These are the Rockies to keep an eye on down on the farm

April 4th, 2024

The Minor League season started with a bang for the Rockies' No. 4 prospect, Jordan Beck, who was drafted 38th overall in 2022. Beck homered in the Triple-A Albuquerque opener and hasn’t stopped being exciting.

Beck, 22, an outfielder who earned the Abby Greer Award as the Rockies’ Spring Training MVP, entered Thursday hitting .357 with two homers, six RBIs, four walks and seven strikeouts. In other words, when he goes to bat, something exciting happens.

Beck’s mature approach to practice and in games drew raves from coaches. The Rockies kept him in Major League camp for as long as possible to expose him to the work ethic of veterans and Major League pitching. The feeling was if he carried his spring into the regular season, he could be seen in the Majors sooner than later.

So far, so good.

With the Minor League season about to begin in earnest, here is a look at the players to watch on the various teams -- one of which is loaded.

Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes

Player to Watch: C Drew Romo (No. 9)
The switch-hitting Romo, the 35th overall pick in 2020, stayed in Major League camp until close to the end. The 22-year-old became comfortable with the Major League pitching staff and emerged a more confident leader for younger hurlers. He will share time with Willie MacIver with the Isotopes.

Pitcher to Watch: RHP Tanner Gordon (unranked)
Gordon, 26, a righty starter who came over in a trade with the Braves at last year’s Deadline, drew attention during Spring Training and showed well in his lone Cactus League start.

Other Top 30 prospects on the roster: UTIL Hunter Goodman (No. 12), INF-OF Greg Jones (No. 23)

Double-A Hartford Yard Goats
Opening Day: Friday at 6 p.m. ET (4 p.m. MT), at Portland

Player to Watch: 2B Adael Amador (No. 1)
The switch-hitting Amador, 20, did not put up big offensive numbers in his first Major League camp, but coaches saw a gap-to-gap approach and a competitive at-bat regardless of the identity of the pitcher. Amador has mostly played shortstop, but there has been progress at second base.

Pitcher to Watch: LHP Carson Palmquist (No. 15)
Palmquist, 23, was invited to Major League camp, but a strain in the neck-shoulder area of his non-throwing side limited his participation. Still, the Rockies like his hard-to-detect delivery and his aggression in the strike zone.

Other Top 30 prospects on the roster: OF Yanquiel Fernandez (No. 3), INF-OF Sterlin Thompson (No. 5), OF Zac Veen (No. 6), 3B Warming Bernabel (No. 17), LHP Mason Albright (No. 22), RHP Jaden Hill (No. 28), RHP Connor Van Scoyoc (No. 30)

High-A Spokane Indians
Opening Day: Friday, 6:35 p.m. PT (7:35 p.m. MT) vs. Vancouver

Player to Watch: SS Dyan Jorge (No. 7)
A $2.8 million signing out of Cuba, Jorge, 21, arrived in pro ball with a swing that can pepper line drives all over the field and a long, lean body that serves him well at shortstop. Last offseason was for building strength, and he has room to grow.

Pitcher to Watch: RHP Chase Dollander (No. 2)
Dollander, 22, was selected ninth overall from the University of Tennessee in 2023 but didn’t pitch professionally last year. He started the Spring Breakout game against the D-backs, but he will take the mound in Spokane's opener for his first pro start that counts.

Other Top 30 prospects on the roster: OF-SS-C Cole Carrigg (No. 8), LHP Sean Sullivan (No. 14), 3B Kyle Karros (No. 29)

Single-A Fresno Grizzlies
Opening Day: Tuesday, 6:05 p.m. PT (7:05 p.m. MT) vs. Inland Empire

Player to Watch: INF-OF Braylen Wimmer (unranked)
Wimmer, 23, an eighth-round pick last year out of the University of South Carolina, burned through the Arizona Rookie League last year, slashing .383/.453/.596. The Rockies followed him for years, liked the polish he showed in college and selected him, hoping to have a steal.

Pitcher to Watch: RHP Jack Mahoney (No. 20)
A teammate of Wimmer on the Gamecocks, Mahoney, 22, missed the 2022 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2021. But he came back in ‘23 and was the Gamecocks’ best starter, so the Rockies took him in the third round.

Other Top 30 prospects on the roster: RHP Jake Madden (No. 21)