that he'll remain .287 hitter as he continues to advance. At 24, he's not a finished product, but we'd like to see improvement against southpaws or an improved contact rate to believe that he'll be a 30-homer threat in the big leagues down the road.
Wheeler projects as a speedy, contact hitter with the ability to play a sound center field. If there is any flaw to his game, it might be that Wheeler does not project as a power hitter. He played 68 games in Low-A last season and held his own (.256/.332/.381). There is certainly work to be done with his bat, but he knows how to steal bases and he puts the ball in play. The Rockies have a number of center-field candidates in the system, but Wheeler's presence provides depth at a critical position. While his power may increase, Wheeler has to continue to refine his game against quality pitching and work his way through the system with an ETA of 2012.