System benefits from Rockies' success
Club's prospects getting first-hand look at playoff baseball
DENVER -- The Rockies' success this season has had much to do with the players they have groomed in their system.Todd Helton, Matt Holliday, Garrett Atkins, Brad Hawpe, Jeff Francis and Troy Tulowitzki are all products of the Rockies' farm system and learned how to win on the job in the Majors. Well, now the Rockies have a new grooming method. Their prospects are learning how to win by watching it happen. "To get the experience in itself, I would like to think that, yes, it would help," shortstop Clint Barmes said. "I'm getting a little taste this way. I'm not getting in the games. I don't have the rush and the feeling of being on the line, but watching these guys work and treating it like another game and not trying not to make it more than what they could, that's something that you can take from this." Barmes is one of four September callups and part of the next wave of Rockies prospects who are along for the Rockies' playoff ride but not on the 25-man roster. First baseman Joe Koshansky, second baseman Omar Quintanilla and catcher Edwin Bellorin are also with the team, ready to contribute if they were to make the roster in the next round. "I would love the opportunity if I get it, but it's good just to be here," Koshansky said. Koshansky led the Pacific Coast League with 99 RBIs this season and is the first baseman in waiting. Quintanilla excels in the field and could take over at second base for Kazuo Matsui next season if Matsui, who will be a free agent this offseason, chooses to leave. In the meantime, Quintanilla is learning about playoff baseball, which he could be more a part of next year. "This is what baseball is about, the pressure and everything," he said. "You want to be a part of it so bad and you want to be out there playing. It's hard to be on the bench, but you've got to root on your team." Barmes is different from the group, because he has already experienced a full year in the big leagues. Barmes -- not Tulowitzki -- was once the Rockies' shortstop of the future, hitting .289 in 2005 and was a Rookie of the Year candidate. He struggled in 2006, hitting .220, and Tulowitzki beat him out for the job in Spring Training this year.
Barmes might not fit in to the Rockies' future plans -- he could, however, fit somewhere else -- but as the most experienced player not on the roster, he could get his chance at some point this postseason."I'd love to be more of a part of it and be able to help out and do a little more than what I'm doing right now," he said. "But I'm definitely thankful just to be here and support the guys and experience all this myself. This is an unbelievable experience. And I'm very thankful to be here and be ready if I'm maybe needed at some point."
C.J. Moore is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.