Here's why to expect Beck in the big leagues sooner than later

March 25th, 2024

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies officials who are asked about outfielder Jordan Beck, MLB Pipeline’s No. 81 prospect, speak with the care that comes with trying not to build lofty expectations.

But before the words comes the real answer -- a smile.

Hitting coach Hensley Meulens extended his reaction to a chuckle.

“He’s very confident in himself and his abilities -- that’s a big plus when you’re in your first big league camp and trying to show off your skills,” Meulens said. “And he works, too. When he comes to the cage, he knows exactly what to do. But the most important thing is he competes at a high level -- it doesn't matter who's pitching or who it’s against. That doesn't bother him.”

The reaction suggests that if there is an opening in the Rockies’ starting lineup (there isn’t one), they would be open to doing what they did last year with Brenton Doyle and Nolan Jones -- letting Beck display his talent in the Majors.

The Rockies have noted Beck’s mature offensive approach and have kept playing him in Cactus League games despite moving him to Minor League camp on March 12. The club keeps smiling with the hits -- like the go-ahead single in Friday’s 3-2 victory against the Rangers. Beck is hitting .370 with two doubles and a triple in Spring Training.

Before Sunday’s 7-3 victory over the White Sox, it was the Rockies’ turn to make Beck smile. They presented him with the Abby Greer Award, which goes annually to the team’s Spring Training MVP (player development emphasis).

Beck, 22, drafted 38th overall in the 2022 MLB Draft out of the University of Tennessee, batted a combined .271 with 25 home runs, 20 stolen bases and 91 RBIs between time at High-A Spokane (76 games) and Double-A Hartford (50 games) last season -- his first full year as a professional.

“In a really good baseball conference, the SEC, he has been exposed to a collegiate big game,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “He feels comfortable in the clubhouse. He’s not overly confident. He knows his place. He’s not awed by it and he’s respectful.”

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, Beck excites the Rockies with a power-speed combination. After pushing to Double-A and dealing with late-season fatigue, Beck struck out 71 times in 50 games. But Beck has learned from it all.

Friday’s winning hit off the Rangers’ Jack Leiter -- whom Beck faced against Vanderbilt -- came after strikeouts on his first three at-bats.

“You’re gonna have tough days at the plate, and it started as one of those,” Beck said. “I just stayed confident in myself, but I could get to the pitch.”

Beck, who is likely to begin the Minor League season at Triple-A Albuquerque, turned heads even though he didn’t hit a Cactus League home run this spring.

“That’s something that’s a large part of my game,” Beck said. “Those homers will come. They [didn’t] come in Spring Training yet, but they will come.”

Beck then smiled. The Rockies are smiling with him.

• Catcher cut down two runners on stolen-base attempts on Sunday to increase his spring total to five. The regular defense has two players with Gold Glove Awards in their careers (Brenton Doyle and Brendan Rodgers) and several other finalists. Díaz’s throwing is an underappreciated part of the Rockies’ potential defense.

“Last year he had a good year throwing the ball, doing his part to thwart the running game,” Black said. “If given a chance from the pitching, he’s going to throw guys out because he’s got great throwing mechanics, good footwork and a strong arm. The accuracy piece is there, too."

• Lefty , the No. 3 starter, rebounded from giving up eight runs in 2 1/3 innings to the Mariners in his previous start by holding the White Sox to one run and four hits in five innings. He walked two and was not happy with a fifth-inning leadoff walk on four pitches to the aggressive Rafael Ortega, but it didn’t hurt him.

“You’re not going to take every result, good or bad, at Spring Training at face value, but you obviously want to have success,” said Gomber, who threw 76 pitches and feels his stamina is regular-season ready.

• A couple good sequences from Triple-A depth players: utility man powered his third spring homer, a three-run blast in the seventh, and right-handed reliever brushed aside a ninth-inning leadoff walk and struck out the next three hitters. Minor League camp player Trevor Boone also homered.